In the competitive world of credit cards, cash-back offers have become a popular way for consumers to maximize their spending power. As we dive into March 2023, we’ve put together a list of the top cash-back credit cards for savvy shoppers who want to earn rewards as they spend. These cards offer varying rates and bonus categories, catering to a diverse range of spending habits.
When selecting the right cash-back card for your wallet, it’s essential to compare the available options to find the best fit for your lifestyle and spending patterns. Factors to consider include the cash-back rate, bonus categories, annual fees, and additional perks. To make the decision-making process easier, this article will outline the standout features of the top cash-back cards of March 2023, as curated by financial experts.
From cards with no annual fees to those with exceptional bonus category rewards, the following list of cash-back credit cards showcases the variety and flexibility available to consumers. With careful consideration and responsible spending, you can make the most of your hard-earned dollars while reaping the benefits these cards have to offer.
Card Comparison Overview
In this section, we will provide a brief comparison of the top cash-back credit cards for March 2023, focusing on their key features, rewards rates, and any associated fees. These cards have been selected based on their overall value, cash-back categories, and accessibility to users with various spending habits and preferences.
Some of the noteworthy cash-back cards for March 2023 include:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for bonus rewards with 5%/3% categories and a high ongoing rate
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for bonus cash back on everyday purchases
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat, unlimited cash back with no strategy required
- Discover it® Cash Back: Best for rotating cash-back categories
When comparing these cards, it is important to consider the following factors:
|Rewards Rate||The percentage of cash back earned on purchases, which can vary depending on categories and spending caps.|
|Annual Fee||Some cards charge an annual fee in exchange for higher rewards rates or additional benefits.|
|Sign-up Bonus||A one-time bonus, often in the form of cash back or statement credits, offered to new cardholders who meet a specified spending requirement within a certain time frame.|
|Additional Benefits||Perks like travel and purchase protections, extended warranty coverage, or membership rewards that can add value to the card.|
Before selecting a cash-back credit card, weigh the factors listed above to find a card that best aligns with your spending habits and preferences. This comparison overview should help guide you in identifying the most suitable option for optimizing cash-back rewards in March 2023.
Rewards Categories and Earning Potential
Various cash-back credit cards offer different rewards structures to cater to consumers’ preferences and spending habits. Understanding these rewards categories and earning potential is essential in maximizing the benefits of your chosen credit card.
The 5%/3% categories card stands out for its bonus rewards, allowing cardholders to earn higher cash back percentages in specific spending categories. These categories may include dining, groceries, travel, and gas, among others. In addition to the bonus rewards, this card also offers a high ongoing rate, making it an attractive option for those who wish to maximize their cash back earnings.
Another popular option is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, which allows cardholders to choose their own bonus reward categories. With this card, you can tailor your rewards to your spending habits and preferences, although it requires more effort to manage and track the selected categories.
Some cash-back credit cards, like the Citi Double Cash card, focus on providing high cash back rates for everyday purchases. Although it lacks bonus categories, this card is ideal for those who prefer a simple rewards structure and a higher cash back percentage on all purchases.
Moreover, certain cash back cards are designed to reward heavy spenders in specific categories. For example, some cards offer up to 6% cash back on select categories, such as supermarkets or gas stations. These cards are particularly beneficial for those who spend a large portion of their budget in those areas.
In summary, it’s crucial to understand the rewards categories and earning potential of different cash-back credit cards. Your ideal card will depend on your spending habits and preferences, whether it’s a simple flat-rate cash back structure or a more customizable rewards system that allows for higher earnings in specific categories.
Annual Fees and Interest Rates
When choosing a cash-back credit card, it’s important to consider the annual fees and interest rates associated with each card. Some of the best cash-back credit cards offer competitive annual fees and interest rates.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a popular option for those looking for a card without an annual fee. Similarly, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good choice for those interested in earning cash back with no strategy required and no annual fee.
Other cash-back credit cards have annual fees, which may be waived during the first year. For example, the annual fee for the card mentioned on U.S. News is $0 for the first year and $95 afterward.
Interest rates should also be taken into consideration, as these rates can vary significantly between cards. Many cash-back credit cards offer variable APRs, such as the 18.49% – 29.49% variable APR found on the card featured on U.S. News.
It’s essential to analyze the annual fees and interest rates of different cash-back credit cards before making a decision. By selecting a card with low or no annual fees and a competitive interest rate, cardholders can maximize the value of the cash-back rewards they earn.
Signup Bonuses and Promotions
Many cash-back credit cards offer attractive sign-up bonuses and promotions to entice new customers. Here are some examples of sign-up bonuses available in March 2023:
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card provides a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. That’s an impressive 40% return on your initial spending. You can find more details about this card on CNBC.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This information is available on U.S. News.
A few other examples with noteworthy sign-up bonuses include:
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card – $300 bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, as mentioned on WalletHub
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, also found on WalletHub
When considering a cash-back card, pay attention to promotional offers, such as 0% APR periods, bonus cash-back categories, and other limited-time incentives that can provide extra value. For example, the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card offers a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, as seen on Creditcards.com.
It’s essential to evaluate these bonuses and promotions in the context of your spending habits and financial goals. Make sure you can meet the requirement to achieve the bonus without overspending or carrying a balance, as interest charges can quickly negate the benefit of cash-back rewards and sign-up bonuses.
Ease of Redemption and Reward Flexibility
When considering cash-back credit cards, it’s essential to look at the ease of redemption and reward flexibility. Reward flexibility refers to how easily cardholders can redeem their rewards and the various options available for reward redemption.
Some of the best cash-back credit cards offer straightforward reward structures and flexible redemption options, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. These cards allow cardholders to redeem their rewards without worrying about complicated point values or redemption methods.
Here’s a quick comparison of some popular cash-back credit cards in terms of redemption flexibility:
|Card Name||Redemption Options||Minimum Redemption|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||Direct deposit, statement credit, check, or rewards for eligible purchases||$25|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Statement credit or redeemable for eligible purchases, gift cards, merchandise, or travel||No minimum|
|Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card||Direct deposit, statement credit, gift cards, charitable donations, or Amazon.com purchases||No minimum|
In addition to redeeming rewards for cash-back, some cards also offer the flexibility to redeem points for travel, shopping, or gift cards. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Discover it® Cash Back. These cards offer a range of redemption choices, giving cardholders more options for using their rewards.
Cardholder Benefits and Protections
One significant advantage of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards of March 2023 is the variety of cardholder benefits and protections provided. These benefits enhance the value of the cards and offer cardholders additional security and convenience while using them.
Many of these cash-back credit cards offer purchase protection, which covers eligible items in case of theft or damage shortly after purchase, and extended warranty protection that prolongs the original manufacturer’s warranty on eligible items. For instance, Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card provides these benefits to its cardholders.
Cardholders may also benefit from:
- Zero liability protection: Protects cardholders from unauthorized transactions made with their cards.
- Fraud alerts: Receive timely notifications if any suspicious activity is detected on the account.
- Travel and emergency assistance services: Provides help with travel emergencies such as lost or stolen cards, medical services, and legal referrals.
- Rental car insurance: Offers coverage for damage or theft of rental cars when the card is used to pay for the rental.
Additionally, some cash-back credit cards come with exclusive perks like access to select events or experiences and special discounts at participating merchants, further enhancing the value of the cards. It’s essential for cardholders to review their card’s benefits guide to fully understand and utilize the available protections and benefits.
Credit Score Requirements
When applying for cash-back credit cards, it’s important to know the credit score requirements set by the issuers. Each card might have different credit score requirements based on the card’s features and benefits. Here are the credit score requirements for some of the best cash-back credit cards of March 2023:
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Good to Excellent (670+)
- Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Good to Excellent (670+)
- Discover it® Cash Back: Good to Excellent (670+)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Good to Excellent (670+)
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Good to Excellent (670+)
Although these cards require a credit score of at least 670, some cash-back credit cards are designed for people with lower credit scores or no credit history. It’s essential to review the specific card’s requirements and ensure that your credit score is within the expected range. Keep in mind that meeting the minimum credit score requirement doesn’t guarantee approval, as issuers may consider other factors, such as income and recent credit history.
If your credit score isn’t high enough to qualify for these cards, you can work on improving your credit score by making timely payments, keeping your credit utilization low, and avoiding excessive credit inquiries. As your credit score improves, you may become eligible for better cash-back credit cards, allowing you to earn more rewards on your purchases.
Best Overall Cash-Back Credit Card
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card stands out as the best overall cash-back credit card for March 2023, thanks to its versatile rewards structure and no annual fee. This card allows users to earn cash back on a variety of categories without the need to track rotating rewards or opt into specific spending categories.
Cardholders can benefit from the following cash-back rates :
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3% cash back on dining
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
In addition to a strong rewards program, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card also offers a solid 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period, a variable APR ranging from 14.99% – 24.74% applies.
Another appealing feature of this card is the generous welcome bonus. New cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) during the first year, which translates to an additional $300 cash back potential.
The combination of a strong cash-back program, no annual fee, and valuable features make the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card a top choice for those seeking the best overall cash-back credit card in March 2023.
Best Category-Specific Cash-Back Credit Card
For those looking for a cash-back credit card with rewards focused on specific spending categories, the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Signature Card is an excellent choice. It offers a unique rotating cash-back program that lets you earn the highest rewards on spending categories of your preference.
With the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Signature Card, you can earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose. This allows you to maximize your rewards based on your personal spending habits. Additionally, cardholders will receive 2% cash back on an everyday category, such as grocery stores, gas stations, or restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Another advantage of this card is the flexibility it offers in terms of choosing your preferred categories each quarter. Some of the popular 5% cash-back options include fast food, cell phone providers, home utilities, and more.
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Signature Card has no annual fee, making it an even more attractive option for those looking to maximize their cash-back rewards on specific spending categories. However, be aware that it does require you to opt-in and select the bonus categories each quarter to take advantage of its full potential.
Best No Annual Fee Cash-Back Credit Card
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express stands out as a competitive option for a no-annual-fee cash-back credit card. This card is especially beneficial for grocery shoppers, as it offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
In addition to grocery rewards, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a strong contender for those interested in dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services rewards. Cardholders can enjoy 3% cash back in these categories, 1% on all other purchases, and even 8% cash back when booking tickets through Vivid Seats. Plus, new cardholders have an opportunity to earn a $200 cash bonus if they spend $500 on purchases within the first three months.
Another notable no-annual-fee cash-back credit card is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, which offers a flat-rate 2% cash back on all purchases, making it an attractive option for those who want a simple and consistent rewards structure. For rotating cash back categories, the Discover it® Cash Back card is a popular choice, offering 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that change each quarter, after activation.
Each of these cards provides valuable rewards without charging an annual fee, allowing cardholders to maximize their cash-back potential and save money in a variety of spending categories.
Best Flat-Rate Cash-Back Credit Card
The top choice for the best flat-rate cash-back credit card in March 2023 is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. This card offers an impressive 2% cash rewards on every purchase, making it a solid option for those who prefer straightforward and consistent rewards on all their spending.
One of the card’s main perks is an initial bonus of $200 cash rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. This offers an added incentive to new cardholders and a great kickstart to earning cash-back rewards. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card also has a $0 annual fee, making it an affordable choice for most consumers.
Other noteworthy flat-rate cash-back credit cards include the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One QuicksilverOne. Both cards offer an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but they differ in credit requirements and additional benefits. The Quicksilver Cash Rewards caters to consumers with excellent or good credit, while the QuicksilverOne is designed for those with fair credit.
When comparing these flat-rate cash-back credit cards, it’s essential to consider factors such as the required credit score, annual fee, and extra benefits, like travel and purchase protections. Choosing the right card will depend on your individual financial situation and preferences.
In summary, the best cash-back credit cards of March 2023 offer a variety of rewards and benefits to suit different spending habits and preferences. Some options, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, provide substantial cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets and on select streaming subscriptions.
Other cards, like the Discover it® Cash Back, focus on offering cash back on everyday purchases. When choosing a cash-back credit card, consider your spending habits and the categories where you tend to spend the most.
Additionally, pay attention to any welcome bonuses, introductory annual percentage rates (APRs), and other promotional offers when evaluating a card. Some cards, such as the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, even offer cash-back rewards on purchases made through specific services like Uber.
Remember to compare cards holistically, considering their rewards rates, fees, and other features to find the best cash-back credit card for your unique financial situation.