Best Credit Cards for Groceries

Experience the perks of using these cards

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Woman shopping for fresh organic groceries in supermarket

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If you’re going to spend a lot of money at a grocery store every week, you should have a credit card that works for you. Grocery credit cards can be used everywhere you shop, but they offer additional rewards and benefits for supermarket purchases.

There are many different types of grocery credit cards to choose from and each has its pros and cons. Some credit cards earn cash back or rewards on groceries, while others have no annual fee or other perks that make it an attractive choice. Ultimately, selecting the best credit card depends on what features you like the most. Here’s a look at the best credit cards for groceries.

Best Credit Cards for Groceries in 2021

Best for Rewards in the First Year: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase

Chase

Why We Chose It: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card not only offers a $200 welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first three months, but you'll also earn 5 percent cash back on the first $12,000 you spend at grocery stores during the first 12 months.

What We Like
  • Welcome bonus of $200

  • 5 percent cash back on the first $12,000 spent at grocery stores

  • 3 percent unlimited cash back on dining and drugstore purchases

What We Don't Like
  • 3 percent foreign transaction fees

  • Variable APR up to 23.74 percent

  • Minimum due grace period of only 21 days

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a solid all-around cash back credit card with an extra bonus for grocery store purchases during the first year. It earns an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase with no caps. What makes it special, though, is that it earns 5 percent cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases during the first year. That means you can earn up to $600 in cash back if you max out this bonus opportunity.

New cardholders earn a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $500 during the first three months of their account being opened. Plus, you'll earn 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5 percent on Lyft rides, and 3 percent on dining and drugstore purchases.

This card has no annual fee, so all of the cash back is yours to keep. However, watch out for a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on international purchases. New accounts also receive a 0 percent APR promotion on purchases for 15 months. After that, there is a variable interest rate of 14.99 percent to 23.74 percent (as of December 2020), depending on your creditworthiness.

Best for No Annual Fee: Citi Double Cash

Citi

Citi

Why We Chose It: You'll earn unlimited 2 percent cash back on every purchase, including groceries, without paying an annual fee. Receive 1 percent when you make the purchase and another 1 percent when you make a payment.

What We Like
  • Unlimited 2 percent cash back, including groceries

  • No annual fee

  • 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 18 months

What We Don't Like
  • Variable interest rate up to 23.99 percent

  • Penalty APR up to 29.99 percent for late or returned payments

  • Foreign transaction fee of 3 percent

The Citi Double Cash card earns an unlimited 2 percent cash back on all of your purchases without paying an annual fee. Whether you’re at the grocery store, dining out, or ordering from a delivery service, you’ll earn 1 percent cash back on your purchases, plus another 1 percent cash back when you make payments on your account. It's a simple rewards program that doesn't require registering for any promotions or remembering any bonus categories.

For even more value, your cash back can be converted into Citi ThankYou Points. This flexibility opens up additional options, such as redeeming for gift cards, using the points for Amazon purchases, or transferring them to airline and hotel partners.

Although this card does not offer a welcome bonus, new cardholders can benefit from a 0 percent APR promotion on balance transfers made within four months of opening your account. This benefit comes in handy if you’re buying a lot of groceries for a big celebration, but don’t have all of the money to pay for it right away. With this offer, you won't pay any interest on your transferred balances for 18 months. However, there is a 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5).

If you carry a balance, this card charges a variable interest rate ranging from 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent (as of December 2020), depending on your creditworthiness. A penalty APR of up to 29.99 percent applies if your payment is late or returned. Additionally, there is a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent when used outside of the U.S.

Best for Cash Back: American Express Blue Cash Preferred

American Express

American Express

Why We Chose It: You'll earn 6 percent cash back on the first $6,000 that you spend at grocery stores every year, which amounts to $360 when you spend an average of $500 per month on groceries.

What We Like
  • Welcome bonus of $300 after spending

  • 6 percent cash back on grocery purchases (up to $6,000 per year)

  • 3 percent unlimited cash back on gas and transit

What We Don't Like
  • Annual fee of $95

  • Variable interest rate up to 23.99 percent

  • Penalty APR of 29.24 percent for late or returned payments

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers the highest cash back rate of any credit card on this list. You'll earn 6 percent cash back on the first $6,000 in groceries you buy every year. Maxing out the grocery bonus means you'll get $360. Streaming services also earn 6 percent cash back, while transit and U.S. gas station purchases earn 3 percent.

New cardholders receive a $300 statement credit when they spend $1,000 within three months. Plus, there's a 12-month 0 percent APR promotion on purchases. After that, the variable interest rate is 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent, depending on your credit (as of December 2020).

This grocery credit card has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year) and charges a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee. You'll pay an interest rate of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent, depending on your credit, when you carry a balance (as of December 2020). If your payment is late or returned by your bank, the penalty APR is 29.24 percent.

Best for Airline Miles: The JetBlue Card From Barclays

Barclays

Barclays

Why We Chose It: Turn your grocery purchases into a free flight by earning two JetBlue points for every dollar you spend at grocery stores.

What We Like
  • Unlimited 2x miles per dollar at grocery stores

  • Welcome bonus of 10,000 miles

  • No annual fee

What We Don't Like
  • No free checked bags

  • Variable interest rate up to 24.99 percent

  • Purchases don't count toward elite status

The JetBlue Card is our favorite grocery credit card that earns airline miles. This airline credit card has no annual fee and offers a welcome bonus of 10,000 miles after spending $1,000 during the first 90 days. You'll earn 3x points on JetBlue purchases and 2x points at restaurants and grocery stores.

There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. You'll also save 50 percent on in-flight drinks and food purchases with JetBlue. Your points do not expire and can be pooled with others to redeem faster for free flights.

The variable APR ranges from 15.99 percent to 24.99 percent (as of December 2020), depending on your credit. A 12-month 0 percent APR promotion is available for balance transfers posted to your account within 45 days of opening your card. There is a 3 percent fee for balance transfers, with a $5 minimum.

Best for Hotel Points: Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier

Chase

Chase

Why We Chose It: This card earns an unlimited two points per dollar on groceries, gas, and dining. Plus, it includes a free hotel night every year when you renew the card.

What We Like
  • Unlimited 2x points on groceries, gas, and dining

  • Annual free hotel night

  • Fourth night free when redeeming points

What We Don't Like
  • Annual fee of $89 (waived in the first year)

  • Must spend $3,000 in three months to earn bonus

  • Annual free night is capped at 40,000 points

The Chase IHG Club Premier Credit Card is our choice for the best grocery credit card for hotel points. It earns two points per dollar on groceries, gas, and dining, plus 10 points per dollar at IHG hotels. All of your grocery shopping earns IHG Rewards points toward free hotel nights. With the automatic IHG Rewards Club Platinum status included with this card, you'll earn a total of 25 points per dollar on your IHG hotel stays.

New cardholders can earn a welcome bonus of 140,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months. Every year that you renew your card, you'll receive a free hotel night worth up to 40,000 points. Additionally, when you redeem points for hotel stays, your fourth night is free.

There is an $89 annual fee (waived during the first year), but there are no foreign transaction fees. Depending on your credit, your variable interest rate will be 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent (as of December 2020).

Best for Big Spenders: American Express Gold

American Express

American Express

Why We Chose It: If you’re a big spender on groceries, then the American Express Gold Card is for you. You'll earn four points per dollar on the first $25,000 in grocery purchases every year.

What We Like
  • 4x points on $25,000 in groceries each year

  • Unlimited 4x points at restaurants

  • $120 dining credits per year

What We Don't Like
  • Annual fee of $250

  • Dining credits of $10 per month expire if not used

  • Must spend $4,000 within six months to earn welcome bonus

People who spend a lot of money on groceries and dining out each year will love the American Express Gold Card. It earns four points per dollar at supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and on dining, takeout, and delivery. That means that you’ll earn extra points on more than $2,000 in grocery store purchases every month. Plus, you'll receive up to $10 per month in dining credits for the nights you don’t feel like cooking at home. These credits are good at participating restaurants and delivery services, such as Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, and Ruth's Chris Steak House.

You'll also receive three points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airlines or through American Express Travel. Your points can be used to get statement credits, shop at Amazon, buy gift cards, book travel, transfer to airline and hotel partners, and more. If you travel internationally, bring this card because there are no foreign transaction fees.

This grocery credit card does have an annual fee of $250, so you'll need to use its perks to offset that fee. It features a variable interest rate of 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent (as of December 2020), based on your credit. The penalty APR of 29.24 percent applies if you make one or more late payments or if it is returned by the bank.

Best for Amazon or Whole Foods: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon

Amazon

Why We Chose It: Whether you're shopping online at Amazon or in-store at Whole Foods, you'll earn 5 percent cash back with this grocery credit card and your Prime membership.

What We Like
  • Unlimited 5 percent cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods

  • $100 Amazon gift card upon approval

  • No annual fee

What We Don't Like
  • No bonus at other grocery stores

  • Low signup bonus

  • Must be an Amazon Prime member to open

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is the ideal card if you make purchases at Amazon.com or Whole Foods. You'll earn 5 percent cash back on grocery purchases at Whole Foods with your eligible Prime membership and 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores. The only negative is that purchases at other grocery stores only earn 1 percent cash back.

New cardholders receive a $100 Amazon gift card immediately upon being approved for this grocery credit card. The welcome bonus is lower than many rewards cards, but there is no minimum spending requirement to earn it.

The card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Your interest rate will vary from 14.24 percent to 22.24 percent (as of December 2020), depending on your credit.

Final Verdict


Grocery credit cards are available with a variety of annual fees, welcome bonuses, earnings rates, and benefits. We chose the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card as the best grocery store credit card because it has no annual fee, a welcome bonus with a low minimum spend requirement, and the ability to earn 5 percent cash back on the first $12,000 in groceries you spend during the first year.

What Is a Credit Card for Groceries?

A credit card for groceries offers additional incentives for spending at eligible grocery stores. These incentives are typically bonus cash back or travel rewards based on the amount of money you spend on groceries. This credit card can also be used to make purchases at other retailers, but the benefits may not be as lucrative.

Should I Pay an Annual Fee for Credit Cards for Groceries?

The decision to pay an annual fee depends on how much you spend on groceries and other bonus categories and what other perks the credit card offers. Big spenders typically earn enough rewards to justify the annual fee. The perks, like an annual free hotel night, can also make paying an annual fee an easy decision.

For example, compare the American Express Blue Cash Preferred with the Citi Double Cash. You'd have to spend at least $2,400 per year on groceries using the Blue Cash Preferred card to cover the $95 annual fee and come out ahead vs. using the Double Cash card for your groceries.

Which Is Better: Cash Back or Travel Rewards?

Cash back rewards on grocery store purchases are always more flexible than airline miles or hotel points. You can save the money, use it to pay down bills, or pay for your groceries.

However, when you earn enough miles and points, you can redeem them for vacations that you might not be willing to pay cash for. Premium redemptions for first-class flights or five-star hotels can yield tremendous value that a cash back credit card cannot match. And the money that you save on travel can be used to pay for your grocery store purchases.

Ultimately, the choice is a personal decision based on what's most important to you.

How We Chose the Best Credit Cards for Groceries

We researched credit cards from numerous banks to search for and compare cards that offer benefits for grocery store purchases. Our review focused on the specific perks of each card, along with any fees associated with them. We then compared the available cards to determine the best grocery credit cards for each category.

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