Best cashback credit cards

Earn money back when you spend on a cashback credit card. Compare your options here and make sure you get the best deal.

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Updated 15 July 2023

The breakdown

  • Cashback credit cards are the most flexible way to benefit from credit card spend.
  • They are only worthwhile for those who pay their balance off in full each month.
  • There are some credit card schemes out there that let you convert the value of points to cashback.
What's in this guide?
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    Author: Kevin McHugh, Head of Publishing at Banked.

    Compare cashback credit cards

    Compare the best cashback credit cards in our table below. Alternatively, check out our guide to compare all credit cards.

    Credit card Cashback earn rate Purchase interest rate (p.a.) Annual fee Benefits
    TSB Platinum Mastercard TSB Platinum Mastercard $1 for every $70 20.95% $90
    • Complimentary international and domestic travel insurance.
    • Complimentary mobile phone insurance.
    SBS Pink Ribbon credit card SBS Pink Ribbon Visa $1 for every $150 19.95% $55
    • $20 to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ for every account opened
    • SBS Bank will donate 5 cents to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ every time you use the card
    SBS Visa SBS Visa $1 for every $150 19.65% $0 None currently
    anz-cashback-visa ANZ Cashback Visa $1 for every $150 19.95% $40 None currently
    ANZ Cashback Visa Platinum ANZ CashBack Visa Platinum $1 for every $120 19.95% $80 None currently
    BNZ Advantage Visa Classic BNZ Advantage Visa Classic $1 for every $150 (via BNZ Rewards) 20.95% $40
    • Choose to earn Flybuys instead
    BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum $1 for every $90 (via BNZ Rewards) 18.95% $90
    • Choose to earn Flybuys instead
    • Complimentary international travel insurance

    What is a cashback credit card?

    Cashback credit cards

    Cashback credit cards simply let your earn cash when you spend on your credit card.

    These are the simplest credit cards benefits scheme to understand. There is no need to figure out what points translate to in NZ dollars to understand the value you’re getting.

    Cashback credit cards are also more flexible than other rewards cards as there are no restrictions on where you can use your earnings.

    Most, but not all, cashback credit cards available in NZ come with an annual fee  – that must factor into your decision to get the best deal.

    More interested in a cashback debit card? Check out our review on the Dosh app and visa debit card which is currently offering 1% cashback.

    How do cashback credit cards work?

    With a cashback credit card you will earn cash on any eligible purchase. Cash advances and cash substitutes, like gambling chips, are not eligible. How much cash you will earn depends on the credit card.

    All NZ cashback credit cards use 1 of 2 ways to give you cashback:

    • As a percentage of your spend: A small percentage of the amount you spend on your card will be credited back to your account. This percentage ranges from 0.5% to 1%.
    • $1 each time a particular amount is spent: Depending on the credit card this amount currently varies from $70 to $150.

    How a cashback credit card works

    3 top tips for getting best cashback credit card

    We explain what to look at when considering a cashback credit card.

    1. Factor in the annual fee

    The annual fee is one of the most important features to pay attention to when looking at any kind of credit card. Cashback cards are no different.

    Your aim should be to maximise the total amount of cash earned or saved, and an annual fee can take a hefty chunk. You may even lose money if you don’t spend enough during the year to outweigh the annual fee.

    For example, here is how total earnings could look for 2 different credit cards used to spend $15,000 over the course of a year.

     Total spendCashback earn rateAnnual feeTotal cashback earned (factoring in annual fee).
    Card 1$15,000$1 for every $100 spent$80$70
    Card 2$15,000$1 for every $150 spent$0$100

    Card 1 has a much better cashback earn rate than card 2, but the annual fee on the same card makes it a worse deal in this example.

    See our guide for all available credit cards with no annual fee.

    2. Pay the card off in full each month

    If you’re the type to only pay the minimum payment on your credit card each month, you should probably avoid a cashback credit card.

    Paying off the full balance every month is the only way you can avoid paying interest on a credit card. It’s highly unlikely the cashback benefits of a credit card will be more than the interest you would be charged by paying less than the total amount owed.

    As cashback credit cards have fairly average purchase interest rates (around 18%, according to the RBNZ), you would be financially better off with a low rate card that has no annual fee.

    Low rate credit cards have much lower interest rates ranging from around 9% to 13%.

    3. Don’t forget other credit card benefits

    Cashback may be the main feature you’re looking for in a credit card, but it’s important to weigh up other card features when making a decision.

    For example, whenever you use the SBS Pink Ribbon Visa the bank will donate 5 cents to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. They will also donate $20 when you first open your account.

    With BNZ’s cashback cards you can choose to switch to earning Flybuys at any point, if you prefer.

    Be sure to check out what else a cashback credit card offers and you benefit from features you weren’t expecting.

    Other credit card schemes that can be redeemed for cash

    Some credit card companies have benefits schemes that can be converted into account credit. While not technically a cashback credit card, the outcome is the same.

    We take a look at those here.

    Westpac hotpoints

    The Westpac hotpoints scheme lets you earn points that can be spent on purchases through the hotpoints online store, charitable contributions, and more.

    But hotpoints can also be redeemed through the bank’s hotpoints Pay programme. hotpoints Pay lets you spend hotpoints as cash whenever you use your Westpac credit card. You can also use hotpoints to get credit back for purchases you’ve already made.

    When redeemed through the hotpoints Pay programme, 900 hotpoints have a value of $5.

    There are currently three hotpoints credit cards available from Westpac, each with different features and annual fees. Find out more about the hotpoints programme in our guide to rewards credit cards.

    BNZ Rewards

    Introduced in late 2022, BNZ Rewards is the bank’s rewards scheme that lets cardholders earn BNZ Points on their spend. 

    These BNZ Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards including travel and gift cards, but they can also be redeemed for cash back to your card.

    150 BNZ Points equates to approximately $1 cashback and you must redeem at least 200 BNZ Points in any one go.

    Learn more about the BNZ Rewards in our guide to rewards credit cards

    American Express Membership Rewards

    Membership Rewards is a scheme from American Express that lets you redeem points earned for gift cards, travel, and more.

    Points can also be used to pay for any item on your AMEX card through its Pay with Points programme.

    This programme lets you either use points in a couple of ways:

    1. Points for charges: Have the cost of items you’ve already purchased credited back to your account. 200 Membership Rewards points equals $1.
    2. Points for credit: Convert points to credit that can then be spent anytime. The value of converting points this way varies with $1 equaling from 192 to 220 points, depending on how much you’re converting.

    A little more complicated than a standard cashback credit card, but this AMEX scheme is a comparable option if other cashback credit cards don’t appeal to you (and you’re comfortable with the large annual fee eligible cards come with).

    Learn more and compare all rewards credit cards in our guide.

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin is the founder and Head of Publishing at Banked. With years of experience working in personal finance, insurance, and related areas, Kevin created Banked to help Kiwis make better financial decisions.