Can I Get Cash Back With a Credit Card?

If you’re wondering, “Where can I get cash back from a credit card?” the answer depends on the card. Some cards offer a flat rate on all spending, whereas others offer better rates in certain categories, such as grocery stores and gas stations.

Here are a few types of credit cards you might encounter.

1. Flat-rate cash back cards

The most straightforward cash back cards offer a flat earnings rate on all your spending. For example, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers 2% back on all purchases.2 Similarly, the Citi Double Cash Back Card offers 2% back in all categories — 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off.3 If you spent $1,500 on a credit card with a flat 2% cash back rate in a month, you could expect to earn $30 back.

2. Tiered reward cash back cards

Some cash back cards offer different rates in different spending categories, such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, entertainment, streaming services, or travel.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, for instance, offers 6% back at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 in spending each year (then 1% back after that), as well as 6% back on certain streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit and gas, and 1% back on other purchases.4 To give another example, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 3% back on dining, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery stores and 1% back on all other purchases.5

A cash back card with tiered rewards may appeal if you want to maximize your rewards in certain categories over others.

3. Rotating categories cash back cards

Finally, some credit cards offer different rates in select categories that rotate on a quarterly basis. The Discover it® Cash Back Card earns 5% cash back on purchases in different categories each quarter up to $1,500 in spending, then 1% back after that (and an unlimited 1% on all other purchases).6

Some cards with rotating categories offer higher earnings rates automatically, while others require you to activate your offers. Some also let you choose your bonus categories, like the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. With this card, you can choose from a list of categories each quarter to activate 5% back on up to $2,000 in combined spending. You can also select a category to earn 2% back on and will earn 1% on all other purchases.7

Since these cards have a more complex earnings system, they may require more attention from you to make the most of your rewards each period.

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