Q: I am looking for a card that pays the best rebate in cash for gas and groceries all the time.
A: Cash back credit cards tout rebates of up to 5 percent on everyday items like gas and groceries. However, many of those offers come with deadlines, rebate caps and restrictions. Our credit card database reveals the best cash back rewards cards for frequent grocery shoppers.
Based on your question, it sounds like you've figured out the secret marketing ploy behind some of the most popular cash back cards who may promote rebates of up to 5 percent on grocery purchases, but you'll only qualify for that rate at certain times of year and if you meet certain program guidelines.
For instance, you may have to watch for your preferred product category, like groceries, to show up on a promotional calendar. Then, you'll have to sign up for the special bonus offer on a website. Most offers last for about three months, typically with an earnings cap before your cash back rebate returns to its usual rate.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family of four on a "moderate" food budget can spend between $728 and $876 every month at the grocery store. If you're feeding a typical American family, you'll probably hit that cap at about 8 weeks into your 3-month promotional period.
Best credit cards for everyday cash back
While many people are happy with rotating bonus categories, it sounds like you'd prefer a cash back credit card that gives you everyday bonuses for your grocery store purchases. And let's face it, how many of us only shop for groceries 3 months a year? Here is one to consider:
- Blue Cash Everyday Card® from American Express. American Express wants more merchants to see its cards at the checkout counter, so it offers 3 percent cash back on the first $6,000 of purchases at US supermarkets. You'll also get 2 percent at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1 percent on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. With it's higher cash back percentages, you may also be interested in Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express if you spend enough to offset the annual fee and providing you have excellent credit. Terms and limitations apply. With both offers note that your cash back is issued as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms and restrictions apply to both offers.
Remember that you'll only get the maximum benefit from a cash back card when you pay down your balance every month. Finance charges on rewards cards tend to trend higher than the APRs on no-frills credit cards. Work the system to your advantage and you'll enjoy an extra 10 or 20 dollars per month off your grocery bills. If you are considering these offers, as with any offer, be sure to review the issuers online application for terms and restrictions before you apply.