High rewards rates and no (or low) annual fees are the most important considerations here. Seek cards that pay more in the categories where you spend the most.
“Easy choice” cards are great for people who want a no-hassle option and no annual fees. Cards that are “best for maximizers” are for those who aren’t afraid to carry a few different cards to pump up their rewards.
Citi Double Cash
With no annual fee and an industry-leading cash-back rate, Double Cash sets the standard for flat-rate cards. Full profile
Best For Everyday Spending
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
If you do most of your charging on basic purchases—food, gas, clothing at the mall—this card delivers the best rewards, but unlike many cash-back cards, this has an annual fee. Full profile
Best For Maximizers
The Discover It is one of the few cards that offer 5% back on categories that change each quarter—plus it has a valuable first-year sign-up bonus that beats the competition. Full profile
Best in Year One
Discover It Miles
Although it’s pitched as a travel card, Discover It Miles actually delivers a cash-back bonanza in its first year. Full profile