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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
- Chase Freedom®: Best rotating bonus category
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for cash back
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for cash back with no annual fee (see rates & fees)
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express: Best for low spenders earning travel rewards
- American Express® Gold Card: Best for big spenders earning travel rewards
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Best for earning hotel points
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for unlimited cash back with no annual fee
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
|Card||Grocery benefits||Our review|
|Chase Freedom||Earn 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 Express||Earn 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 Express||Earn 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 Express||Earn 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 Card||Earn 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® Card||Earn 6x Hilton points at U.S. Supermarkets. Terms Apply.||Find out how to earn free nights with this card here.|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||Earn 2% cash back - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay.||Find out why this is our best overall cash back card.|
Best grocery credit cards
Best rotating bonus category
Earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months of opening your account.
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.
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.
The Chase Freedom credit card has no annual fee.
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.
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.
Best for cash back
Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of opening your account.
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%.
$95 (see rates & fees).
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.
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.
Best for cash back with no annual fee
Earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of opening the account.
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.
$0 (see rates and fees).
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.
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
Earn 15,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in your first three months from opening the account.
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.
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.
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.
Best for big spenders earning travel rewards
Earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account.
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 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).
$250 (see rates and fees).
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.
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.
Best for earning hotel points
Earn 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening.
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.
$95 (see rates and fees)
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.
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.
Best for unlimited cash back with no annual fee
This card currently has no intro bonus offer.
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.
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.
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.
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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.