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How to redeem cash-back rewards from your credit card

Feb. 16, 2022
5 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.


Credit card rewards are only valuable when you redeem them. But, cash-back rewards can be extremely valuable, as they can effectively put cash right back in your pocket.

Not all rewards cards provide cash-back rewards, though. And, even among those that do offer a cash-back reward option, cash back may not be the most lucrative use of your rewards. Luckily, if you have a self-proclaimed cash-back rewards card, cash back is usually one of the most lucrative redemption options.

That said, even if you have a cash-back rewards credit card, you likely won't get cash back deposited into your wallet or account automatically. So, today I'll discuss how to redeem cash-back rewards from your credit card.

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How cash-back rewards work

(Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images)

You're likely earning points, miles or cash back on your purchases if you have a rewards card. However, even if you are technically earning points or miles, you may be able to redeem them for cash-back. Typically, you'll find some or all of the following cash-back options on your card:

  • Statement credits applied to your account.
  • Check sent to your mailing address.
  • Deposit to a checking or savings account, which often must be with the same bank.
  • Gift card, either electronic or sent to your mailing address.
  • Payment for student loan or mortgage, which often must be with the same bank.

However, you may get a better redemption rate when choosing particular options. And, there may be minimum redemption thresholds for some options.

Related: Best 2% cash-back credit cards

How to redeem cash-back rewards

(Photo by MStudioImages/Getty Images)

Once you're earned rewards, you must determine how to redeem rewards on your specific card. To check your redemption options, log in to your account online or call the number on the back of your card.

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Each card is different when it comes to earning and redeeming, but to give you a look at the breadth of redemption options, here's how to redeem rewards with several popular cash-back rewards cards.

If you have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you'll earn cash back in the form of Blue Cash reward dollars. You can then redeem your reward dollars for a statement credit to your account when your rewards balance is $25 or more. However, you cannot use reward dollars to pay your minimum balance due.

Alternatively, if you have the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, you can request your cash back as a statement credit or a check. And you can even set up an automatic redemption trigger based on a date or amount threshold. To redeem cash back or set up an automatic redemption trigger, log in to your account or call the number on the back of your card. You can also redeem cash back to offset previous purchases, purchase gift cards and more, but the redemption rates for these options can vary.

Finally, if you have the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, each every 100 points you earn equal one dollar in cash-back rewards. You can redeem points for any available reward options, which often include cash, gift cards, travel, products and services. However, redemption values for different reward options can vary. As a result, you'll want to make sure you're getting at least one cent per point of value when you redeem.

As you can tell, there are many ways to redeem cash-back rewards from your credit card. So, it's best to log in to your account and access your redemption options. After all, cash-back rewards are typically held in your account until you redeem.

Related: Hot take: It's all about cash-back cards now

When to redeem cash-back rewards

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

In general, you'll want to redeem your cash back once you earn enough cash-back rewards to redeem at the best rate. For example, some cards require you to redeem for at least $25 of cash back to access the most valuable redemption options. However, note any expiration policies to ensure you redeem your cash back before it expires.

Some cardholders prefer to redeem their cash-back rewards for one large check each year. However, if you redeem your rewards sooner and deposit your rewards in a savings account, you can earn interest on your rewards.

Finally, many higher-end travel cards also allow you to use your points or miles for cash back. However, these options typically come at a lower value. As a result, you may want to stick with travel redemptions if you have a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Related: 3 reasons why you want a cash-back credit card in your wallet

Bottom line

Cash-back credit cards can put money back in your pocket. But, credit cards often provide many redemption options. And some options may provide more value than others.

So, before redeeming your cash-back rewards, determine which redemption options provide the best value. In general, you'll want to avoid redeeming your rewards for Amazon, merchandise and gift cards.

Featured image by (Photo by Orli Friedman/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for U.S. streaming rewards
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 6% cash-back
6%6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
6%6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
3%3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
3%3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
1%1% Cash Back on other purchases

Intro offer

$250
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you like cash back and spend a lot on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, you can’t get much better than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Check out our latest guides, news, and reviews for this card below.

Pros

  • This card has one of the best earning structures out there for cash-back credit cards.
  • The card does come with access to Amex Offers (enrollment required), which can save you even more money on specific purchases.

Cons

  • There is a $6,000 spending cap on the U.S. supermarket bonus category, which may not work for those with large grocery budgets.
  • You’ll have to pay a foreign transaction fee on international purchases, so it’s not a great choice when you’re traveling abroad.
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 18.49% to 29.49%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Get $7 back each month after using your Blue Cash Preferred Card to spend $12.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6%6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
6%6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
3%3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
3%3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
1%1% Cash Back on other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

    $250
  • Annual Fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

If you like cash back and spend a lot on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, you can’t get much better than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Check out our latest guides, news, and reviews for this card below.

Pros

  • This card has one of the best earning structures out there for cash-back credit cards.
  • The card does come with access to Amex Offers (enrollment required), which can save you even more money on specific purchases.

Cons

  • There is a $6,000 spending cap on the U.S. supermarket bonus category, which may not work for those with large grocery budgets.
  • You’ll have to pay a foreign transaction fee on international purchases, so it’s not a great choice when you’re traveling abroad.
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 18.49% to 29.49%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Get $7 back each month after using your Blue Cash Preferred Card to spend $12.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees