The Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2021

Getting the most out of cash-back cards is a matter of choosing the card that best suits your lifestyle. After all, we all want a card that works with and for us–not against us. There are a wide variety of cards out there offering unique incentives and perks, but the best all have two things in common: simplicity and flexibility.

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Recently, financial expert and entrepreneur Erik Budde shared some valuable insights with Mind Your Dollars. The CEO and Founder of GigaPoints says that with the best cashback cards available, you don’t have to worry about “redeeming points or finding airline availability.” If you pick the right card, the cash rewards will come to you, and the process will be simple.

Here are some of the top cash-back cards in existence, according to the experts.

Citi Double Cash

Want cashback on all purchases? Then you should seriously look into this easy-earning card.

With simplicity in mind, Budde highly recommends this card as it offers 2% cashback on everything with no annual fee. “2% is pretty much the best return available for a cashback card and with no annual fee, it’s hard to go wrong. Cashback is paid 1% at the time of purchase and 1% when you pay your bill,” he explains.

Budde also says that if you’re looking for a comparable credit card with the best cashback benefits, you might want to check out the Fidelity Rewards or the PayPal Cashback card, which also offer 2% cashback.

While these straightforward cards are undoubtedly a safe bet, there are a few other interesting options in 2021 definitely worth noting.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

First things first, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has an excellent earning rate for a credit card that costs nothing to own.

With this $0-annual-fee card, Budde says you’ll get 3% cashback “on restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% cashback on everything else. The extra bonus cash back on dining (including take-out and delivery services), makes this no annual fee Chase card an interesting option.”

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And there’s another reason to carefully consider this one.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card also offers Earn 5% cashback on travel purchased through Chase. But when it comes to travel expenses, the only notable downside is its 3% foreign transaction fee.

Chase Freedom Flex

If you’re looking for a card with some of the best bonus rewards around, the experts at NerdWallet say you might want to consider the Chase Freedom Flex. It has no annual fee, a cashback rewards rate of 1-5%, and an intro offer of $200.

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The Freedom Flex offers rewards all the way up to 5% in certain categories. Some perks remain fixed, while others change quarterly. On the plus side, big bonuses are always offered to new cardholders. The more you swipe this one, the more rewards you’ll get over time.

Blue Cash Preferred

Also ranked highly in the bonus rewards category, NerdWallet recommends the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. Some of the fees might make it easy to write off, but don’t be too quick to judge this card by its cover charge.

The annual fee of $95 might seem steep for a cashback card, but its perks more than make up for what you pay. Its benefits and rewards are geared towards those putting a big chunk of their money into groceries, commuting, or streaming. And new members can earn up to $350 cashback!

And for those who don’t mind the annual fee, it comes highly recommended each year.

U.S. Bank Altitude Go

According to Budde, the U.S. Bank Altitude Go is another great option. It offers 4% cashback on dining, 3% on groceries, 3% on gas, and 1% “on everything else.” However, it’s an option where rewards might be a bit more complicated to unpack than the cards previously mentioned.

In turn, he advises using the GigaPoints Analyzer to find out which credit card (and its rewards) is the best suited for your lifestyle and needs.

Here’s how Budde says the GigaPoints Analyzer works:

“GigaPoints proprietary data shows that dining, groceries, and gas are three of the biggest categories of spending for most users (approximately41% of all credit card spending). The especially large rewards in these big categories mean that many users will earn the most with this card. Uniquely, the GigaPoints analyzer can dynamically find the best cashback card for any user. By securing connecting their existing credit cards, GigaPoints will analyze your spending and calculate how much each card will earn you per year.”

Best Options For Young Adults And Recent Grads

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When it comes to finding the right credit card, those who’ve just graduated and younger adults typically face two well-known challenges, as noted by Budde. For starters, getting approved without much credit history is extremely tough. On top of that, cards that come with an annual fee may not be the right choice until earning a stable, annual income.

In turn, Budde says it’s best for younger adults to focus on cards with easier approval odds and “solid rewards,” like the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Not only do financial experts agree that this is a good option for anyone, but it also has higher approval rates than Chase premium options. And for younger adults, getting approved is often the most difficult part.

For those just getting started, he also recommends the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards, which offers “3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% cashback at grocery stores and 1% cashback everywhere else. It also has a 0% APR for 15 months on new purchases and no annual fee.”

Also, check out the Discover it Student Cash Back card. According to Budde, it’s by far one of the easiest to approved for on this list, offering “5% cashback on rotating categories and 1% cashback on everything else.”

On top of that, this one pays those who have good grades, boasting a $20 statement credit for those doing well in school, and “an unlimited dollar for dollar cash back match at the end of the year, doubling your rewards.”

Jasper Cash Back Mastercard

According to Abby Hao, the Jasper Cash Back Mastercard is designed with new borrowers in mind. And we’d tend to agree. This innovative card offering 1% cashback on all eligible purchases is also a great option for those who might already be in debt or applying for credit cards for the first time. Here’s why.

“You don’t need a credit history to apply if you don’t already have one, and your monthly activity will be reported to both Equifax and TransUnion. Jasper Cash Back Mastercard uses technology to determine your credit limit, considering factors such as past and present employment, not just credit history,” Well PCB’s head of marketing explains.

As noted by Hao, the Jasper card has no annual fee and offers up to a $5,000 credit limit to anyone who applies and qualifies. And that’s definitely worth noting. It can also help new customers build their credit, making it another great option for students, recent graduates, young adults, or those in debt. As with most credit cards, the best way to get the most out of this one is to be sure to pay your bill on time.

According to Hao, not only will timely payments help strengthen your credit score (since all information is reported to Equifax and TransUnion), but it offers unique perks, including rewards for referring friends.

Her best advice? Set up automated installments so that you’ll never miss a payment. This tech-savvy card makes staying on top of your credit card bill simple and speedy.

Crypto.com’s CRO Card

According to Jeremy Britton, the Cryllionaire team reviewed all the cashback cards out there and said the CRO card from Crypto.com was definitely their top pick. Britton is the CFO of Boston Trading, the world’s first diversified crypto mutual fund.

Britton says what makes this Visa card unique is that it can be loaded with crypto or fiat currency and used anywhere that accepts Visa worldwide. On top of that, he says this 1% cashback Crypto card has some truly great “instant perks” worth noting, rather than the standard delayed point systems many other cards use. Here’s how it works, as explained by Britton.

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“The base model card is free and offers 1% cashback on all purchases, paid in CRO cryptocurrency. This crypto can be held, or converted to bitcoin or digital cash such as USDT. The platform also offers staking, so you can earn up to 12% interest on your accumulated cashback. The next level card requires you to invest around $5000, however, there are no application fees or annual fees, and you can request the deposited money back at any time.”

But the perks don’t stop there. As Britton notes, you can earn 3% cashback on all purchases, plus a 100% rebate on Netflix and Spotify. Talk about incentive. “The 100% rebates plus the 3% cashback can mean that the card pays for itself rapidly, and the funds you have staked continue to earn interest up to 12%,” he explains.

On top of that, Britton says the CRO offers airport lounge access and up to 8% cashback on purchases, and an additional 10% rebate on Airbnb and various services.”

His best advice for those taking this route? “Crypto can be a lucrative investment, it can also be volatile; but if you get the crypto for free, the reward is greater than the risk.”

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