The New Best Card for Groceries for Folks Who Like Airline Miles
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Grocery bills are a major expense in a lot of household budgets. So when you use a card that rewards you for those purchases, you can quickly earn miles, points, or cash back towards free travel! And now there’s a strong new contender for the best grocery credit card if you like to earn airline miles!
The new American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card earns 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent on groceries with no limits. And better yet, it has NO annual fee!
For many folks the American Airlines MileUp card could be worth considering as a new go-to card for grocery spending. Especially if you like redeeming miles for pricey flights on American Airlines and their partners, like Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines.
Let’s see if the Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card makes sense for your grocery spending!
Earn a Nice Welcome Bonus and 2X American Airlines Miles per $1 Spent on Groceries With the Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card
Apply Here: Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card
If you like American Airlines miles, the new Citi AAdvantage MileUp card offers a lot of value for a card with no annual fee. You’ll earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, you’ll get:
- 2 American Airlines miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- 2 American Airlines miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores
- 1 American Airlines mile for every $1 spent on everything else
- 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights when using your card
- No mileage cap on the number of miles you can earn with these spending categories
- No annual fee
This card stands out because it has no annual fee, and offers 2X American Airlines miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores. In fact, even the other Citi AAdvantage cards with annual fees don’t match this bonus for groceries, making this a great complimentary card to have even if you already hold one of the other Citi AAdvantage cards.
And yes, you’re eligible to earn the bonus on the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card even if you have other Citi American Airlines cards. Citi’s tighter application rules don’t apply to this card!
Most domestic flights cost 12,500 American Airlines miles each way in coach, so the intro bonus is just shy of this amount. However, flights in the US and Canada that are 500 miles or less in distance only cost 7,500 American Airlines miles in coach. So the bonus on the MileUp card could easily get you a free flight, without a hefty minimum spending requirement.
No Limits on Grocery Spending
Another incredible benefit of the AAdvantage MileUp Card is that it has NO cap on the number of miles you can earn in any of these bonus categories.
Other cards, like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, have limits on the amount of cash back you can earn in the US supermarket category (up to $6,000 in purchases each year; then 1%). Many families spend more than this amount at US supermarkets, so it is great to have a card that doesn’t limit the awards you can earn.
Also keep in mind, some smaller supermarkets don’t accept American Express cards. For example, the independent grocery store in team member Jasmin’s small town won’t take AMEX, just Mastercard and Visa. So if you frequently buy groceries in spots where you can’t use an AMEX card, the Citi AAdvantage MileUp (which is a MasterCard) could be a solid addition to your wallet.
What Qualifies as Groceries With the Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card?
Most grocery stores will qualify for 2X miles as long as they exclusively sell groceries and are not a specialty store like a wine shop or chocolatier.
These are some common exceptions (places that will NOT QUALIFY):
- Warehouse clubs (Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s)
- Convenience stores (7Eleven, etc)
- Specialty shops (wine shops, candy shops, cheese shops, chocolate shops, farmers market stalls, etc)
- Cafes, bars, lounges, or fast food
- General merchandise or discount superstores (Walmart, Target, etc)
I think the one that will confuse most people is general merchandise stores that also sell groceries. If you frequently buy groceries from Walmart for example, this card might not benefit you as much because those purchases won’t be counted towards the 2X bonus category even if you are purchasing grocery items. You also won’t earn bonus points at Walmart Neighborhood Markets.
Shopping at dedicated grocery stores like Kroger or Safeway will ensure you earn your 2X miles in this category.
Should You Get This Card Even If You Have Another AAdvantage Credit Card?
Absolutely! If you like to collect American Airlines miles for Big Travel, than adding the AAdvantage MileUp card to your wallet will allow you to earn more miles towards future flights, plus earn the welcome bonus for this card.
No other Citi AAdvantage Card offers 2X American Airlines miles on grocery spending, so this is a great compliment to use with your current card.
For example, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® earns 2 American Airlines miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants. If you already had this card and used it for gas station and restaurant purchases, and used the AAdvantage MileUp card for grocery store purchases, the majority of your common monthly expenses could be earning you double miles towards future travel with American Airlines!
Everyone can apply for Citi AAdvantage MileUp card, even if you have opened or closed another Citi AAdvantage card within the past 24 months.
Other Great Cards for Groceries
There are other great cards to consider for grocery purchases. Whether or not these cards are a better fit for you than the MileUp card will depend on how you travel, your spending habits, and how you prefer to earn rewards.
Our favorite cash back cards for spending:
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (US supermarkets)
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (US supermarkets)
- Capital One® Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Our favorite travel rewards cards for grocery spending:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (when used with another card like Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel redemptions)
Check out our full round up of the best credit cards for grocery spending to see all your options!
The Citi AAdvantage MileUp card earns 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent in the grocery store category. When combined with the fact that there is no annual fee for this card, and no maximum earning limits, this card might be worth considering as your go-to credit card for groceries.
The card offers a welcome bonus of 10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
You can use this card with other Citi AAdvantage credit cards to earn 2X American Airlines miles across multiple categories. For example, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select earns 2X American Airlines miles at restaurants and gas stations. You’ll still qualify for the Citi AAdvantage MileUp card even if you’ve opened or closed another Citi American Airlines card in the past 24 months.
Would you shift your grocery spending to the MileUp card to earn more American Airlines miles? Let us know in the comments!
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)