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Best grocery credit card: Everything from unlimited cash back to big travel rewards

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Best grocery credit card: Everything from unlimited cash back to big travel rewards

Jason StaufferBest grocery credit card: Everything from unlimited cash back to big travel rewardsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Grocery bills are a common expense in many household budgets, and using one of the best credit cards for travel to pay for your supermarket shopping can be a really easy way to earn cash back or points. But many of the best rewards credit cards don’t earn extra points for purchases at supermarkets.

With the coronavirus outbreak most of us are limiting out expenditures to essentials, like groceries. And if you want to get the most back for your purchases, these cards are all solid options.

Best credit card for Groceries

Information for the Amex Everyday Preferred card and the Chase Freedom card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets and has not been reviewed by the card issuer.

Summary of the Best grocery credit cards

CardGrocery benefitsOur review
Chase FreedomEarn 5% back the first $1,500 in combined purchases at grocery stores, fitness clubs and for gym memberships from April 1 to June 30, 2020.Learn about the Chase Freedom's other perks here.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressEarn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. Supermarkets, then 1%. Terms apply.Uncover the rest of this card's bonus categories here.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressEarn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. Supermarkets, then 1%. Terms apply.Learn more about why this is a great no-annual-fee card here.
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American ExpressEarn 3x Amex points on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. Supermarkets each year, then 1x. Terms apply.See how this card compares to the Blue Cash Preferred.
American Express® Gold CardEarn 4x Amex points on the first $25,000 spent each year at U.S. Supermarkets, then 1x. Terms apply.
This is also one of our top cards to use at U.S. restaurants.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardEarn 6x Hilton points at U.S. Supermarkets. Terms Apply.Find out how to earn free nights with this card here.
Citi® Double Cash CardEarn 2% cash back - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay.Find out why this is our best overall cash back card.
The information for the Chase Freedom card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Having one of these cards in your wallet will help you save at the supermarket. (Photo by Igisheva Maria/Shutterstock.)

Best grocery credit cards

Chase Freedom®

Best rotating bonus category

Bonus

Earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months of opening your account.

Insider tip

The cash back you earn with the Chase Freedom card can be much more valuable if you have any of these Chase credit cards:

The information for the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

This is because you can pool the Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Freedom card onto one of the above travel credit cards and then transfer them to any of the Chase transfer partners.

Benefits and perks

Each quarter you can earn 5% back on the first $1,500 in combined purchases. Right now (April 1 to June 30, 2020) the Chase Freedom bonus category is grocery stores, gym memberships and fitness clubs.

You’ll also earn 5% back on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and 1% back on all other purchases.

Annual fee

The Chase Freedom credit card has no annual fee.

Our take

The Chase Freedom card is a solid cash back card, but it really shines when you pair it will other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. For example, the rewards you can earn instantly become at least 50% more valuable if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. That’s because with the Sapphire Reserve your Chase points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site.

Total value

If you max out this card’s bonus categories you can earn an extra $300 per year. That’s a solid deal because you don’t have to pay an annual fee to keep the card.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best for cash back

Bonus

Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of opening your account.

Insider tip

According to Amex, superstores (Walmart, Target, etc.) and warehouse clubs (Costco, BJs, etc.) won’t earn bonus cash back. But there are sometimes store-specific cards that are good for those purchases, which we highlight at the bottom of this article.

Benefits and perks

The Blue Cash Preferred’s benefits go far beyond U.S. supermarket purchases. You’ll also earn 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit. The transit category includes Uber, Lyft, taxis, trains, tolls. subway, buses and ferries. The card also earns 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, but if you pay for your streaming service as part of a bundle the transaction may not qualify.

On top of all that, it earns 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each calendar year, then 1%.

Annual fee

$95 (see rates & fees).

Our take

Even if you only open the Blue Cash Preferred for its grocery bonus category you’d still be coming out ahead every year because maxing out that bonus earns you $360. That’s a solid return for a credit card that earns cash back. Also, a big part of what makes cash back worth it for so many is the simplicity of being able to use it for any expense.

Total value

After you subtract the annual fee from the intro bonus you have a first year value of $155 before you earn a single penny of cash back.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Best for cash back with no annual fee

Bonus

Earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of opening the account.

Insider tip

You can only earn an intro bonus on a specific American Express card once per lifetime, but the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred are considered different products. So if you’ve had one you are still eligible for the bonus on the other.

Benefits and perks

The Blue Cash Everyday earn 3% back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each calendar year, then 1%. And purchases made at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores earn 2% back. All other spending earns 1% cash back.

Annual fee

$0 (see rates and fees).

Our take

This card earns half the bonus cash back rate as the Blue Cash Preferred on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets. That equates to earning $85 less per year in cash back once you pay the Blue Cash Preferred’s $95 annual fee see rates and fees. So this card is a better option only if you can’t qualify for the Blue Cash Preferred or can’t justify paying that card’s annual fee because you won’t max out the U.S. supermarkets bonus category every year.

Total value

Because this card has no annual fee you’ll earn no less than $150 first year, as long as you qualify for the intro bonus offer.

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

Best for low spenders earning travel rewards

Bonus

Earn 15,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in your first three months from opening the account.

Insider tip

If you can find a friend to refer you to the Amex Everyday Preferred you might be able to get a much more generous welcome offer, plus your friend will earn bonus points too.

Benefits and perks

The Amex Everyday Preferred earns 3x Amex points on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets every calendar year, then 1x. The card also earns 2x points at U.S. gas stations and one point per dollar on everything else.

But get this, you can increase the rewards you earn in a billing cycle by 50% if you make 30 or more purchases during that same billing period. So this card has the potential to earn up to 4.5x points at U.S. Supermarkets.

Annual fee

$95

Our take

If you plan on making at least 30 purchases with this card every billing period you won’t be able to find a card that consistently offers a better return for purchases at U.S. supermarkets.

Total value

We value Amex points at two cents each when you transfer them to Amex’s travel partners. That makes the first year value of this card at least $205 after deducting the annual fee.

American Express® Gold Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Best for big spenders earning travel rewards

Bonus

Earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account.

Insider tip

If you want to be able to transfer Amex points to someone else’s airline or hotel rewards account they will need to have been an authorized user on your account for at least 90 days. Luckily, the first five authorized users you add to your Amex Gold account are free ($35 for each addition authorized user beyond five).

Benefits and perks

If you’re a heavy spender on groceries, you can’t beat the American Express Gold card. It earns 4x Amex points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $25,000 spent per calendar year, then 1x. The card also earns an uncapped 4x Amex points on dining, 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and one point on all other purchases.

This is also one of our best credit cards for restaurants because it earns up to $120 in dining credits each year — you’ll get up to $10 in credit per month when you use your card at participating restaurant partners. The card also comes with up to $100 in annual airline fee credits with your selected airline. And it has no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

Annual fee

$250 (see rates and fees).

Our take

There are so many great ways to use Amex points to get outsized value for your rewards. And this is the best rewards credit card for earning Amex points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. So if you spend a lot in those categories and want to earn travel rewards, this is the right card for you.

Total value

At a value of two cents per point, the intro bonus is worth $700 in travel. With the cards dining and airline credits (up to $220 per year, combined) and after paying the $250 annual fee the first year value is $670.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Best for earning hotel points

Bonus

Earn 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening.

Insider tip

If you have any level of Hilton status you get access to the 5th night free perk. With it, you’ll get every 5th night free on points stays (up to four free nights per stay), the discount is based on the average cost of all the nights during the stay. The good news is that the Hilton Surpass comes with Gold status as long as you have the card, so you’ll always have access to this benefit.

Benefits and perks

The Surpass earns 12x Hilton points  per dollar of eligible purchases at Hilton hotels, 6x points per dollar for eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants and 3x points everywhere else. And any calendar year that you spend $15,000+ on the card you’ll earn a free weekend night certificate valid at any Hilton hotel except these locations.

As I mentioned earlier, the card comes with Hilton Gold status, which gets you free breakfast at Hilton hotels. You’ll also get 10 free Priority Pass airport lounge visits per year.

Annual fee

$95 (see rates and fees)

Our take

The Surpass is one of the best hotel credit cards for earning mid-tier elite status. The reason for this is that Hilton Gold status is the only mid-tier elite status (with the major hotel chains) that comes with a free breakfast benefit. On top of that, you’ll have a hard time finding a card with a lower annual fee that also gets you access to Priority Pass lounges.

Total value

This card’s first year value is at least $530 based on our .5 cents valuation of Hilton points and after deducting the cost of the annual fee.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Best for unlimited cash back with no annual fee

Bonus

This card currently has no intro bonus offer.

Insider tip

If you have the Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier℠ Card you can transfer the rewards you earn with the Citi Double Cash to Citi’s travel partners

Benefits and perks

The Citi Double Cash card earns 2% cash back, 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay.

Annual fee

$0

Our take

This is one of the best cards to use for everyday spending that doesn’t fall into another card’s bonus category. Because most cards only earn 1% on non-bonused spending with the Citi Double Cash you’re essentially doubling your return on those purchases. Not bad for a card with no annual fee.

Total value

This card has no intro bonus, so the first year value depends solely on how much you spend on the card.

Store-specific card options

Most of the cards on this list are issued by Amex and according to its terms superstores (including Target, Walmart and Amazon) and wholesale clubs (like Costco and BJs) won’t earn bonus points. So if you do most of your grocery spending at these stores you may want to look into opening a card specifically for these purchases.

Here are a few good options.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

This card is issued by Chase, so it is subject to the 5/24 rule, which means you won’t be eligible for it if you’ve opened 5+ card from any bank in the past 24 months. You’ll also need to be an Amazon Prime member to qualify. It earns 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods, making it one of the best credit cards for Amazon purchases.

It also earns 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

There are plenty of good credit cards to use at Costco, including this one. With it you’ll earn 4% cash back on the first $7,000 on eligible gas purchases at Costco and gas stations worldwide each annual reward period (1% thereafter). It also earns 3% cash back at restaurants worldwide and on eligible travel purchases. When you make purchases at Costco you’ll earn 2% cash back and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

The Target REDcard gets you a 5% discount on all qualifying target purchases. So even though you’re not earning rewards it’s a great option if you do most of your grocery shopping at Target. You’ll also get free shipping on most purchases made on the Target website.

The information for the Citi Premier, Citi Prestige, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Target REDcard credit card and Costco Anywhere Visa card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For more travel and credit card news, deals and analysis sign-up for our newsletter here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here

For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Surpass Card, please click here

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

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! :)

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Vincent Carloni

Why isn’t the Amex EveryDay Preferred included in your list? It’s 4.5 pts.

Amazon Prime Visa for 5% at Whole foods, Chase Freedom Unlimited every where else.

amex plat usually

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express

Citi AAdvantage card for me!

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