Best Cash Back Credit Cards in 2022
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Cash Back Credit Cards can earn you hefty rewards and cash for statement credits, but choosing a card blindly may cost you more than what you bargained for. This is why we are taking the liberty of explaining the types of cash back credit cards you may encounter, how to choose the one that suits you best, and our top three best cash back credit cards in 2022.
To simply put it, there are different kinds of credit cards, and you may also encounter hybrid types, so it is vital to be familiar with each kind so you can wisely choose the one that suits you best.
1. Flat-Rate Cash Back Credit Cards
As its name suggests, a flat-rate cash back credit card will earn you a definite cash back percentage on every purchase. The typical amount of cash back on most credit cards is 1.5%, so if you spend, for example, $10,000 a year, then you receive $150 back. It may not seem like a lot, but it could be a good option for many to spend that money on several purchase categories.
2. Tiered-Rate Cash Back Credit Cards
A tiered-rate cash back credit card will earn you different cash back percentages in some categories but for a certain spending cap. If you wonder what that exactly means, let us break it down for you. For example, if your cash back credit card offers 3% cash back on gas, you will have a spending cap, let’s say, of $5,000, so if you spend beyond that limit, your cash back percentage will drop to 1%.
3. Rotating Categories Cash Back Credit Cards
This type of cash back credit card may seem the most complicated. For starters, a cash back credit card with rotating categories will earn you definite cash back percentage on most purchases, usually 1%, while offering varying percentages on certain categories like dining or travel up to 5%.
These categories will change each quarter or every few months, so you will need to keep up with which category purchases offer a higher percentage and their cap spending limit. You will need to ‘activate’ the higher percentage cash back on such categories; you will earn the causal percentage if you do not.
4. Customer-Choice Rewards Cash Back Credit Cards
The customer-choice rewards cash back credit card is the hybrid we mentioned earlier; it fuses the tiered rate with the rotating categories. For example, a customer-choice rewards cash back credit card will allow you to choose a category to earn, let us say, 3% on while offering a set percentage on a specific category and 1% on all other purchases. Each calendar month, you have the opportunity to change your 3% cash back category.
Now that you are familiar with the types of cash back credit cards let us talk you through what you should consider before settling for a cash back credit card.
Your credit score
Your credit score is vital in deciding your eligibility for any credit card; the top cash back credit cards require a good to excellent score to qualify for and earn its hefty rewards. You can perform a soft online check to know your credit score, or if you already have a credit card, it could be offering free FICO scores, so take advantage of that and check up on your credit score.
Your monthly budget
Your monthly budget is essential to note, so you know which categories you will spend your money on to get the most out of your rewards. A rotating category or customer-choice rewards card could be your best option if you spend a lot in many categories.
Your monthly budget will also allow you to determine whether you will be able to offset the card’s annual fee. Most cash back credit cards waive the annual fee for the first year, but you should be prepared for the second and the years to come.
You may also want to consider whether you wish to use one card for all your purchases or strategically use different cards for different categories. Suppose you like to hunt for deals and get the best rewards from several categories, and you see yourself not being disorientated with several credit cards and rewards categories. In that case, rotating between two cash back rewards cards could serve you well.
Now, before getting into the best cash back rewards card in 2022, let us present you with the common features you should expect when you choose one.
Do note that the following features should not be the sole reason you choose particular cash back credit cards; they should merely entice you if you are on the fence between two or three. Before making a choice, thoroughly review your budget and spending habits, as we discussed above, so you make sure your decision is beneficial.
Here are some features and benefits you will find among cash back credit cards:
Some cards will offer you purchase protection where you get a refund if your product is damaged, stolen, or you regret the purchase. There is, however, some fine print you will need to be familiar with, so do not get too excited when you see this perk as it may be restricted to specific circumstances.
Extended warranty protection
Extended warranty protection will offer you, as its name suggests, an extended warranty on a product that goes beyond the manufacturer’s first year of warranty. However, you may need to keep a copy of your receipt and the manufacturer’s original warranty because you will face a lot of paperwork to receive your extended warranty protection.
Automatic reward redemption
Most cash back credit rewards provide you with the ability to redeem your rewards and bonus points at any time and automatically through the card issuer’s online portal or have them directly redeemed into statement credits. Moreover, most top rewards cards also have reward points that do not expire, so you can redeem them whenever you need them.
The minimum amount of rewards needed to redeem
Some credit cards will require you to stockpile a certain amount of points for cash back before being able to redeem them, while other cards may allow you to redeem any amount at any time. Therefore, you may want to read the fine print carefully to know if you need a minimum amount of rewards to redeem them, so you would not have to hold onto the credit card for longer than you plan to.
No foreign transaction fees
This perk is perhaps what you should look out for most, especially if you are a frequent international traveler. If your credit card charges you a foreign transaction fee, the amount is usually 3%.
A handy perk that some credit cards offer are accounting tools, which provide you with budgeting tools, and account reminders, so you never miss a payment, or an alert, so you do not go over your spending limit.
Now that we have covered what you need to know about cashback credit cards let us get right into our top three recommendations for the best cashback credit cards in 2022.
1. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from America Express offers great rewards for everyday purchases. Firstly, you are offered a welcome bonus to earn $250 statement credits after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first six months.
Moreover, you get to earn 3% cash back at U.S supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. You also get 2% cash back at U.S gas stations, including transit, taxis, parking, tolls trains, busses, and finally 1% on all other purchases. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card cashback rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card charges no annual fees, unlike its sister card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which charges $95. You are also offered an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months, and after that, APR will range from 15.49% to 25.49% variable.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%, slightly less than the standard 3%, but still not the best option for international travelers.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card offers you exclusive access to ticket presales and card-member-only events. Visit americanexpress.com/entertainment for more information. You also get a number of exclusive additional services that include:
- Fraud Protection
- Amex Send & Split
- Year-End Summary
- Pay It Plan It
- Additional family cards
Terms and conditions apply.
2. Chase Freedom FlexSM
The Chase Freedom FlexSM credit card is another great cashback option that many find rewarding. It charges no annual fees and offers you an introductory 0% APR for 15 months; then, it varies between 15.24% - 23.99%.
You can earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and restaurant dining, including takeout and delivery, and finally unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases. You can also activate a 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on rotating categories each quarter.
Within the first three months, if new cardholders spend $500, they can receive $200 cashback, in addition to an exclusive cell phone insurance which covers up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year against covered theft or damage. However, there is a maximum of two claims per year, and each claim has a deductible of $50. Cardholders need only pay their monthly wireless bill using the Chase Freedom FlexSM Card to receive cell phone insurance.
Cash back rewards offered by Chase do not expire, and you can choose to redeem them either through direct deposit to your checking and savings account or as a statement credit.
Terms and conditions apply.
3. Citi® Double Cash Card
Our third pick for the best cash-back cards in 2022 is the Citi® Double Cash Card. It charges no annual fees and offers 0% introductory APR for the first 18 months, and after that, it ranges between 13.99% - 23.99%. As for the balance transfer fee, you will be charged 3% for the first four months, and after that, the fee rises to 5%.
The Citi® Double Cash Card allows you to earn double cash back; meaning you get 1% cashback as you buy and another 1% as you pay for your purchases; it is the only card that offers this perk. However, you must pay your minimum due each month to earn your cashback.
Terms and conditions apply.
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This article includes the author's opinions, reviews, and analyses alone that have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Please note that the information regarding each card's offer is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written and as card offers change regularly; reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information.