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Compare Our Top-Rated Cashback Credit Cards in the UK

By Christina Clover | Updated: 26th January 2022

Looking for a cashback credit card? You’ve come to the right place. But first, let’s make sure a cashback card is right for you.

Should you get a cashback credit card?

If you can say “yes” to all of the following, then a cashback credit card is likely a good fit for you:

  • You use a credit card regularly and want to get cash back for that spending
  • You don’t have a large amount of existing credit card debt
  • You have a fair or better credit score
  • You are confident you can use your credit card wisely

If you have a lot of credit card debt already, a balance transfer card may be the better choice. If you have a poor credit score, or no credit history at all, then you can use a credit-builder card to build up your credit. And if you’re unsure if you can use a credit card wisely, you may be safer sticking with a prepaid card (some of these also have rewards!).

But, if you said yes to the questions above, check out our top-rated cashback credit cards below and start maximising your spending.

Check Your Eligibility

Discover a list of credit cards you may be eligible for. Only takes a few minutes and will not affect your credit score.

The Motley Fool's top-rated cashback credit cards at a glance:

Credit Card Great For Star Rating
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card * Everyday cash back with no fee
Santander All In One Credit Card * 0% offers, cashback and travel benefits in one card
American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card * Everyday cash back with an extra boost for big spenders
Barclaycard Rewards Everyday cashback

Full list of The Motley Fool’s top-rated cashback credit cards:

Credit card offers from our affiliate partners appear first and are ordered from highest rating to lowest, followed by other top-rated offers. You can read more about our ratings and page sort here. Offers from affiliate partners are marked with a *.

Filter Results

Top Product
Great For: Everyday cash back with no fee

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card *

5 stars ?
Check Eligibility Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

5% cashback for first 3 months (up to £100)

  • 0.5% cashback after first 3 months (if you spend £1 to £10,000)
  • 1% cashback after first 3 months with spending above £10,000 

24.5%

£0

Check Eligibility Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

Cashback rewards are hard to come by these days, but if that’s what you’re looking for, the American Express Cashback Everyday Credit Card may be a good bet. The standard cashback yield is 0.5%, but for those that spend more than £10,000, that bumps up to 1%. New cardholders also get a bonus of 5% cashback over the first three months, which maxes out at £100. Its sister card offers a bigger welcome bonus and higher cashback, but the Everyday Credit Card has the advantage of no fee.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 5% cashback for first 3 months (up to £100, subject to eligibility)
  • 0.5% cashback after first 3 months (if you spend £1 to £10,000)
  • 1% cashback after first 3 months with spending above £10,000 
  • Note that you must spend at least £3,000 to earn any cashback
  • No annual fee
  • No cap on cashback earned
  • Travel accident insurance (subject to enrolment) and global assist services
  • Access to special offers from American Express offers

KEY SCORES

Perks 4/5
Fees 5/5
APR 3.5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative APR 24.5% APR variable
Annual fee Based on £0
Credit Limit Assumed credit limit of £1,200
Purchase Rate 24.5% variable for purchases

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can either Check Eligibility or Apply Now!
on American Express's Secure Website

Great For: 0% offers, cashback and travel benefits in one card

Santander All In One Credit Card *

4.5 stars ?

  • 0.5% cashback on all purchases
  • Special cashback offers of up to 15% with Retailer Offers (you must sign up for this)

23.7%

£36**

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

A highly multi-functional card that should serve a wide variety of users. The All in One card offers 26-month 0% periods on balance transfers and 20 months 0% on purchases. During the promotional period, there’s no balance transfer fee – a very nice benefit.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0% interest for 26 months from account opening on balance transfers
  • No balance transfer fee
  • 0% interest for 20 months from account opening on purchases
  • 0.5% cashback on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee (if you pay in local currency)
  • Special cashback offers of up to 15% with Retailer Offers (you must sign up for this)
  • ** The fee for this card is £3 per month, charged monthly (£36 in total annually)
  • Note: You can apply for a credit card if you’re a permanent UK resident aged 18 years or over, have a guaranteed annual income of £7,500 or more (before tax), have a good credit record and have not been declared bankrupt, had a CCJ or an IVA within the last 6 years.

KEY SCORES

Perks 5/5
Fees 5/5
APR 2/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

17.9% p.a. (variable) on card purchases. This is equivalent to 23.7% APR representative (variable) based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200. Monthly fee: £3.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can either Check Eligibility or Apply Now!
on Santander's Secure Website

Great For: Everyday cash back with an extra boost for big spenders

American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card *

4 stars ?
Check Eligibility Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

5% cashback for first 3 months (up to £125)

  • 0.75% cashback after first 3 months with spend of £1 to £10,000
  • 1.25% cashback after first 3 months with spend above £10,001

29.8%

£25

Check Eligibility Apply Now!

On American Express's Secure Website

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

If your goal is maximizing your cashback rewards, the American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card could be your best bet. The downside is that the card carries an annual fee of £25. However, you get 5% cashback over the first three months (up to £125) and 0.75% cash back after that. And if you spend more than £10,001, you unlock an even higher 1.25% cashback rate.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 5% cashback for first 3 months (up to £125, subject to eligibility)
  • 0.75% cashback after first 3 months with spend of £1 to £10,000
  • 1.25% cashback after first 3 months with spend above £10,001
  • Travel accident insurance (subject to enrolment) and global assist services
  • Access to American Express offers for retail and travel partners

KEY SCORES

Perks 4.5/5
Fees 4/5
APR 3.5/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative APR 29.8% APR variable
Annual fee Based on £25
Credit limit Assumed credit limit of £1,200
Purchase rate 24.5% variable for purchases

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. For more information on why and how we work with partners, click here.

Ready to apply? You can either Check Eligibility or Apply Now!
on American Express's Secure Website

Great For: Everyday cashback

Barclaycard Rewards

3.5 stars ?

0.25% cashback on all spending

22.9%

£0

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENTS:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

OUR BOTTOM LINE

There just aren’t many cashback offers these days. This makes the Barclaycard Rewards card worth checking out because it provides simple, uncomplicated cashback. The 0.25% cashback rate isn’t top of the market, but if you’re looking for an easy credit card with no annual fee that pays some level of cashback on your spend, then this is worth a look.

Read full review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0.25% cashback on all spending
  • No annual fee
  • No non-sterling transaction fees
  • Savings on live events through Barclaycard Entertainment

KEY SCORES

Perks 3/5
Fees 5/5
APR 3/5

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

What is a cashback credit card?

A cashback credit card is a type of rewards credit card. The difference is that cashback cards give you cash, whereas most rewards cards give you ‘rewards points’ when you spend.

The advantage of a cashback credit card should be pretty clear then. Instead of having to worry about how, when and where you can convert points, you get cash that you can spend any way you like.

How do cashback credit cards work in the UK?

Cashback cards are simple. When you swipe your card, you will get whatever percentage cashback that card provides.

Some credit cards may vary the level of cashback that you get. For example, some may have a higher cashback rate when you first get the card. In these cases, it could make sense to shift existing spend — that is, spend that you’d do anyway — to that card. But be careful not to overspend, because the cashback won’t make up for that.

Finally, some cashback cards may offer higher cashback rates in exchange for an annual fee. However, be sure to do the maths to see whether the amount you’ll expect to spend will lead to cashback rewards that will make up for the annual fee. And, again, don’t overspend just to ‘take advantage of’ the cashback rewards.

Rewards cards vs. cashback cards

A cashback credit card is simply a type of rewards credit card. But there are still quite a few nuances between the two types of cards. Below we break down a list of important differences between a cashback credit card and a reward credit card:

 

Cashback Cards

Rewards Cards

Earning Rewards

While not true for all cashback cards, most are meant for everyday spending and allow you to earn rewards on everyday purchases.

While there are more flexible options, it’s more common for a rewards card to be restricted to earning rewards at certain retailers or on certain types of purchases.

Validity Period

Typically, once cashback has been applied to your account, you can use it whenever you like. There is not usually a validity period.

Depending on your lender, reward points tend to remain valid for two or three years before expiration.

Rewards Redemption Options

Once your cashback has been applied to your account, you can use it however you wish.

Reward points can often only be spent on websites linked to your lender.

Minimum Transactions

Many cashback credit cards don’t require a minimum transaction – you can earn cashback even on small spends.

Depending on your lender’s specific terms and conditions, you will sometimes need to make a minimum spend per transaction to earn reward points.

Calculation of rewards

Percentage cashback should be visible on your credit card offer, so it is usually quite simple to calculate the cashback for any particular transaction.

Reward points can vary between transactions, sometimes making it difficult to calculate how many reward points you will earn.

Extra Bonuses

It is not common to see additional bonuses with cashback credit cards – you typically earn cashback only on what you spend.   

Some reward credit cards will give you extra reward points when you achieve a milestone or a reach a transaction limit.

Earning Timeline

When you receive your cash back varies between credit cards. Some apply the cashback immediately after a transaction whereas others you have to wait for 90 days.

Reward points tend to show up on your account straight away after you’ve made a transaction.

Welcome Offers

Cashback credit cards don’t tend to give welcome offers – cashback will not automatically appear when you activate your card.

Some reward credit cards offer bonus points when you activate your card that you are free to spend when shopping.

Rewards Limits

There is usually an upper limit for earning cashback with specific brands and offers.

Generally, the more transactions you make, the more reward points you’ll earn. There isn’t usually an upper limit.

What can you get cash back on?

‘True’ cashback cards are generally not tied to a particular store brand, so that means that wherever you spend, you get rewarded with cashback. They’re designed for everyday spending, so that includes everyday purchases like:

  • A grocery purchase
  • A gas purchase
  • Household bills
  • A holiday

What are cashback rates?

Each cashback card has its own cashback rate, and this may vary for different types of spending, for different periods of time and for how much you spend on your card.

Some cards have a different cashback rate for spending at different retailers. For example, you could receive 1.5% cashback for spending at a selected store, but only 0.5% for spending elsewhere.

Some cards may also have a spending threshold in order to unlock a higher cashback rate. An example of this is if you spend £3,000 then you might be able to earn 1.25% in cashback on purchases, rather the card’s standard rate of 0.5%.

Here are the three most common types of cashback rates to be aware of:

Types of cashback rates

How it works

Flat rate cashback

Flat rate cashback cards give you a fixed percentage back from all purchases. For example, regardless of what you buy, you earn 1% cash back on all purchases.

Tiered rate cashback

Tiered rate cashback cards have different rates depending on how much you spend. For example, 0.5% if you spend less than £6,000 annually and 1% if you spend more. This shouldn’t, however, tempt you to spend more than you normally would.

Different rate cashback

Different rate cashback cards have different rates depending on where you spend. For example, 2% cash back on dining but only 1% on everything else.

How is cashback calculated?

Cashback is typically calculated by rounding up to the nearest penny or pound (you can find this out in your card’s terms and conditions). For example, if you have a cashback card with a cashback rate of 0.5% and you made a purchase worth £100, you would receive 50p worth of cashback in either your monthly or annual statement, depending on your card.

Cards typically cap the amount of cashback you can earn. You might, for example, receive 5% cashback on purchases for the first three months, but you could only ever earn up to £125 in cashback rewards within that period as the card has a limit in place. There are cards available that allow unlimited potential for earning cashback rewards, but they typically have lower cashback rates as a result.

What credit score do you need to get a cash back card?

Most cashback credit cards require you to have at least a fair to good score, but the cards with the best offers may require very good or excellent credit. These higher end credit cards may offer large welcome bonuses, superior cashback rates and other account holder perks.

If you have poor credit, there are still options. You might be able to get a secured cashback credit card, though these cards tend to have lower rates and higher fees.

Can cashback credit cards improve your credit score?

Yes, making the minimum payment on your cashback card each month shows lenders that you’re responsible with money, which can help your score over time. 

That said, as with any credit card, if you max out your credit limit each month, you could end up lowering your credit score. Why? Using up all your available credit makes it look like you don’t have much control over your finances, which makes you appear riskier to lenders. It’s recommended that you don’t use more than 30% of your available credit. So if your card has a £1,000 limit, try to avoid using more than £300.

Here’s something else to bear in mind: the more you spend on your card, the higher your minimum payments, even with the cashback. If the payments go too high, you could struggle to keep up. Missed credit card payments will damage your score.  

Who are the best cashback credit card providers?

The same way there isn’t one best cashback credit card for everyone, there isn’t one best provider either. The best cashback card and best provider will both depend on your personal circumstances and preferences.

However, our ratings system includes the evaluation of a provider’s fees, cashback and rewards options, signup bonuses, and more, so you can trust that the cards we’re recommending come from good providers as well.

You also want to pay attention to things like customer service, easy-to-use online banking or mobile app, and fraud protection.

Who are the best cashback credit card providers?

The same way there isn’t one best cashback credit card for everyone, there isn’t one best provider either. The best cashback card and best provider will both depend on your personal circumstances and preferences.

However, our ratings system includes the evaluation of a provider’s fees, cashback and rewards options, signup bonuses, and more, so you can trust that the cards we’re recommending come from good providers as well.

You also want to pay attention to things like customer service, easy-to-use online banking or mobile app, and fraud protection.

Things to consider when choosing the best cashback card for you

It may seem like a great idea to make your credit card work for you and reward you for spending, but it is worth taking the time to consider what you really need from a cashback card. Here are the top things that we think you need to consider when choosing the best cashback credit card for you.

Cashback rewards – You need to consider what type of cashback rewards will work for you, based on your current spending habits. If you are going to receive higher cashback rates for shopping at a supermarket that you already shop at, then you will be able to earn more cashback rewards. On the flip side, if a card rewards you with higher levels of cashback for shopping at Asda but you do your weekly food shop at Sainsbury’s, it may not be the card for you.

Minimum spending requirement – The idea of a cashback card is to make your money work for you. If you are not planning to put a lot of purchases on your credit card, then look for a card that has no (or a very low) spending requirement. However, if you frequently use your credit card and put most of your spending on it, maybe consider a cashback card that offers a higher cashback rate for a certain level of spending.

New cardholder bonus – Look to see whether there are any introductory offers that may work for you. If offers are limited to spending with the first three months, for example, consider your budget and whether you would be able to achieve the level of spending required in the time period in order to unlock the higher cashback rate. Be careful about taking on too much debt. Unless you have a 0% interest on purchases offer in place, then you will need to pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid racking up interest charges and offsetting any gains you would have made with the cashback offer.

Introductory 0% interest offers – As mentioned in the previous point, look to see whether the card has a 0% interest on purchases introductory offer. If you are planning to make a large purchase and pay it off over a period of time, this could help you do this while also earning cashback on the amount you have spent. Just take note of when the 0% introductory period ends, so that you do not get caught out when the card returns to its standard APR.

Annual fees – It is also worth considering whether the card has an annual fee. If it does, calculate whether you would actually benefit from the cashback: is the amount of cashback you might earn in a year greater than the fee?

Other benefits – Look to see whether you could get any other benefits with your card, such as no fees for overseas usage.

Pros and cons of cashback credit cards

As with anything, there are both advantages and disadvantages of cashback cards. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

Pros:

  • Cashback when you spend: Cashback credit cards vary in the specifics of their earning schemes, but they all offer cashback as a reward on every pound that you spend.
  • No or low annual fees: Most high-end cashback cards don’t charge card holders an annual fee. If your credit isn’t excellent, you may only be eligible for a cashback card that charges a fee. If this is the case, be sure that the benefits of the cashback aren’t outweighed by this annual charge.
  • 0% APR offers: Some cashback cards offer a limited time of 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers. This will allow you to make a large transaction, or pay off previous debt, with no interest.

Cons:

  • Higher APR: Cashback cards typically have higher APRs, therefore they are best suited to borrowers who can repay their balance in full each month. Any balance left on your card could accrue high interest charges, unless you have a 0% interest on purchases offer in place, and wipe out any cashback rewards you earn.
  • Cashback limits: These are quite common. You may be prepared to change your spending habits to maximise your cashback reward, but your card provider may have different ideas! Always look to see whether the amount of cashback you can earn is capped and at what amount.
  • Annual fees: Annual fees could offset any cashback you earn. Look to see whether your card has an annual fee and, if it does, whether it is worth paying in order to unlock higher cashback rates.
  • Spending restrictions: There are sometimes restrictions on what spending you can earn cashback on. For example, some cards will not pay cashback on purchases abroad, or you may not be able to earn cashback on balance transfers. It is worth checking the card’s cashback terms and conditions, which can usually be found on the card provider’s website.

5 ways to maximise your cashback rewards

Imagine you have selected your cashback credit card. Now it’s time to start making some money. Here are five things you can do to maximise your potential cashback yield.

1. Use your cashback credit card like a debit card

If you are looking to really maximise the amount of cashback you earn, the best way to do so is to spend lots of your card. What that doesn’t mean is out-of-control spending and racking up lots of debt you can’t afford to repay! Instead, simply use your credit card like a debit card.

If you make your credit card your main form of payment then either pay off the amount you spend immediately or budget to pay off the full amount at the end of the month, you can maximise the amount of cashback you earn. Obviously, take into account whether your card has a cashback cap, as there will be little point in spending on your card if you have already gone over your cashback limit.

2. Add an additional user

Some cards allow you to add a partner or close family member to your account for free. This means that both of you can use the card and you will also earn cashback on the additional cardholder’s spending. Something to note, though, is that adding an additional user makes you responsible for their debt. Additionally, any mistakes you make, like a late payment, will show up on their credit report and vice versa.

3. Put large expenses on your card

If you have some home improvements coming up or are looking to book a holiday, you could put the cost on your credit card and earn cashback as a result. This is best done only if the card also offers an introductory 0% interest period on purchases, otherwise you could run the risk of incurring interest charges on your balance and wiping out any cashback yield you have earned. Obviously, bear in mind whether there is a cap on the amount of cashback you can earn, as if it is capped at a certain limit then it may not make sense to put a large expenditure on your card.

4. Select cashback that will suit you

As mentioned previously, some cards offer higher cashback rates for spending at specific retailers. Consider your existing shopping habits and therefore whether the cashback offer reflects them.

5. Use the sign-up offer

If you select a card that has a sign-up offer of a higher cashback rate for an introductory period, make the most of it! If you can receive 5% cashback for the first three months, direct as much spend as you can to the card during that period. Again, that doesn’t mean taking on new debt. Instead, if there are things you need to purchase and would normally use cash or debit, consider swiping your card instead. If you have another credit card that you normally use, you could also switch spending from that to the new one during the promotional period. Make sure you are not overspending, as if you cannot pay the balance off in full any cashback you earn could be wiped out by high interest charges.

Is a cashback credit card the best card for you?

As with any card, whether a cashback card is the best card for you depends on your individual circumstances. If you are looking to take out a cashback credit card, it is worth considering how much you spend each month and where you spend it. That will help give you a picture of what cashback rewards you could actually earn with the cashback offer available.

Consider a cashback card if…

You always pay your credit card balance in full each month, never go over your limit, and would like to earn cashback on your transactions.

Try an alternative if…

If you plan to carry a balance because of big purchases, a cashback card may not be the card for you, as any potential cashback you earn could be wiped out by high interest charges. If that’s you, take a look at our top-rated 0% purchases cards.

Additionally, cashback cards typically require you to have a good/excellent credit score, so if you’re still building credit, try one of our top-rated cards for low credit.

Methodology for picking the top-rated cashback cards

The Motley Fool rates credit cards on a five-star scale by comparing the features that make a difference when choosing the best cashback credit card for you. Our goal is to give you unbiased, comprehensive reviews of cashback credit cards.

Here are the four main factors we considered when compiling our shortlist:

  • Cashback rate – The cashback you will earn on your purchases as a percentage of spending.
  • Sign-up bonus – Whether a card offers a sign-up bonus in the form of higher cashback rewards for an introductory period.
  • Annual fees that make sense – Annual fees are sometimes worthwhile in order to unlock the most rewarding offers, but for the majority of our picks we looked for cards with no annual fees.
  • Introductory 0% interest periods – Included in our shortlist are cards that also offer an introductory 0% interest period for either purchases, balance transfers or both.

Why you can trust us to compare cashback credit cards

We love sniffing out the top-rated cashback cards in the UK and bringing them to our readers. For more than two decades, The Motley Fool has been helping people around the world improve their financial lives. And that’s exactly what we aim to further. Together with our colleagues in the US, we’ve collectively analysed hundreds of card offers on more than 6,000 data points, reading through the small print to find the top credit cards the market has to offer.

To learn more about our ratings, the order of our comparisons, and our affiliate partners, see our full Advertiser Disclosure.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which store brands offer cashback credit cards?

While there may be store brand cards that refer to 'cashback', with those you're usually limited to spending that at the brand's own stores. We consider true 'cashback' to be cash that you can spend anywhere you like. As such, there are no store brands that offer cashback cards.

How does cashback work on credit cards?

With the top-rated cashback credit cards, it's very simple: you spend on your card, and you receive a certain rate of cashback on that spend. You can then spend that cash anywhere you like.

Can a cashback card build credit?

Any credit card used wisely has the potential to help you build your credit. For those with low credit scores, it can be harder to qualify for cards that offer rewards like cashback. However, there are some cards that accept applicants with lower credit scores and offer cashback. We view these as great options -- building your credit and getting cash back is a great combo. Just be sure to use your card prudently.

Learn more


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.

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