Featured Cash Back Credit Cards for Military Members

Cash back credit cards can be a great way to earn rewards on almost every purchase you make. When used correctly and paid in full each month, you may be able to earn several hundred dollars in cash back each year. Here are our top cash back credit cards for military members.
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Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Military Members & Their Families

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

I am a firm believer when used properly, credit cards are a good financial tool to have at your disposal. Credit cards offer users a variety of benefits, including consumer protections such as fraud and theft protection, extended warranties and the ability to dispute charges.

In addition to these benefits, many credit cards offer a variety of rewards including cash back, member rewards, airline miles, membership programs and other discounts. These benefits can be very valuable, but I do not recommend using credit cards if you carry a balance.

We have done some of the legwork for you – these credit cards all meet the criteria listed above and are good credit cards for military members. They offer a variety of cash rewards programs and are some of the best credit cards available.

We have done our best to find a variety of cards, but it’s impossible to list every card on the market. Because of this, we have focused on the major credit card issuers and a few of the major military banks. What follows are some of the best cash back credit cards on the market.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Military Members

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers an excellent rewards program, and while it does have a $95 annual fee, American Express waives annual fees for active-duty service members through the SCRA program. You will need to contact American Express for more information regarding waived fees.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express rewards program:

  • Six percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1% cash back after that.
  • Six percent cash back on select streaming services.
  • Three percent at US gas stations and on transit (taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • One percent cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Terms apply.

Cash back is awarded in the form of Reward Dollars which can be redeemed for a statement credit, gift cards, or shopping through the American Express portal.

Again, there is a $95 annual fee, but it can be waived for active-duty members. The fee is not waived for veterans or traditional members of the Guard or Reserves. Even so, I personally use this credit card as I find the cash back I receive by using this card more than covers the cost of the annual fee.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

We ranked this card high, but would even consider ranking it higher if American Express was accepted at more overseas locations. The Blue Cash Everyday from American Express is similar to the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and offers excellent cash back in different categories including at supermarkets, gas stations and department stores and on all other purchases.

On top of that, there are no annual fees, no minimum spending requirements to earn the highest rewards and no rotating rewards categories.

Here are the rewards offered with the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express:

  • $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
  • Three percent Cash Back at US supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% thereafter)
  • Two percent Cash Back at US gas stations & select department stores
  • One percent Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Cash Back is awarded as Reward Dollars which can be redeemed for a statement credit, gift cards or shopping.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
  • No annual fee.

Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card

Navy Federal cashRewards

The Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card card is one of the top credit cards on the market, offering up to 1.5% cash back on all purchases, without spending categories or other qualifiers. There are no caps on the amount of rewards you can earn, your cash rewards never expire, and you can redeem your rewards with as little as $20 cash back. There is no annual fee for this card. Here is an in-depth Navy Federal cashRewards card review, or you can check out some of the main features below:

  • $150 cash back when you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within 90 days.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • No rewards limit.
  • No annual, balance transfer, foreign transaction or cash advance fees.

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed recently launched the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card. This card offers a flat cash back reward of 1.5% on all purchases, with no limits and no rotating categories, as found on many other credit cards. PenFed members can receive a total of 2% cash back on all purchases if they have a PenFed Access America checking account or if they have served or are currently serving in the US military.

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The additional rewards are available through PenFed’s Honors Advantage Program. There are no limits, spending caps, hidden fees or revolving categories. Please visit the PenFed website to view additional information, including balance transfer terms, statement credit bonus offers, interest rates and other terms. Visit PenFed for additional information.


The MILITARY STAR Card offers users cardholders rewards that work out to 2% on your purchases at the Exchange facilities and Armed Forces Recreation Center resort hotels. The same rewards points arrangement applies for online shopping at shopmyexchange.com, myNavyExchange.com and shopCGX.com.

The card features low interest rates and no interest at all on up to $500 purchases at clothing sales. You can learn more about the MILITARY Star Card in our review.

Other Excellent Cash Rewards Credit Cards

Fidelity Investment Rewards Signature Visa Card. Earn unlimited 2% cash-back on every net purchase, with no annual fee, no limits on reward points and no restrictive categories and your points will never expire.

You can have your rewards deposited into your Fidelity investment account, split it among several Fidelity accounts, or even have it deposited into a loved one’s account. Your rewards can be deposited into a Fidelity brokerage account, retirement account, 529 plan account, or other options. Apply for the Fidelity Investment Rewards Signature Visa Card.

Check with Your Local Bank and Credit Union

There are many military and local credit unions that may offer a great credit card for your needs. We recommend any of the cards above, but as always, do your research and find the best card for your specific situation.

Don’t forget to look for debit card offers. We know not everyone likes to use or carry a credit card. In that instance, I recommend looking into a debit card with a cash rewards program. Most major financial institutions have done away with rewards debit card programs, but you may be able to find one that offers some rewards. We recommend checking out options at your local bank or credit union.

What to Expect from a Cash Back Credit Card

It wasn’t long ago most major credit card companies offered credit cards with 3-5% cash back on all purchases. Unfortunately, those cards are no longer around. Most cards offer a similar cash rewards program which starts at or around 1% cash back, with additional cash rewards or bonuses which may be added to sweeten the deal.

Some of these additional cash rewards include bonuses for shopping through the credit card company’s online portal where you can get additional discounts from select vendors. Some credit card issuers also offer bonus cash back for making purchases in select categories. Many issuers rotate bonus cash categories on a monthly or quarterly basis. With a little planning, the savings can add up.

What to Look for in a Cash Back Credit Card

Not all credit cards are the same, so it pays to know what to look for. We recommend using a credit card from a major credit card issuer or a trusted financial institution. Sometimes the best deals come from the major credit card companies; other times the best cards will be from local or regional banks or credit unions.

When shopping for a cash rewards credit card, pay attention to the rewards program, interest rate, bonus categories, rewards eligibility, etc. You will also want to determine if the rewards have an expiration date and in most cases avoid any annual fees.

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Ben says

    I also have the Blue AMEX card, but I don’t think its the cash back card. I get points which has been a huge bonus when traveling. Since I use all my points to transfer to Delta Air Miles, I haven’t paid for a plane ticket in 2 years. We put everything through our AMEX cards

  2. Pat S says

    Blue Cash from Amex has been a great card for me. With no annual fee, it’s helped me put a bunch of money in my pocket annually by paying in full monthly.

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