Cash Reward Cards

Understanding how cash-back cards work and which cards you can choose from will help you make the best choice for your spending.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do cash-back cards work?

    Cash-rewards cards have pre-determined cash-back rates for nearly every purchase you make. When you use your card to make a purchase, the card issuer calculates your rewards and deposits them to your account's rewards balance. Some cards have a flat rate for all other purchases, some offer a flat rate with a higher bonus for certain categories that change every quarter, and others provide a flat rate plus boosted rewards for specific purchase categories.

  • How do you get cash back from a credit card?

    If your card offers cash-back rewards, you typically have at least four redemption options: a statement credit, a credit for past purchases, gift card purchases, and merchandise purchases. Some cards will let you redeem as little as 1 cent, while others require minimum redemption amounts such as $25.

  • Are cash-back cards worth it?

    If you're someone who wants a simple way to earn extra cash from your purchases, cash-back cards are an excellent option. Most of them charge no annual fee, meaning you can accrue cash rewards at no cost as long as you pay off your balance every month.

  • Which cash-back card is best?

    It depends. If you want a good all-around card, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercards is a solid option. And, if you don't mind tracking rewards categories to maximize your spending, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good fit.

Key Terms

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