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Looking to earn the most cash back when you dine out?
There are lots of cards that include restaurants as a bonus spending category.
Keep in mind, some of the best cash back cards aren’t advertised as such. Instead, you might earn points, which you can then redeem for cash back or a statement credit.
I’ll share my picks for the best cash back cards to use at restaurants!
Best Cash Back Cards to Use at Restaurants
But I know lots of folks who like earning cash back! And restaurant purchases can be an easy way to build up cash back rewards if you eat out often like me.
Here’s a list of cards which can earn you extra cash back at restaurants.
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
With the Sapphire Reserve, you earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on dining, which you can then redeem for cash back.
And this card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card when you dine overseas and earn bonus rewards at the same time.
Million Mile Secrets team member Keith always uses his Sapphire Reserve to pay at restaurants. And he earns the most points from this bonus category compared to any other rewards category with the card.
Your points are only worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for cash back. This means 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $100.
But these same points are worth $150 in travel through the Chase travel portal. But folks who just want cash rewards might still prefer the easy cash back redemption option.
2. Capital One Premier Dining Rewards
You can earn 3% cash back on dining purchases with the Capital One Premier Dining Rewards card. And you can redeem your cash back with no minimum redemption amount.
Plus, this card has no foreign transaction fees. So you can use it overseas to earn bonus cash back.
This card is great for folks strictly looking to earn cash back, especially with the 3% bonus for dining.
3. AMEX SimplyCash Plus
With the no annual fee AMEX SimplyCash Plus card you can choose to earn 3% cash back at US restaurants.
Then, you can redeem the cash back as a statement credit.
And this card charges foreign transaction fees. So it’s not good to use on overseas dining purchases. Plus, the 3% bonus category only applies to US restaurants.
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on dining. Similar to the Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem these points for cash back.
Team member Scott typically puts dining expenses on his Sapphire Preferred to earn the bonus points.
But instead of using the extra points for cash back, he saves them for more valuable rewards, such as free nights at Hyatt hotels. Or for award flights on United Airlines and its partners like LOT Polish Airlines and TAP Portugal.
This card has no foreign transaction fees. So you can earn bonus points AND avoid paying more for your meals when you’re traveling abroad.
5. Chase AARP
Link: Chase AARP Card
You can earn 3% cash back at restaurants with the Chase AARP card.
Some folks really like this card because you also earn 3% cash back at gas stations. And the card has a 2% cash back category, which includes airfare and hotels.
And you do NOT have to be an AARP member, or retired, or over 50 to get this card.
But the card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. So it’s not good to use overseas.
6. Costco Anywhere Visa
With the Citi Costco Visa, you can earn 3% cash back at restaurants & bars worldwide.
And folks with a Costco membership do NOT pay an annual fee with this card.
But keep in mind, the cash back rewards on this card are different than other cash back cards. Because you only receive a reward coupon once a year, which you can then redeem for cash back or for merchandise at Costco.
And this card has foreign transaction fees, so it’s NOT good to use when you travel overseas.
7. Chase Ink Cash
The no annual fee Ink Cash is a small business card which earns 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (2% cash back) at restaurants.
Team member Scott uses this card when paying for business meals. But he doesn’t use it abroad because it has foreign transaction fees.
8. Citi DoubleCash
Link: Citi Double Cash Card
With the no annual fee Citi Double Cash card, you’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase. And another 1% cash back when you make payments, as long you meet the minimum payment on your monthly statement.
After you reach $25 in rewards, you can redeem your cash back for a mailed check, statement credit, or gift cards.
This is a straightforward cash back card for folks who don’t want to bother with separate bonus categories for different purchases.
9. Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Freedom®
So spending the maximum in a quarter gets you $75 cash back.
In the past, restaurants have been included as a bonus category for at least 1 quarter. I’ll be sure to let y’all know if restaurants are added to the calendar in 2017.
Note: Many bars, especially ones that serve food, also code as restaurants!
10. Discover it
Link: Discover it
We’ll have to wait and see if restaurants are included in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2017.
With the 5X bonus, you can earn $75 cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter after you activate the bonus. When restaurants are not included as a bonus category, you’ll only earn 1% cash back.
And for new cardmembers, Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first 12 billing cycles. So any purchases you made in the 5% bonus categories will get you 10% cash back!
There are lots of terrific personal and small business cards you can use at restaurants to earn cash back, including some with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
For example, you’ll earn 3% cash back with the no annual fee Capital One Premier Dining Rewards card. And there’s no minimum redemption amount.
Which card do you choose to pay the bill at restaurants?