Best cashback credit cards

Using a cashback credit card for everyday spending means you get rewarded with cash into your account.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 21 Nov 2023

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Comparing cashback credit cards

American Express Gold Rewards Credit Card

On website



Cashback cap


Minimum spend


Sign up bonus



  • Get $200 back when you apply online, be approved, and spend $1,500 in the first 3 months. Terms and Conditions apply. New Card Members only.
  • Up to 2 x $100 credits annually to spend at the Local Dining Collection featuring some of New Zealand’s top restaurants.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
  • Includes complimentary travel insurance.


  • $200 cashback when you apply online, get approved, and spend $1,500 in the first 3 months. New Card Members only.
  • Receive up to $200 credits for the Local Dining Collection of New Zealand’s top restaurants.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent.
  • Includes complimentary travel insurance.
  • The card is made from metal instead of plastic.


  • Some non-chain retailers may not accept American Express cards.
  • 2.50% currency conversion fee, which is higher than some competing credit cards.

ANZ Cashback Visa Platinum Credit Card


Up to 1% on any domestic spend

Cashback cap


Minimum spend


Sign up bonus



  • Earn $1 cashback for every $120 spent on eligible purchases.
  • Earn unlimited cashback rewards.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free on retail purchases.


  • Earn $1 cashback for every $120 spent on eligible purchases.
  • No cap on how much cashback can be earned.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free on retail purchases.
  • Free additional cardholders.
  • Low foreign transaction fee.


  • The annual fee is $80 p.a.
  • Ongoing interest rates are around average for a rewards credit card.
  • No balance transfer offer.
ANZ Cashback Visa Credit Card


Up to 1% on any domestic spend

Cashback cap


Minimum spend


Sign up bonus



  • Earn $1 cashback for every $150 spent on eligible purchases.
  • $40 p.a. annual fee.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases when you pay your account in full each month.


  • Earn unlimited cashback rewards.
  • Low annual fee.
  • Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.


  • No ongoing sign-up promo on this card.
  • No balance transfer offer.

What is a cashback credit card?

A cashback credit card offers a rebate on all your credit card purchases, including everyday purchases such as groceries, dining, petrol, transport and utility bills. Depending on the credit card, users can earn back a percentage of their spend, which can be higher or lower depending on the spending category. Credit cards that earn cashback allow users to save a little bit of money on every eligible purchase transaction they make.

Who are cashback credit cards suitable for?

  • High spenders. If you tend to spend a lot on your credit card each month, you might as well earn cashback.
  • Budget savvy shoppers. Want to stretch your dollar and save where you can? These cards help eek out more while you spend.

Who are cashback credit cards not suitable for?

  • Points hackers. If you're more interested in accumulating rewards points or air miles to redeem for flights or hotel stays, a cashback card may not be a good match. That being said, if you already have a points-earning card and keep hitting its cap, you could funnel the rest of your spend through a cashback card to get value there.
  • Low spenders. There may be a minimum monthly spending requirement. Failure to spend enough may mean forfeiting cashback or earning at a miserably low base rate. Considering the annual fees, this may not be very good value for money (although there are typically other perks and benefits to consider).

How cashback credit cards work

When a cardholder makes a purchase using a cashback credit card, they earn a certain percentage of that purchase amount as cashback. This cashback can then be redeemed as statement credit, deposited into a bank account, or used for other rewards, depending on the card's terms and conditions.

Transactions that don't earn cashback

You won't earn cashback, however, on any type of transaction that counts as cash or a cash equivalent. No cashback is earned, for example, on cash advances, balance transfers, interest charges and other card fees, and purchases of traveller's cheques or foreign currency banknotes.

Get cashback and Airpoints for the same purchase

Want to be rewarded twice, with both cashback and Airpoints Dollars? Simply use your cashback credit card to shop online at the Airpoints Mall. You could earn up to four Airpoints Dollars per $100 of spending, sometimes more, and every dollar you spend will also contribute to your cashback earnings.

How the cashback is paid

Cashback is paid as a credit to your card account, usually every 12 months. This means, in fact, that cardholders are given an absolutely free choice about how to spend their cashback.

Cashback vs earning air miles or reward points

If you're looking for flexibility, rewards in the form of cashback are the most flexible. The cashback to your card account means that you are getting a discount on spending where you choose to spend.

When you earn Airpoints or reward points from your card, you will probably get a better return by using the rewards for their primary purpose, which is purchasing award flights with air miles or shopping online for merchandise with reward points, so you get less choice when it comes to spending your rewards than you do with cashback. Both air miles and reward points can, of course, usually be converted into cashback, but possibly at a lower rate than if you earned the cashback directly. And having to request the conversion produces just another hassle and delay.

So if you're a frequent air traveller, an air miles card may be your best choice, while those who enjoy shopping in person or online could choose a reward points card because they're happy to shop where their card tells them to (e.g. Amazon, or the bank's online rewards store). But for the best in flexibility and instant rewards (instead of having to save up heaps of points or miles), cashback credit cards come out on top.

What to compare for cashback credit cards

Not every cashback credit card is the same. Features you'll need to compare include:

  • Minimum qualifying spend. Some cashback cards require you to spend a minimum amount per year in order to qualify for the cashback program. For example, if you spend less than $5,000 in a year you might not receive any cashback at all.
  • Flat rate cashback. Some cards will earn cashback at a flat percentage rate, e.g. 0.5% cashback on all spending once the minimum spend criteria has been met.
  • Tiered cashback percentage. Other cards have a cashback percentage which varies according to the amount you spend in each 12 month period, starting on the anniversary of your card account approval. E.g. 0.5% cashback if you spend up to $9, 999, 1% cashback on all your purchases if you spend $10,000 or more.
  • Cashback cap. Some cards have a cap on how much cashback you can earn each year (e.g. cashback earned only on the first $30,000 of spending) while others don't. Check a credit card's cashback cap, if any, before you fall for a high-rate cashback. For instance, you might be able to earn 1% cashback, but be limited to a maximum cashback of $300 per year.
  • Converting rewards points to cashback. While they are not principally cashback credit cards, many rewards points cards have a a redemption option which allows you to convert points into a cashback into your card account. You might want to consider this type of card as an option if you're not sure whether you want to receive cashback or some other type of reward for your spending.
  • Annual fee. Unfortunately, no annual fee and cashback don't often come together. You may have to pay an annual fee of $60-$80, possibly more. The highest fees usually confer benefits like a higher cashback percentage and/or unlimited cashback.
  • A sign up bonus. Some cards may offer a temporary cashback to new customers who achieve a specified spending target within the first few months of holding the card.
  • Other features. Take note of whether the cashback credit card you have your eye on comes with any complimentary extras like airport lounge access or complimentary travel insurance. Small features that you can actually make good use of can make all the difference in your decision.

How to compare the best cashback credit cards

  1. Understand your spending habits. Start by getting a clear understanding of how much you usually spend each month and where. Refer to your existing bank and credit card statements for this.
  2. Identify priority spending categories. If you spend a lot on eating out or petrol, then look for cards offering high cashback rates for those categories to optimise your rewards.
  3. Check the minimum spend requirement. Some cards have a minimum spend requirement, some don't. If there is one, can you comfortably meet it? If not, you could forfeit your cashback that month.
  4. Check for caps, tiers, and limits. Many cards have a cap, tier, or some sort of limitation on how much cashback you can get. It's usually or a period, e.g. month, quarter, or year. High spenders are impacted more.
  5. Check for exclusions. Certain transactions are generally not eligible for cashback, but these change over time.

Pros and cons


  1. Earn money on what you were going to spend anyway. Get cashback on everyday purchases, saving you money in the long run.
  2. Flexibility. For some, cash is king and more preferable and easier to redeem compare to points.
  3. Welcome bonuses. Many cards have large cash bonuses for new cardholders.
  4. Annual fee offsets. Cashback can be used to offset or reduce annual fees.


  1. Limits apply. Most cards cap how much cashback can be earned over a given period of time.
  2. Exclusions and restrictions. Not all transactions earn cashback, such as cash withdrawals and balance transfers.
  3. Higher interest rates. Cashback cards might have higher interest rates compared to more basic cards.
  4. Spending targets. To qualify for the welcome bonus may require hitting a specific spending target.

Alternatives to cashback credit cards

If you think that a cashback credit card is not the right choice for you, there are plenty of other options to consider:

  • Rewards points credit cards. Earn points on all eligible spending and redeem them for gift cards, merchandise, travel, and – in some cases – cashback.
  • Airpoints credit cards. Eligible spending earns Airpoints Dollars, which can be redeemed for free flights and upgrades, hotels and travel, rental cars and Koru Programme membership.

How to apply for a cashback credit card

The process of applying for a credit card with cashback is similar to that of applying to standard credit cards. You'll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Age, and citizenship or residency. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in most cases. But some types of work and student visa will make their holders eligible to apply.
  • Proof of identity. For proof of identity you may be asked to provide a passport or local driver's licence.
  • Income. Minimum income requirements vary between cards, rising with a higher level of benefits. To prove your income you will need to supply recent payslips and/or details of your employer.
  • Credit score. Applicants will have a greater chance of approval if they can prove they're creditworthy.

Learn about cashback credit cards

What is credit card cashback and how does it work?

  • FAQs

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

How much cash will I get back?

It depends on which cashback credit card you choose (this determines the percentage applied to your spending in order to calculate the cashback amount) and how much you spend. The amount you spend may also have a bearing on the percentage applied, if there is a tiered cashback offered. For example, if you spent $12,000 on a card offering 1% cashback on annual spending between $10,000 and $30,000, you would earn $120. But if you spent only $8,000 in the year, you might only qualify for 0.5% cashback, in other words $40. And if you spent $4,999 or less, you might earn no cashback at all on a tiered card.

Can I use my cashback to pay my credit card annual fee?

Yes. Since your annual fee is debited to your card account and forms part of the balance owed, and your cashback is credited to your card account and is in effect a kind of payment of the balance, you can use your cashback to pay your annual fee (or any other charge or purchase on your account).

What's the difference between a cashback card and rewards card?

Unlike rewards cards, a cashback card will earn you a specific percentage back from your purchases every time you shop. With a cashback card, cardholders receive direct financial benefits, whereas rewards cardholders may be limited to specific types of redemption, such as merchandise from an online catalogue.

Do cashback cards have a high interest rate?

A New Zealand cashback card can charge you up to a 20% p.a. on balances carried beyond the interest-free period.

Which credit card gives the most cash back?

The credit card giving the most cashback to big spenders will be one with uncapped cashback, such as the ANZ CashBack Visa Platinum. But cards with a higher percentage cashback and no cap will have a higher annual fee. if you expect to spend less, you might be better off settling for a lower percentage, a cap, and a lower annual fee.

Is it worth having a cashback credit card?

Yes it is, provided that you spend enough to recover in cashback at least the cost of the annual fee, preferably more.

Cash is king

There's nothing quite like that 'something for nothing' feeling of getting actual cash credited to your account just for doing your normal spending.

More flexible than rewards points or Airpoints Dollars

When you receive cashback into your account, you have total freedom on how to spend that money, because it defrays the cost of the purchases you have already chosen to make. With rewards points and Airpoints Dollars you will be restricted to the redemption options offered by the particular rewards programme.

Other complimentary benefits

Depending on which cashback card you choose, you may receive additional benefits such as complimentary travel insurance or a concierge service.

Higher annual fee

You're likely to pay a higher annual fee for a cashback card than you would for a card with no rewards programme.

Minimum spend

Some cashback credit cards pay no cashback if you spend less than $5,000 during the year.

Possible cashback cap

It's possible that your cashback may be capped. For example, a card may offer a 1% cashback on spending up to $30,000 p.a., meaning that $300 cashback per year is the most you can earn.

Pay your balance in full

Don't choose a cashback credit card if you don't expect to repay your account balance in full every month, because the interest charges you'll pay are likely to add up to more than the cashback you will earn.

Avoid spending for the sake of earning cashback

Don't let the lure of cashback tempt you to spend more than you can afford to repay. Try to look at it as a 1% or 0.5% discount on things you were going to buy anyway, or bills you can't avoid paying, rather than as an incentive to spend for the sake of earning cashback.

Note any fees attached to your card

Your cashback credit card may come with a $60-$80 annual fee, plus a further small yearly charge for each supplementary cardholder on the account. Before you apply, make sure that the cashback on your likely annual spending with the card will at least cover the fees, and ideally will give you a net gain.