Home > Credit Card Reviews > 5 Cash Back Cards to Help You Spend Less and Save More in 2018

Comments 0 Comments

[Update: Offer(s) below is no longer available through our site. Please visit our credit card marketplace for current offers. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below. ]

If your New Year’s resolution is to spend less and save more, a cash back credit card can help you meet your goals. These cards earn cash back on purchases, putting a little money back in your wallet every time you use your card.

If you choose the right card, you can save money and put a big dent in your annual spending. Here are five of our favorite cash back cards for spending less and saving more in 2018.

1. Citi Double Cash Card – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Rewards: Earn 2% cash back:1% cash back on all purchases, with an additional 1% upon payment.
Sign-Up Bonus: 
None
Annual Fee: 
$0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 
 15.24% – 25.24% (Variable).
Why We Picked It: All purchases earn double cash back once they’re paid off.
For 2018: Every purchase automatically earns 1% cash back, with an additional 1% awarded upon payment. That means you have two compelling reasons to pay your balance off quickly: earning double cash back rewards and avoiding future interest.
Drawbacks: You must pay your purchases off to realize the full cash back value.

2. Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on every purchase for the first year and 2.5% cash back thereafter.
Sign-Up Bonus: 
None
Annual Fee: 
$0 the first year, then $59.
APR:
Variable 11.24% to 24.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: If you want the same flat cash back rate on every purchase, this card is just about unbeatable.
For 2018: For one year, every purchase earns an incredible 3% cash back rate. After the first year, that rate drops to 2.5%, which still beats most competing cards with a flat cash back rate.
Drawbacks: You must be a member of Alliant Credit Union to get this card.

3. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on dining purchases and entertainment; 2% cash back on groceries; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 
$150 bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: 
$0
APR: 
0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) APR.
Why We Picked It: 
If food takes a big bite out of your monthly budget, this card can help you save.
For 2018: 
If you spend a lot on restaurants and entertainment, this card earns back 3% on every dining purchase. And if you decide to slash restaurant spending by cooking dinner at home more often, you’ll still earn 2% cash back on groceries.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much on food, there are better options. 

4. Discover it Balance Transfer 

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of quarterly purchases in rotating bonus categories; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 
Discover matches the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: 
$0
APR: 
0% for six months on purchases, and 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, then 13.99% - 24.99% Variable on purchases & balance transfers APR.
Why We Picked It: Discover’s cash back matching bonus in the first year and the 5% bonus categories can help you save big in 2018.
For 2018: This card earns 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that change every quarter. In 2018, the quarterly categories include gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and wholesale clubs. This quarter’s categories are Amazon.com and Target, so you’ll get 5% cash back if you shop at these stores at any time in December. Plus, on your card anniversary, Discover will match all the cash back you earned in the first year, doubling your rewards.
Drawbacks: This card requires you to track and activate bonus categories.  

5. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $39
APR: 24.99% (Variable)APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Consumers with fair credit can still get a great cash back rate.
For 2018: If you have fair credit, this cash back card is for you. It will earn a competitive 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase.
Drawbacks: The starting APR is high and there’s a $39 annual fee.   

How to Choose a Card for Spending Less and Saving More

The best cash back credit card for you depends on how you spend. If your monthly expenses lean heavily toward certain purchases (such as gas or groceries), you should choose a card that rewards those purchase types. If you don’t mind hunting down deals, a card with rotating spending categories could give you the biggest bang for your buck. But if your spending is pretty random, a card with a flat cash back rate on every purchase might be the best bet.

If you’re looking to turn over a new leaf in 2018 and plan to use a rewards card to do it, make sure you’re ready for a credit card. While rewards can help you save money on everyday purchases, they can also get you in trouble if you rack up too much credit card debt. Like any other financial tool, credit cards must be used responsibly.

Compare the fees and APR of the cards you’re considering. Excessive fees and high interest rates can eat into the value of your cash back rewards.

What Credit Is Required for a Cash Back Card?  

The best cash back cards require good or excellent credit, but people with fair or poor credit have options too. You should make sure you have a good chance of approval before you submit a credit card application, so it’s a good idea to compare your credit to the card’s credit requirements. You can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Double Cash Card, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Discover it card, and the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Geber86

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team