Looking for a cash back credit card for the New Year? We’ve got you covered. These are some of the best cash back credit cards, with all the details you’ll want to consider when making your choice, whether you just simply want to take the cash back or you’d prefer to get some travel miles and points from your spending.
1. Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom is a handy card to have in your wallet for its value in specific spending categories, which change each quarter. You receive 1 percent cash back on all purchases (which isn’t itself that impressive) but then the 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent in a quarter’s spending categories.
The key of getting the full value out of the Chase Freedom is to max out your spending on those quarterly earning categories, and use a different card for other purchases. However, it’s not like the spending categories are odd or unusual, or you’ll have to spend $1,500 per quarter on something you don’t really want or need. Instead, the categories are always something useful, like department stores, grocery stores and gas stations. It’s definitely not hard to max out the $1,500.
You can take the cash back or you can pair the card with another, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ to start accruing Ultimate Rewards points. You do have to have an additional premium Chase card in order to do this, but then it’s like you’re earning 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in those quarterly categories.
- If you maxed out each category through the year and transferred the cash back to Ultimate Rewards points, you’d get 30,000 points, worth about $630 in travel.
- If you just took the 5 percent cash back, you’d get $300.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
Now on to the Chase Freedom Card‘s big brother, Chase Freedom Unlimited℠. This card is nice because it’s so easy. You get 1.5 percent cash back on every single thing you purchase all the time, no limits. So if you have Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, along with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’d want to use the first for quarterly category spending, the third for travel purchases and the second for everything else.
Similarly to the Chase Freedom card, the value when you transfer the cash back to Chase Ultimate Rewards points is about double what you’d get when you just take the cash back.
- If you spend $10,000 on the card per year, you’d receive 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points, worth $315 in travel.
- If you spend $10,000 on the card per year and just take the cash back, you’ll get $150.
3. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
There are two areas where the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card beats out Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ — dining and entertainment. The card was relaunched earlier this year with a whopping 4 percent back on entertainment and dining. You also receive 2 percent back at grocery stores (so it’s a better choice than the Chase Freedom if you’re going to the grocery) and 1 percent back on everything else.
4. Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
If you have a business of any type (from dog walking on the weekends to a florist shop), you can apply for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. Here’s why it’s a good idea:
- You get 5 percent cash back on office supplies and phone and cable services.
- You get 2 percent back on gas stations and restaurants.
- It won’t count toward your Chase “5/24” total since it’s a business card.
- You can pair it with Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred and turn your cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards.
So, if you have a business, this is a card that you’ll want to consider having in your wallet. While you can just take the cash back, again, similarly to other Chase cards, converting the cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points basically almost doubles the value.