When it comes to credit card rewards, cash back is a popular option. In fact, nearly 45% of offers for rewards credit cards sent in 2011 were for cash-back cards, according to new research from Mintel Comperemedia.

But which cash-back cards offer the best return for your spending?

To help you find a rewarding cash-back credit card, Bankrate.com gathered key details on the cash-back cards from among the largest issuers. The survey, which included 50 cash-back cards from 19 issuers, was conducted from Jan. 9 to 13, 2012.

The following chart shows you the return you'll get on your spending -- in some cases, a range based on spending level or purchase category -- offered on popular cash-back cards. Click on an individual card's name to see information about its annual fee, reward formula, introductory bonus offer and expiration restrictions, if applicable.

 

Credit card rewards

Issuing Bank Card Cash-back ratio
Affinity FCU
 
Pure Rewards Visa 0.7%-1%
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card 1% (6% at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations, department stores)
American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card 1% (3% at supermarkets, 2% at gas stations and supermarkets)
American Express Blue Sky Preferred 0.77%-1.33% (1.54%-2.67% on travel, restaurants)
American Express Blue Sky 0.77%-1.33%
American Express Clear 1%
American Express TrueEarnings (Costco card) 1% (3% on up to $3,000 of gasoline, 2% travel, restaurants)
Baxter Credit Union Visa Platinum with Cash Back 1% (2% at restaurants, grocery stores, gasoline)
Bank of America BankAmericard Cash Rewards 1% (3% on up to $1,500 of gasoline, 2% on up to $1,500 in groceries)
Bank of America Accelerated Rewards American Express Card 1.25%
Bank of America BankAmericard Power Rewards credit card 1%
Capital One Capital One Cash Credit Card (excellent credit) 1%
Capital One Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards Credit Card (average credit) 1% (2% at gas stations, grocery stores)
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Unknown
Capital One Cash Rewards for Newcomers Credit Card 1% (2% on travel)
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Unknown
Chase Chase Freedom 1% (5% in select rotating categories quarterly up to $1,500)
Chase Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 1% (2% on travel and restaurants)
Chase Chase Sapphire Card 1% (2% on restaurants)
Citibank Citi ThankYou Premier Card 0.6%-0.71% (0.72%-0.86% at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, commuter transportation and parking merchants)
Citibank Citi ThankYou Prestige Card 0.6%-0.71% (0.78%-0.93% at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, commuter transportation and parking merchants)
Citibank Citi ThankYou Preferred Card 0.6%-0.71%
Citibank Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card 1% (5% in select rotating categories quarterly)
Citibank Citi Forward 0.6%-0.71% (3%-3.57% at restaurants, bookstores, music stores, video rental, movie theaters)
Columbus Bank & Trust Cash Rewards Visa Platinum Credit Card 0.25% up to $1,500; 0.5% between $1,500-$3,000; then 1% for $3,000 and more
Discover Miles by Discover 1% (2% on up to $3,000 in travel and restaurant purchases)
Discover Discover More Card 0.25% up to $3,000, then 1% (5% on rotating categories)
Discover Discover Open Road 0.25% up to $3,000, then 1% (2% on up to $250 in combined gas and restaurant purchases each billing period)
Discover Discover Motiva Card 0.25% up to $3,000, then 1%
Fidelity Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card 2%
Fidelity Fidelity Retirement Rewards American Express Card 2%
Fidelity Fidelity 529 College Rewards American Express Card 2%
Fifth Third Bank Cash Rewards MasterCard 1% (2% on gas, grocery and discount stores)
Fifth Third Bank Real Life Rewards Credit Card 0.66%-0.83% (1.33%-1.66% on gas, grocery, and discount stores)
First Hawaiian Bank Priority Rewards Credit Card 0.5%-0.83%
First National Bank of Omaha Maximum Rewards Platinum Edition Visa Card 0.71%-1%
First National Bank of Omaha First National Bank of Omaha American Express Card 1% (2% on gas and groceries)
First National Bank of Omaha First National Bank of Omaha Graphite American Express Card 1% (3% on airlines, 2% on gas and groceries)
First National Bank of Omaha First National Bank of Omaha Discover Card 0.5% up to $2,500, then 1%
Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards 1% up to $10,000, then 1.5%
Navy Federal Credit Union goRewards 1%-1.25%
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card 0.25% (5% on gasoline)
RBS Citizens Bank Green$ense Platinum MasterCard Flat $0.25 per transaction after 10 purchases
RBS Citizens Bank Accelerator Rewards Platinum MasterCard 1% (2% on gas)
RBS Citizens Bank CashBack Platinum MasterCard 1%
TD Bank TD Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card 1%
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank FlexPerks Cash Rewards Visa Card 0.5%
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa 0.5%
Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Rewards Card 0.77%
Wells Fargo Cash Back Card 1%

This information was gathered the week of Jan. 9, 2012. Rewards are subject to change. Check with the institution for the latest information.

Copyright 2012, Bankrate Inc.