Chase Cash Back Credit Cards: What’s Best for You?

Estimated read time: 7 minutes

You'd like to get cashback rewards for everything you buy, wouldn't you? Would you buy more in a certain category or from a certain store if you knew you could get more cash back for it? Everyone has different spending habits, so wouldn't it be great to have a credit card that gave you cashback rewards for the most common purchases you make? Or would you just like a good cashback rate no matter what you buy?

A credit card company usually offers cashback bonus point rewards as an incentive for people to sign up for their cards. They also know that some people are willing to adjust their spending areas if it means more cash back. Others are more likely to appreciate a card that has a good basic cashback rate for all purchases. Then there are the folks who know what areas they spend in and therefore look for cards that give cashback rewards for spending in those zones. The six different cashback credit cards available through Chase give different options for cashback rewards that can suit all of these different people.

The Six Cards

Chase cashback credit cards are designed to reward you for your spending by giving you a percentage of your purchase amount back in the form of points. These reward points can then be redeemed for cash.

There are six different Chase credit cards that offer cashback rewards. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, you earn average cashback rewards on all purchases. The major upside is there's no limit to the amount you can earn. With the Chase Freedom credit card, you also earn cashback on purchases, but at a lower rate with bonus categories that will be flushed out below. Those two cards are the core consumer offerings for cashback rewards when it comes to Chase. However, there are also two credit cards from Chase that connect you with partners and two business offerings.

One partner card is the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. With this credit card account, you can earn premium cashback rewards on purchases made through if you're an Amazon Prime member. You can spend the cash at Amazon or elsewhere. The second partner card is the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) Credit Card from Chase. Members of the AARP get cash back on restaurant and gas station purchases. They can also use their points to pay for their annual AARP membership. If they redeem the points for travel booked through Chase, they are worth more than cash redemption.

Finally, the business cards! The two cards by Chase that offer cashback rewards to business users are the ChaseInk Business Cash credit card and ChaseInk Business Unlimited. These credit card accounts are for business spending. They reward premium cash back for spending on common business purchases with some restrictions.

Cashback Rates for Each

There are different cashback rates for the different Chase cashback cards.

Chase Credit Card Cashback Percentage
Chase Freedom 5% on categories like gas, select stores, Chase Pay, and select business purchases; 1% on everything else.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and it's automatic, without any minimum or expiration (as long as your account remains open)
Amazon Rewards Signature Visa Get premium cashback rewards on all Amazon purchases (more if you have Prime!), average rewards at drug stores, dining and gas stations and a modest rate on everything else.
AARP Credit Card Get premium cashback rewards on dining and gas and everyday rewards on all other purchases.
Chase Ink Business Cash Get premium rewards on select business purchases. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year and Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Earn moderate cashback rewards on all purchases, no keeping track of categories, no limits.
*For the purpose of this article average cashback rates are between 1-2.5%

Compared to Other Cashback Cards

Like Chase Freedom, The Discover it Cashback Match credit card has 5% cashback rewards for various categories each quarter. It also has 0% intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening.. The biggest feature that makes the Discover it Cashback Match better than the Chase Freedom credit card is that Discover match your cashback earnings dollar for dollar for the first year.

Similarly, The Citi Double Cash Card is unique:

  • If you love tons of cashback and like to keep it simple, this card is for you!
  • One of the most popular cash back cards, 2% cash back.
  • 1% cash back on all purchases .
  • 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, as long as you pay the minimum due.
  • Without any caps or category restrictions.

So you actually earn cash back twice on everything you buy. You also get 0% on balance transfers for the first 18 months.

Chase Freedom

While we’ve shown some great alternatives above, Chase's cashback cards—in particular, the Chase Freedom credit card—do well compared to others.

For example, the % cashback rewards offered by Chase Freedom in certain categories up to a purchase maximum each quarter, ranks among the highest cash reward rates.

According to reviews, you need to have a decent credit score to get a Chase Freedom cash back card. 645 is the minimum credit score reported to get the Chase Freedom card. In general, however, you should expect to have a minimum score of 690 to be accepted.

The signup bonus for Chase Freedom isn’t bad either. Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from opening your account. When you consider that you also get an intro APR offer of 0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open, the Chase Freedom makes good financial sense for some consumers.

For the Chase Freedom’s main problem for some is tracking rotating categories. Let’s face it, we aren’t all organized enough to take advantage of those savings. It's cumbersome to stay on top of when you are getting the best cashback bonus rewards rate, and that you have to activate them every quarter can be a minor annoyance. For those who can keep track, it pays off and is well worth it.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Why how do you do, signup bonus? 3% cash back on every purchase made in year 1, up to $20,000 spent. After, earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You get an extra little boost if you add another user to the credit card account during that three month period. Most people who get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited cashback credit card have "Good" to "Excellent" scores. So make sure you have a score of at least 690 to apply.

However, if you’re eager to apply and your score doesn’t quite meet the mark, a score in the 600s, is more likely to get you approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited than the Chase Freedom card. That said, your credit limit will also be low.

If approved, take advantage of 0% for 15 months from account opening. The Chase Freedom Unlimited cashback credit card gets good marks for its high basic reward rate and no annual fee. However, the lack of opportunity to get higher reward rates for spending in specific zones is a problem for some. Chase Freedom Unlimited avoids rotating categories by offering 1.5% everyday cashback rewards on all purchases.

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature

For opening an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature credit card account you get a modest bonus in the form of an Amazon gift card at the time of approval. This is instantly accessible and redeemable on purchases right away.

For the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, the cashback rewards are handsome on Amazon purchases, with the biggest boon being offered to Prime members. Like the other cards on this list, there is no annual fee. That said, to become an Amazon Prime member and access the most attractive cashback rewards, it costs $99 so there is a hidden cost you have to keep in mind if you're thinking about getting it.

For the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature credit card the balance transfer fee isn’t great. It’s among the highest in the market. There is no 0% intro APR rate on the balance transfers, to boot. Don’t use this card to transfer a balance, there are better options out there.

The AARP Credit Card

Like the other cards on this list, you can get approved for the AARP Credit Card with a score in the 600s, but it isn’t going to be pretty. That usually will mean you get a low credit limit to start, until you can build creditworthiness with the issue. For that reason, we recommend a "Good" credit score if you are going to apply.

A key factor about the AARP credit card is it’s only available to seniors who are AARP members. When you open an AARP Credit Card from Chase you get an attractive signup bonus for a small minimum spend. The bonus itself is 20% of the minimum spend which is almost unheard of.

For the AARP Credit Card from Chase, there is no 0% APR offer, so it isn’t poised for transferring a balance. However, the unlimited cashback rewards and easy to follow static categories that offer premium rewards could make it a good choice for some.

Chase Ink Business Cash

For the Chase Ink Business Cash credit card, the minimum reported score that got approval is 597, but the average is 734. Like the others on this list a good rule to live by is get your score to (at least) 690 before applying.

With the Ink Business Cash credit card account, the signup bonus is an easy win for some business spenders. Earn a $500 bonus cash back reward after spending 3,000 on purchases within your first 3 months of account opening.

As far as cashback rewards go, the top benefit for this card is pretty sweet. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. The same goes for gas. All other purchases revert to the everyday rate.

You also get , which is inviting if you are carrying a balance on a higher interest card, but only if you can stomach the 5% fee on balance transfers.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited takes what many consumers love about other Chase cards and puts it into one card for the business consumer. It has an intro APR offer comparable to the Business Cash card. Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited it offers a single cashback rate with no rotating categories. Those who use this card are also eligible for Chase’s signup bonus offered to business consumers. This card is the perfect marriage of perks from Chase’s consumer card Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase’s other business offering Business Ink Cash.

Our Recommendation

If you are a person who is not interested in putting in any work to earn cashback bonus point rewards, you are the perfect fit for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card—it's 1.5% across the board, no matter what.

But if you feel you'd like to earn more than that, and you're willing to activate bonus categories every season, then the Chase Freedom offer is for you. If you're a business that plans to spend over $2,000 per month then the $25,000 limit on the cashback rate for typical business purchases through the Chase Ink Business Cash card might not be the right choice.

Each of these cashback cards from Chase fit different people's lives and habits. The biggest feature that all of them share is something anyone would want—a cash return on what you spend.