Cashback credit cards
Get money for spending money? It’s not too good to be true with a credit card that offers cash back.
Updated . What changed?
We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .
While some credit cards reward you with points, a cashback card offers the ultimate flexibility by giving you credit back on your statement or vouchers for your spending.
In Australia, cashback credit cards will either offer an introductory bonus or give you back a set percentage of your regular spending. On this page you can learn about credit cards that offer cash back rewards and compare your options.
Compare cashback credit cards
The cashback offers below come in the form of statement credits, gift cards or vouchers. Click on the blue circle in the Cashback column for more details about each offer.
Types of cashback credit card offers
A cashback credit card gives you rewards in the form of dollars, credit on your account or vouchers. These offers vary between cards, with some earning cashback instead of rewards points per $1 spent and others providing a one-time cashback reward offer for new customers. We've outlined the three main ways you can get cash back below:
- Cashback when you make an eligible credit card purchase. For example, if you make a purchase of $1,000 on a credit card that offers 2% cashback, you would get $20 back from the credit card provider.
- Promotional offers on sign up. Some cards have a cashback promotion for new customers. These offers usually require you to apply before a set date and spend a specific amount in the first few months that you have the card.
- Using rewards points to get cash back. If your credit card earns points per $1 spent, you could redeem them for credit back to your account or gift cards. Most rewards credit cards give you one or both of these options along with other rewards such as flights or merchandise.
The pros and cons
If you're thinking about getting a cashback credit card, weighing up the following pros and cons can help you decide if it's worth it for you:
- Simplicity. Unlike rewards credit cards, where figuring out the value of rewards can be complicated, cash back rewards are straightforward.
- Usefulness. There's no denying that cash or statement credits are the most versatile reward you can get.
- Other perks. Credit cards with cashback promotions may offer other features like complimentary travel insurance or airport lounge passes.
- High annual fees. These cards usually charge higher annual fees than other basic rewards or no-frills credit cards available on the market.
- High interest rates. If you often carry a balance, the cost of interest could outweigh any cashback rewards that you earn from the card.
- Capped rewards. Some cards cap the number of times you can redeem a cashback offer or limit how much of your spending will earn cash back.
How can I compare cashback credit cards?
If you are interested in getting a credit card with cash back rewards, here are the key details to look at when you're comparing your options:
- The cashback amount. Look at the value of the cash rewards you'll collect versus the card's overall cost. If the value of the cashback isn't worth it, you might find a $0 annual fee or 0% purchase rate card more suitable for you.
- Reward caps. Some cashback cards limit the amount of money you can get from them. For example, you might be able to get 1% cashback but have a limit of $30 back per month. If you often spend more than $3,000 per month, you're not going to be able to maximise your rewards with that card.
- Introductory offer requirements. If a credit card has an introductory cashback offer, make sure you understand the spend criteria before you apply. So, if the criteria say: "Get $150 back on your card when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval", that tells you how much you'd need to spend and the timeframe for spending it in order to get the cash back.
- Ineligible transactions. While most everyday purchases are eligible to earn cashback rewards, transactions such as cash advances, bill payments and balance transfers are usually ineligible. If there are particular expenses you want to use the card for, check the fine print or contact the credit card provider to see if you will earn cashback for them.
- Rewards value. If you have a rewards credit card that offers cash back and other types of rewards (such as flights, travel upgrades or merchandise), you may want to check to see if there are rewards that have a higher retail or regular price value than the cashback amount. This will help you get the most value out of your rewards.
- Other card features. Make sure you also consider the card's standard variable purchase rate as well as any additional charges, fees and complimentary extras. Along with the rewards and annual fee, these features will help you decide if the card suits all your needs.
If you're looking for a new credit card, one that offers cashback can give you extra value for your spending. But even though cashback offers can be rewarding, they also come with terms and conditions. So make sure you understand what these are and compare your options before you apply for a card.
How to decide if a cashback card is worth it
The potential value of a cashback rewards card depends on the amount of cashback offered, the cost of the card and how often you use it. To put this in perspective, let's say you get a credit card that offers 1% cashback on everyday purchases and has a $150 annual fee.
If you spent $3,000 per month on this card: You would earn $30 cashback per month, or $360 per year. If you take the cost of the annual fee out, you would get $210 value from cash back rewards over a 12-month period.
But if you only spent $1,000 per month on this card: You would earn $120 cashback in a year. That is $30 less than the $150 annual fee in this scenario, so you would be spending more on the card than what you earned from cash back rewards. This doesn't necessarily mean that the card isn't valuable, but you'd have to make sure you get at least $30 worth of value from the other features.
Keep in mind that this example does not consider the cost of any interest that might be charged if you carried a balance from your purchases. The bottom line? There is no one "best" cashback card for everyone because the value you get from a cash back offer depends on your personal spending habits and card preferences.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a rewards credit card and a cashback credit card?
A cashback credit card is a type of rewards card that lets you earn money back in the form of credits or vouchers for your spending. Standard rewards cards offer points for your eligible spending, which you can redeem for merchandise, vouchers, cashback and more.
How much cash can I expect to get back when I spend?
While the cashback rate varies from card to card, most cashback returns are somewhere between 1-2% of the total value of the transaction. This figure can jump when you look at some bonus cashback rewards schemes or when a fixed rate of cashback is offered (such as $20 or $50 when you first use the card).
Can I use cashback to pay the annual fee or my credit card debt?
Yes, you can generally use cashback rewards to pay your card's annual fee or the outstanding balance of a credit card. If you plan to use cashback to help pay off your balance, just be aware that you usually still need to make a minimum payment on your account by the statement due date.
Who can apply for a cashback credit card? And how do I apply?
Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for a cashback credit card can apply. These requirements vary between cards, but you can usually expect the following:
- Age. You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia.
- Residency status. Most lenders require you to be a permanent Australian resident or citizen, though some do offer products to specific visa holders.
- Income requirements. Some cards list a minimum income amount that you need to earn before you can apply, others require you to earn a regular income. There are also cards that don't list an income requirement – but even then you'll need to include details about your money when you apply.
Credit card eligibility requirements are usually listed on individual card pages, as well as at the start of an online application. Make sure you read them before you apply to help save you time.
How to apply
You can apply online in around 10-20 minutes. Before you apply, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and have the necessary documents needed to complete your application.
What you'll need to provide
- Proof of identification. A copy of your driver's licence, Medicare card and/or passport for proof of identification.
- Proof of income. Your employer's details as well as a recent tax return and/or your pay slips. If you're self-employed, you'll need to include your accountant's details.
- Financial information. Other information about your finances including debts, liabilities and expenses.
Once you have completed and submitted your application, you'll usually receive a response from the credit card provider within 60 seconds. If you're approved, you'll receive your card in the mail within 1-2 weeks.
Picture: ShutterstockBack to top
More guides on Finder
Bendigo hotels | Where to stay in the Ceramic Centre of Victoria
Compare Bendigo hotels, find the best sites to book them and get the latest coupon codes and deals to save on your stay.
Financial Fitness Challenge Week 3: How to get the most out of a credit card
How to cut debt and make your credit card work for you.
Bank Australia Commercial Visa credit card
Designed to help you track business spending, this Bank Australia credit card offers cards for employees and interest-free days on purchases.
Credit card woes: Where do Aussies turn if they can’t pay off their plastic?
Only half of Australians who find themselves buried under out-of-control credit card debt could dig themselves out, according to Finder.
Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card
This card gives you a way to support a program that matches rescue dogs with veterans in need and enjoy a low interest rate on all your spending.
Diners Club Business Card
The Diners Club Business Card can be used to earn points per $1 with over 35 million merchants – including Officeworks, Qantas and Woolworths.
Frequent Flyer Diners Club card
Diners Club isn’t as widely accepted as other cards, but you can still earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 at major retailers with this card.
Diners Club Personal Card
Diners Club offers a competitive rewards program, travel and shopping perks and can be used at businesses including Coles, Woolworths and Target.
COVID-19 credit crunch: Two million Australians over their credit card limit
Finder survey shows coronavirus is leaving millions of Australians at risk of credit card delinquency.
Illawarra Credit Union Low Rate credit card
The Illawarra Credit Union Low Rate credit card gives you simple features, mobile payments and a $0 annual fee in the first year.
Credit Cards Comparison
* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.