Best 5% cash back credit cards of 2016

Best cash back credit cards offer 5% cash back on your spending. Unfortunately, this maximum cash back always applies only to selected categories of purchases. 

Be aware that almost all of these cards are designed for people with an excellent credit (FICO score of 740 and up).

It is advised to select a card that will let you earn max cash back on the category where the majority of your spending happens. Let’s compare the offers by the max spending category.

The majority of typical US household card purchases goes to groceries.

Best groceries cash back cards:

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR12.99 - 23.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 6 months 3% min $5 BT fee
rewards 1% 2% 5% +$25 bonus
  • earn 5% back on two categories that you can choose by yourself - e.g. dining, groceries, gas and more. $2,000 combined purchases quarterly limit apply. Categories list changes quarterly.
  • earn 2% on one extra category that you choose quarterly
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • plus you get $25 bonus each time you redeem $100 and more cashback in a single transaction

no annual fee

5% on 2 categories you choose quarterly

2% on 1 category you choose quarterly

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 3% 6% per $1 +$250 bonus
  • earn 6% back at US supermarkets (limited by $1000 spending annually, then 1%)
  • 3% on gas and in selected department stores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • $250 sign up bonus after spending $1000 in purchases in the first 3 months

 

$75 annual fee

up to 3-6% cash back

$250 intro bonus

read review

As one of our favorite cards, US Bank Cash+ offers 5% on two spending categories of your choice (with a $2,000 limit in combined purchases in these categories). Moreover, it offers 2% on another category of your choice. 

Another perfect offer is an American Express Blue Cash Preferred card with its 6% on US supermarkets and 3% on gas and department stores.  The downside for this card is the $75 annual fee and $1,000 annual limit on 6% category (regular 1% cash back apply after the limit is reached).

Restaurants is the second most popular category for a typical consumer, and gas is the third. However, gas purchases are getting less expensive with falling oil prices. Our top cards for 5% on dining out and gas are:

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR13.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% or 5% on every $1 +$100
  • 5% cashback on quarterly categories ($1,500 quarterly limit, then 1% )
  • get $100 bonus after spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months 
  • get $25 on first added authorized card user

 

no annual fee

0% intro APR

5% cash back on quarterly categories

$100 intro bonus

read review

The card offers 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories, including dining out. Even better, the card is loyal to people with average credit and has no annual fee.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 14 monthsregular APR10.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 14 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1 or 5% 
  • earn 5% on quarterly changing category up to $1,000 quarterly maximum in purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

 

no annual fee

5% cash back on selected quarterly category

high limits

read review

This version of popular Discover it card offers 5% on quarterly rotating categories including gas and restaurants.



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