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Can You Get Cash Back With a Credit Card?

Last Updated: May 10, 2024
3 min read

Key points about: getting cash back from a credit card

  1. Many credit cards offer cash back rewards on eligible purchases made with the card.

  2. Cash back rewards cards provide rewards based on percentages of spending and/or certain spending categories.

  3. Some cash back rewards cards offer a welcome bonus in the form of additional rewards.

If you want to get cash back on a credit card purchase, you’ll need a card with cash back rewards. Many credit cards offer cash back rewards programs, but the amount you can get back typically depends on the credit card company and the types of rewards cards offered. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand how to choose a cash back card, how to get cash back on a rewards credit card for everyday purchases, and how to redeem cash back rewards.

See if you're pre-approved

With no harm to your credit score1

Choose a cash back rewards card

Start by choosing a credit card that offers cash back rewards instead of miles or points. The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card, for example, lets you earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

When you’re thinking about credit card cash back, compare any additional credit card incentives too, because these may come with the potential to earn additional bonus cash. Take Discover Cashback Match, for instance. We’ll automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. There is no limit to how much we’ll match.2

Charge purchases that earn cash back rewards to your credit card

Some credit cards offer the same flat-rate cash back percentage, such as 1%, on all qualifying purchases. Other cash back credit cards offer a higher percentage of cash back on popular spending categories, which, for example, could include 2% cash back on qualifying gas and restaurants purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Then there are cash back cards that allow cardholders to earn even greater rewards in bonus categories. For example, the Discover it® Cash Back Card lets you earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

Can you get cash back from a credit card through categories that don’t match your day-to-day spending habits? Of course—but if you want to earn as much cash back as possible, try to pick a rewards credit card that offers its highest level of rewards for your everyday spending.

Redeem your cash back rewards

How do you redeem cash back rewards? Many credit card issuers allow you to redeem rewards for statement credits, gift cards to eligible retailers, online purchases, and more. When you’re ready to redeem cash back from your credit card, simply log into your online account or credit card app and follow the instructions to redeem your cash back rewards.

Did you know?

Discover offers several ways to redeem cash back rewards, including redeeming for cash, a statement credit, a gift card to participating merchants, or even a charitable donation. Plus, your Discover cash back rewards never expire—and you can redeem any amount, any time.3

Can you get cash back with a credit card? You bet. Choosing the right cash back rewards program for you can help maximize the potential of your rewards credit card. Understanding the terms of the cash rewards card and your own spending habits can help you make the best decision for using your new credit card rewards.

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  1. There is no hard inquiry to your credit report to check if you’re pre-approved. If you’re pre-approved, and you move forward with submitting an application for the credit card, it will result in a hard inquiry which may impact your credit score. Receiving a pre-approval offer does not guarantee approval. Applicants applying without a social security number are not eligible to receive pre-approval offers. Card applicants cannot be pre-approved for the NHL Discover Card.

  2. Cashback Match: We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You’ve earned cash back rewards only when they’re processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums.

  3. Rewards Redemption: Rewards never expire. We reserve the right to determine the method to disburse your rewards balance. We will credit your Account or send you a check with your rewards balance if your Account is closed or if you have not used it within 18 months.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.