in

Cashback Rewards Rates Compared

Cashback Rewards Rates Compared
Cashback Rewards Rates Compared

Cashback Rewards Rates Compared

Earning cash back on your credit card purchases is one of the most popular types of rewards. But not all cashback cards offer the same earning rates and bonus opportunities.

In this guide, we’ll compare cashback rates across common category bonuses like grocery shopping, dining, entertainment, gas stations, and more. We’ll see how flat-rate cards stack up against tiered rewards structures. Read on for a full analysis of cashback earning rates so you can maximize value from your spending.

Cashback Credit Card Basics

Cashback credit cards provide reward points, statement credits, or cash redemptions based on a percentage of your spending. Here’s an overview:

  • Cashback rates are usually between 1-5% back per dollar spent
  • Higher rates of 3-5% are offered in select bonus categories
  • Most cards have tiers, with higher rewards for certain purchases
  • Some cards offer flat-rate cashback on all purchases
  • Rewards come as statement credits, point redemptions, gift cards or cash
  • You need a card with the best rates for your spending habits to maximize value

Next, we’ll break down how popular category spending compares across top cashback cards.

Cashback Rates on Groceries

Grocery store spending is one of the most common categories for elevated cashback rewards. Here are some top cards for grocery earn rates:

American Express Blue Cash Preferred – 6% back at US supermarkets on first $6,000 per year (then 1%)

Chase Freedom Flex – 5% back on groceries in rotating quarters (1% after)

Citi Custom Cash Card – 5% back on first $500 spent in category each month (1% after)

Capital One SavorOne Rewards – 3% back unlimited at grocery stores

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards – 3% back option for grocery category

For big supermarket spenders, cards like the Amex Blue Cash Preferred or Custom Cash can offer up to $360 per year at the highest rates. But quarter-limited 5% cards work too with proper activation.

Cashback Rates at Gas Stations

At the pump, these cards deliver the biggest rewards:

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa – 5x points on gas (equals 5% cashback)

See also  Do Cashback Credit Cards Have Spending Limits?

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa – 5% back on two categories each quarter including gas

Chase Freedom Flex – 5% back on gas in rotating quarters

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards – 3% back option for gas category

Wells Fargo Propel Card – 3% back on gas purchases

Gas station rewards are common in quarterly rotate bonuses or as part of custom category programs like with Bank of America. The PenFed Platinum offers an industry-leading flat 5x rewards rate on fuel year-round.

Cashback Rates on Dining

For restaurants and dining purchases, top earners include:

Capital One Savor Rewards – 4% back unlimited on dining

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa – 5% back as a selectable quarterly category

Chase Freedom Flex – 5% back on dining in rotating quarters

Citi Custom Cash – 5% back as selectable category each month

Capital One SavorOne – 3% back unlimited on dining

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards – 3% back as selectable category

The Savor Rewards card from Capital One stands out with its unrestricted 4% back on dining every day. But quarterly 5% bonuses can yield bigger rewards through targeted activation.

Cashback Rates on Entertainment

For fun purchases like streaming, movies, events and more:

Capital One Savor Card – 4% back unlimited on entertainment

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa – 5% back as selectable quarterly category

Chase Freedom Flex – 5% back on select streaming in rotating quarters

Citi Custom Cash Card – 5% back as selectable category each month

American Express Blue Cash Everyday – 3% back at U.S. streaming services

Top cards for entertainment rewards have shifted from movies and events to streaming services. Custom Cash and quarterly cards offer 5% when activated at maximum value.

Cashback Rates on Online Shopping

For digital retailers and online shopping purchases:

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards – 3% back option for online shopping

Discover It – 5% back at Amazon.com in rotating quarters

Chase Freedom Flex – 5% back on Chase shopping portal bonuses

U.S. Bank Cash+ – 5% back as selectable quarterly category

See also  Instant Approval Cashback Rewards Cards

Citi Custom Cash – 5% back as selectable category each month

Bank of America’s 3% back on online shopping is a nice catch-all for digital purchases. But 5% via Chase, Discover, and others when activated can yield bigger rewards.

Cashback Rates on Flights

A couple flight and travel focused cards offer:

Penfed Pathfinder Rewards – 3x points on travel (equals 3% cashback)

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa – 5% back as selectable quarterly category

Citi Premier Card – 3x points on air travel, hotels etc (redeemable for cashback)

Bank of America Premium Rewards – Up to 3.5% back on travel when redeeming into Bank of America accounts

For flat-rate travel rewards, PenFed Pathfinder Rewards offers an industry-leading 3x points (3% cashback). The Premium Rewards card from Bank of America also stands out for high value redemptions.

Cashback Rates on Hotels

Top hotel booking rewards come from:

Penfed Pathfinder Rewards Visa – 3x points (3% cashback) on hotels

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa – 5% back as selectable quarterly category

Capital One Venture Rewards – 2x miles (2% back) on hotels

Bank of America Premium Rewards – Up to 3.5% back on travel when redeeming into BofA accounts

Citi Premier Card – 3x points on hotels, redeemable for cashback

The PenFed Pathfinder and Citi Premier offer leading flat-rate rewards for hotel spending. U.S. Bank’s quarterly activation provides opportunity for even higher 5% earnings.

Cashback Rates on Rotating Categories

Cards with bonuses on rotating quarterly categories include:

Chase Freedom Flex – 5% cashback in select categories each quarter

Discover It Cashback – 5% cashback in select categories each quarter

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa – 5% and 2% on two selectable categories each quarter

Bank of America Cash Rewards – 3% in one category you choose plus 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs

Rotating categories encourage you to align spending each quarter with activated bonuses. But you have to log in and activate new categories manually each quarter.

Cashback Rates on Flat-Rate Cards

Cards that earn the same standard cashback anytime, on all purchases:

See also  Redeeming Cash Rewards as Statement Credits

Citi Double Cash Card – 2% back on all purchases (1% when buy, 1% when pay)

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card – 2% back on all purchases

Fidelity Rewards – 2% back on all purchases when depositing into a Fidelity account

Chase Freedom Unlimited – 1.5% back on all purchases

Capital One Quicksilver – 1.5% back on all purchases

Citi Custom Cash Card – 1% back on all purchases when not activating 5% category

Flat-rate cards simplify earning, with no categories to track. But rates around 1.5%-2% may trail category bonuses. The Citi Double Cash card is a popular flat-rate option.

Maximizing Cashback with the Best Rates

With so many cashback rates to compare, how do you decide on the best card for your needs? Here are a few tips:

  • Take inventory of your average monthly spending in major categories like gas, groceries, dining, etc.
  • Find cards that offer the highest rates in those categories where you spend the most each month.
  • Consider flat-rate cards if your spending is spread out without a clear focus area.
  • Factor in bonuses like new cardholder offers, referral bonuses and signup promotions.
  • Avoid cards with annual fees unless you’ll earn enough rewards to offset the cost.
  • Reevaluate your choice every 6-12 months as spending needs change over time.

The best cashback cards align high percentage rates with your largest dollar amount categories. That’s how you’ll maximize the value of your rewards.

Closing Thoughts on Cashback Credit Cards

Cashback credit cards that offer the richest rewards have bonus rates of 3%, 4% or 5% in categories with big monthly spending. Earning at 1.5% or 2% can pale in comparison.

Seeking out the top category bonuses from issuers like Chase, Citi, Bank of America and Capital One provides opportunity to earn well above baseline rates. Just be sure to activate quarterly promos and redeem rewards regularly.

Focusing on your highest expenditure categories offers the biggest return when rates are optimized. That makes cashback rewards a powerful way to save on necessary household expenses and everyday purchases over time.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Do Cashback Credit Cards Have Spending Limits?

Do Cashback Credit Cards Have Spending Limits?

How Does Cash Back Work on Credit Cards

How Does Cash Back Work on Credit Cards?