Top 6 Best Cash Back Credit Cards for 2016

Top 6 Best Cash Back Credit Cards for 2016

Despite what anyone says to the contrary, cash back credit cards really do let you earn “something for nothing.” If you’re able to use your card for regular monthly expenses and pay it off before interest is charged, you can earn anywhere from 1-5% back for every dollar you earn – and all with almost no effort on your part. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, huh?

And it is. Thanks to some healthy competition within the cash back credit card space, the top cash back credit cards now offer better rewards and sweeter benefits than ever before. In addition to a huge signup bonus, you can score everything from travel perks to a free FICO score on your monthly statement if you sign up for the right card. Better yet, many of the top cash back credit cards don’t charge an annual fee.

If you want to earn cash back rewards as a percentage of your everyday spending, you’re in the right place. This guide was created to introduce you to the best cash back card offers currently available with the goal of helping you find the best card for your needs.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2016

Before we get into all of the details, here’s our list of the top cash back cards for 2016:

Chase Freedom®: Best Cash Back Rewards Program

The Chase Freedom® card has earned a reputation as the top cash back credit card for good reason. Not only does it offer 1% back on every dollar you spend, but it also doles out 5X points in categories that rotate every quarter. For 2016, the 5x bonus categories include gas and transportation (Q1), grocery stores (Q2), restaurants (Q3), and holiday shopping (Q4).

The Chase Freedom® card also offers a healthy signup bonus, which is not all that typical for a no-fee rewards card. And since the points you earn belong in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can redeem them for gift cards or cash back, or use them to shop on Amazon.com.

All of these perks, plus the fact that the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, keep pushing it to the top of its class. If you don’t already have the Chase Freedom® card, it should be on your short list. Here are some additional details:

  • Read here to learn more about the Chase Freedom® card
  • No annual fee
  • Earn $150 in cash back after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months
  • Earn 5X points in categories that rotate every quarter plus 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months – perfect if you’re carrying high interest debt (balance transfer fee applies)

Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card: A Different Way to Earn Points with Chase

If you love the benefits of the Chase Freedom® card but not necessarily the way it doles out points, you might want to give the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card some serious thought. With this card, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar you spend – and with no annual fee to boot!

Since the points you earn belong in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can redeem them for gift cards or cash back, or use them to shop on Amazon.com. Either way, getting 1.5 points per dollar spent on every purchase is pretty sweet when no annual fee is involved. And if you hate to keep track of rotating categories, this card is a definite contender.

  • Read here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card
  • Earn a $150 signup bonus after you spend just $500 on your card within 90 days
  • Add an authorized user who also makes a purchase during the first 90 days and earn another $25 back
  • No annual fee

Citi® Double Cash: Earn a Flat 2% On Everything

citi double cash best cash rewards credit cardIf you don’t like keeping track of category spending or special promotional periods, the Citi® Double Cash card might be the perfect alternative for your wallet. With this card, you’ll earn 2% cash back on all of your purchases – 1% when you make a charge and another 1% when you pay it off.

This streamlined rewards effort makes it easy to keep track of or figure out how many points you might earn during any given month. And you can earn the full 2% back without worrying about caps, limits, or category restrictions.

The Citi® Double Cash card has surged in popularity since it was introduced in 2015, and the awesome rewards are the reason behind its ongoing popularity. If you want to know more, read through these important details:

  • Earn 2% cash back on everything – 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off
  • No caps, limits, or category restrictions
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months – perfect if you’re carrying high interest debt (balance transfer fee applies)

Discover it® – Double CashBack your first year

discover it best rewards cashback credit cardsSimilar to the Chase Freedom® card, theDiscover it® card offers 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases plus 5X points in categories that rotate every quarter. The big difference, however, is that the Discover it® card is offering double cash back your first year for a limited time.

If you manage to earn 20,000 points worth $200 your first year, Discover will double that bonus to $400 after 12 months. That’s a pretty sweet deal considering the fact that rewards are so easy to earn and this card comes with no annual fee!

Another perk that sets this card apart is its generous terms for balance transfers. The current offer lets you transfer a balance and enjoy 0% APR for 18 full months, although a 3% balance transfer fee does apply.

Whether you want to earn a ton of cash back, transfer a balance, or both, the Discover it® card can help you make it happen.

  • Read here to learn more about the Discover it® card
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1X points on all purchases and 5X points in categories that rotate every quarter
  • Double cash back after your first year
  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (balance transfer fee applies)

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card: Low Minimum Spending Requirement

bank americard best cash rewards credit cardThe BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card offers a sweet signup bonus and a user-friendly rewards program that is easy to understand. With this card, you’ll earn a $100 cash bonus after spending just $500 within 90 days! That’s why this card is perfect for someone who doesn’t spend a lot on credit, yet still wants to earn a signup bonus.

When it comes to ongoing rewards, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card isn’t lacking in that regard either. With this card, you’ll earn 3% on gas and 2% on groceries up to a combined $1,500 in grocery/gas purchases each year, plus 1% back on all other purchases.

Your rewards will never expire and there are no rotating categories to keep track of. And when you’re ready to redeem your rewards, you can take them in the form of a statement credit or as a direct deposit into your Bank of America checking or saving account. It’s as simple as that.

  • Read here to learn more about the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 3% on gas and 2% on groceries up to a combined $1,500 in grocery/gas purchases each year, plus 1% back on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (balance transfer fee applies)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 6% Cash Back at Grocery Stores

blue cash back credit cards preferred amex highest grocery rewardsThe Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is ideal for families who want to earn exceptional rewards on their everyday spending. With this card, you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year, 3% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Even better, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a $150 signup bonus after you spend just $1,000 on the card within the first three months. That’s more than enough to make up for the $75 annual fee this card charges, and is really just icing on the cake when you consider the long-term benefits. If you took advantage of just the grocery benefit, for example, and put $6,000 in grocery spending on your card annually, you would earn 36,000 points worth $360!

Here are some more details on the rewards and perks:

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on the card within 3 months
  • Earn 6% cash back on first $6,000 in grocery spending each year, plus 3% back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • Great for balance transfers! 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (balance transfer fee applies)

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express: No Fee, Sweet Signup Bonus

amex everyday best cashback credit card signup bonusThe Amex EveryDay®Credit Card from American Express offers the potential for sweet rewards and no annual fee. With this card, you’ll earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets on your first $6,000 in purchases, plus 1x points on everything else. Plus, you’ll get 20% extra points when you use your card for 20 or more purchases each billing period.

Although this card comes without an annual fee, it does offer a 10,000 point signup bonus after you use your card for just $3,000 in purchases within 90 days. And once you begin racking up the rewards, you can use them to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel stays, or vacations and cruises booked in advance. This is particularly tempting if you need the best airline rewards credit card for your personal or business travel, you could fly for free once you have racked up so many rewards.

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend just $1,000 on your card within the first three months
  • Earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets on your first $6,000 in purchases, plus 1x points on everything else
  • Earn 20% extra points when you use your card for 20 or more purchases each billing period.
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