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US Cash-Back Credit Card Emerging Features Benchmark 2021

How 10 of the Leading No-Fee Cash-Back Credit Cards Stack Up on Offering Card Prospects’ Most Valued Features

About This Report
This inaugural study ranks 10 leading cash-back credit cards (with no annual fee) by the degree at which they offer 49 emerging cash-back credit card features, weighted by how highly cash-back credit card prospects value those features.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary


  1. Which key emerging features do prospective US cash-back credit card customers value most?
  2. Which of these features can best attract and retain customers?
  3. How do top cash-back credit card programs compare against their competitors on key features or categories of features?

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? Cash-back credit card innovation has been boosted to new heights by the convergence of digitization (driven by the pandemic), competition, and consumer behavior. In this inaugural study, the Insider Intelligence “US Cash-Back Credit Card Emerging Features Benchmark 2021,” we identify the emerging features that prospective cash-back credit card users find most valuable, and rank 10 leading cash-back credit cards (with no annual fee) according to the degree at which they offer these features.

KEY STAT: Among 47 cash-back credit card features, rewards are front and center. Two of the top five features are exclusive to cash-back rewards, while another two apply to earning rewards more broadly.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Key Findings
  3. Introduction
  4. Leading Cash-Back Credit Card Programs in 2021
  5. No. 1: Cash-Back Rewards
  6. No. 2: Security and Control
  1. No. 3: Earning Rewards
  2. No. 4: Shopping
  3. No. 5: Redeeming Rewards
  4. No. 6: Payment Flexibility
  5. No. 7: Advanced Digital Features
  6. Methodology
  1. Terms and Definitions
  2. Survey Demographics
  3. Appendix
  4. Read Next
  5. Sources
  6. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report


David Morris


Grace Broadbent
Research Analyst, Payments & Commerce
Daniel Decea
Researcher, Financial Services
Na Li
Director, Primary Research
Reuben Loewy
Director, Report Editing
Jaime Toplin
Senior Analyst
Daniel Van Dyke
VP, Content
Julia Woolever
Senior Report Editor
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