Best Cards Offering 5% Cash Back or More on Everyday Spending

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Among cash back credit cards, the highest rewards rate you’re likely to find is usually 5%.

But unlike 2% flat cash back cards that offer rewards on every purchase or cash back cards with 3% rewards in standard bonus categories, 5% cash back cards can require a bit more strategy to maximize. A cash back rate that high is often found on cards with rotating bonus categories, strict maximum spending thresholds, or cards associated with a single retailer.  

Still, 5% cash back cards can offer great savings on your regular spending. When it comes to choosing a cash back card, the most important thing is to look for a card with bonus categories where you spend most, which can help you earn money back on purchases already in your budget. 

Cash back cards with 5% rewards are a great option to do just that. Here are the best credit cards available today you can use to earn 5% (or more) on everyday purchases, and some tips for maximizing your cash back. 

Best Cards Offering 5% Cash Back or More

Chase Freedom Flex℠ 

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Chase Freedom Flex℠
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Extensive tiered rewards structure
  • Rotating bonus rewards categories every quarter
  • Valuable welcome bonus offer
  • 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High ongoing APR after intro period
  • Rotating quarterly bonus categories capped after $1,500 in spending
  • Keeping track of rewards categories may be more complex than some other cash back cards
The Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Flex card offers cash back rewards in rotating rewards categories that will let you save where you spend the most. Plus, you’ll earn rewards in ongoing bonus categories year-round.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (14.99%-23.74% variable APR thereafter) ; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Cell phone protection
  • Free credit score and monitoring
  • Access to Chase Offers savings

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card is a no annual fee cash back card. It lets you earn 5% cash back on a few categories — including rotating bonus categories that you activate each quarter (up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter). You’ll also get 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022. In addition to 5% rewards, the card also offers 3% cash back on drug store purchases and at restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

You’ll earn a $200 welcome bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months of opening your account. There’s an introductory 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months and a variable APR of 14.99% – 23.74% after that. 

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back Discover it® Cash Back
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
Discover it® Cash Back
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    Cashback Match™
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    11.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • 5% back in popular categories like grocery stores, gas stations, or Amazon.com purchases throughout the year
  • No annual fee and no late fee on your first late payment
  • 14-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Cashback Match at the end of your first 12 months
Cons
  • High ongoing variable APR
  • Limited redemption options for rewards
  • Must keep track of rotating bonus categories to maximize rewards
The Bottom Line
The Discover it Cash Back stands out — and earns a spot among our best cash back credit card picks — due to its generous revolving rewards structure, which gives cardholders the chance to earn 5% cash back upon activation (up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1%) in categories that change throughout the year. There’s no annual fee, and you can save money on interest with an introductory APR for a limited time.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, followed by a variable APR of 11.99% to 22.99%
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • All quarterly rotating categories for the upcoming year announced in advance
  • 5% category earn only applies after you activate rewards each quarter (bonus rewards do not apply retroactively if you wait to activate mid-quarter)

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card is another 5% cash back card with rotating quarterly bonus categories. You’ll get 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 spent each quarter after activation, then 1%. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover also offers a Cashback Match welcome bonus, an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all of the cash back you earn within the first year of opening your account.

The Discover it Cash Back card doesn’t require an annual fee, and it has an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months. After that, there’s a variable APR of 11.99% – 22.99%. 

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0*
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99%* (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5% cash back on your first $2,000 in eligible net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose. 2% cash back on your choice on one everyday category, like Gas Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Pick your bonus rewards categories
  • 0% intro APR offer for balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Cash welcome bonus offer
Cons
  • Quarterly caps limit 5% cash back
  • Introductory APR offer does not apply to purchases
  • Limited rewards redemption options
  • Must reactivate categories each quarter
The Bottom Line
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature takes some thought to maximize, but can offer great savings. You’ll earn 5% back in two categories you choose each quarter, as well as 2% back in one of three everyday spending categories. There’s no annual fee, and an introductory offer for balance transfers can help you save by consolidating debt.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Contactless payment options
  • Travel and purchase protections through Visa Signature program

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is a no annual fee card that offers 5% rewards in select categories of your choice. You can earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter for two categories you choose, among:

  • Fast food
  • TV, internet, and streaming services
  • Cell phone providers
  • Home utilities
  • Department stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Movie theatres
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Furniture stores
  • Ground transportation

You’ll also get 2% cash back in one everyday category — between gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants — and 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

You’ll earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 120 days of opening your account. There’s also an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles and a variable APR of 13.99% – 23.99% after that. 

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card  

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you’ll earn 5% back in the eligible category you spend most, up to the first $500 spent each billing cycle, then 1% back. Categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment. You don’t have to activate or choose categories each month; instead, you’ll automatically receive 5% rewards where you spend most. You can also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

New cardholders may qualify for a $200 welcome bonus after spending $750 within the first three months. The Citi Custom Cash Card comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, there’s a variable APR of 13.99% – 23.99%. 

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $150 Amazon Gift Card
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.24% to 22.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership* 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores* 1% back on all other purchases*

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rewards on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, plus popular everyday spending categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Metal card
Cons
  • Sign up bonus comes in the form of an Amazon gift card
  • No annual fee, but $119 Amazon Prime membership required
  • High variable APR
The Bottom Line
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase is a game-changer for people who spend a lot on Amazon.com or at Whole Foods — both categories net you 5% in cash back. You’ll also earn rewards in other popular everyday categories along with some pretty sweet additional benefits, all for no annual fee (as long as you’re a Prime member).

Additional Card Details

  • Visa Signature Card with benefits like Visa Signature Concierge Service and Luxury Hotel Collection access
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay coverage
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranties
  • Auto rental coverage and roadside assistance

If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers up to 5% cash back at Whole Foods and Amazon.com with an eligible Prime membership. You’ll also get 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can also earn 10% back or more on a rotating selection of products and categories on Amazon.

You may qualify for a $150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. The card doesn’t require an annual fee, though you must be a Prime Member (which costs up to $119 annually). It has a variable APR of 14.24% – 24.24%. 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $300
  • Annual fee:
    $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Great rewards in everyday spending categories
  • 0% introductory interest offer for new purchases
  • Competitive welcome bonus
Cons
  • $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95
  • No intro offer for balance transfers
  • U.S. supermarket 6% rewards capped after $6,000 annual spend
The Bottom Line
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is one of the only cash back cards we think is worth an annual fee, especially for modern families. This card’s excellent rewards on everyday purchases can help you maximize all of your most frequent spending — from dining in to at-home entertainment to the expenses that come with your daily commute.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then 13.99% – 23.99% variable APR
  • Early event ticket access and seating through American Express Experiences
  • Eligible for Amex Pay It, Plan It
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
  • Minimum $25 rewards redemption

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers more than 5% cash back on select categories. You’ll get 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services. You’ll also get 3% cash back on transit and gas, and 1% on all other purchases.

You can earn a $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 within the first six months. There’s a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for the first 12 months, then a variable APR of 13.99% – 23.99%. The annual fee is waived for the first year, but there’s a $95 yearly charge after that. 

Types of 5% Cash Back Cards

There are a few different types of cash back cards that offer 5% rewards. Like many of the cards on our list, they may also offer rewards in other categories in addition to the 5% rewards.

  • Rotating cash back cards: These cards offer 5% cash back on select bonus categories that change each quarter, usually up to a quarterly spending max. You’ll typically need to activate quarterly bonus categories to earn the 5% rewards.
  • Bonus category cash back cards: Some tiered bonus category cash back cards offer 5% savings. Like rotating cash back cards, the 5% earn may have a maximum spending threshold, after which you’ll earn 1% back. Often, you’ll need to choose your 5% category among eligible options, and activate the category monthly or quarterly.
  • Retail credit cards: Many credit cards associated with a specific merchant offer 5% rewards. These may be closed loop retail cards, which are only accepted at the merchant, or general credit cards co-branded with the retailer that you can use anywhere credit cards are accepted.

How Rotating Categories Work

Credit cards with rotating cash back categories offer 5% cash back in select categories that change each quarter. After you activate a quarterly category, you can earn the boosted 5% rate until you reach a maximum spending limit within the category. 

The best way to maximize 5% rewards on a rotating cash back card is to make sure you track the rotating categories your issuer offers each year. Here are all the 2021 quarterly categories for both the Chase Freedom Flex and Discover it Cash Back credit cards: 

Chase Freedom Flex Discover it Cash Back
Q1: January – March Select streaming services, wholesale clubs, phone, cable, and internet servicesGrocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS
Q2: April – JuneGas stations, home improvement storesGas stations, Wholesale Clubs, and select streaming services
Q3: July – SeptemberGrocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart), select streaming servicesRestaurants and Paypal
Q4: October – DecemberWalmart, PayPalAmazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com

Maximizing Your Cash Back

To maximize your spending with a cash back card, choose the rewards that best align with your spending habits. If the majority of your monthly budget goes toward food, for example, look for a card that offers more cash back in categories like restaurants or grocery stores. If your spending isn’t focused on one particular category, you may be better off with a card that offers flat rewards on every purchase, even at a slightly lower rate.

Pro Tip

Look for cash back cards with high reward rates that also have a welcome bonus. You can earn rewards on everyday spending while you work toward your bonus.

If you’re willing to strategize your spending habits, you can even pair cash back cards to really maximize value on every dollar you spend.

After you’ve chosen the card best fit for your spending, consider how to maximize your redemptions, too. You can redeem your rewards toward statement credits that can help reduce your overall balance. It’s also best practice to redeem your rewards relatively often, rather than letting them sit unused in your account. Some credit card companies offer special cash back offers to redeem with certain retailers or let you redeem your cash back toward gift cards or experiences. 

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site

Best Cash Back Card Strategy

Your cash back strategy will largely depend on your individual spending habits and budget. Here are a few pointers to help you maximize your cash back credit card, whether you choose 5% rotating rewards or 2% flat cash back. 

  • Look for a lucrative welcome bonus  — and make sure the required spend fits within your budget. You can earn rewards while working toward your welcome bonus with regular spending.
  • Before choosing a card, think about how you’ll use it most. If you don’t spend more on particular categories or you don’t want to track your spending, look for a flat-rate cash back card with unlimited rewards on every purchase. And if you choose a cash back card with rotating or tiered categories, make sure you understand the offer’s maximum spending limits, end dates, and activation requirements.
  • You can maximize your cash back rewards by using your card to pay for everyday purchases or monthly bills. Just remember to pay the balance in full and on time each month — and only charge what you can afford to pay down — to continue to make the most of your card’s perks without accruing debt. 

Bottom Line

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Cash back credit cards are helpful tools to earn money back on your regular purchases and everyday spending. And cards with 5% cash back can potentially be the most rewarding of all. Just make sure you understand the terms of your 5% card — such as changing bonus categories, activations, maximum spending thresholds, and more. And don’t forget to compare different options before you apply, so you can find the cash back card that best aligns with your individual spending habits.