Everyone buys groceries. Some credit cards are better than others for food purchases, so we’ve compiled a list of the best credit cards for groceries.
We all have to eat. When it comes to things people buy most often, food has to be at the top of the list. So, it should come as no surprise that many credit cards offer incentives for grocery purchases, most in the form of cash back rewards. We researched the offers and assembled a list of the best credit cards for groceries.
Some great credit cards for groceries have come and gone. Many of you might have the old Sallie Mae Barclaycard MasterCard, an amazing card for all-around rewards with 5% back on gas and groceries and no annual fee. Unfortunately, that card is no longer available, but let’s look at some of the top cash back cards for grocery store shopping.
Cash Back Cards
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card – $200 Cash Rewards Offer
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card opens by offering you a $200 cash bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of account opening.
From there, you’ll receive 3% cash back on a category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on everything else. There is a maximum spend per quarter of $2,500 on 3% and 2% categories (combined).
As far as pricing goes, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card includes a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (made in the first 60 days) for the first 15 billing cycles. The standard APR once this intro rate expires is 15.99% – 25.99% Variable.
Finally, there is no annual fee to own this credit card.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a front-runner for cash back at grocery stores. It clocks in at 6% cash back at grocery stores in the United States, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then, it drops to 1%). It also offers 3% cash back at gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases. They’ve also added a few new bonus categories; 6% cash back on select US streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu and others) and 3% cash back on ground transportation.
The card carries a $95 annual fee, but you’d earn that back after $1,250 in groceries (just spending around $100/month). Furthermore, the current offer on the card gives you $250 back after $1,000 in purchases in the first three months. That would pay for the annual fee for the first two years +.
You can learn more about the card here.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is very similar to the Preferred, but with no annual fee. Instead of 6% cash back, it offers 3% cash back at grocery stores, again capped at $6,000 in spending per year. 2% cash back is earned at gas stations. It also carries a similar welcome offer of $150 back after $1,000 in purchases in the first three months and 1% on all other purchases.
This is a great card if you don’t think you’ll spend enough money each year to cover the Preferred’s $95 annual fee.
You can learn more about this card here.
The Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back rotating quarterly on up to $1,500 in purchases in that three-month period. Chase changes the categories every three months, and right now, we’re in the grocery stores bonus period (ends on June 30th). This is a great card, as the quarterly rotations can really add up for other common purchases like restaurant meals, online shopping, and department stores. This card has no annual fee and earns 1% on all other purchases. It also has a sign-up bonus of $150 back when you spend $500 in the first three months.
American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card is a very flexible card that can earn you significant Membership Rewards points. When purchasing groceries, you’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards points (up to $25,000 spent annually). But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll also earn 4x points at restaurants and gas stations and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines. That makes this card a great points earner, and it carries some additional benefits on top of that. The card offers a $100 airline fee credit for incidentals like baggage fees, and carries a hefty welcome offer: 25,000 MR points after spending $2,000 in three months.
As a limited time bonus, you’ll also receive $10 monthly credits when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.
The downside to this card is its $250 annual fee. Consider this card if you want to use it for more than just groceries, as the welcome offer and 3x airline points are quite valuable.
Click here for more details and to learn how to apply.
Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa® Card
Kroger REWARDS Prepaid Visa® Card is a bit different from other cards on this list, because it’s not a credit card but a prepaid debit card. It’s an especially valuable card for groceries, not the least of which because it’s offered by Kroger, the largest grocery store chain in the U.S.
The card pays a $10 bonus on your first cash load. But you’ll then earn 3X rewards points on every dollar spent for purchases of Kroger products at Kroger, as well as 2X points on each dollar spent for all other products at Kroger. Non-Kroger purchases earn 1X points for each dollar spent.
And if that’s not enough, you’ll also get five cents off per gallon on gasoline purchased at Kroger store gas stations.
And of course, one of the built-in advantages with debit cards is that there are no interest charges. That can be a big advantage if you normally carry a credit card balance, since interest charges can easily offset rewards points paid by traditional credit cards.
If I were choosing one of these, I’d have to go with either the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express. A solid 6% cash back just can’t be beat. The Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express quickly earns back its annual fee and can net you significant cash back if you’re a big grocery buyer, to the tune of $295 annually if used to its capacity.
How to Pick the Best Credit Card for Groceries
Understanding the cash back rewards of various credit cards is a good start. But there are several factors to consider as you compare these offers.
Your Credit Score: Many of these cards require excellent credit. As a general rule, you’ll want a FICO score of 700 or more. That’s not the only factor card issuers consider, and you may qualify with a slightly lower score. But these offers require solid credit.
Reward Limits: Some credit cards place limits on the rewards you can earn. They may cap the spending that earns a higher reward rate. In other cases, they may pay bonus rewards on grocery purchases for a limited time. The key is to understand the terms and conditions before you apply for a card.
Welcome Offers: Many cards today offer welcome offers. Some of these bonus deals amount to hundreds of dollars. While this shouldn’t be your only consideration, it’s worth factoring into your decision.
Fees: In some cases an annual fee may well be worth it. If you’ll use the card enough and it offers excellent rewards, you may earn your money back quickly. Just do the math to make sure the card is worth the price of admission.
Happy shopping!Topics: Credit Cards