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Best 5% Cashback Credit Cards of 2021

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated June 10, 2021 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

For consumers looking to maximize cashback rewards, credit cards with 5% cashback programs can be some of the most lucrative on the market. Based on our research of cards available through LendingTree, as well as top cards offered by major issuers, we’ve identified several cards that earn 5% cash back in different ways — in rotating quarterly categories, in two categories of your selection, on specific types of spending, and when shopping at specific retailers.

We recommend pairing one of these cards with a flat-rate card such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. With the Citi® Double Cash Card , you can earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

By using one of the cards below for purchases eligible to earn 5% cash back, and using your flat-rate card on all other purchases, you can make sure you’re always earning cashback on everything you buy.

Best 5% Cashback Credit Cards
Best overall 5% cashback card Chase Freedom Flex℠
Best for a first-year cashback match Discover it® Cash Back
Best for 5% categories you choose U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
Best for 5% back at Amazon Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Best for a 5% discount at Target Target REDcard™ Credit Card
Best for small business owners Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Best For Overall 5% cashback card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Introductory APR 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. With a $0 annual fee, this card is a stellar offering.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers a strong introductory APR period if you need time to pay off a big purchase: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, after which a 14.99% - 23.74% variable APR applies.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is best for consumers who spend regularly on dining or drugstore purchases, and whose shopping habits often line up with the card’s rotating bonus categories. Chase announces each category shortly before its quarter, unlike Discover, which roles out its rotating categories for the entire upcoming year. Here are the Chase Freedom Flex℠ rotating categories announced so far for 2021:

  • January through March: Wholesale clubs, select streaming services, internet, cable and phone services
  • April through June: Gas stations and home improvement stores

Before applying for this card, make sure you’re familiar with the Chase 5/24 rule. In short, this unwritten rule says that Chase will deny your application if you’ve been approved for five or more credit cards from any issuer within the past 24 months. Also, be aware that activation is required each quarter for the bonus categories or you’ll earn just 1% on those purchases. Finally, cash back in rotating categories is capped at $1,500 spent in those categories per quarter, after which your earning rate drops to 1% back.

  • Cellphone protection of up to $800 per claim and up to $1,000 per year ($50 deductible per claim)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage)
  • Purchase protection for 120 days of up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection (adds an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less)

Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. With a $0 annual fee, this card is a stellar offering.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers a strong introductory APR period if you need time to pay off a big purchase: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, after which a 14.99% - 23.74% variable APR applies.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is best for consumers who spend regularly on dining or drugstore purchases, and whose shopping habits often line up with the card’s rotating bonus categories. Chase announces each category shortly before its quarter, unlike Discover, which roles out its rotating categories for the entire upcoming year. Here are the Chase Freedom Flex℠ rotating categories announced so far for 2021:

  • January through March: Wholesale clubs, select streaming services, internet, cable and phone services
  • April through June: Gas stations and home improvement stores

Before applying for this card, make sure you’re familiar with the Chase 5/24 rule. In short, this unwritten rule says that Chase will deny your application if you’ve been approved for five or more credit cards from any issuer within the past 24 months. Also, be aware that activation is required each quarter for the bonus categories or you’ll earn just 1% on those purchases. Finally, cash back in rotating categories is capped at $1,500 spent in those categories per quarter, after which your earning rate drops to 1% back.

  • Cellphone protection of up to $800 per claim and up to $1,000 per year ($50 deductible per claim)
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage)
  • Purchase protection for 120 days of up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection (adds an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less)

Best For First-year cashback match

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Introductory APR 0% for 14 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

The Discover it® Cash Back sets the standard for 5% cash back in rotating categories for a $0-annual-fee card.

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Note that after spending $1,500 in the quarterly bonus category, your earning rate drops to 1% for all purchases until the next quarter.

There’s also a unique sign-up bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. Thanks to the match, you essentially earn 10% cash back in the bonus categories (if you activate them) your first year with the card.

Cardholders also get solid intro APR periods for purchases and balance transfers:

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases, after which a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies.
  • 0% for 14 months on balance transfers, after which a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies.

There’s a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*.

The Discover it® Cash Back is best for consumers whose spending habits match up with the rotating 5% categories. Luckily, Discover makes it easy to plan ahead by releasing the cashback category for the entire year. Here are the Discover bonus categories for 2021:

  • January – March: Grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS
  • April – June: Gas stations, wholesale clubs, and select streaming services
  • July – September: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com

Be aware that you must activate the bonus category each quarter or you’ll earn just 1% on all purchases. Also, take note that the 5% rate is limited to $1,500 spent in the bonus category each quarter. Once you hit that cap, your earning rate drops to 1% until the next quarter brings a new category.

  • Access your FICO® Score for free
  • Get alerts if your Social Security number is found on the Dark Web (activation required)
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card using the website or mobile app

The Discover it® Cash Back sets the standard for 5% cash back in rotating categories for a $0-annual-fee card.

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Note that after spending $1,500 in the quarterly bonus category, your earning rate drops to 1% for all purchases until the next quarter.

There’s also a unique sign-up bonus: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300. Thanks to the match, you essentially earn 10% cash back in the bonus categories (if you activate them) your first year with the card.

Cardholders also get solid intro APR periods for purchases and balance transfers:

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases, after which a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies.
  • 0% for 14 months on balance transfers, after which a 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies.

There’s a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*.

The Discover it® Cash Back is best for consumers whose spending habits match up with the rotating 5% categories. Luckily, Discover makes it easy to plan ahead by releasing the cashback category for the entire year. Here are the Discover bonus categories for 2021:

  • January – March: Grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS
  • April – June: Gas stations, wholesale clubs, and select streaming services
  • July – September: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com

Be aware that you must activate the bonus category each quarter or you’ll earn just 1% on all purchases. Also, take note that the 5% rate is limited to $1,500 spent in the bonus category each quarter. Once you hit that cap, your earning rate drops to 1% until the next quarter brings a new category.

  • Access your FICO® Score for free
  • Get alerts if your Social Security number is found on the Dark Web (activation required)
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card using the website or mobile app

Best For Choosing your 5% cashback categories

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Highlights
  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 13.99% - 23.99%
  • No annual fee*
  • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2020 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2020

Cardholders with the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back! Choose one of these categories to earn an unlimited 2% cash back each quarter:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores

Then choose two of these categories to earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases (up to $100 in cash back per quarter):

  • TV, internet, and streaming services
  • Home utilities
  • Ground transportation
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cellphone providers
  • Electronics stores
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

There’s also a relatively easy-to-earn sign-up bonus, where you can earn $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is best for consumers who like the flexibility to choose two 5% cashback categories each quarter. For example, if you’re going to be staying home a lot, you might opt for categories such as cellphone providers and TV, internet, and streaming services. But if you’re planning to go to the movies and eat out, you might select movie theaters and fast food as your 5% categories.

Beware that rewards expire 36 months after the billing cycle in which they are earned. Also know you must enroll in your desired 5% and 2% cashback categories each quarter, otherwise you’ll earn just 1% back.

This card also comes with a solid offer for consumers who are looking to transfer debt from another credit card and pay it down during an introductory APR period. Enjoy 0%* intro APR for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers, after which a 13.99% - 23.99%* (variable) APR applies. The balance transfer fee is 3%.

  • This card is contactless, so you can pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
  • Use the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card with your digital wallet on your smartphone

Cardholders with the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back! Choose one of these categories to earn an unlimited 2% cash back each quarter:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores

Then choose two of these categories to earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases (up to $100 in cash back per quarter):

  • TV, internet, and streaming services
  • Home utilities
  • Ground transportation
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cellphone providers
  • Electronics stores
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

There’s also a relatively easy-to-earn sign-up bonus, where you can earn $150 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is best for consumers who like the flexibility to choose two 5% cashback categories each quarter. For example, if you’re going to be staying home a lot, you might opt for categories such as cellphone providers and TV, internet, and streaming services. But if you’re planning to go to the movies and eat out, you might select movie theaters and fast food as your 5% categories.

Beware that rewards expire 36 months after the billing cycle in which they are earned. Also know you must enroll in your desired 5% and 2% cashback categories each quarter, otherwise you’ll earn just 1% back.

This card also comes with a solid offer for consumers who are looking to transfer debt from another credit card and pay it down during an introductory APR period. Enjoy 0%* intro APR for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers, after which a 13.99% - 23.99%* (variable) APR applies. The balance transfer fee is 3%.

  • This card is contactless, so you can pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
  • Use the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card with your digital wallet on your smartphone
The information related to the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For 5% back at Amazon

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Highlights
  • Only available to Amazon Prime members
  • Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval.
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Earn 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership*. 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*. 1% back on utilities, rideshare, and all other purchases. For the sign-up bonus, get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval. The APR is 14.74%-22.74% variable.

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, getting the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is an easy decision. You’ll earn a generous amount of rewards on Amazon purchases that can be redeemed for a statement credit, electronic deposit into an eligible checking or savings account, gift card, or to cover purchases at Amazon.com. Points can be redeemed at any time and for any amount.

While this card has a $0 annual fee, note that Prime costs $119 a year, or $59 a month for college students. (There are also monthly Prime plans, but they cost more over a 12-month period than the annual plans.)

Without Prime, you’ll only qualify for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card . This card earns a lower rewards rate, at 3% cash back on all your Amazon.com purchases, and 2% cash back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores (1% back elsewhere).

  • Lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Baggage delay insurance of up to $100 a day for up to three days
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage)
  • Extended warranty protection (adds an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less)
  • Purchase protection for 120 days of up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account

Earn 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership*. 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*. 1% back on utilities, rideshare, and all other purchases. For the sign-up bonus, get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval. The APR is 14.74%-22.74% variable.

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, getting the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is an easy decision. You’ll earn a generous amount of rewards on Amazon purchases that can be redeemed for a statement credit, electronic deposit into an eligible checking or savings account, gift card, or to cover purchases at Amazon.com. Points can be redeemed at any time and for any amount.

While this card has a $0 annual fee, note that Prime costs $119 a year, or $59 a month for college students. (There are also monthly Prime plans, but they cost more over a 12-month period than the annual plans.)

Without Prime, you’ll only qualify for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card . This card earns a lower rewards rate, at 3% cash back on all your Amazon.com purchases, and 2% cash back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores (1% back elsewhere).

  • Lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Baggage delay insurance of up to $100 a day for up to three days
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage)
  • Extended warranty protection (adds an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less)
  • Purchase protection for 120 days of up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
The information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For 5% discount at Target

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Highlights
  • 5% discount at Target and Target.com
  • $0 annual fee
  • 22.90% variable APR

Rather than earning rewards you have to redeem at a later point, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card makes things simple. This card offers 5% off at Target. In store. Online. Every time. The discount is applied when you check out, and the Target REDcard™ Credit Card‘s annual fee is $0.

Note that some transactions are not eligible for the discount, such as:

  • Prescriptions, over-the-counter items located behind the pharmacy counter and clinic services at Target
  • Target Optical™ eye exams
  • Target gift cards and prepaid cards, Stockpile and Gift of College gift cards
  • Certain restaurant merchants in Target stores, such as D’Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen and Pret A Manger
  • Gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on Target.com purchases
  • Wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by mobile carrier
  • Where otherwise prohibited by law

If you shop frequently at Target, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card can save you a significant amount of money over time. Just note that because this is a store card, it can only be used at Target and on Target.com. For consumers who prefer linking a bank account rather than making purchases on credit, there’s a debit card version of the card — the Target RedCard Debit Card, which also offers a 5% discount on Target and Target.com purchases for a $0 annual fee.

  • Free shipping on most things you buy at Target.com
  • Exclusive special items and offers
  • An additional 30 days for returns and exchanges

Rather than earning rewards you have to redeem at a later point, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card makes things simple. This card offers 5% off at Target. In store. Online. Every time. The discount is applied when you check out, and the Target REDcard™ Credit Card‘s annual fee is $0.

Note that some transactions are not eligible for the discount, such as:

  • Prescriptions, over-the-counter items located behind the pharmacy counter and clinic services at Target
  • Target Optical™ eye exams
  • Target gift cards and prepaid cards, Stockpile and Gift of College gift cards
  • Certain restaurant merchants in Target stores, such as D’Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen and Pret A Manger
  • Gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on Target.com purchases
  • Wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by mobile carrier
  • Where otherwise prohibited by law

If you shop frequently at Target, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card can save you a significant amount of money over time. Just note that because this is a store card, it can only be used at Target and on Target.com. For consumers who prefer linking a bank account rather than making purchases on credit, there’s a debit card version of the card — the Target RedCard Debit Card, which also offers a 5% discount on Target and Target.com purchases for a $0 annual fee.

  • Free shipping on most things you buy at Target.com
  • Exclusive special items and offers
  • An additional 30 days for returns and exchanges
The information related to the Target REDcard™ Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Best For Small business owners

Ink Business Cash<sup>®</sup> Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Introductory APR 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 13.24% - 19.24% Variable

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is part of the family of Ink business credit cards issued by Chase, and earns generous cash back in several common business spending categories, all for a $0 annual fee.

Cardholders earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

There’s also a sign-up bonus for those who can meet a high spend requirement: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

If your business spends a significant chunk of money each year on categories such as office supplies and internet, cable and phone services, this card is a good way to manage expenses. Just be aware of the annual spending caps — $25,000 on purchases earning 5% back and $25,000 on purchases earning 2% back every account anniversary year. After hitting the caps, you’ll earn just 1% back on all purchases. However, if you max out the 5% and 2% categories, that’s a generous $1,750 in cash back.

Also, make sure you’re aware of the Chase 5/24 rule before you apply for this card. If you’ve been approved for five credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months, Chase is likely to deny your application.

  • Purchase protection for 120 days of up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection (adds an additional year to eligible warranties of three years or less)
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage when renting for business purposes)

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is part of the family of Ink business credit cards issued by Chase, and earns generous cash back in several common business spending categories, all for a $0 annual fee.

Cardholders earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

There’s also a sign-up bonus for those who can meet a high spend requirement: Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

If your business spends a significant chunk of money each year on categories such as office supplies and internet, cable and phone services, this card is a good way to manage expenses. Just be aware of the annual spending caps — $25,000 on purchases earning 5% back and $25,000 on purchases earning 2% back every account anniversary year. After hitting the caps, you’ll earn just 1% back on all purchases. However, if you max out the 5% and 2% categories, that’s a generous $1,750 in cash back.

Also, make sure you’re aware of the Chase 5/24 rule before you apply for this card. If you’ve been approved for five credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months, Chase is likely to deny your application.

  • Purchase protection for 120 days of up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection (adds an additional year to eligible warranties of three years or less)
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage when renting for business purposes)

Alexandria White

Alexandria is a credit card writer covering everything from the latest credit card news, individual card reviews, and Best Of roundups to tips for getting the most value out of your card. Her work appears on MagnifyMoney and CompareCards.

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The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.