ACCC Explains The Pros And Cons Of Cash Back Credit Cards

American Consumer Credit Counseling explains what to watch for when applying for cash back credit cards

Boston, MA – November 29, 2018

Pros and Cons of Cash Back Credit CardsRewards credit cards are offered by many issuers and allow consumers to earn cash back from a percentage of every purchase. Although this sounds enticing, there are often many hidden charges, like annual fees or high interest charges, which consumers need to be aware of before applying. To help consumers, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling lists the pros and cons of cash back credit cards.

“It’s important to know what you’re getting back before signing up for a credit card with cash back bonuses,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Some cash back cards will charge an annual fee and most have higher interest charges. Do the research to make sure you are getting more out of the card than you are putting in.”

According to a study by Dosh, 83 percent of consumers feel like they are being rewarded when they get cash back. Although a majority feel rewarded, 31 percent feel their card does not give enough cash back. A study by J.D. Power 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study found that 36 percent of card users do not fully understand their rewards. The study also found that consumers are redeeming their cash back rewards more frequently – with 24 percent redeeming once a month in 2017 compared to 15 percent in 2016.

ACCC explains the pros and cons of cash back credit cards consumers need to be aware of.


  1. Higher Credit Score – Consumers with a higher credit score will qualify for credit cards with the best rewards.
  2. Cash Back Deals – Cash back credit cards offer anywhere from one to two percent back on every purchase made. Some may also offer higher cash back rates for specific purchases, such as groceries or gas.
  3. Cash Bonus – Many card issuers will offer a cash bonus for spending a specific amount over a certain period, starting from the time they sign up.


  1. High Interest Charges – Some of these cash back rewards credit cards charge as much as 30 percent APR, which can add up significantly – causing some serious financial damage to consumers who carry a balance.
  2. Annual Fees – Many of these rewards cards charge annual fees. Consumers should do the math and make sure what they’re getting back is worth the yearly fee.
  3. Cash Back Cap – Some issuers may cap the amount a consumers can acquire in cash back rewards per year.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft,  senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to or visit