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An exhaustive list of credit cards that pay 2% cash back on all purchases. And some have no annual fee and welcome offers.
The holy grail of cash back rewards cards are those that pay two percent on all purchases. We’re not talking about rotating categories, like the 5% cards. And we aren’t talking about rewards that are capped (5% rotating category cards cap the rewards you can earn). We are talking about true 2% cash back credit card offers.

I use just such a card virtually every day, but I knew that there were others. So I did some research, and my findings are below. One key thing to keep in mind is that with all cards that pay two percent cash back, points or miles, there is always a catch. As an example, the card I use (listed first below) pays 2%, but only if you use the rewards for travel.

Best 2% Cash Back Credit Cards

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card–My primary credit card. I also use the business card version, called the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. With these cards you earn 2 miles for every $1 spent. If you use the miles for travel, they are worth $0.01 each, making the card a true two percent card.

If, however, you use the miles for anything other than travel, the miles are worth half that. My family and I travel enough to use all of our miles on travel. And now, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is offering a 50,000 miles bonus for new cardholders that spend $3,000 in the first three months.

The beauty of this card is how you use the miles. We book travel through various services (Priceline, Kayak, directly with airlines) and pay with our Venture card. Once the charges hit our account, we just log into Capital One and redeem miles to pay for the travel.

Capital One lists those charges that qualify as travel, and paying for them with miles is as easy as selecting a check box. We’ve paid for everything from airfare and hotels to car rentals and even subway fare.

Discover it® Cash Back –Not a standard 2% cash back on everything kind of the card, the Discover it® Cash Back does what you might expect. All cash back earned in the first year is matched on your card anniversary date. This means that the 1% you earn on all purchases becomes 2% and the 5% you earn on select categories every quarter becomes 10%. For a first year bonus … that’s awfully solid.

This card also carries with it a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. There’s no annual fee and for a limited time, new cardholders can take advantage of social security alerts. When you sign-up, Discover will monitor your social security number on thousands of risky websites. If a match should ever pop up, you’ll be immediately notified of the location of your social security number.

A free monthly FICO credit score is also included.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card–You’re not going to find a cash back credit card with a higher every day rewards program. Simply impossible. This card offers cardholders a 3% cash back rate for the first year, and then a 2.5% cash back rate after that. If that isn’t reason enough to own this credit card it also carries a low 2% cash advance fee and doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. The one immediate drawback to owning the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card is the $59 annual fee; but there’s no annual fee year #1.

The catch is that you must be a member of the Alliant Credit Union to be approved for this credit card. While that may sound difficult, it’s actually quite simple. Here are the ways in which to join:

  • Anyone who is willing to make a one-time $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success charity group.
  • An employee or retiree of a Qualifying Company.
  • A member of a Qualifying Organization.
  • An immediate family member of an existing Alliant member.
  • Anyone that lives or works in a Qualifying Chicagoland Community.

Citi® Double Cash Card–One of the few no nonsense 2% cash back credit cards available today, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back when you buy, and another 1% cash back when you pay. Also included is a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (3% balance transfer fee). Unfortunately, balance transfers do not count toward your cash back rates. There is no annual fee.

The Citi® Double Cash Card has no cash back limit and it has no tier levels to reach. Every purchase you make is counted the same way and earns the same rate of cash back. Citi also has a pretty cool feature called Price Rewind. When you make a purchase using any Citi eligible card (like the Double Cash), they’ll shop around for the same product. If they (or you) can find the product you purchased cheaper, you might be refunded the difference in price.

Finally, you’ll also have access to Citi Price Pass. This feature provides you the opportunity to purchase hard to find tickets to thousands of different events, worldwide.

Capital One® Spark Cash for Business–A personal favorite of mine, offering cardholders a $500 bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening. All purchase earn 2% cash back, regardless of category. There is no limit to the amount of cash back that can be earned and it never expires.

There is a $0 intro for first year; $95 after that on the Capital One® Spark Cash for Business. All Spark cards also offer Visa Business Benefits which includes:

  • Auto rental collision waivers
  • Purchase protection and extended warranties
  • Travel and emergency services

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card–This cash back card offers card members a flat 2% cash back rate in the form of rewards points. Points never expire and there’s never a limit on how many you can earn. The rewards are deposited into your Fidelity account, which is required to get the card. Six different Fidelity accounts are eligible to own the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card and they are:

  1. Brokerage account
  2. Fidelity® Cash Management Account
  3. Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plan
  4. Retirement account
  5. Fidelity Go® account
  6. Fidelity Charitable® Giving Account®

There is no annual fee to own the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. There’s also minimum perks beyond the 2% cash back rate; but what else are you looking for in a great cash back credit card?

If you know of other cards that pay as much or more in rewards on all purchases, leave a comment below.

Article comments

TheGooch says:

cash back by definition means that the card pays you in money that you can use for any purposes , the same as cash in a checking account. You can save or spend it as you wish. none of these cards do that. So the title of this article is completely rubbish .

Rob Berger says:

I use the Venture card and use the miles to reduce my statement balance dollar for dollar. I guess they could send me a check that I could then use to pay off the card, but I don’t see any practical difference.

Michael G says:

Although Fidelity card requires you to pipe the money through one of their accounts (such as Brokerage or Cash management account), you’re are free to withdraw that money from ATM, apply to your statement balance or move it anywhere you wish. So it is real cash back although you do need to do a little step dance here if you really need that hard cash in your hand.

Nick @ Personal Finance Digest says:

The new GM card pays back 5% on the first $5K in purchases, then 2% on everything after that, no annual fee. If you’re going to buy a new GM car, it’s a great deal, otherwise not so much.

Rob Berger says:

Nick, the catch there is you have to use the rewards to buy a GM vehicle. But as you say, if that’s your plan, it can be a good deal. Thanks for the tip.

Nancy Kurtz says:

I have been using the Capitol one Venture card for two years and still don’t have enough points to buy an airline ticket. I was not clear on how you redeem the points once you booked your ticket. I thought that you had to have enough points to pay for the ticket. Do you redeem for cash?

Rob Berger says:

Nancy, you redeem the miles after you’ve booked your travel using the Venture card. You do have to have enough miles to pay for the entire charge. But keep in mind that you can use the miles for any travel charges, including hotel and car rentals.

J says:

How about Blispay… 2% cash back automatically every statement, no rotating categories, no minimum redemption amounts, no annual fee.

Andrea says:

How about the Bank of America Premium Rewards Card when reaching the Platinum and Platinum Plus Preferred Tiers?

Bill Talmadge says:

I have used the Fidelity account for over 5 years. Here are 2 helpful hints:
1. You can transfer the rebate from Fidelity directly into your Local Bank checking account.
That takes seconds after you verify the checking account at Fidelity once.
2. I have 2 Fidelity credit cards. One i use everyday and one I use to automatically pay bills like Amazon. Directv and the New York Times that are billed on a usage or recurrent basis. I throw the recurrent card in a drawer. If the everday card is used fraudently and a new card is issued, I dont have to change the 25 providers I bill automatically (which took me 2 days last time).

Richard Smith says:

Paypal Cash Back Mastercard Card is always 2%.

Turk says:

Try to get someone on the phone at PayPal that can help you don’t wast your time

Stephen A says:

The Alliant card Annual Fee is now $99.