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Not all available financial products and offers from all financial institutions have been reviewed by this website. All information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠, Target RedCard™ and Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card was collected by Slickdeals and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Rewards credit cards can offer much value on everyday purchases, but they're not all created equal. Depending on how you spend your money, it can make sense to pick a card that offers a high reward rate on certain categories. The best 5% back cards offer a standout return on a wide range of spending categories, making it easy to rack up rewards quickly. Here are our top picks.

Best Credit Cards with 5% Back

Card 5% Category Best for Learn More

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Top eligible spending category (up to $500 each billing cycle)

Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou® Points.

Flexible budgets

amazon prime visa credit card

Prime Visa Credit Card

  • Amazon and Amazon Fresh
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Chase Travel

Eligible Prime membership required for 5% back.

Loyal Amazon shoppers

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Travel

High base rewards rate

Target RedCard™ Credit Card

Target purchases

Frequent Target shoppers

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Rotating categories
  • Chase Travel

Elevated rewards on rotating bonus categories

discover it cash back credit card

Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

Rotating categories

Big spenders who can take advantage of the first-year match

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

  • Office supply stores
  • Internet, cable, and phone services

Small business owners

It's important to note that each card has its own way of providing 5% back. With the Target RedCard, for instance, you'll get a 5% discount on all eligible purchases. Other cards may issue your rewards as points instead of straight cash back, though you may still get the same flexibility with redemptions.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign-Up Bonus $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

The Citi Custom Cash® Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. It offers impressive cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to a monthly spend cap—no activation required.

Overview

If you want a card that doesn’t require constant category activation and monitoring to make sure you’re getting the highest cash back percentage, this is a great option. Whatever spending category that has the highest spend (up to $500) in one billing cycle gets 5% cash back. That’s up to $300 per year, and if you get the sign-up bonus you can get up to $500 in cash back your first year.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to maximize the 5% cash back reward and earn $300 per year
  • No annual fee
  • The cash back comes in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for things like travel

Cons

  • 5% cash back tier is capped at $25 in earnings per month

5% Category:

  • 5% back on your top eligible spending category (up to $500 spent each billing cycle).

Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou® Points. 

Why We Recommend It:

The Citi Custom Cash® Card, from our partner Citi, customizes your top rewards rate based on your spending, which can be great for people whose spending may vary from month to month. 

Card Benefits:

  • 5% cash back on up to $500 spent each billing cycle in your top eligible category. Categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
  • Introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, after which a 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR applies.

Best for: People who want to earn a high reward rate on a single category or those who want the flexibility of adjusting their 5% categories throughout the year.

Prime Visa Credit Card

amazon prime visa credit card
Apply Now

Secure application on Amazon’s site

  • Our Rating 3.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0 More info

    $0 with Prime membership

  • Sign-Up Bonus $100Gift Card More Info

    Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members

This card is a good fit for consumers who do a lot of shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods because they can earn an unlimited 5% cash back on purchases there. Cardholders also earn some cash back on other purchases, with decent rates for restaurants and gas stations. If you already have or plan to get a Prime membership, using this card could quickly earn you sizable cash back.

Overview

With high rewards rates, this card could make up for the required Prime membership fee if you shop a lot at Amazon and Whole Foods. Non-Prime members can qualify for the Prime Visa Credit Card, which is pretty similar but with lower rewards rates.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rates
  • Sign-up bonus offer
  • Can redeem rewards as soon as the next day
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Must have a Prime membership for highest rewards rates
  • No intro APR offer

5% Back Category:

  • Unlimited 5% back on Amazon, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and Chase TravelSM with eligible Prime Membership

Why We Recommend It:

Prime members and power Amazon shoppers can benefit the most from this card because of its unlimited 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods. If you currently do all of your shopping on Amazon and buy most of your groceries at Whole Foods, your rewards can add up fast with this card. You will need a Prime membership to qualify for the 5% back categories, as non-Prime members will earn just 3% back on those purchases.

Additional Card Benefits: 

  • Unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare).
  • Unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.
  • 10% back or more on a rotating selection of categories on Amazon (limited-time offers).

Best for: Amazon Prime members who do the bulk of their shopping on Amazon and Whole Foods.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign Up Bonus 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase TravelSM portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more. If you make this your primary card for most purchases you can quickly rack up a lot of rewards.

Overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other cash-back cards. Second, you earn cash back in the form of points and when paired with another annual-fee earning Chase product, you can get even more value if you love to travel by transferring to partners.

That’s because while the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively. (Plus, the ability to transfer your points, too.)

Pros

  • No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
  • No annual fee
  • Generous travel and purchase protection benefits

Cons

  • Can't transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product

5% Back Category:

  • 5% back on Chase TravelSM

Why We Recommend It:

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you'll get 5% back on travel booked through Chase, plus a high base rewards rate of 1.5% back on everyday purchases. The Freedom Unlimited also offers elevated rewards on practical categories like drugstores and dining at restaurants. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable rewards programs out there, and you can maximize the value of points earned with this card if you use it as a part of the Chase trifecta.

Card Benefits: 

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including eligible takeout and delivery services.
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a 20.49% - 29.24% (Variable) APR.

Best for: People who want a high base rewards rate for everyday spending and those who currently have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points.

woman in grocery store Related Article

Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited Is Still the Best Daily Credit Card

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Target RedCard™ Credit Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

The best part of the Target RedCard is the 5% discount at Target and Target.com. Those with the Target Mastercard can earn additional rewards on dining and gas. If you’re a frequent Target shopper, this card could save you a solid chunk of cash.

Overview

The Target RedCard is designed for fans of the popular shopping center, with its biggest perk being 5% off purchases in store and online. The card does have a high APR, but other perks could make the card beneficial for some shoppers.

Perks

  • Additional 30 days for returns and exchanges
  • Free 2-day shipping on Target.com
  • 5% off Target purchases in store or online
  • 2% on dining and gas purchases, 1% everywhere else outside of Target (Target Mastercard exclusive)

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 5% off at Target and Target.com
  • Free 2-day shipping on eligible items
  • Extended return time frame
  • Cash back on gas, dining and other purchases (Target Mastercard exclusive)

Cons

  • High APR
  • Can only redeem rewards for Target gift cards
  • Can’t redeem any rewards until you reach a rewards balance of $10
  • Can’t choose which credit card option you get when applying

5% Back Category:

  • 5% off on Target purchases

Why We Recommend It:

Although the Target RedCard can only be used at Target, the automatic 5% discount provides instant savings — no redemption necessary. If you shop at Target often, you'll also love the free 2-day shipping on most items at Target.com and an additional 30 days to return or exchange items.

Card Benefits: 

  • 5% off on eligible purchases at Target and Target.com.
  • 2% on dining and gas and 1% on everywhere else (RedCard Mastercard holders only).
  • Free 2-day shipping on most online Target orders.
  • Additional 30 days for returns and exchanges.
  • Access to other special items and offers from Target.

Best for: Frequent Target shoppers.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR20.49%-29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign-Up Bonus $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

The Chase Freedom Flex card expands on the already lucrative Chase Freedom card. The Freedom Flex also gives cardholders access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is arguably the most versatile rewards platform, and you’ll get plenty of redemption options at good rates. Plus, if you have one of the program’s travel cards, you can transfer points from your Freedom Flex to your travel card account and get even more value and flexibility with how you redeem.

Overview

Getting more in cash back is a clear win for anyone who is considering the Freedom Flex card. This card is ideal for anyone who want to maximize cash-back rewards with the option to get more value with travel redemptions.

Pros

  • Generous earnings on select rotating categories each quarter
  • Cellphone and trip insurance coverage
  • No annual fee
  • Ability to convert rewards to transferable Ultimate Rewards points

Cons

  • Can't transfer Chase points to travel partners unless paired with select products

5% Back Category:

  • 5% back on quarterly rotating categories
  • 5% back on Chase TravelSM

Why We Recommend It:

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ 5% categories change every three months, allowing you to earn the bonus rate on various purchases throughout the year. In 2023, 5% rotating bonus categories included PayPal purchases, wholesale clubs, grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon, and Target. You can maximize your rewards if you can match up your spending with the card's quarterly rotating categories.

Card Benefits:

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in rotating categories when you activate.
  • 5% back on travel through Chase TravelSM.
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including eligible takeout and delivery services.
  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Best for: People who want elevated rewards in flexible bonus categories.

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Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

man holding credit card at computer

iStock

5% Back Category:

  • 5% back on rotating categories

Why We Recommend It:

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card offers 5% back on rotating categories, plus the chance to double all your rewards during the first year. Examples of 5% categories in 2023 include grocery stores, drug stores, streaming services, gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs.

Card Benefits: 

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in rotating categories when you activate.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover will match all the cash back you earn during the first year, with no limit to how much you can earn.

Best for: Big spenders who can maximize the matched cash-back offer in the first year.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR18.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign-Up Bonus $750Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

Business owners looking to earn a high rate of cash back on common business expenses like office supplies and internet could get a lot of value from this card. The trade-off for the high cash-back rate, though, is a lower spend cap than you’ll find with other Ink Business cards.

Overview

The Ink Business Cash® is legendary for its offer of 5% cash back for purchases at office supply stores and on many telecommunications services, with no annual fee. And while 5% cash back sounds great, these rewards can be much more valuable when paired with another Chase credit card that allows transfers to airline miles or hotel points. In addition to earning excellent cash-back rewards, it also includes competitive introductory offers and provides cards for employees at no additional charge.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 5x back on a broad array of business spending categories
  • Robust travel and purchase protections
  • Don't need a full-fledged business to apply

Cons

  • Businesses that don't spend on the category bonuses won't benefit

5% Back Category:

  • 5% back on office supply stores and internet, cable, and phone services

Why We Recommend It:

Small business owners can rack up serious cash back on some of their top operating expenses with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. If you can max out the cash-back cap on this card's 5% category, you could potentially earn $1,250 in cash back each year. You can also pair this with a cash-back credit card to cover more spending categories or take advantage of a new business bank account bonus to further maximize your earnings.

Card Benefits: 

  • 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
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 0% for first 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a 18.49% - 24.49% (Variable) APR.

Best for: Small business owners

Tips on Earning 5% Back on Almost All Your Purchases

a woman selects a gift card

Twenty20

No credit card offers 5% back on every purchase you make, but if you're willing to do some legwork, you could earn 5% rewards on much of your spending. To achieve this, you will need to open multiple 5%-back cards to take advantage of the different spending categories each one has. 

Once you have multiple cards, here are some tips to help you maximize your rewards:

  • Label your cards: Note each card's 5% categories, so you'll know when to use them throughout the year.
  • Keep track of your limits: If a 5% card caps your bonus rewards, keep track of your eligible spending so you don't exceed it and start earning a lower non-bonus rate, which is typically 1% on everything else.
  • Get a flat-rate rewards card: Consider getting a credit card with a high rewards rate on everything, like a 2% flat-rate credit card. You can use the card for all your non-bonus spending.
  • Look for special offers: Some card issuers offer special deals with select retailers, allowing you to earn even more rewards.
  • Focus on categories, not purchases: For example, if you have a card currently offering 5% back at grocery stores, you could purchase gift cards for restaurants and other merchants that normally aren't included in that category. Even a category like PayPal can cover a lot of categories, including online groceries, clothing, electronics, and more. 

If you're unsure about managing several credit cards, limit how many you open based on your comfort level.

woman shopping with credit card on phone Related Article

Cash Back vs. Points—Which Credit Card Rewards Program Is More Valuable?

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • These credit cards offer 5% back on select purchases, with the categories depending on which card you choose. Remember that while some 5%-back cards offer unlimited rewards, others may limit your earnings to a certain amount spent each month, quarter, or year.

  • While it's not the best ongoing rewards rate we've seen — some go as high as 6% — it's close. If you can earn that 5% rate on a good chunk of your purchases, you could rack up rewards faster than with other cards.

  • Ultimately, it depends on the card. Some of our top choices technically offer 5x points instead of 5% cash back, but you can still use those rewards for cash back, among other things. Some other cards, however, may offer 5x points without the same flexibility.

BL

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.