Free money! Now that we’ve got your attention, learn about cash back credit cards.
Compare Cashback Credit Cards
Compare Credit Cards that allow you to redeem rewards points for Cashback
Compare Credit Cards with gift cards or vouchers as part of their rewards program
Guide to Cashback Credit Cards and Offers
What are cashback credit cards?
A cashback credit card does what the name suggests: you get cash back when you spend on the credit card. The cash back offer can be a set amount or a percentage of each transaction. Some providers also give you cashback when you take up a special promotional offer, like a balance transfer.
How do cashback cards work?
There are three ways you can earn cashback on your credit card purchases:
- Instant cashback when you make an eligible credit card purchase. For example, say you make a credit card purchase of $1000 and there is a 2% cashback promotion, the credit card provider gives you $20 back.
- Cashback when you take up a promotional offer. Some products have a special promotion, like a balance transfer offer, you get cashback or a cash equivalent gift when you take up the deal.
- Cashback via a credit card rewards program. You’ll need to manually redeem your points for cashback with this option.
For instant cashback and cashback via rewards, cashback is only given when you make an eligible credit card purchase. Transactions like cash advances are ineligible for cashback rewards. Check the credit card’s terms and conditions for a full list of transactions ineligible to earn rewards.
How can I compare cashback credit cards?
Compare cashback credit cards by how much cash back they will allow you to claim. On face value, the card that offers more will look the most appealing. But there are other factors to consider, too.
- Can you pay off the entire balance at the end of the month? Cashback means very little if you’re accruing interest on your purchases.
- What’s the product’s annual fee? You have to spend more on a card with a high annual fee before the value of the rewards is greater than the cost to own the product.
- Compare the cashback offer. To get the most value for your dollar compare cashback offers against other credit card rewards options. Perhaps converting points to gift vouchers will give you a better return.
- Rewards cap. Does the credit card provider have a cap on the number of rewards points you can earn in a month, or is there a limit on the value of cashback you can get. This information is available in the product’s fine print and on our credit card review and application pages.
- Ineligible transactions. Also consider the type of purchases you’ll make on your card. Not all transactions are eligible for cashback. Cash advances, paying some bills and paying credit card fees and charges are considered ineligible transactions. Gambling purchases are also ineligible to earn cashback rewards.
There’s more than a bit to think about before you enter into the world of cashback and credit card rewards. Do your due diligence and compare cashback credit cards so they don’t end up costing more than they’re worth.
What are the advantages and drawbacks of cashback credit cards?
This may help you decide whether a cashback credit card is the right type of credit card for you.
- Money in your pocket. Every time you spend you’re getting something back. Every return in value is a bonus, no matter how small.
- It’s not just about the cash. Most credit cards with a cashback rewards program also have free goodies on offer like complimentary insurances, a concierge service and some even offer complimentary passes to airport lounges too.
- Don’t like cashback? Some credit cards that offer cashback when you make an eligible purchase also offer other ways to get rewarded. If cashback isn’t your thing, you may be able to accrue rewards points that can be used for gifts, gift cards or flights.
- The annual fee. Credit cards with cashback rewards generally charge a higher annual fee than low rate credit cards. Make sure your annual spend is high enough so the value you get back from the rewards is higher than the annual fee.
- Rates of interest. These cards do offer interest-free days on purchases. But this is only if you pay your balance off in full each month. Rewards credit cards generally have a high purchase rate of interest. If you don’t pay off your balance, this type of credit card will cost you more than a low rate of low fee product.
- Points cap. Some of these cards have a cap on the number of rewards points you can earn or a cap on the value of cashback you can receive over a period of time.
What else should I take into consideration?
- Balance transfers. Excluding cashback credit cards that offer an incentive for carrying out a balance transfer at the time of application, it’s not a good idea to get a cashback credit card when you want to do a balance transfer. A balance transfer often voids any interest-free days on the credit card, meaning interest is charged right away. Interest charges are sure to negate any rewards value. Go for a balance transfer credit card instead. If you really want the cashback rewards, you can always have two credit cards. One for the balance transfer balance and one for earning cashback. Some balance transfer credit card also don’t charge an annual fee.
- Annual spend. Most cashback credit cards charge an annual fee. If the product is a no annual fee cashback credit card then great, any spend on the product is an instant bonus. However, if the card does charge an annual fee, you need to make sure you spend enough on the card so the return value of the rewards is greater than the cost of owning the credit card.u
How to apply for a cashback credit card
Nearly all credit card applications can be completed online. Once you’ve compared products, and you’re ready to apply, follow the application links on our cashback credit cards review and application pages. You’ll be directed to a secure online application on the credit card provider’s website. Make sure you have the right information on hand to complete the application. You can read up about all the documents you need to complete the application on our review pages.
You should have a response shortly after you complete the credit card application and submit any additional information. Once full approval has been granted you can elect to pick your card up from a branch or you can have it sent to you in the mail, usually within a fortnight.
Cashback is a nice bonus for spending on your credit card. But don’t let the bonus go to the bank. Make sure you pay off your card in full each month to avoid interest charges.
Popular questions about using cashback credit cards
How can I find out more about a cashback credit card?
If you have any questions about a cashback credit card that we have not answered on this page, or the product review pages, ask us a question using the form at the bottom of the article and a member of the finder.com.au will be in touch to assist you with your question.
How much cash can I expect to get back when I spend?
While the cashback rate varies from product to product, a general rule of thumb for cashback returns is somewhere between 1 and 2% of the total value of the transaction. This figure can jump up when you look at merchant and retailer bonus cashback rewards schemes.
Can I use cashback to pay the annual fee or my credit card debt?
The good news is yes, you can generally put the cashback rewards to pay the products annual fee or the outstanding balance of a credit card. It’s your cash, you can use it how you want.
Where can I find out more about cashback and rewards points capping?
We include all relevant information about cashback and rewards points capping on our cashback credit card review and application pages. Read our product reviews for all the ins and outs and about to best use a cashback credit card.
* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from. ‘Best and ‘Top’ are ratings which are subject to our consideration and is not rated against all Australian credit cards. We recommend you take this information into account when comparing credit cards.