Cashback Credit Cards of 2017

We analyzed dozens of credit cards that give you money back on your purchases. Rewards will vary depending on your budget and spending patterns. Below we discuss how features vary across spending categories like groceries, dining out or fuel, as well as other details of the various cashback programs. Not all cashback cards are considered here, so you should carry out your own research before taking out a credit card.

Cashback Credit Cards

We have analyzed the cashback credit cards in the marketplace and found the following cards offer cashback rewards in their respective categories. We have modeled their features to estimate annual rewards. Our calculations are based on average UK household charges of around £1,800 a month, and incorporate all relevant annual fees, rewards rates, bonuses, etc. Actual results will vary depending on how you use a card. We are not recommending any of these cards; choosing a card will depend on your individual needs and spending patterns.

Overall Cashback: Platinum Cashback Card from American Express

The Platinum Cashback Card by American Express pays consistent cashback rewards across all spending categories. Over the long-term, the card earns 1% or 1.25% cashback, depending on your level of spending. There is a welcome offer of 5% cashback for the first three months (up to £125 cashback). In ongoing years (without the welcome 5% rate) you'd have to spend £2,500 to make up for the £25 annual fee. The Platinum Cashback card can earn the average UK household around £535 cashback over the first two years.

Cashback is not earned on cash advances, balance transfers, travellers' cheques, FX transactions, interest, any spending above your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and finance charges.

Summary

  • 1% cashback rate on purchases up to £10,000 per year
  • 1.25% cashback rate on purchases over £10,001 per year
  • 5% intro cashback rate up to £125 reward
  • Amex not accepted everywhere
  • Annual fee of £25
  • 22.9% purchase APR (variable)
  • Eligibility checker

Cashback for Groceries: Asda Cashback Plus Credit Card

The Asda Cashback Plus Credit Card delivers a 2% cashback rate on Asda spend (i.e., Asda shopping, Asda fuel, Living stores, George.com, etc.) and 1% elsewhere. To make up for the £3 per month fee, you'd need to spend £150 a month in-store at Asda or £300 elsewhere (or some combination of the two). We calculate that the average UK household can earn around £230 per year in cashback using this card. Keep in mind that Asda cashback rewards are paid in the form of Asda vouchers (not statement credits).

Summary

  • 2% rewards rate at Asda, 1% elsewhere
  • Higher-than-average cashback rate of 2% for in-store grocery spending
  • 0% interest for 6 months on George.com purchases of at least £200
  • No fees when buying foreign currency from Asda Travel Money
  • Monthly fee of £3
  • 19.9% variable purchase APR (23.9% or 29.9%)
  • Eligibility checker

Cashback for Dining: Costco TrueEarnings American Express Credit Card

The Costco TrueEarnings card offers a higher-than-average 3% cashback rate on restaurant dining, in addition to 2% on travel and 1% on other purchases. Rewards are paid out as a Costco voucher every year. Those who don't live near a Costco may find it difficult to redeem their rewards. The average UK household would earn rewards of around £225 a year with this card.

Summary

  • Earn 3% on dining, 2% on travel and 1% elsewhere
  • Rewards paid as Costco vouchers
  • Requires Costco membership (and photo on file at Costco)
  • No annual fee
  • Amex not accepted everywhere
  • 19.9% purchase APR
  • Eligibility checker

Cashback with No Annual Fee: Platinum Cashback Everyday Card from American Express

The Platinum Cashback Everyday card from American Express offers long-term cashback rates of 0.5% up to £5,000 of spending a year and 1% beyond £5,001 of spending. During the first three months, your spending will earn 5% cashback, up to a max of £100 cashback at this rate. Cashback is paid in the form of statement credits, that appear once a year to effectively reduce your outstanding balance.

Cashback is not earned on cash advances, balance transfers, travellers' cheques, FX transactions, interest, any spending beyond your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and finance charges.

Summary

  • 0.5% cashback rate on purchases up to £5,000 per year
  • 1% cashback rate on purchases over £5,001 per year
  • 5% intro cashback rate up to £100 reward, in first three months
  • Amex not accepted everywhere
  • No annual fee
  • 22.9% purchase APR (variable)
  • Cashback rewards come as statement credits
  • Eligibility checker

Cashback for Poor Credit: Aqua Rewards Credit Card

The Aqua Rewards Credit Card will consider those with weak credit histories and pays 0.5% cashback on all purchases. If at all possible, the full balance should be paid off every month; carrying a balance from month to month will result in interest payments that quickly wipe out any earned cashback rewards. Late payments mean forfeiture of your rewards for the entire year, so be sure to pay on time. It would take £20,000 of spending to hit the £100 annual rewards cap.

Summary

  • Earn 0.5% on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Cashback rewards come as statement credits once a year
  • Annual rewards are capped at £100
  • 34.95% variable purchases APR (or 44.93%, 49.91%, 54.95% or 59.95%)

Summary of 2017's Cashback Credit Cards

Below is a summary of our top picks for best cashback programs across different categories.

For...CardIssuerCashback TypeQuick Overview
OverallPlatinum Cashback CardAmerican ExpressStatement CreditsEarn 1% to 1.25% on all spending, plus a 5% welcome cashback rate
GroceriesAsda Cashback PlusMastercardAsda VouchersEarn 2% on Asda purchases; 1% elsewhere
RestaurantsCostco TrueEarnings CardAmerican ExpressCostco VouchersEarn 3% on dining, 2% on travel, 1% elsewhere
No FeePlatinum Cashback Everyday CardAmerican ExpressStatement CreditsEarn 0.5% to 1% on all spending, plus a 5% welcome cashback rate
Poor CreditAqua Rewards Credit CardMastercardStatement CreditsEarn 0.5% cashback on purchases while working to improve your credit rating

Average Cashback Rewards

​ We have calculated the cashback the average UK consumer would earn on each card discussed on this page. First, we gathered data on the average household expenditures across different spending categories (e.g., food, dining, petrol, etc.) based on the "Family Spending, 2015 Edition" report from the Office of National Statistics. We found that the average UK household has about £22,000 of expenses that can be charged to a credit card. After organizing the data into bonus categories, we applied each card's respective cashback rates.

The chart below shows the estimated cashback rewards over two years of these cards, for the average UK household.

A chart comparing the estimated cashback rewards over 2 years for the best UK cashback credit cards, based on average UK household spending
Cashback Rewards over 2 Years

Individuals with different spending patterns will find the highest value on different cards. You need to consider the different features of each card, and how they may benefit you personally.

How to Choose a Cashback Card

​ Choosing the best cashback credit card for you will depend on your individual needs and spending habits. In particular, when looking across the cashback cards you should keep in mind these two factors:

  • where you spend your money (e.g., restaurants, a specific grocery store, petrol, etc.)
  • the type of cashback you prefer (i.e., store vouchers or statement credits)

Some of the cashback credit cards listed here have no annual fee, so it is feasible to take out more than one card in order to optimize your rewards across different spending categories. Additionally, as many of the cashback cards are issued by American Express, which isn't accepted everywhere, a Mastercard or Visa cashback card may come in handy when your Amex has to stay in your wallet.

Consider whether you prefer a cashback program that delivers rewards as statement credits or store vouchers. Statement credits may be simpler, but they are not necessarily better for you. Many people love the idea of heading out to shop with a big voucher in their wallet. It all depends on your personal preferences.