Top Cash Back Credit Cards for October 2017

Cash back credit cards are by far the most popular type of rewards sought out by consumers. They are not as complicated to use as travel rewards credit cards and their rewards are also more flexible, allowing you to redeem your points for any type of purchase. There are tons of options to choose from but here are my top cash back cards for October 2017.

1) Discover it® Card

Discover It

  • No annual fee
  • Intro purchase APR is 0% for 12 months from date of account opening
  • 10% back your first year on rotating categories
  • Free FICO score

The Discover it® Card offers rotating bonus categories which can earn you 5% cash back. These categories include many of the same type of merchants as other rotating category cards, such as gas and ground transportation, restaurants, movies, home improvement stores, Amazon.com, etc.

The big perk of this card is that for new cardmembers, Discover will double the points earned after the first 12 consecutive billing periods. This means that you effectively earn 10% on the bonus categories and 2% on all other purchases. When you combine this with the cash back you can earn through the Discover Deals web portal, this easily amounts to some of the best cash back earning potential out on the market.

This first year 10%/2% earning rate for a no annual fee card is exceptional and because the Discover it is one of the easier cards to get approved for, this is often my #1 recommended cash back card for people just starting out.

2) Chase Freedom Card‎

  • No Annual Fee
  • Get $150 after you spend $500 in 3 months
  • Earn a $25 bonus when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3 month period.
  • 5% back on rotating categories
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

The Chase Freedom® Card‎ will earn you 1% on non-bonus purchases and 5% Ultimate Rewards on up to $1,500 worth of purchases for different rotating categories each quarter. These categories usually follow a similar pattern each year, albeit with some small differences from time to time.

In the past, bonus categories have included: gas stations, grocery stores, Amazon.com, Kohls, Lowes, Starbucks, movie theaters, and more. This year the current bonus categories are as follows:

The Freedom is also a great card because you can pair it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve and earn Ultimate Rewards at a quick pace and then transfer those points to some quality transfer partners like Southwest Airlines, United, Marriott, and more. If you don’t have any relationship with Chase, then the Freedom card can be a great way to start building some trust with the bank so you can go after more valuable cards in the future like the Sapphire cards.

3) Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • No Annual Fee
  • Get $150 after you spend $500 in 3 months
  • Earn a $25 bonus when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3 month period.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card‎ is the newer Freedom card and offers a flat earning rate of 1.5% on all purchases. This is a great option for people who don’t want to hassle with keeping up with rotating bonus categories. If you have a Sapphire card, this is a great way to capitalize on earning extra Ultimate Rewards on non-bonused spending. Like the other Freedom card, you need to have a premier Sapphire card like the Preferred or the Reserve to transfer your points to travel partners.

4) Amex Blue Cash Everyday® Card

  • No Annual Fee
  • Get $150 after you spend $1,000 in 3 months
  • 3% back at supermarkets
  • 2% back at gas stations
  • 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday® Card earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations; 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores; and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of “Reward Dollars” that can be redeemed as a statement credit (this card does not earn Membership Rewards).

This is a great earner for those who spend a lot at grocery and gas stations. The bonus earning potential with the $150 sign-up bonus and 0% into APR really make this no annual fee card one of the best out there for consumers who don’t like annual fees.

5) Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • $95 annual Fee
  • Get $200 after you spend $1,000 in 3 months
  • 6% back at supermarkets
  • 3% back at gas stations
  • 3% cash back at select U.S. department stores
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is also a good option but it comes with an annual fee of $75. That card earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations; 3% cash back at select U.S. department stores; and 1% cash back on other purchases. These high return rates can make the Blue Cash Preferred one of the most rewarding cash back cards on the market.

The annual fee can on this card can be easily offset with the sign-up bonus of $150 and if you’re a high spender, it can be easily offset in the future with bonus category spending (6% of $6,000 equals $360). Thus, if you think you’re likely to max out the bonus category spending, or even come close to doing so, the Preferred might be the better bet over the Everyday.

6) Citi® Double Cash Card

citi-double-cash-credit-card

  • No annual fee
  • 2% back on all purchases (when you pay your bill on time)
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • “Pass” on your first late fee

The Citi® Double Cash Card earns you 1% on all purchases and another 1% when you pay your bill on time. If you’re highly interested in cash back rewards you should be paying off your bill in full each month so the 2% earning should be something everyone should be able to take advantage of (unless you’re planning on taking advantage of the intro 0% APR).

One of the major benefits of card like this is that you don’t have to worry about bonus categories and you earn basically a straight 2% on all purchases. If you’re not interested in keeping up with a bunch of categories and just want a simple approach to cash back then this may be a great option for you. The drawback to this card is that there’s no sign-up bonus but this card is still one of the top long-term earners for cash back.

7) Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card

FIDELITY CREDIT CARD

  • No annual fee
  • 2% cash back on all purchases

The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card  earns unlimited 2% cashback putting it on par with the Citi® Double Cash Card . However, like the Citi® Double Cash Card, getting 2% takes a little bit of extra work because you have to have a Fidelity bank account to collect these points. Opening up a Fidelity account may or may not be a hassle for you but it’s something to be aware of.

The only drawback to this card is that it doesn’t offer the 0% into APR and so you can’t benefit by making large purchases like you could with some of the other cards.

8) BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

bankamericard-cash-rewards-credit-card-tilted

  • No Annual Fee
  • Intro purchase APR is 0% for 12 months from date of account opening (applies to balance transfers made within 60 days of opening)
  • Online exclusive $150 cash rewards bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • 1% cash back on every purchase
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 3% cash back on gas for the first $2,500 in combined bonus spend.
  • 10% to 75% reward bonuses

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card is a solid choice for those who spend a lot on grocery and gas, especially if you have a Bank of America account. As a Bank of America customer, you can get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account. Also, if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%. While the Preferred Rewards requires you to keep substantial monthly averages in your accounts, the 10% bonus for having a checking or savings account is pretty easy to meet. Overall, I think this is a great intro card for those people looking to break into the credit card game for cash back.

Final word

There are many other credit cards out there that offer cash back rewards. Many of these cards come from special credit unions or entities like USAA that require memberships but offer great earning rates of 2% or higher. Some of these options are only available in specific states, so I have not included many of them here. It’s always a good idea to check out what options are available to your region since you might be able to come across some very lucrative cards.

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