The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries
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Last year my Chase credit card, with which I had earned 5% back on groceries and gas since 2007, suddenly changed. They switched to some sort of rotating-category-that-earns-more-points system that I didn't particularly care for. Every few months, I have to opt in all over again to take advantage of whatever category they're giving the most points for that month. 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.
Nevertheless, I do prefer 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. We prefer organic and local food, which can be pricey. So, I set out to determine which credit cards actually give the highest percentage back on groceries. (See also: Best Cash Back Credit Cards)
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- Bonus offer: 2,500 points after first use; 0% APR for 6 months on balance transfers and purchases
- 2x points on groceries, gas, and utilities
- 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- Redeem for flights, shopping, dining and more -- Use your points like cash to pay for any purchase you've made.
If you want some more flexibility with where you do your grocery shopping, but still get some extra rewards for it, this card is a great choice.
- 5% off everything at Target
- $0 annual fee
- 1% of your REDcard purchases get donated to your choice of eligible K-12 schools
If you shop at a SuperTarget for groceries, the Target RedCard gives you 5% off at everything you purchase at the register. This isn't just a grocery rewards credit card; the cardholder will receive the same discount on all Target purchases (including at Target.com). If you have a Target nearby that also sells groceries, this is a great way to save 5% on food, as well as a variety of other department store purchases. Unfortunately, this card has no affiliation with any credit card payment network such as Visa or MasterCard, so you can’t use it outside of Target stores.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- Sign up offer: Get $100 back in statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Sign up offer: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
- 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases)
- 2% cash back at US gas stations & select US department stores
- 1% cash back on other purchases
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
The Blue Cash Everyday card is largely the same as the Blue Cash Preferred, but it has no annual fee and half the rewards across the board. Nevertheless, 3% cash back on groceries and 2% cash back at gas stations and select major department stores still represents a competitive rate of return. Finally, this is one of the few American Express cards offered without an annual fee.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
- Sign up offer: $100 cash rewards bonus for making $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
- 2% cash back at grocery stores
- 3% cash back on gas
- 1% cash back on everything else
- $0 annual fee
- Get 10% bonus if you redeem rewards directly into your Bank of America checking or savings account (instead of a statement credit)
There is a $1500 per quarter limit on the 2% and 3% grocery stores and gas rewards ($1500 combined purchases between the two). However, if you are already a Bank of America card holder, the extra 10% bonus is attractive. Cardholders can receive their cash-back rewards as a direct deposit in any checking or savings account, as a statement credit, or even as a payment towards a mortgage held by Bank of America.
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
- Choose and change your 5% and 2% cash back categories every quarter
- 5% cash back on your first $2,000 each quarter (combined) on two categories of your choice
- 2% cash back on your choice of one category
- Earn $25 Cash+ Bonus when you redeem $100 or more in a single redemption (limit 1 per year)
This card offers flexibility in your "bonus" categories which other cards don't offer, so it's a great card for those who can't find a card that offers bonus categories that are useful.
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 cash-back 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 cash 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 card issuer.