The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries
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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)
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card offers 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 3% back on gas, and 1% on other purchases. (Grocery store, wholesale club, and gas bonus rewards apply to the first $2500 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.
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 can also earn 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 $95 ($75 if your application is received by 8/3/16), but if you have a big grocery budget, the rewards would be more than enough to cover this yearly cost.
Special offer: Earn $150 back after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. 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 conditions apply.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer
With the Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, you get 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter, up to $1500 every quarter 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 for 6 months and on balance transfers for 18 months. (A balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer applies.) After the intro period, a variable APR of 11.24% to 23.24% applies. There is no annual fee.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
With the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you earn a simple unlimited 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. Additionally, every 10th Uber ride is free (up to $15) if you pay with this card through March 31, 2017. There is no annual fee.
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 allows you to earn 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: Earn $100 back after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. 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 conditions apply.
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.