Wise Bread's ratings are determined by our editors. The scoring takes into account type of card being reviewed, audience, intended use, rates, fees, rewards, convenience, reputation, innovation, other features, etc.

= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

Best Cash Back Bonus Cards of 2021

by Greg Go - Last updated Jun 03, 2021

Greg Go is a credit card expert whose financial advice has been featured on US News & World Report, Business.com, and Yahoo! Finance.

Our Top Picks of Rewards Cards from Our Partners

#1 Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

  • $200 online bonus offer.
  • NEW 3% cash back on online shopping, drug stores, travel, dining, home improvement and furniture, or gas. Up to 5.25% for Preferred Rewards clients.
  • Best Intro APR - Stop thinking about interest for over a year.
  • No annual fee.

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card's $200 bonus offer and 3% cash back is one of the best deals I've seen in my years of writing about credit cards for Yahoo, US News, and Wise Bread.

If you apply online today you can receive a $200 online cash bonus after spending only $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening the account - that's like earning 20% back on the first $1,000!

Looking to make a big purchase? This card's long intro period will save you a bundle. It's like taking a 15 month vacation from paying interest.

The card offers an incredible 3% cash back on your choice of six categories and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases. These are the categories that you can choose to earn 3%:

  • Online Shopping
  • Drug Stores
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Gas
  • Home Improvement
Online Shopping Drug Stores Dining
Travel Gas Home Improvement

You choose the category you want to get 3% cash back for, and it stays on that category until you change it. Unlike other high cash back cards, there is no monthly activation required, and the categories don’t rotate. You can change the category once per calendar month.

The 3% for online shopping is the best in the industry. It applies to all online retailers. I already have this credit card and I love getting 3% back each time I shop online.

I also like the 3% back for drugstores, which is perfect for families that buy a lot of household goods and medication. Around summer time I’ll be taking advantage of the 3% gas for road trips and travel bookings.

Up to 5.25% Cash Back

Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards clients earn an extra 25%-75% bonus rewards. As a long time Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customer, I’m excited about getting up to 5.25% cash back on an online purchase, and at least 1.75% on other purchases.

Who Should Get This Card

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards is a great fit for most people — who doesn’t love a $200 bonus, 0% interest for over a year, and no annual fee?

The high 3% cash back on online shopping, drug stores, dining, travel, furniture, or gas is unheard of for a no annual fee credit card. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards pretty much blows its leading competitors out of the water.

This is why I’ve personally been using this card for years and recommend it to all my friends. This combination of features is too good to pass up.

» Click here to learn more about the $200 bonus offer and getting 3% cash back on online shopping or call Bank of America at 866-349-6262866-349-6262.

Apply Now   Apply Now   Apply Now  
at Bank of America's secure site
  • $200 online bonus offer.
  • NEW 3% cash back on online shopping, drug stores, travel, dining, home improvement and furniture, or gas. Up to 5.25% for Preferred Rewards clients.
  • Best Intro APR - Stop thinking about interest for over a year.
  • No annual fee.

 

 

 

While the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is a great fit for most folks due to its flexibility and high rewards potential, there are a couple of special categories of rewards that might be better for other very specific backgrounds, like if you have bad credit, no credit history, a student, drive professionally, have a household of 6 people worth of groceries to buy every week, etc. In these situations you might want to check out one of these other cards I've reviewed.

"7 out of 10 of readers who selected a card from this page choose Bank of America's Customized Cash Rewards Card." (i)

#2 Our Pick For: Poor Credit or Rebuilding Credit

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

If you have poor credit or need to rebuild your credit, the Discover it Secured credit card might be a good option. Not sure if you have poor credit? If you made a couple of late bill payments in the last two years, you probably cannot qualify for the top tier reward cards. The top tier credit cards with $200 bonuses like the Bank of America card we reviewed above require excellent credit. The Discover it Secured credit card doesn't require good credit, but it does require a security deposit. It is one of the few trustworthy secured cards that actually offers a little bit of cash back on purchases. More importantly, this card will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus, which will give you an opportunity to rebuild your credit while earning some rewards. 

#3 Our Pick For: College Students

Discover it® Student Cash Back

It is hard for college students to get high bonus credit cards because students often have no credit history. The credit reporting system known as FICO simply doesn’t have enough historical data from the college students to make a good determination. That’s why credit cards designed specifically for college students usually offer limited rewards and lower credit limits. The Discover it Student Cash Back is one of my favorites for college students because it offers a Good Grade Reward. College students can get $20 statement credit each school year if their GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years. Discover also offers college students the ability to view FICO Score for free from their website or the Discover app.

#4 Our Pick For: Frequent Concert Goers

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

If all your weekends are filled to the brim with concerts and sports events, you should check out SavorOne Rewards from Capital One. The defining feature is unlimited 3% cash back on entertainment, which includes categories like theater, concerts, professional sporting events, theme parks, etc. If you spend hundreds each weekend on attending entertainment events, you should definitely keep this card in your wallet. SavorOne Rewards also offers 3% cash back on dining, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores. There’s also a $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

#5 Our Pick For: If Most of Your Meals are Expensive Deliveries

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card (Text Link)

Here on Wise Bread we usually advise our readers to learn how to cook at home. It saves money and it is often a healthier option. But of course some people are forced to get deliveries daily due to health concerns or a busy schedule. If that’s the situation for you, then we recommend checking out the Altitude Go Visa Signature card from U.S. Bank. The key feature is the 4x points on takeout and food delivery. According to U.S. Bank, 1 point = 1 cent. Which means you’re effectively getting 4% cash back on your food deliveries.This card also offers a nice $200 bonus offer, where if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days you can get $200 value redeemable for statement credit or cash back.

#6 Our Pick For: No Foreign Transaction Fee

Discover it® Miles

A foreign transaction fee is a fee charged by your card issuer when you make a purchase in a foreign country. The industry standard is usually 3%. For example, if you went on a honeymoon in Paris and charged $5,000 in France, you would pay $150 in foreign transaction fees. If you want to avoid foreign transaction fees, Discover it Miles is one of the top cards you should consider. Unlike many other travel cards, it has no foreign transaction fee or annual fee. You also get 1.5x miles for every dollar spent. The key feature I like is that you can redeem the miles for cash at the rate of 1 mile = 1 cent. At the end of your first year this card also doubles your cash back. So effectively this is a 1.5% cash back credit card that can earn you 3% in your first year. Back to the Paris honeymoon example: If you were a first-year Discover it Miles card holder, your $5,000 honeymoon spend in France would actually earn you $150 instead of costing you $150 in foreign transaction fees.

#7 Our Pick For: Family of 6 Grocery Bills

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

If you have a huge family with a big appetite, the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express is one of your best bets. Blue Cash Everyday has no annual fee and offers 3% cash back on the first $6,000 spend each calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1% after that). This card is also offering a 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the card within the first 6 months of card membership, up to $150 back. This is a nice bonus to stock up your pantry with Amazon purchases. Plus there’s another $100 bonus if you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership. This card also comes with nice features useful for large households. “Amex Send & Split™,” for example, allows you to send money and split purchases with other Venmo or Paypal users directly from the Amex App. Terms Apply.

Bottom Line: Final Thoughts on My Number 1 Pick

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card's $200 bonus offer and 3% cash back is one of the best deals I've seen in my years of writing about credit card for Yahoo, US News, and Wise Bread.

If you apply online today you can receive a $200 online cash bonus after spending only $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening the account - that's like earning 20% back on the first $1,000!

» Click here to learn more about the $200 bonus offer and getting 3% cash back on online shopping or call Bank of America at 866-349-6262866-349-6262.

Apply Now   Apply Now   Apply Now  
at Bank of America's secure site
  • $200 online bonus offer.
  • NEW 3% cash back on online shopping, drug stores, travel, dining, home improvement and furniture, or gas. Up to 5.25% for Preferred Rewards clients.
  • Best Intro APR - Stop thinking about interest for over a year.
  • No annual fee.