The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.
According to our analysis of the market, the following cards stand out as objectively the best for certain purposes. The best card for you will depend on your individual situation and spending patterns. Please use the information in this guide to learn about differences between products and help you narrow down your choices.
Best Overall & No Fee Cashback Credit Cards
In our opinion, the following cards offer the best cashback rewards in their respective categories. We have modeled their features to estimate annual rewards, based on average UK household charges of around £1,800 a month. Our calculations incorporate all relevant annual fees, rewards rates, bonuses, etc. Actual results will vary depending on how you use a card.
Overall Cashback: Platinum Cashback Card from American Express
The Platinum Cashback Card by American Express is one of our favourite overall cashback cards not only for the great rewards across all categories but also because it pays out rewards as statement credits. Over the long-term, the card earns 1% or 1.25%, depending on your level of spending. You can also take advantage of the welcome offer of 5% for the first three months (up to £125 cashback). Despite the relatively modest £25 annual fee, we have calculated the Platinum Cashback card can earn the average UK household around £535 over the first two years. Those looking for a simple, flexible, rewarding cashback program won't find an easier card.
Cashback is not earned on cash advances, balance transfers, travellers' cheques, FX transactions, interest, any spending above your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and finance charges.
- 1% cashback rate on purchases up to £10,000 per year
- 1.25% cashback rate on purchases over £10,001 per year
- 5% intro cashback rate up to £125 reward
- Amex not accepted everywhere
Best Cashback Card with No Annual Fee: Platinum Cashback Everyday Card from American Express
The Platinum Cashback Everyday card from American Express is a great cashback card for those spending less than £10,000 a year. While it sports lower cashback rates than our top overall pick and its sister card, the Platinum Cashback card, the lack of annual fee makes it a surefire winner for smaller spenders. The Platinum Cashback Everyday card offers long-term cashback rates of 0.5% to 1%. As cashback comes in the form of statement credits, the card is a good choice for those desiring a simple rewards card.
Cashback is not earned on cash advances, balance transfers, travellers' cheques, FX transactions, interest, any spending beyond your credit limit, charges for returned payments, late payment or referral charges and finance charges.
- 0.5% cashback rate on purchases up to £5,000 per year
- 1% cashback rate on purchases over £5,001 per year
- 5% intro cashback rate up to £100 reward, in first three months
- No annual fee
- Amex not accepted everywhere
Best Store Cashback Cards for Food (Dining and Groceries)
If, like many people, you spend a lot of your budget on food you might benefit from a credit card that rewards extra for dining and/or grocery spending. Depending on your particular needs, one of these cards could turn out to be quite rewarding for you.
Amex Nectar Credit Card
The Nectar Credit Card is probably the most flexible grocery credit card, because unlike other grocery-related credit cards, the Nectar card gives you the same approximate 1% rewards rate on all shopping. So you can shop at any grocery store you want and also use the card for general spending and earn the same rate. Most grocery loyalty credit cards only give this type of rate on your in-store spending.
The first year with the card is the most valuable—the fantastic welcome bonus of 20,000 Nectar points (earned when you spend £2,000 in the first three months) is worth around £100, more than any other grocery welcome bonus. While you are not limited in how you earn points, you can only redeem points at one grocery chain (Sainsbury's) or other Nectar partners. Cardholders can expect to earn Nectar points worth around £450 in their first two years with the card, assuming £20,000 of annual spend which is approximately the amount that the average UK household can spend on a credit card.
- Earn 2 Nectar points for almost every £1 spent (£1 minimum), in addition to Nectar points earned through the Nectar loyalty program when shopping at Nectar partners (approx. 1% rewards rate)
- Earn 1 Nectar point for every £1 spent at warehouse retailers (approx. 0.5% rewards rate)
- Welcome offer of 20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in the first three months (worth approx. £100)
- Access to Global Assist for help when you travel abroad
- Purchase Protection will repair or replace any damaged or stolen items within 90 days of purchase
- £25 annual fee (waived first year)
- Amex not accepted everywhere
Sainsbury's Nectar Credit Card
The Sainsbury's Nectar Credit Card is currently offering one of the longest interest-free period on purchases, at up to 17 months, in order to spread the cost of your purchases without incurring any interest charges. In addition to the long interest-free period, cardholders can earn solid 1% rewards on their Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. You will earn Nectar points on other spending, but those rewards are barely worth mentioning, estimated at 0.1%. While this card also offers balance transfer functionality, this is not where the card shines; the balance transfer fee is high at 3% for 3 months. If you are primarily interested in a balance transfer there are better offers available. If you need a purchases card, the Sainsbury's Purchase card is often the best and longest offer available, with the added benefit of earning Nectar points on purchases. Unlike some other cards, if you are accepted you will receive the full up to 17 months at 0%.
- Long 0% promotional period for purchases
- Earn 3 Nectar points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s when you use this card and swipe your Nectar card
- Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent outside Sainsbury’s
- Welcome Bonus: Collect 10,000 bonus points when you use your card to spend a total of £400 or more at Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing during the 2 months after your account is opened.
- May get a shorter promotional period
How Does Cashback Work?
Cashback is the most flexible and easiest-to-use of the rewards systems. Cashback cards return a percentage of your spending made using the card. Often, the percentage varies by spending location or category (e.g., the Asda Cashback Plus card pays 2% on Asda spending and 0.2% on non-Asda spending) or by category (e.g., The Costco TrueEarnings card pays 3% on dining, 2% on travel, and 1% elsewhere). "True" cashback is paid as a statement credit but sometimes cashback is paid to you via store vouchers (e.g., Asda and Costco).
How the Best Cashback Rewards Cards Compare
To compare the cashback credit cards listed above, we calculated the cashback the average UK consumer would earn on each one. First, we gathered data on the average household expenditures across different spending categories (e.g., food, dining, petrol, etc.) based on the "Family Spending, 2018 Edition" report from the Office of National Statistics. We found that the average UK household has about £22,000 of expenses that can be charged to a credit card. After organizing the data into bonus categories, we applied each card's respective cashback rates.
The chart below shows the cards ranked according to these estimated cashback rewards over two years, for the average UK household.
While the Platinum Cashback Card by American Express is the clear winner in terms of annual rewards for the average UK consumer, individuals with different spending patterns may find the highest value on a different card. For example, those who eat out at restaurants regularly or spend a significant amount of their budget on travel may very well extract more cashback rewards from the Costco TrueEarnings card. You need to consider the different features of each card, and how they may benefit you personally.
How to Choose the Best Cashback Card for You
Choosing the best cashback credit card for you will depend on your individual needs and spending habits. In particular, when looking across the cashback cards you should keep in mind these two factors:
- where you spend your money (e.g., restaurants, a specific grocery store, petrol, etc.)
- the type of cashback you prefer (i.e., store vouchers or statement credits)
Some of the cashback credit cards listed here have no annual fee, so it is feasible to take out more than one card in order to optimize your rewards across different spending categories. Additionally, as many of the cashback cards are issued by American Express, which isn't accepted everywhere, a Mastercard or Visa cashback card may come in handy when your Amex has to stay in your wallet.
Those looking for a simple rewards program should focus on the cashback programs that deliver rewards as statement credits or store vouchers. But while statement credits might be simpler, they are not necessarily better for you. Many people love the idea of heading out to shop with a big voucher in their wallet. It all depends on your personal preferences.