[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Whether you’re feeding a family of five or trying to craft the perfect Bolognese sauce, it can be easy to drop serious cash at the grocery store. (Although every meal doesn’t have to be pricey. Just take a look at this satisfying 16-cent breakfast.) But putting that expense on your credit card may actually help you save on this necessary expense.
Cash back credit cards can help by earning back money as you spend at the grocery store and put meals on the table. If this is something you’re interested in, you’ll want to consider your options before signing up for a new card so you can find the one that’s right for you. To help you get started, here are four options worth considering.
Cash Back Rewards: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then it drops to 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and certain department stores, 1% cash back on everything else
Welcome Offer: $200 when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 12 months on purchases, then 14.49%-25.49% Variable
Why We Picked It: The 6% cash back on groceries is the highest cash back rate we’ve seen, and 3% cash back on gas makes trips to and from the grocery store more rewarding.
Benefits: Grocery purchases earn 6% cash back, gas stations and select department stores earn 3% cash back and everything else earns 1% cash back. Considering the dent gas, groceries and clothing can put in a family’s budget, this is a fantastic way to supercharge your cash rewards. Plus, you get a $150 cash bonus for spending $1,000 in three months.
Drawbacks: There’s an annual fee of $95, which can eat into your cash back earnings a little bit.
2. Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One
Cash Back Rewards: 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 15.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%
Why We Picked It: The card earns 2% cash back on groceries and 3% cash back on dining for those nights you want to order a pizza.
Benefits: There’s 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on all purchases, which is a healthy mix of ways to earn cash if you tend to cook and dine or order out a lot. Cardholders get a $100 bonus when they spend $500 in the first three months. Plus, you’ll get a range of other benefits, including concierge services, price protection, travel protection and travel upgrades and savings.
Drawbacks: If you don’t dine out a lot, you’ll be better off with a card that offers a better grocery rate.
Cash Back Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and 1% cash once you pay, for a total of 2% cash back on everything
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: 14.99% - 24.99%* (Variable) on purchases, 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 14.99% - 24.99%* (Variable)
Why We Picked It: This card provides simple cash back earnings with no purchase types to track. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Benefits: All purchases can earn 2% cash back by the time they’re paid off. You get 18 months of no interest on balance transfers. Plus, Citi has several travel and purchase protection policies that come standard with the card.
Drawbacks: If you want supercharged cash back categories, this probably isn’t the card for you. It’s a simple card that earns the same percentage of cash back on everything.
Cash Back Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases (then 1%), 3% cash back on dining and travel, 2% cash on Costco purchases, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None (Note: This card does require a paid Costco membership)
APR: 16.74%* (Variable)
Why We Picked It: For people who spread their credit card purchases around, this card offers a range of ways to earn cash back, with 2% cash back on all Costco purchases.
Benefits: The card earns cash back on all purchases, with special cash back rates on gas, dining, travel and Costco purchases. Purchases are interest-free for the first seven months. Plus, travel and purchase protections come standard with Citi cards.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to be a Costco member to get this card. Cash back is awarded on an annual basis, so you must wait a year for rewards.
How to Choose a Card That Rewards Your Grocery Purchases
If you only use your credit card to buy groceries, picking a card to put dinner on your table is simple: Choose the card with the best cash back rate on groceries.
If you put other purchases on your card, such as dining, travel, gas and more, you’ll want to closely examine the other cash back rates to pick the right card. Look at your current purchasing behavior to see what you tend to spend the most on, and pick a cash back card that provides the best return.
Of course, if you crave simplicity and don’t want to track purchase types, you may want to find the card with the best flat cash back rate on all purchases.
What Is Required to Get a Card That Rewards Grocery Purchases?
More often than not, the cash back rewards cards with the highest rewards require good or excellent credit. Make sure to check your credit score before you apply for a rewards card. You can check two of your scores on Credit.com. A hard inquiry into your credit will lower your score a few points, so you’ll want to be reasonably sure you can qualify for the card before you apply.
At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express, Capital One Premier Dining Rewards, Citi Double Cash and Costco Anywhere Visa credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.