How to decide on a cash-back bank card

Bank cards can typically present alternatives to rack up journey rewards like airline miles or lodge factors. But when simplicity and a strong return on spending are your prime priorities, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with a cash-back bank card.

Earlier than you begin looking for a brand new card, although, it is a good suggestion to consider what you need in a cash-back card and which one is one of the best match for you. Listed below are 4 issues to think about.

Analysis the incomes charges

Not all cash-back playing cards work the identical, and it is vital to know which method you need to take with the way you earn rewards. There are three major methods cash-back bank cards construction their rewards packages:


With tiered and rotating rewards, you will have a greater likelihood to maximise your money again with sure bonus classes. However in lots of circumstances, most of your purchases will web you the bottom rewards price, and you may have to preserve observe of the completely different bonus classes.

On the flip facet, flat-rate rewards playing cards may give you a constant incomes price on your entire spending, however they lack the flexibleness to maximise your rewards in a few of your prime spending classes.

Assessment your funds

To find out which card shall be most rewarding for you, you will have to know the place you spend most of your cash. Then, you’ll be able to select a card that rewards these purchases probably the most.

For instance, in case you have a giant household and spend so much on groceries, a tiered rewards card with outsized incomes on grocery purchases, such because the Blue Money Most popular Card from American Specific, needs to be in your radar. Equally, in the event you spend quite a lot of your funds on leisure and eating out, you will profit from a card that earns bonus cash-back in these classes, just like the Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card.

Crunch the numbers to see which card presents one of the best rewards primarily based in your month-to-month spending. SAM EDWARDS/GETTY IMAGES

Nevertheless, in the event you discover that your spending habits are extra unfold out or in the event you spend probably the most on a class that does not earn bonus rewards, you will be higher off with a flat-rate rewards card. With the Citi Double Money Card, as an illustration, it will not matter what your spending appears to be like like since you’re getting 2% money again on the whole lot (so long as you might be paying off your steadiness).

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Consider the welcome provide and annual price

Money-back bank cards are extra than simply their incomes charges. Lots of them additionally provide sign-up bonuses, introductory 0% annual proportion price (APR) promotions (which let you make purchases or switch balances and pay them off over a set interval, interest-free) and different perks that may add worth to your expertise. As you examine cash-back bank cards, take into consideration different advantages which might be match for what you need.

You probably have a giant buy arising, as an illustration, chances are you’ll need to search for a card with a sign-up bonus or a 0% APR introductory provide. Some playing cards, such because the Chase Freedom Flex and the Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Specific, provide each, making them glorious selections for a big expense.


You will additionally need to contemplate whether or not the cardboard expenses an annual price — fortuitously, many do not — and the way that can have an effect on your rewards incomes energy. For instance, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Money Rewards Credit score Card earns 1.5% money again on all purchases however expenses a $39 annual price (see charges and costs). This implies you’d have to spend at the very least $2,600 yearly simply to interrupt even on the annual price.

The Chase Freedom Limitless, then again, additionally earns 1.5% again on all purchases however would not have an annual price, permitting you to earn with out having to fret about offsetting a yearly price.

Take into account having a number of bank cards

There is no cash-back bank card that is finest for everybody, and even when one card provides you extra worth than one other, the easiest way to maximise your rewards is to make use of a number of playing cards for various spending classes.

In the event you’re open to it, having multiple cash-back card might be an effective way to maximise your rewards. ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

For instance, chances are you’ll go for the Blue Money Most popular for groceries and fuel because of its increased incomes charges on these classes, the Chase Freedom Flex for journey, eating, drugstores and its rotating classes, and the Citi Double Money Card for the whole lot else (as a result of it provides you a flat 2% money again).

This method might take some getting used to, and you may have to preserve observe of your due dates and balances to keep away from curiosity and late charges. Nevertheless, it is an effective way to benefit from your day by day bills.

Backside line

The finest cash-back bank cards provide versatile rewards and the possibility to rack up quite a lot of worth in your on a regular basis spending. Whereas choosing the right cash-back card can really feel daunting, you’ll be able to simply slim down your checklist of choices utilizing the following pointers to decide on the best card (or playing cards) for you.

Further reporting by Emily Thompson.

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