In a complex and crowded pool of credit cards, there are many types of rewards from which you can choose. Many consumers opt to avoid confusing points and miles programs and go with cash back. It’s the most versatile type of credit card rewards — you can spend it anywhere.

However, to maximize a cash back credit card, you must pay off the balance every month. Otherwise, you’ll most likely be losing money in the form of interest charges. If you can pay off your monthly card balance in full, a cash back credit card can be used to your advantage.

We’ve narrowed down the best cash back credit cards that can drive down the effective cost of your spending:

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  • Joel

    I have the starwood preferred guest card and love it for the sign-up bonus and the ability to convert starwood points into most airlines’ frequent flier mile at a rate of 20K starwood points to 25K frequent flier miles. To help with the math of picking the best rewards card you might want to try the rewards calculator at creditcardtuneup. com ; it tries to calculate the best card and best combinations of cards for your normal spending.