Research by banking industry experts at Mintel Comperemedia shows that more than half of new credit card offers use cash back rewards to sway prospective cardholders. As some lenders ramp up the size of their signup bonuses, other companies have added seasonal promotions that can boost your rewards.
 
When you make purchases using credit card issuers' online malls, some partner retailers will even maximize your rebates into the double digits. Our credit card tables can help you find a cash back rewards card that matches your spending habits to earn you even better rebates.
Credit Needed
Excellent
X

  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover "Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie" by J.D. Power+
  • 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 - Oct. through Dec. 2014 when you sign up for 5%*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
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Credit Needed
Excellent
X

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%
  • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover "Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie" by J.D. Power+
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Credit Needed
Excellent
X

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days* as part of our Industry - Leading Rewards Program
  • Exclusive 24-Hour Concierge Service
  • VIP Treatment at over 3,000 Properties
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Disclaimer:*These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.

Find the Cash Back Credit Card with the Most Cash Rewards

Finding the best cash back credit cards

Credit card issuers know that cash lures new customers, while building loyalty with existing customers. That's why you'll see some of the best overall credit card deals from lenders eager to add affluent consumers to their portfolios. The best cash back credit card for you might not necessarily be the one with the highest percentage rebate on daily purchases. Analyze your current bank and credit card statements to see where you spend the most money. For instance, if your commute forces you to fill your gas tank a few times per week, look for a card with extra gas rewards. Some cash rewards cards offer bonuses on restaurant and grocery purchases, while others multiply your earnings at bookstores and movie theaters.

Cashing in on signup bonuses

As Mintel's researchers discovered, a big signup bonus can help you make up your mind about applying for a new credit card. Before jumping in, take the time to stack up your potential cash rewards against the long term costs of your new card. If you normally pay off your balance at the close of each statement cycle, you'll maximize your savings. Otherwise, finance charges and annual fees could eat into your rebates.

Review terms and conditions of your rebate program closely for details about any caps or limitations on your potential new account. Some cash back credit cards advertise large discounts, but bury spending thresholds and rebate limits in the fine print. Earning your signup bonus may also require you to reach a spending threshold over time, usually within the first few months. Plan your purchases to hit your threshold quickly, so you can maximize your earnings all year long.

Earning extra cash back rewards online

While most consumers stop comparing top credit cards after reviewing bonuses and reward levels, frugal shoppers should check out a bank's network of online retail partners. Most lenders now offer bonus rebates and rewards when you follow a special link from their websites to popular shopping destinations. Even though it doesn't sound like a convenient way to start your next online shopping spree, starting at your bank's website could save you between 5 and 20 percent on top of your credit card's usual cash back rewards.

Making the most of seasonal cash back bonuses

Many banks have added special promotions to their marketing arsenals, tying even bigger bonuses to special events and featured purchasing categories. For instance, around the holiday season, some credit card companies may offer up to 5 percent cash back on purchases in department and clothing stores. Other cash back promotions tie in to sponsored sporting events, film festivals, or cultural activities.

In most cases, credit card issuers will require you to sign up for these special offers at the start of each quarter. If you forget to register your 2012 credit card, you won't earn your bonus rewards. Take some extra time to review details of the best credit cards available now, so you don't miss out on your chance to maximize your rebates.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company.