Updated: February 4, 2014
The best cash back rewards card in terms of rates and rewards is the Discover it® card. Keep in mind that the major drawback of using the Discover it® card is that Discover is not accepted at as many locations as some of the other top credit cards. That's about the only negative thing about this cash back card, but that could be a dealbreaker for some people. The Discover it® card offers 5% cash back on a new category every three months. For example, you can receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in Restaurant and Movie purchases from January through March 2014 and 1% on all other purchases. The Discover it® card also has the lowest standard balance transfer rate and and APR of any cash back credit card. There are also no foreign transaction fees, APR increases for late payment, and no late fee for the first late payment.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express combines excellent cash back rewards with a generous 0% introductory rate on all purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Earn a cash back reward of 6% on up to $6,000 in purchases per year at U.S. supermarkets, after which you continue earning a standard rate of 1% until the end of the year. All spending at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores gets you 3% cash back, while another 1% is returned to you for all the rest of your spending on goods and services of any kind. What's more, as a new cardholder you earn a $100 statement credit when you complete a total of $1,000 in purchases within three months of card ownership. Add all these terrific rewards to the top-notch travel benefits and customer service American Express is famous for and you have a pretty attractive card indeed.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® card from American Express is a top cash back credit card in terms of benefits. A cardholder receives all types of insurance on rental cars and travel as well as purchase protection security and access to exclusive events. The cash back rewards are nice too. Cardholders receive 2% cash back on purchases from U.S. stand-alone gas stations and 3% cash back on grocery purchases at stand-alone supermarkets. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a $6,000 cap at grocery stores to earn 3% cash back, so after that the rate goes to the standard 1% cash back. New cardmembers also earn a $50 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of being a member. Cash back can also be redeemed as points so cardholders can redeem for gift cards and merchandise as well.
TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express
The TrueEarnings® card has very similar benefits to the Blue Cash card from American Express. The differences are in the cash back rewards offered by the cards. The TrueEarnings® card is the more well-rounded of the two cards. It offers 3% cash back on gas for purchases up to $4,000 per year, 2% cash back at restaurants, 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else. This card is clearly made for the Costco shopper as 3% and 2% rewards are also given out for Costco purchases. One negative point is that the rewards are received via an annual reward coupon, which means cash rewards are only redeemable once a year.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card is right at the top of the list of cash back rewards cards, but this credit card misses in a few areas where the other cards excel. The BankAmericard doesn't offer the same type of benefits as the top cards, like 24/7 live service, extended warranty, and purchase security. On a positive note, cardholders can receive 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back on grocery purchases each quarter up to $1,500 spent. There's also a $100 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days of opening an account. For someone who is a Bank of America customer already, this card is a no-brainer. Bank of America customers can expect a 10% cash reward bonus when rewards are redeemed into a Bank of America checking or savings account.