Nowadays, it’s too convenient to have a credit card or two on hand when you’re out to make a purchase or want something online. They’ve become especially appealing to shoppers who are careful only to spend what they can afford, make a lot of purchases, and are interested in getting some of that money back in the form of a reward — or in some wonderful cases, cash!

There is reportedly more than $893 billion in balances in the United States, with nearly 70% of the population owning a credit card and 34% owning 3 or more at one time. Money like that spent with paper money is just that, but money like that spent with a good cashback credit card is money back in your pocket. 

To help you decide between the best cashback credit cards of 2021, here are some pros and cons of the reward and the best options in 2021.

Pros and Cons of Cashback Credit Cards

Cashback credit cards have become the most popular credit cards to have, with users getting their money back in the form of a check in the mail, direct deposit, gift cards, or a statement credit. In fact, out of all the options given, research shows that 43% have cashback rewards, 28% have gas/retail, 13% have airline/hotel, 12% have general travel, and 8% have business rewards. 

The reason for this is that there are so many great benefits to owning and using a cashback credit card. With that being said, everything in this world also has a con or two, as nothing is ever perfect

The major pros of having cashback rewards are the ability to spend the rewarded currency on whatever your heart desires (including credit card debt), they’re easier to understand than most other rewards, and most of them don’t have a required annual fee. On the other hand, a con to consider is that you’ll miss out on more lavish rewards that can add up to free hotel stays and a first-class ticket the next time you board a given airline. 

The Best Cashback Credit Cards in 2021

Now that you know why cashback credit cards have been making such a splash in the industry, let’s get into which credit cards, in particular, benefit you the most with the reward. 

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card is great if you can keep up with your payments because paying as little as the minimum monthly ensures that you get your cashback rewards. In fact, you can expect as much as 2% back for every purchase you make as long as you pay it off – meaning 1% for all the purchases you make and 1% when you pay it off before the due date. 

Even better, the Citi Double Cash Card top the charts because not only is the reward rate high, but you have 18 months of 0% APR for balance transfers before it increases to an APR based on your credit score. It’s also more ideal than some other cards with similar benefits because it allows credit scores in the ‘Good’ range of 690+ to take advantage also.

APR 13.99% — 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Rate 2%
Credit Score 690 or higher

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

This cashback credit card is particularly great for Costco shoppers. Not only do your cashback rewards add up from purchases made in the store, but you will save when getting gas from them (and get a percentage back!), dining out, buying groceries, and more. In fact, their rewards are broken down into this: 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases, for the first $7,000 per year that you spend and then 1% thereafter. Earn 3% on restaurants purchases and eligible travel, and 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com, and 1% on all other purchases.

The only downfall to this credit card is you do not get to use the rewards when you earn them, but rather receive one large lump sum after February’s statement, and while you don’t have to be a member or shopper at Costco to use the card and earn rewards — it does maximize your rewards to be one.

APR 15.24% Variable
Annual Fee No fee for the card, but there is a Costco membership fee with the option of $60 per year for a Gold Star membership or $120 for a Gold Star Executive membership.
Rewards Rate 1%-4%
Credit Score 720 or higher

Citi Custom Cash Credit Card

Citi Custom Cash Credit Card

Stepping in close to first and second place, the Citi Custom Cash Credit Card is another great option for users looking for great cashback rewards for spending money they would spend anyway. What makes this card so special is you can expect to get $200 back when you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of acquiring the card and as much as 5% cashback on the top eligible spends category (up to $500) every month. 

To make matters better, the card gives you 0% APR for the first 15 months on both balance transfers and purchases, and there’s not even a required annual fee to take advantage of it!

APR 13.99% — 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Rate 1%-5% bonus categories
Credit Score 690 or higher

Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex Visit site

The Chase Freedom Flex is another great option if you’re looking for a benefit as soon as you get started. If you spend at least $500 on a purchase in your first 3 months, you get $200 back! On top of that, you can enjoy 5% back on groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) up to $12,000 spent a year, 5% back on bonus categories each quarter, and 5% back on Chase Travel. From there, you can earn 3% on dining and drugstore, and 1% for every other purchase,

On the other hand, it can be a hassle to opt-in to your bonus categories every month, and the rotating 5% cashback rewards aren’t for everyone — the categories change quarterly, so your spending may have to change with it. 

APR 14.99 – 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Rate 1%-5%
Credit Score 690 or higher

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

And finally, there is the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card that made it on the top five for its credit score leniency. It can be challenging to build credit if you have no credit, and you’d think there’s no reward out there for users who have yet to build their credit up, but that’s not the case with this card.

In fact, this card is best for users with average credit scores between 630 and 689 because it has such a high annual fee and APR but is worth every penny for users who don’t qualify for any other offers. This isn’t to say it doesn’t also have great benefits, as the QuicksilerOne doesn’t have a cap on the amount of money you can get back, and there is one flat reward rate for every purchase, all the time.

APR 26.99% Variable
Annual Fee $39
Rewards Rate 1.5%
Credit Score 630-689
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