The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries

By Elizabeth Lang. Last updated 2 May 2016. 21 comments

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Even though I do my best to keep up with credit card rewards, I don't take credit card reward hacking to the extreme. I'd prefer not to have to carry around 10 cards in my wallet. I want to get the most points in categories that I actually spend a lot of money on. After our mortgage, the highest percentage of our monthly expenses comes in the form of groceries. So, I set out to determine which credit cards actually give the highest percentage back on groceries. (See also: Best Cash Back Credit Cards)

Discover it®

Discover it®With the Discover it®, you get 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum, when you sign up. Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. 5% is a hefty cash back percentage, but the real kicker comes at the end of your first year when Discover automatically matches all the cash back earned by new cardmembers, making this a very attractive card to use for everyday purchases like groceries. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. (A 3% balance transfer fee applies.) After the intro period, a variable APR of 11.24% to 23.24% applies. There is no annual fee.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Discover it® today!

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases). You also get 3% from purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. It does have an annual fee of $75, but if you have a big grocery budget, the rewards would be more than enough to cover this yearly cost.

Special offer: Get up to $350 back after meeting purchase requirements (offer ends June 15, 2016). Also get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. Terms and limitations apply.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express today!

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card offers 2% back at grocery stores, 3% back on gas, and 1% on other purchases. (Grocery store and gas bonus rewards apply to the first $1500 in combined purchases in these categories each quarter.) Bank of America customers get an extra 10% bonus when redeeming rewards directly into a Bank of America® checking or savings account (instead of a statement credit). There is no annual fee.

Bonus offer: $100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Also get a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases, and any balance transfers made within the first 60 days; after that, a variable APR that's currently between 13.24% and 23.24% will apply. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to balance transfers. See terms.

Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card today!

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

With the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you earn a simple 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on how much you can earn and no changing categories to keep track of. Rewards don’t expire, and you can redeem your cash back at any time for any amount. Plus, you’ll earn a one-time bonus of $100 after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. The $500 requirement is not too difficult to meet if you use this card for groceries and other household necessities. There is no annual fee.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card today!

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

If the idea of paying an annual fee for a credit card is unappealing, try the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which gets you 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 2% at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores, and 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. There is no annual fee.

Special offer: Get up to $300 back after meeting purchase requirements (offer ends June 15, 2016). Plus get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. Terms and limitation apply.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express today!

The Best Credit Card Offer for You

If you like credit card rewards programs, but have recently been unhappy with changes to your card, it may be time to consider a new one. The best way to choose a rewards card is to simply look at what your biggest category of spending is each month, and find a card that gives you the most back on that category. For me, this category was groceries.

What's your biggest category of spending each month? Do you earn extra credit card points for those cards?

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

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21 discussions

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Guest's picture

Also be sure to check for sign-up bonuses. I had the same complaint about the Chase card changes, but I figured that the $200 sign-up bonus from a similar rotating rewards program from Citi-Bank would be more "rewarding" in the short term (2-3 years) than the other programs available.

Guest's picture

I'm not sure, but I think the higher cash back would apply at WF and Trader Joe's.
However, I think it does NOT apply to grocery shopping at WalMart and Target. Ask,
before you go on a grocery buying buying spree at WalMart with the expectation
of the higher rewards. I'm not a member at a club store, so I don't know about

Guest's picture

TJ's shows up as a supermarket on my rewards card. I never shop at WF.

Guest's picture

The cash registers closest to the grocery section at Walmart ring up as groceries.

Guest's picture

The Blue Cash from AMEX is a good card to have. Although I don't condone credit cards since I help peolple get out of debt for a living, if you had to use one for groceries the first one would be the ideal card.

Will Chen's picture

I love shopping at Target generally but I don't see them as a viable grocery alternative. You can pick up basics like eggs, milk, peanut butter etc, but their selection isn't big enough I still have to make a second trip.

But our local Target is a big supporter of our local schools. It wouldn't hurt to do more shopping there.

Guest's picture
frugal jon

My Target Redcard is a VISA as well. They also offer it as a debit card.

Guest's picture

I have Visa Signature Card From Bank of America but don't find the discounted value in my monthly bill.

Guest's picture

Discover did the same thing, played the game of luring you to their card, then changing the rules. All of them are doing that these days because their customers were making good on those initial offers. Had to do something about that! So, I'm looking for a credit card that offers consistent rewards on groceries. Any ideas besides Target?

Guest's picture

Consider also gasoline money, $0.25 per mile on my car, and time spent checking out if it is worth for an extra dollar. I find Capital One only redeems $0.50 per $1.00 earned.

Guest's picture
Maria Adams

On the topic of credit card rewards, I use a free app called Wallaby that keeps track of my rewards and bonuses for me (including rotating quarterly categories). Just wanted to share it because I find it useful.

Guest's picture
Harlem Spirit

Best-kept credit card secret - Sallie Mae - 5% cash back on groceries - gas - and booksellers - And is considered a bookseller - No annual fee - Yes - there is cap of $250 per billing cycle for groceries and gas - $750 on bookseller - But for many that is more than enough - and combine this card with the AMEX - no fee card - then you have a great deal - - Harlem Spirit!

Guest's picture

Grocery purchases at Wal-Mart do not qualify for AmEx's 3% cash back on a Blue Cash Everyday / Preferred as they are considered a "superstore" for which groceries are not their primary business. Instead, grocery purchases at Wal-Mart receive only the normal 1% cash back.

Guest's picture
Robert Kint

This post seems very informative. Nowadays, most of people preferred to shop grocery online and also use credit cards for bills or payments to get more benefits. I also prefer to use credit cards to get various cash back offers benefits.

Guest's picture

THINGS NOT MENTIONED: is that cash back or other rewards will get totally wiped out if you do not pay your credit card bills in full each month. Cards without cash back may have lower interest rates if you don't pay in full. But if you pay in full each month, it doesn't matter what the interest rate is. And if you are a compulsive shopper, having cash back cards might lure you into buying things you don't need.

I'm not a compulsive shopper ---I hate to shop. So I put everything I can on my cash-back cards, including utilities & groceries. I pay my cc bills in full with autopay and reap the rewards.

The above information will help me to decide which of my current cards I want to keep or cancel and which new ones I'd like to acquire.

I have a Discover card which pays 5% back on whatever is featured that quarter. I use it only for those items & buy most everything else on other cards. I have a Costco AMEX which I use for 3% on gasoline when it's not 5% on Discover. (Note that Costco will pay only 1% on gasoline if you buy it at another grocery store's gas station which is in direct competition with Costco.) Fidelity AMEX which pays 2% back on everything is my go-to card when other higher % aren't available from other cards. On that one, the rewards go periodically into my Fidelity Brokerage account (but there are other options.) I also have a Fidelity VISA which pays only 1.5% but it's my backup for when AMEX isn't accepted. I put travel charges on an air miles card which gives air miles that are worth the same as 1% back, so I'm better off using other cards for most purchases, but it pays 2% in air miles for travel purchases (flights, car rentals, hotels, etc.) but monetarily it's the same as 2% cash on other cards. The problem is that there is a fee, so although I love being about to get discounts on flights, if I save my cash back on other cards to use for travel, I don't need the air miles.

When we travel, we make sure we have our Discover, at least one AMEX, a Visa and a MC. some places won't take certain cards, especially abroad. And abroad, make sure your cards don't have a foreign exchange fee.

As for having to carry all of these around, I understand a new device is soon to be on the market. You can scan all your credit cards into one credit-card-sized device. You just have to click on the card you want to use. I would be interested in seeing how secure the device is before buying one, but it would be convenient to have everything on one card. It would also depend on the initial cost and if there is a monthly service fee.

Guest's picture

I just got a Sallie Mae MC (plus one for my husband). It gives 5% on groceries and gas up to $250/mo and 5% at Amazon and bookstores up to $750/mo. Many Walmarts are classified as grocery stores by Sallie Mae. That means 5% at everything at Walmart. My husband and I both got a card to double our maximums in each category. No fee, either. Takes a bit of juggling... dh buys most of the gas and I buy the groceries, so we'll switch cards mid month.

Guest's picture

Amex not accepted in some supermarkets, so sad.

Guest's picture

I think credit cards should require notification of rewards adjustments as if their terms and conditions on the card are changing (you know when they send you a special piece of mail highlighting what adjusts)... unfortunately if they do provide notice it's probably a line of tiny text tucked into your billing statement most people never read. I reevaluated our cards and was surprised to find my wife's 2% cash back card is now 1.5% cash back, my all time favorite cash back card used to provide 5% cash back on gas, 3% groceries, 1% other, etc... all except the gas category started getting reductions in rewards (I did catch that notice years ago), however I was very surprised to find out my card no ONLY has the 5% cash back on gas - the other categories all went POOF (did not see a notice on that...) I generally only use it for gas anyway so it wasn't something I caught until recently it's probably been like this for a while now. It just amazes me how easy it is for them to adjust this type of stuff and not make any or much effort to notify existing customers.

Guest's picture

I believe this article is missing an important one, the Citi Double cash back, 1‰ when you purchase plus 1‰ when you pay, unlimited, no fee. So if you are fortunate enough to be able to pay the balance every month then you are getting 2% cash back, which is better than the Quicksilver at 1.5%. These cards are both phenomenal in that there are no categories, you get the cash back for every purchase anywhere.

Guest's picture

thank you so much for this info, we just signed up with American Express what a great deal

Guest's picture

Walmart Grocery- the second largest grocery store chain in my region- is NOT considered a grocery store by American Express. If you shop at Walmart as many of us do, you'll get 1% only.