The Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2018

How would you like a discount on every purchase you make, every day? Using a Cash Back Credit Card over a debit card will get you that discount plus much more.

With a Cash Back Credit Card, you will begin to earn money back on purchases you’re already making on regular basis. This will allow you to rack up cash quickly without putting a lot of extra thought into your spending habits. You could earn 2%, 5% or even 10% cash back on qualifying purchases. Then, just redeem that cash back for gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, or your next vacation. Easy as pie!

New cardholders may qualify for a new card member bonus, increasing your cash back potential even more! Additionally, many of these cards enable you to earn rewards without an annual fee!

Featured Cash Back Card

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Current Offer: $200 cash back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

What This Bonus Could Do for Me: Another easy $100 in your pocket comes from the Blue Cash everyday card. Why not take your date to a fancy four-course dinner courtesy of American Express? Surf and Turf or Prime Rib? Either way, you’ll be sure to make some delicious memories.

What Additional Perks Would I Get? Earn 10% back at US Restaurants on the card within the first 6 months of card membership, for up to $200 back.

Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card

Current Offer: Earn $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

What This Bonus Could Do for Me: Want even more cash for your purchases? If you spend $500 with the Chase freedom card, you will have just that. Cash -- and the freedom to spend it any way you choose!

What Additional Perks Would I Get? Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic, redeem for cash back – any amount, anytime. Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

Annual Fee

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard

Current Offer: Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.

What This Bonus Could Do for Me: Spending $1,000 is no problem for most of us -- think of the $200 cash bonus as a 20% off coupon for any store you wish.

What Additional Perks Would I Get? Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into your bank account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50. Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.

Annual Fee

Citi® Double Cash Card

Current Offer: Earn 1% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make and an additional 1% cash back on credit card payments.

What This Bonus Could Do for Me: This card really pays when you make your payments on time. If you spend at least $1,000 per month and are sure to always pay on time, you're looking at $480 cash back by the end of the year! That new laptop will be yours (which promises to be better than the brick you've been using)!

What Additional Perks Would I Get? Earn 1% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make, then, as you pay for those purchases, you earn an additional 1% cash back on those credit card payments, if you pay the minimum due. No caps and no category restrictions.

Annual Fee

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

Current Offer: 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter.

What This Bonus Could Do for Me: This should be your go-to card for Costco's warehouse groceries. If you max out the full $2,500 in grocery purchases, that's $200 back in your pocket by year end! That’s more than enough to get your membership for next year paid for!

What Additional Perks Would I Get? Earn 2 rewards points per $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants and office supply stores, earn 1 rewards point per $1 on all other purchases, redeem points for gift cards, cash, and travel with no blackout dates.

Annual Fee

Optimize Your Cash Back Rewards

Here are my tips for making the most of your credit card cash rewards:

Analyze the Annual Fees – As a general rule, I try and stay away from a card that has an annual fee. However, you should also compare the upside of the rewards vs the annual fee. As an example, if a card with a $25 annual fee gives 3% cash rewards, it's going to easily beat a no fee card with 1% cash back rewards.

Don't Chase Rewards – Don't let the fact that you might get increased rewards for cash back if you spend in a certain category drive your use of the card. If you need something, by all means, take advantage of the card cash back rewards. But don't spend simply to get rewards.

Avoid Carrying a Balance – By carrying a credit card balance, unless you have a 0% card, you will be incurring credit card interest. This interest will likely negate any cashback you could earn by using the card.

Beware of Reward Expiration Dates – Some credit card cash back rewards expire if you don't use them, or the card after a certain period. Don't let this happen to you. Set a date on the calendar each year to cash out.

Know Your Cash Back Thresholds – My last tip is to realize when it would be most beneficial to cash out your rewards. Most cash back programs have a threshold at 25,000 points, where your points can be cash out at a dollar for 100 point level. For one of my cards, the $250 cash back is that threshold.

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