The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries

By Elizabeth Lang. Last updated 1 May 2015. 16 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. 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)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card offers a whopping 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases). 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.

  • Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.

Click here to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 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, which gets you 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases). 

  • Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

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

Target REDcard®

TargetIf 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 where you get free shipping). 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.

  • 5% off everything at Target
  • Free shipping at Target.com
  • $0 annual fee
  • 1% of your REDcard purchases get donated to your choice of eligible K-12 schools

Click here to apply for the Target REDcard® today!

Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®

Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard The Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® is a simple, straightforward rewards credit card that gets you 2x points on groceries, gas, and utilities.

  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases
  • 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • No annual fee
  • Use your points like cash to pay for any purchase you've made
  • No redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up

Click here for more details on the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®

U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature Card®

The U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature Card® allows you to redeem points for gift cards, cash back, or airline tickets. There is no limit on the number of points you can earn and there is no annual fee. Get 2 points for gas and grocery purchases, 1 point on all other purchases. 

  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR, currently 11.99% - 21.99%.
  • Earn 2X points on Gas and Grocery net purchases.
  • Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on everything else.
  • Redeem for rewards you want — Redemption starts at 1,700 points for brand name merchandise, 2,500 points for gift cards, and 5,000 points for cash back.
  • Additionally, 25,000 points may be redeemed for one airline ticket (up to a $400 value) on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates.
  • No annual fee.

Click here to apply for the U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature Card® 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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Guest's picture
Guest

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
Harm

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
those....

Guest's picture
me

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

Guest's picture
Grace

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
Guest

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
Guest

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 Amazon.com 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
Blart

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
Guest

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
MamaFish

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
Guest

Amex not accepted in some supermarkets, so sad.