A surprising number of credit cards rewards at least 5 percent cash back on certain purchases. If you’re willing to use a combination of cards for your daily spending, you could potentially earn a high return in many different categories. Here are some of my favorite credit cards that offer (at least) 5 percent cash back:
The best 5% cash back cards
Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex currently allows cardholders to earn 5 percent cash back on four distinct types of purchases (five for new cardholders). It’s best known for offering 5 percent cash back on categories that change every quarter (activation is required, and the 5 percent rate applies on up to $1,500 in quarterly spending, then it drops to 1 percent cash back after that). PayPal and Walmart are the Chase Freedom Flex’s bonus categories from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021.
But the Freedom Flex is just getting started since it’s also running a mostly separate “top spend bonus” promotion during the fourth quarter of 2021. Cardholders earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in their top eligible spending category. The options are dining, gas stations, grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart purchases), travel (including transit), select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and select live entertainment. If your top spend category includes PayPal purchases, those will earn a total of 9 percent cash back.
I have this card, and I’ve already maxed out the $1,500 PayPal limit. A handy tool to help you maximize that category is PayPal Key. When PayPal isn’t a payment option at checkout, you can instead use PayPal’s virtual card number service, PayPal Key, which will count as a PayPal purchase.
I’m also well on my way toward spending $1,500 at grocery stores, and once I do, I will have earned $150 this quarter from $3,000 in spending I would have done anyway.
The Freedom Flex also offers 5 percent cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Neither of those categories has a spending cap.
There’s still more: New cardholders get $200 after spending $500 in their first three months plus 5 percent cash back at grocery stores (not including Target or Walmart) in their first year (on up to $12,000 in spending).
If you want to get at least 5 percent cash back on as many purchases as possible, the Freedom Flex is an ideal starting point, and it doesn’t even charge an annual fee.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
The Citi Custom Cash is another excellent no-annual-fee selection. It only gives 5 percent cash back on one category, but its main benefit is that the category automatically changes along with your spending …….