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If you’re not the type to run up a balance on a credit card, that’s great! But it doesn’t mean you should avoid credit cards altogether. It means that you can get in on the benefits of credit cards without the worry of expensive debt — if you use them strategically.
Some cards are especially good at rewarding you for purchases you would be making anyway — like food and fuel — as well as seasonal spending for gifts, entertaining and hot toddies. Here are three of our favorite cash-back cards right now. See which one fits your lifestyle.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
What’s to love: This card is another great all-around cash-back card offering a $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months.
- Get an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- No expiration on cash-back rewards so long as the account is open.
- Pay 0% APR on balance transfers and new purchases for an introductory period of 15 months.
- No annual fee.
Note: This card charges a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
Why we like it: This card not only offers generous cash back on purchases of groceries and gas, but also gives you a $250 statement credit if it’s used for at least $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. That covers the card’s annual fee, with money to spare for a night on the town, a pair of new shoes or a utility bill.
More to love:
- Get 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases per year at U.S. supermarkets (for a value of $360). After that, get 1% cash back.
- Get 6% cash back on more than two-dozen streaming media subscriptions, everything from Pandora and YouTube Prime to Showtime. (See the full list here.)
- Get 3% cash back on gas and other transportation costs, including taxis, ride-share, buses, trains, parking and more.
- Get 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Pay 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers for 12 months. That’s a nice long runway to recover from your holiday expenses.
Note: This card has an annual fee of $95.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
Why we like it: This is a great all-around credit card with 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It also offers a $150 cash bonus after you spend just $500 within the first three months of opening the account.
In a nutshell:
- Get 1.5% cash back on every purchase — no limits, and no expiration on cash-back rewards for the life of the account.
- Get a $150 statement credit after spending $500 on the card within the first three months.
- Pay 0% APR on purchases within the introductory 15-month period.
- Pay 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months.
- No annual fee.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Note: Balance transfers made within the first 15 months are subject to an initial 3% fee.
Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s reward points, cash back, balance transfer or a low interest rate — you can find with our credit card search tool. Click here to search for the plastic that best fits your needs.