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Best credit cards for groceries of October 2019

Last Updated, October 21, 2019

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best credit cards for groceriesAs the holiday season approaches, now might be the time to consider the best credit cards for groceries from our partners.

Everyone has to eat and that means grocery store credit cards can be beneficial for almost anyone. Some stores have their own co-branded credit cards that can come with perks such as special discounts; however, a better option may be a rewards credit card that gives you cash back, miles or points regardless of which supermarket you shop so you’re not limited to doing your grocery shopping all in one place. Some even offer bonus rewards outside of grocery purchases, meaning you can reap benefits on things besides food.

There is no one best credit cards for groceries as everyone's spending habits are unique, but taking into consideration annual fees, bonuses, ongoing rewards and credit scores needed, we think that any of these featured cards would make a great companion to your reusable bags next time you head to the grocery store.

BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR GROCERIES

CASH-BACK CREDIT CARDS | TRAVEL REWARD CREDIT CARDS | FOR FAIR CREDIT | FOR MILITARY MEMBERS

CASH-BACK CREDIT CARDS

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why we like it: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is hands-down one of the best card for groceries in terms of the percentage of cash back offered. The 6% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) offer is a hard offer to beat, and there's also 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (then 14.49% - 25.49% Variable), further sweetening the deal. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. 

The bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

The rewards: Cardholders get 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year and then 1% on purchases after that. You also get 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and gas purchases at U.S. gas stations, and 1% cash back on everything else. See our full Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review.

The annual fee: $95

Credit score needed: Good, Excellent

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Why we like it: The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is another solid choice for grocery rewards. Not only does it offer 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, but you can earn 3% cash back in a category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases). Plus, the card doesn't have an annual fee, and it's currently offering 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers).

The bonus: Receive $200 online cash rewards after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

The rewards: Cardholders receive 2% cash back for purchases made at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. They also get 3% cash back in their choice of one of the following categories: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishing. All other purchases receive 1% cash back. Rewards for the 3% and 2% cash back categories are limited to the first $2,500 in combined purchases made each year. After that, all purchases receive 1% cash back. An additional 25-75% more cash back on each purchase is available to Preferred Rewards members; the exact bonus depends on your tier. See our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review.

The annual fee: $0

Credit score needed: Excellent/Good

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why we like it: The Capital One® Savor® card is a good choice regardless of whether you like to dine out or eat in. Not only does it offer 2% cash back at grocery stores, but you'll also get 4% back on meals at restaurants. Beyond that, we like that this card waives its annual fee for the first year and doesn't have any foreign transaction fees. Plus, it also comes with other perks such as extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance and 24-hour complimentary concierge service.

The bonus: Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in purchases within three months of opening your account.

The rewards: Unlike other cards, there is no cap on the rewards you can earn with Capitol One® Savor®. Cardholders receive 2% cash back on purchases at grocery stores (excluding superstores), 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases and 1% cash back on everything else. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit or a check. See our full Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

The annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Credit score needed: Excellent, Good

EDITOR'S NOTE

If the benefits of the Capital One® Savor® card sound appealing to you, but the annual fee does not, consider its sister card, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, instead. It offers the same rewards on groceries, 2% cash back, but just a smidge less on entertainment and dining out, 3%. The bonus for new cardholders is also a bit less, at $150 cash back after spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account, but on the upside, there’s a 15 month intro period of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (then 15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)) making it a great option if you’ve got a large purchase on the horizon or need some extra time to pay off an existing debt.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.

Why we like it: While this card is a logical card choice for Costco warehouse shoppers, it also comes with valuable cash-back benefits for all kinds of purchases. These include 4% cash back on eligible gas (for the first $7,000 per year, 1% thereafter); 3% cash back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases; and 2% on purchases from Costco and Costco.com. Members of the warehouse club won't pay an annual fee, and the card doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees either.

The bonus: None at this time.

The rewards: Cardholders receive 4% cash back on eligible gas (for the first $7,000 per year, 1% thereafter); 3% cash back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases; 2% on purchases from Costco and Costco.com; and 1% on all other purchases. Cash back is issued once a year as a reward certificate that can be redeemed for cash or merchandise at Costco stores. See our full Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi review.

The annual fee: $0

Credit score needed: Excellent

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Why we like it: There's no limit to how much you can earn in rewards using the this card. Offering a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, it's a good choice for those who don't want to worry about spending categories or which stores qualify as supermarkets. The card doesn't charge an annual fee, and new cardholders get a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then 16.74% - 25.49% Variable).

The bonus: Earn a $150 cash-back bonus after spending $500 in purchases within three months of opening an account.

The rewards: Enjoy unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made with the card. Rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit or gift cards. You can also use your cash back to shop on Amazon or book travel. Rewards never expire and can be redeemed in any amount. See our full Chase Freedom Unlimited® review.

The annual fee: $0

Credit score needed: Excellent, Good

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Why we like it: What isn't there to like about getting cash back twice? This card rewards you once when you make a purchase and again when you pay your bill. There's no annual fee, and you get a flat cash-back reward so there is no need to worry about your Walmart or Target purchases not counting as groceries. If you transfer a balance when opening your account, you'll get 0% APR for the first 18 months. (then 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)).

The bonus: Enjoy 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. Then 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable).

The rewards: You'll receive 1% cash back on all your purchases, including groceries. Then, you'll get another 1% cash back when you make payments on those purchases. Just make sure you're making minimum payments on-time to get the second 1% back. Rewards are unlimited and can be redeemed once you've accumulated $25. Redemption options include a check, statement credit or credit to a Citi savings or checking account. See our full Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer review.

The annual fee: $0

Credit score needed: Excellent, Good

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Why we like it: This card is all about giving you choices to maximize your cash back. Cardholders can select two categories to receive 5% cash back and one everyday category - including grocery stores - to receive 2% cash back. The card doesn't charge an annual fee, and balance transfers made within 60 days of opening an account have a 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles (then 15.49% - 24.99%* Variable).

The bonus: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on eligible purchases within 90 days of opening an account.

The rewards: Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose; 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores; and 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases. Rewards can be redeemed in $5 increments and for a minimum of $20 as a statement credit, rewards card or deposit to a US Bank savings, checking or money market account. Rewards expire 36 months after the billing cycle in which they were earned. See our full U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card review.

The annual fee: $0*

Credit score needed: Good,Excellent

Discover it® Cash Back

Why we like it: This is another card we love for its cash-back earning potential. Every quarter the Discover it® Cash Back card offers 5% cash back on select categories of spending. Although the categories can change every year, in 2019, cardholders received 5% cash back on grocery store purchases during the first quarter and 5% cash back on Walmart.com and Target purchases in the fourth quarter. This card also comes with an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 14 months (then 13.49% - 24.49% Variable), free access to your FICO credit score and free fraud monitoring.

The bonus: Discover will match, with no limit, all the cash back you earn in your first year of having the card.

The rewards: Cardholders receive 1% cash back on all purchases. Each quarter, select categories such as grocery stores or restaurants, earn 5% cash back, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Rewards can be redeemed in any amount as a statement credit or be used to shop on Amazon. See our full Discover it® Cash Back review.

The annual fee: $0

Credit score needed: Excellent, Good


TRAVEL REWARD CREDIT CARDS

American Express® Gold Card

Why we like it: The American Express® Gold Card is good choice for rewards on both supermarket purchases and dining, but while most of the best credit cards for groceries offer cash back, this card gives cardholders Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for travel, gifts or statement credits. Points can also be transferred to other loyalty programs such as Marriott Bonvoy and Delta SkyMiles for added flexibility. The Gold Card comes with more perks than we can possibly name here. A dining credit, airline credit, car rental insurance, roadside assistance and purchase protection are just a few of the cardholder benefits.

The bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend $4,000 on new purchases within three months of opening an account.

The rewards: Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide; 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X); 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com; and 1X point on all other eligible purchases. See our full American Express® Gold Card reivew.

The annual fee: $250

Credit score needed: Good, Excellent

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Why we like it: This is an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t want to think about how they earn rewards, and instead, just want to earn them… no thought required. With the Capital One® Venture® card you’ll earn a flat 2X miles on every purchase you make. So whether you’re shopping for groceries at your local supermarket or at Target, making a travel purchase, or using your card to pay your gym membership, you’ll earn 2X miles on every dollar you spend. It’s as simple as that.

The bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account. That’s equal to $500 in travel.

The rewards: Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels through January 2020 when you book at hotels.com/venture. Miles can be transferred to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs or redeemed as a account statement when using the “purchase eraser” option. See our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.

The annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Credit score needed: Excellent, Good

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Why we like it: If you like to stay in Hilton hotels when you travel, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a great way to quickly rack up free nights just for doing something as routine as buying groceries. This card will earn you 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations. It also earns a whopping 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio, and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. Better yet, the bonus for new cardholders is huge, at 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points once you use your card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of membership.

The bonus: New cardholders can enjoy 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points once spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of membership.

The rewards: Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio; 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. See our full Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card review.

The annual fee: $95

Credit score needed: Good, Excellent


CREDIT CARDS FOR FAIR CREDIT

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why we like it: The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is geared towards credit card users with a limited credit history and/or fair credit. It earns unlimited, flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase made, including grocery purchases, and offers users the opportunity for a higher line of credit after the first five monthly payments are made on time.

The bonus: There’s not a traditional bonus offered for new cardholders, however, we consider the opportunity to improve your credit to be an invaluable bonus of sorts. Plus, there’s also the opportunity to increase your line of credit after making five monthly payments on time, which is a nice added perk.

The rewards: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. See our full Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

The annual fee: $39

Credit score needed: Average, Fair, Limited


CREDIT CARDS FOR MILITARY MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

Why we like it: Designed to meet the needs of military members and their families, this card offers 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined, and 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases each year. Beyond that you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchase (and once you meet the $3,000 spending thresholds). One of the best perks of this card? If you have a balance on your account at the time you enter active military duty, you’ll get 4% APR on that existing balance until one year after you complete active duty.

The bonus: There is no traditional bonus, per se, however, if you have a balance on your account at the time you enter active military duty, you’ll get 4% APR on that existing balance until one year after you complete active duty.

The rewards: Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined; 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year; and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. See our full USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card review.

The annual fee: $0

Credit score needed: Good - Excellent


HOW TO MAXIMIZE CREDIT CARD REWARDS

Grocery purchases are something everyone has to make, so you might as well get rewarded for them, right? With responsible use, rewards credit cards are a great way to in some sense, reimburse you for those purchases. However, before you decide which new card you'll add to your wallet, there are a few tips to consider to ensure you're making the most of your card and the rewards that it offers:

  • Consider where you shop the most. An increased cash-back offer at grocery stores might seem like an enticing offer, but not if do all of your shopping at say, Walmart, and your credit card issuer doesn't consider Walmart a grocery store. Are you willing to change where you do your grocery shopping? A smarter move may be to consider a credit card with a more flexible rewards program, such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card which offers 2X miles for every dollar you spend - no matter where you make a purchase.
  • Use the right card. Seems a bit superfluous to even mention it, but you'd be surprised how often people stick to just one credit card, forgetting that they actually have another that would be better suited for the situation. If you're carrying multiple credit cards, make sure you're choosing whichever card will earn you the most rewards for the purchase. If you're shopping at a supermarket and you have a card that earns you 3% cash back on grocery purchases, use that one. Don't use your card that earns you a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, just because that's what you're used to using. If you're carrying multiple rewards credit cards, each time you make a purchase is an opportunity to earn rewards. Be sure to make the most of that opportunity.
  • Consider what kind of rewards you'd like. Do you like the idea of cash back in your wallet, or are you working towards your next big vacation? Do you have a preferred hotel group or airline that you'd like to accumulate points/miles with? Or do you prefer a simple check or statement credit? Don't take these questions lightly as you decide which card to apply for. While it's true that many cash-back cards have travel partners that you can transfer rewards to, and many travel cards have cash-back redemption options, these options might not always offer you the best value for your rewards. If you'd like flexiblity with how you use your rewards, a true cash-back credit card might be your best option. However, if you only want rewards for travel, consider a card that earns points or miles instead.
  • Make sure to meet the bonus spending threshold before the introductory period expires. We don't recommend signing up for a credit card just for the signup bonus; however, if you sign up for a card with a signup bonus, make sure that you meet the spend threshold before the offer period expires. Even if you don't think you'll spend that much with your card every month, try and at least spend that much during the introductory period so you can reap the benefits of the offer.
  • Pay close attention to the offer period details. Whether it's a rewards bonus period like we just covered, a zero-interest introductory period for purchases and/or balance transfers, or rotating rewards categories, you'll want to be sure to pay close attention to your card details. For example, the Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories. If you're looking to make some big grocery store purchases and the 5% cash-back bonus is offered at grocery stores between, say, January and March, you won't benefit as much if you stock up on canned goods in April. Or say you want to transfer a balance to the card and enjoy some extra time to pay it off. It won't help you much if you let it sit for 14 months (the length of the 0% APR intro period) and then decide to pay it all off at month 15. You'll find yourself worse off than you started if that ends up being the case. Most issuers make these type of details pretty transparent to users. Just make sure you're paying close attention.

HOW DO GROCERY REWARDS WORK?

All grocery rewards credit cards automatically reward users for their purchases, but how they do that can vary by card. For instance, some rewards cards offer flat rate cash back for every purchase, regardless of whether you’re shopping at a grocery store or somewhere else. Others offer extra rewards for purchases at supermarkets. The best credit cards for groceries offer as much as 6% cash back when you shop at eligible stores.

This cash back accumulates in your account and then can be redeemed as a statement credit, for merchandise or gift cards, or as a direct payment. A few cards offer miles or points instead of cash back which can be redeemed for travel, merchandise or experiences.


HOW TO SAVE ON GROCERY BILL?

When looking for the best credit card for grocery shopping, keep an eye open for cards that offer bonus cash back or points specifically for purchases made at supermarkets. These can be a simple way to save additional money off your grocery bill. What's more, you can use your card along with coupons or savings apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 to maximize your savings.

However, as with all rewards credit cards, it's essential to pay off your balance every month. Paying interest on a card balance is a surefire way to wipe out any savings you get from grocery store credit cards.


DOES WALMART COUNT AS A GROCERY STORE?

Walmart and Target typically are not considered grocery stores by credit card issuers. Some companies, such as American Express and Capital One, specifically state on their websites that superstores are excluded from grocery rewards. However, you may need to read the fine print or contact customer services to confirm whether this is the case for other issuers. If you shop primarily at one of these big box stores, the best card for groceries in your case may be an all-purpose cash-back card that offers the same rewards for all purchases, regardless of where you shop.


To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured in this post, please visit the following links: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: See Rates and Fees; Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees; American Express® Gold Card: See Rates and Fees

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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