Cashback Credit Cards

Compare cashback credit cards offering rewards like cash back or vouchers for regular spending.

By   |   Updated 11 Apr 2024

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Comparing cashback credit cards

American Express Explorer Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Obtain 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points upon application approval and spending $4,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Enjoy a $400 Travel Credit annually for flights, hotels, and car rentals when booked online using this card.
  • Benefit from complimentary domestic and international travel insurance coverage.

Pros

  • The 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • Receive a $400 travel credit every year.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except for government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).
  • Get two complimentary entries per year to The Centurion® Lounge.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • No annual fee in the initial year, saving you $195.
  • Accrue 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations.
  • Access $200 allocated for annual travel expenses, applicable towards eligible flights, hotels, or car rentals when booked through American Express Travel.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Receive $200 to spend on eligible domestic and international flights, hotels, or car hire with American Express Travel.
  • Smartphone Screen Cover for smartphone screen repairs up to $500.

Cons

  • The ongoing purchase rate of 23.99%.
American Express Platinum Card

On website

Apply by 25 June 2024

American Express Platinum Card

Highlights

  • Acquire 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points by applying before 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending $5,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Utilize a $450 Platinum Travel Credit annually for flight, hotel, or car rental bookings.
  • Indulge in up to $400 per calendar year when dining at a curated selection of over 1,400 hand-picked restaurants, both domestically and internationally. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year.
  • Enjoy up to $400 Global Dining Credit per calendar year.
  • Access to more than 1,400 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,450.
American Express Platinum Business Card

On website

Highlights

  • Obtain 350,000 bonus Membership Rewards points by applying before 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending $12,000 on your card within the initial 3 months. Exclusive to New American Express Card Members.
  • Earn up to 2.25 pts per $1 spent.
  • Enjoy exclusive Platinum travel, experience, and dining privileges.

Pros

  • The offer of 350,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn up to 2.25 pts per $1 spent and 1 point per $1 spent at the ATO.
  • Access to more than 1,400 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Gold status match at Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and Premium status at Radisson Hotel Group.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,750 p.a.
  • Since this is a charge card, the balance must be cleared every statement.
  • No balance transfer facility.
Westpac Low Rate Cashback Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Get up to $350 cashback when you apply online by 31 July 2024. Receive a $50 cashback monthly for spending over $1,000 in the first 7 statement periods.
  • Enjoy a low ongoing 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • Annual fee of $59 p.a. applies.

Pros

  • Get up to $350 cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • 55 days interest-free on purchases.
  • $500 minimum credit limit.

Cons

  • No rewards program although there is a cashback offer.
  • No complimentary travel insurance.
bcu Rewards Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Acquire a low variable interest rate of 13.05% p.a. for purchases.
  • Receive 0.66% cash back on every $1 spent on eligible transactions.
  • Take advantage of up to 55 interest-free days.

Pros

  • Competitive interest rate on purchases.
  • Earn cash back on eligible transactions.
  • Has 24-hour fraud monitoring and supports Visa payWave.

Cons

  • There is no sign-up bonus offer for this card right now.
ANZ Low Rate Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Select from these 2 introductory deals: 0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee (then reverts to 21.24% p.a.), or receive $250 cash back upon spending $1,500 within the initial 3 months from approval. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • First-year annual fee waived ($58 subsequently).
  • Continuous low rate of 12.49% p.a. on purchases.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases by settling your account completely each month.

Pros

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers up to 28 months or earn $250 cash back.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter).
  • Take advantage of the low purchase interest rate of 12.49% p.a.
  • Add up to 3 additional cardholders at no extra cost.

Cons

  • No purchase or travel insurance included.
  • No rewards program.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Get 180,000 bonus Reward Points and $150 cash back upon spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases within the initial 3 months of approval.
  • Accrue 2 Reward Points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases, up to $5,000 per statement period.
  • Enjoy complimentary international travel insurance.

Pros

  • Receive 180,000 bonus ANZ Rewards points and earn a $150 cash back when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $5,000 per statement period.
  • There is no cap on the number of points you can earn.
  • Free international travel insurance and purchase protection insurance.

Cons

  • The $375 p.a. annual fee.
  • Doesn't come with lounge access or a concierge service.
  • No balance transfer offer.
Citi Clear Credit Card

On website

Citi Clear Credit Card

Highlights

  • Benefit from 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases (reverting to 14.99% p.a. post-promotion).
  • Initial year incurs no annual fee, then $99 annually.
  • Add up to 4 supplementary cardholders at zero additional expense.

Pros

  • Low ongoing variable purchase rate of 14.99% p.a.
  • Includes complimentary insurance.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free on retail purchases.
  • Enjoy cashback offers each month via My Cashback.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.

Cashback credit cards are growing in popularity because of the simplicity of rewards they offer.

"The complexities of the typical rewards program can be a bit too much work for some Aussies. Cashback credit cards are generally easier to understand and cash in your bank account gives you the flexibility of spending the rewards however you like. Whether it's putting those funds towards paying down debts, saving up for a holiday, or even just covering some weekly grocery expenses, credit card cashback appeals to consumers looking to keep things simple while still getting a little extra value from their credit card."
David Boyd
CEO at Credit Card Compare

How cashback credit cards work

Cashback credit cards work by offering cardholders a certain percentage of their spending as cashback rewards. The cashback amount can vary depending on the card issuer and the type of transaction. Cardholders can earn cashback on a wide range of purchases, from groceries and dining to travel and entertainment expenses.

Example use case to maximise reward points

The value derived from a cashback rewards card hinges on the cash or credit it provides, its cost, and your usage frequency. Consider a credit card offering 1% cashback on everyday expenditures and a $150 annual fee.

Spending $3,000 monthly on this card: Monthly cashback: $30, totalling $360 annually. After deducting the annual fee, the net gain from cashback rewards is $210 over the year.

Spending $1,000 monthly on this card: Annual cashback: $120, which falls $30 short of the $150 annual fee, leading to a net loss. However, this doesn't automatically render the card unbeneficial. To justify its value, ensure the card's other features provide at least $30 worth of benefits.

David Boyd explains the difference. "The crux of the matter is that the benefits one derives from credit card offers are not one-size-fits-all. They are significantly influenced by how much, where, and what card features you value the most".

Benefits of cashback credit cards

  • Financial rewards: Cash back credit cards allow users to earn money back on their spending, providing a tangible financial benefit.
  • Simplicity: Cashback rewards are straightforward and easy to understand, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a simple rewards system compared to complex credit card rewards you typically find.
  • Incentive to spend: A cashback rewards rate can incentivise cardholders to use their credit card for everyday purchases, maximising their earnings.
  • Flexibility: Cashback rewards can often be redeemed in various ways, such as statement credits, direct deposits, or gift cards, giving cardholders flexibility in how they use their rewards.

Different types of cashback credit card

1. Credit cards with ongoing cash back

These credit cards provide a continuous cashback reward on your purchases, offering a fixed percentage of your spending back as a credit on your statement. Ideal for regular use, ongoing cashback cards can help reduce your overall expenses over time. The cashback rate may vary based on the type of purchase or the spending category, such as groceries, fuel, or dining.

2. Credit cards with cashback cards as a sign-up offer

Some credit cards entice new customers with an introductory cashback offer, which often involves a higher cashback rate for a limited period or after reaching a specified spending threshold within the first few months of card ownership. These offers can be particularly lucrative if you plan to make significant purchases soon after obtaining the card.

3. Credit cards with gift vouchers

Instead of direct cashback, certain credit cards reward your spending with credits that can be redeemed for gift vouchers at various retailers. This type of reward can be an excellent choice for those who enjoy shopping at specific stores or online platforms, effectively saving money on future purchases through the use of vouchers.

4. Credit cards that earn bonus points that can be redeemed for cash

While not offering direct cashback, these credit cards enable you to earn rewards points on purchases, which can then be converted into cash credits on your account or redeemed for gift cards. This flexibility allows cardholders to choose how they wish to use their rewards, whether it's offsetting the card's annual fee, reducing their account balance, or indulging in a bit of shopping.

What to know before applying for a cashback credit card

When selecting a cashback credit card, consider the following factors:

  • Cashback rate: Look for a credit card with a high cashback percentage to maximise your rewards.
  • Annual fee: Consider whether the cashback rewards justify the credit card's annual fee.
  • Additional benefits: Some cashback credit cards offer perks such as sign-up bonuses, insurance coverage, and extended warranties.

What you should know about card cashback

  • Strategic spending: If there are categories of spending with higher cashback rewards, maximise your earnings by spending strategically.
  • Pay in full: Avoid carrying a balance on your cashback credit card to prevent interest charges that could negate your rewards.
  • Utilise bonus offers: Use sign-up bonuses and promotional offers to boost your cashback earnings.
  • Monitor rewards: Stay informed about any changes in cashback rates or promotions offered by your credit card issuer to ensure you are maximising your rewards.

Methodology for our cashback credit card comparison

To determine inclusion and ranking in our cashback credit card comparison table, our team compared the metadata for the following attributes of each card.

  • Annual fee initial year: How much the annual card fee is for the first year. Lower is better.
  • Annual fee ongoing: Whether there is an ongoing annual fee and how much it is. Lower is better.
  • Apple Pay enabled: Whether the card is compatible with Apple Pay. Considered beneficial if possible.
  • Balance transfer offer: Whether the card has an introductory balance transfer offer and what the rates, fees, and terms are. Lower rates for longer are considered better.
  • Card type: If the card runs on American Express, Mastercard, Visa, etc. since this can affect its acceptance.
  • Cashback terms: If the card's cashback program has limitations on how much can be earned.
  • Cashback type: Whether the card earns cashback on all spend, offers cashback as a sign-up offer, offers cashback in the form of vouchers, or earns points that can be converted to and redeemed as cash.
  • Foreign exchange fee: If there is a fee to process transactions overseas or in a foreign currency. Lower is better.
  • Interest-free period: how many interest-free days are available if balance cleared in full. Longer is better.
  • Introductory purchase rate: If an introductory offer on purchase is available and its associated rates, fees, period, and terms. Lower rates for a longer period is considered better.
  • Late payment fee: The fee charged if the minimum repayment is not made by the due date. Lower is better.
  • Maximum credit limit: If published, the highest possible credit limit offered.
  • Minimum credit limit: If published, the lowest credit limit offered.
  • Minimum income required: If published, the minimum amount of income required as part of the bank's criteria to qualify for the card. Lower thresholds make the card available to more applicants.
  • Purchase rate ongoing: What the standard interest rate is on purchases that remain on the balance after any introductory offers expire. Lower is better.
  • Rewards program: If the card is linked with a rewards program.
  • Samsung Pay enabled: If the card is compatible with Samsung Pay. Considered beneficial if possible.
  • Sign-up bonus: If there is a sign-up bonus and what the criteria is to get it. A larger sign-up bonus with lower criteria is considered better.

Our rankings may not reflect what matters most to you. Be sure to compare key rates, fees, and features against your own financial priorities before deciding.

Help choosing a cashback credit card

How a cashback credit card can give back some of your spending in dollars.

  • FAQs

  • Pros & cons

  • Alternatives

Can you earn cashback on all purchases?

While most purchases qualify for cashback rewards, some transactions, such as cash advances, balance transfers, and certain fees, may not be eligible to earn cashback. Refer to your card's terms and conditions for specifics on qualifying purchases.

Are cashback credit cards suitable for everyone?

Cashback credit cards can be beneficial for people who regularly use their credit cards for everyday expenses and pay off their balances in full each month. However, cashback credit cards may not be the best option for those who carry a balance or prefer different types of rewards, such as travel points or miles.

Is it worth paying an annual fee just for credit card cashback?

If you use your credit card frequently enough to earn substantial numbers of rewards points, benefits, or cash back, the cost of an annual fee may be worth it. Those who do not use their credit cards that much, and therefore, fail to qualify for rewards or benefits, the perks may be of no use to you. If this is the case, look for a different credit card that suits your needs better.

What's the difference between rewards and cashback credit cards?

Rewards credit cards enable you to earn points on your spending charged to the card, which you can redeem in a variety of ways. Cashback credits cards are a type of rewards cards. They let you get instant rewards by way of cash back (in your account) depending on what you spend.

Are there different types of cash back credit cards?

There are two main types of cashback credit card offers available to Australians.

  1. Cashback as an introductory bonus: Some issuers give cash back by way of a one-time introductory bonus for new cardholders.
  2. Cashback based on spending: Some cashback credit cards put money back into your account on an ongoing basis. For these, cashback is typically calculated as a percentage of your regular spending, once you have met certain criteria. There are almost always limits on how much you can earn.

Can you use a balance transfer?

Yes, you can use a balance transfer. A balance transfer involves moving the balance from one credit card to another, often to take advantage of lower interest rates. While cashback cards reward you for purchases, many also offer balance transfer promotions.

What's the biggest credit card cashback offer?

The Citi Premier Card provides a $600 cashback reward if you spend $2,000 on qualifying purchases using Apple Pay within the first 3 months after approval. Additionally, the card includes a $300 annual fee in the first year, which is an important consideration when comparing it to other cashback credit cards.

Pros

Unmatched flexibility in rewards

Cashback credit cards stand out for their flexibility, since they earn cash instead of points. Cardholders can use their cash rewards however they like.

Simplicity

These cards offer a straightforward value proposition: spend money and earn cash as your reward for doing so.

Cons

Caps

Most cashback cards are capped such that there is a limit to how much cashback can be earned in a given period or for a given amount of spend.

Higher costs

Non-introductory rates and fees for the most rewarding cashback cards tend to be higher than average.

Fees and rates can offset cashback

If you carry a balance, the value of whatever cashback is earned can be quickly offset by the higher interest rates and annual fees associated with these cards.

Frequent flyer credit cards

Rather than getting rewards as cash, Australian frequent flyer credit cards most commonly earn Qantas Points or Velocity Points.

Frequent flyer credit cards and cashback credit cards both typically have some sort of sign-up bonus. However, frequent flyer credit cards typically have fewer restrictions on earning points compared with cashback credit cards, many of which are capped to a fairly small value for the month or year.

That said, earning cashback may be an easier concept to understand and manage than earning points.

Rewards credit cards

While similar to cashback cards, rewards cards earn points that can be redeemed for travel, goods, and services. They're more suited to those who prefer to travel.

Although there are caps and tiers on rewards credit cards, they tend to be much higher than the limits imposed on cashback credit cards. In other words, you can continue earning rewards points on more of your spend than you would earn cashback.