Best Credit Cards for Groceries and Supermarkets in 2021

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Using the best credit card for groceries can help you earn lots of extra points each year. Many of the top rewards cards earn extra points when you spend money with specific types of merchants. For many, groceries are one of the most useful of these “bonus categories”. In this post, we've assembled the contenders for the best grocery credit card.

If you're looking for information about whether you'll earn a bonus for purchases at a specific store, you can use our Merchant Lookup tool to see whether AwardWallet members have earned extra points on recent transactions.

Find the best grocery credit card to maximize your rewards

The Best Credit Cards for Groceries

While the American Express® Gold Card is easily the best return in the short term, those looking to maximize returns for the long run will want a card with a permanent bonus on groceries. The ideal pick depends on your budget and whether you prefer points or cashback

Best Grocery Card for Families

American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
American Express® Gold Card
Annual Fee$250
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
  • 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1X on other purchases
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.

If your grocery budget is $500 per month or more, there is a clear choice for the best grocery card. The American Express® Gold Card earns 4X Membership Rewards for every dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets—on up to $25,000 in spending per year, then 1X. While this card has a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees), it comes with a great lineup of benefits that will justify the cost for many.

Check out our Amex Gold review for more details.

Best Grocery Credit Card for Modest Spending

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Sign-up bonus of $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, issued as 20,000 ThankYou® Points
  • 5% cash back in your top eligible spend category on up to $500 of purchses each billing cycle
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for--the top earning category adjusts automatically each month to the eligible category in which you spend the most.
  • Excellent intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent
  • 1% cash back thereafter, plus, you'll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • Eligible spending categories are: Restaurants, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs and Live Entertainment.

A relative newcomer to the points and miles scene, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a great fit for anyone that spends up to $500 per month on groceries. Unlike similar no-annual-fee cards in the same category, which typically feature rotating bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash earns 5% cashback (issued as 5x ThankYou points) on the eligible category in which you spend the most each month, including grocery purchases.

If you spend ~$500 per month on groceries, you can earn 5X ThankYou points per $1 spent on up to $500 per month in grocery spending. If you also hold a Citi Premier® Card or Prestige card, you could transfer those points to any one of Citi's airline transfer partners, making this one of the best-earning rates available for grocery spending.

An alternative to the Citi Custom Cash is the The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express. This card earns 3X Membership Rewards on purchases at U.S. supermarkets—on up to $6,000 in spending, then 1X.

Even better, cardmembers can earn 50% more points when they use their card 30 or more times in a billing period. If you reach this goal, you'll earn a total of 4.5X MR per dollar at U.S. supermarkets. While this card is excellent for a modest grocery budget, purchases above the $6,000 annual cap will only earn one Membership Reward per dollar (or 1.5X if you earn the 50% bonus).

Best Grocery Cash Back Credit Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Welcome Bonus Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership (issued as a statement credit).
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases
  • Cash back is issued as a statement credit.

If you prefer cashback, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is our top recommendation, earning 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. Cash back is issued as a statement credit.).

This card's simplicity is its most attractive feature. Cashback gives you maximum flexibility, and unlike the Amex EveryDay Preferred, you won't have to worry about completing 30 transactions each statement cycle to maximize your earnings. On the other hand, Membership Rewards are one of the most valuable types of rewards, thanks to the impressive lineup of Amex transfer partners.

Best Grocery Store Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

It doesn't always make sense to choose a premium card that charges an annual fee. If your monthly budget is small, the best card for groceries may be one without a fee that cancels out some of the rewards you earn throughout the year. In addition to the Citi Custom Cash, top no-annual-fee cards for groceries include:

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express earns 2X Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets—up to $6,000 per year, then 1X. If you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period, you'll earn a 20% bonus, bringing your total to 2.4 MR per dollar.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Cash back is issued as a statement credit. (Rates & Fees)

As you may have noticed, both of these cards have a more expensive big brother that comes with a higher earning rate. Here's how to decide if you'd be better off with the no-annual-fee version of the cards:

  • EveryDay cards – If you spend more than $2,484 a year on groceries (provided you reach the 20% and 50% spending thresholds each month), you’ll come out ahead paying the $95 annual fee on the Amex EveryDay Preferred over the Amex EveryDay.
  • BlueCash cards – If you spend more than $3,176 a year on groceries, you’ll come out ahead paying the $95 annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred (Rates & Fees) over the Blue Cash Everyday.

Top 12 Grocery Store Credit Cards

We think the cards highlighted above are the leaders in their respective categories. However, there are other grocery store credit cards you might want to consider.  To make it into the grocery card comparison table below, candidates had to provide at least a 2% return. To help you decide if one of these deserves a place in your wallet, we also dusted off the calculator to run some concrete numbers. We based these calculations on the $6,000 annual spending cap on most of the Amex cards.

Best Cards for Groceries in 2021

Credit CardPoints Earned on GroceriesOther Bonus CategoriesReturn on $6,000 Grocery SpendAnnual Fee
American Express® Gold Card4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).4X points at restaurants
3X points on airfare on a scheduled flight charged directly with the airline or amextravel.com (charter flights/private jet flights excluded)
$408 (based on 1.7¢ per MR point) - A potential annual return of $1,700 if you max out the $25K spending cap on groceries$250 - Rates & Fees
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express3X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year (then 1X) + make 30 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 50% extra points2X at U.S. gas stations$459 (based on 1.7¢ per MR point)$95
Citi Custom Cash℠ CardEarn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (categories include grocery spending)Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (other bonus categories include Restaurants, Gas Stations, Select Travel, Select Transit, Select Streaming Services, Drugstores, Home Improvement Stores, Fitness Clubs and Live Entertainment)$300 if redeemed as cash back, or $510 (based on 1.7¢ per TY point)$0
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. Cash back is issued as a statement credit.)6% back on select US streaming services
3% back on transit, including trains, taxi cabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). Cash back is issued as a statement credit.
$360$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. - Rates & Fees
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express2X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year (then 1X) + make 20 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 20% extra pointsN/A$244.80 (based on 1.7¢ per MR point)$0
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Cash back is issued as a statement credit. 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. Cash back is issued as a statement credit. $180$0 - Rates & Fees
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card3% cash back in year one & 2.5% cash back afterN/A$180 in year one & $150 thereafter$59 annual fee, waived the first year
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
6X at U.S. gas stations12X at Hilton properties
6X at U.S. supermarkets
3X for all other eligible purchases
$144 (based on 0.4¢ per HH point)$95
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.N/A$120 (minimum if redeemed at fixed-rate of 1¢ per point, potentially much higher if transferred to airline partners)$95
Capital One Spark Miles for Business2 Miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere.N/A$120 (minimum if redeemed at fixed-rate of 1¢ per point, potentially much higher if transferred to airline partners)$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card2% cash back on every purchasesN/A$120$0
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card3% at grocery stores4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023.$180$95

Which Stores Earn a Grocery or Supermarket Bonus?

One of the big challenges with all bonus categories is predicting whether a merchant will qualify before you swipe your card to make a purchase. You won't find an official list of Amex supermarkets or Chase grocery stores from either card issuer. However, you can type a local business name into our merchant lookup tool to see which rewards cards earned bonus points on recent transactions.

Our reverse lookup tool takes the opposite approach. Start with a card and choose a category and you'll see a list of merchants that should qualify for the bonus. The data for both tools is crowdsourced from AwardWallet members, so it isn't perfect. But, if you pick the Amex Gold and “Grocery Stores”  in the reverse lookup, you'll get a much more detailed list of Amex supermarkets than you'll find on the American Express website.

Here are the specific exclusions noted by Amex and Chase:

  • Amex: “… superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets…”
  • Chase: “… not including Target® or Walmart® purchases…”

Final Thoughts

For new cardmembers, the American Express® Gold Card is offering the best return we've seen on groceries. If you are locked out of Chase cards due to Chase's 5/24 policy or looking for the best card to hold after the first 12 months, any of the top five Amex cards will return a handy sum of points or cashback on grocery spending.

Have a favorite credit card for grocery purchases we’ve left off the list? Let us know in the comments below.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees), Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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Comments

  • Blue Cash everyday (no AF) is most valuable for single households. There is a calculator that can be searched to compare your grocery spending between the two AMEX cards. AMEX Preferred has an AF but it does give more points. For a person with moderate grocery spending habits, the Preferred isn’t quite worth the annual fee. Worth comparing the two cards closely. That being said, it is one of my staple cards for gas and grocery!

  • I have the Freedom Unlimited, Freedom, and Discover it, along with the USAA Cashback+ Amex (2% on groceries). I’m on the fence whether to go full guac with the Amex Gold (since my budget is close to $600/mo), or pair one of the Everyday cards to supplement the cards I’m already carrying. The $6000 cap that Amex imposes is quite ridiculous for a family, but groceries appears in two different quarters on the Freedom and Discover cards, thereby raising the effective cap to $9000. The additional AF on the Gold is harder to justify if you hold other cards that have similar or greater earning, even if periodic.

  • It’s nice to see the AmEx HH Surpass get a little love in this post; It’s been our go-to card for groceries (and gas) for more than a decade. With a very reasonable SF, and the opportunity to earn a free night cert for $15k spend annually, it’s a no-brainer for us.

  • I also recommend the Costco card

    • I second the Costco card recommendation, especially if you have both the Executive membership and the Costco Visa Anywhere by Citi card.
      With that combination, grocery purchases at Costco earn 4% cash back: 2% from Costco and 2% from Citi. Plus, Costco Visa card holders earn 4% cash back at Costco gas stations, so frequent Costco users’ upgrade to Executive membership more than pays for itself.

  • I use The everyday card for grocery spend. I used to have am AMEX cash back

  • For small purchases, check to see if you have the $5 reward for $10+ (up to ten uses) offer on your Amex Everyday cash card. The card already earns 3% on supermarkets.

    • Yes, I can attest that this $5 small business award does work for several local groceries and even liquor stores. 🙂 Try ethic groceries, if you’re lucky enough to have them around.

  • Farid Kassam says:

    I have Chase Freedom and am very happy with it.

  • I have a Blue Cash Preferred exclusively for groceries. FWIW, every kind of grocery delivery service I’ve tried, like Instacart, Shipt, etc. earn 6x.

  • I really wish I could get the CFU right now for the sweet bonus on grocery spending.
    I think the Citi Premier card is also a decent card for groceries after they recently changed it to earn 3x points on groceries.

  • It would be useful to include the annual fee together with the return you make out of any of these cards to compare better. It is difiicult for me to find merchants that would take the American Express, they always try you to use a different one.

  • It is not a good idea to pay annual fee on a card for grocery shopping rebates,.

  • Very handy. One can also can earn 5% cash back by using AMEX SimplyCash or AMEX SimplyCash+ to buy a grocery store giftcard at an office supply store such as Staples.

  • B1BomberVB says:

    My Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless earns 10 pp$ on grocery stores & gas stations from July 15–Sep. 15! I think it applies to all cardmembers, but IDK. Same exclusion of Walmart, Target, and warehouse clubs.

  • bwh541@gmail.com says:

    There’s a new Verizon Visa (issued by Synchrony Bank) that offers 4% back on groceries and gas. (Also gives 3% on dining, 2% on Verizon purchases, 1% on everything else.) No annual fee, no foreign transaction charges. The catch: The cash-back points are only usable at Verizon. So, if you’re a Verizon customer like me, it’s a great deal; if not, maybe not.

  • The US Bank Cash+ is a superior choice to the Fidelity Rewards card. 2% can be had for groceries, plus an additional two 5% categories.

  • Would be nice if the chase sapphire reserve extended the 5% back on groceries, but unlikely

  • Citi is getting into groceries bonus with the Citi Premier getting 3x TYPts

  • ….

    Examples of merchants where you will NOT earn additional rewards include:

    Specialty stores (e.g., fish markets, cheese shops, wine shops, and other specialty food stores )
    Superstores (e.g. Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart)
    Warehouse clubs (e.g. BJ’s Club)
    ……
    from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/rewards-info/retail.html

    • Yes the terms did state that. Since I can’t add this to the DP on award wallet. WholeFood grocery order via amazon for delivery is coded as merchandise and supplies-internet purchase- but was given 4x at us supermarket. The tip I added to the delivery was not given 4x but only 1x

      I am not sure if all 7/11 will be the same but the one I went into is listed as groceries and 4x.

      I forgot to get and used the Gold in a bar and I received 1x.

      This is a bit off. With the Amex green I was in a deli that it was merchandise/supplies- groceries. Amex green gave me 3x on it for Global dining.

      Still a lot of DP needed to be collected on the Amex coding

  • Any thoughts on the new AA Mileup card/

  • I also use AMEX whenever possible. Yes, not accepted everywhere. Ok in most cases. They really have those groceries covered

  • I use my Amex as much as possible, however its not accepted everywhere. I am a newbie to this travel, trying to get all the bonus points possible programs but Im hopeful that they will be flexible points to use overall.

  • I use the EveryDay card for grocery spend but it looks like there are more options for me to consider.

  • The fee free Bank of America Cash Rewards card ($150 sign up bonus) has 2% back on groceries, but if you have any Bank of America or Merrill Lynch accounts, if you redeem your cash back for a deposit into a Bank of America checking account, you get at least a 10% bonus, equaling 2.2% on groceries, and up to an additional 75% bonus, equaling a 3.5% grocery cash back rate depending on your total balances (25$ for 25,000 balance, up to 75% for total $100,000 balances). Merrill Lynch has a discount brokerage, Merrill Edge. If you have an IRA, you can move it or part of ot there to meet the minimum, get a free safe deposit box, trades and an account opening bonus.

  • I love the everyday preferred for groceries. I used to have an AmEx cash back that paid 5% for gas and groceries all year long, but this is the best I could do now

  • Thanks for the rundown. To keep it easy for my wife and me, we use our Chase Freedom Unlimited as our “default” credit card because it earns 1.5 points on any purchase, and then use other cards for specific things such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred for restaurants for more points per dollar in that category.

    We may have to look more into some of the cards that have higher overall returns per yer as we spend a decent amount on groceries. Question: Does the “Return on $6000 Grocery Spend” column take the “Annual Fee” column in consideration? i.e. if I were to get the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express to use only for $6000 of groceries and nothing else, would my net actually be $364 ($459 from chart – $95 annual fee)?

  • I know that Amex is accepted in more places. I still see them not accepted in more places that I frequent though. I have considered the Everyday card. Even tho you don’t get as much with the Chase Freedom/unlimited, I’ll stick with those for now. I think I would spread myself too thin with another card.
    I believe I’ve heard others talking about rotating cards, depending on what trip, etc they are going for. If a person has several benefit cards is that what you recommend?

    • My recommendation: Know what each card you have does. Figure out which makes sense to use when renting a car, when staying in a hotel, paying for a train/dinner/etc. Once you know the best cards for each use, you’ll know what card to use at all times.

      • As a beginner, I would love to see a follow-up post to this question! The thought process behind rotating cards, how many cards is too many (benefits/points/miles spread too thin to be meaningful), how to organize your cards/wallet, etc.

  • Right now using Chase Freedom. Plan to get Amex Everyday Preferred soon.

  • shencen qian says:

    I usually use Chase Freedom card without annual fee in Q2 of each year to get 5% points with grocery shopping.

    • shencen qian says:

      Correct: I usually use Chase Freedom card without annual fee in Q2 of each year to get 5X points with grocery shopping.

      Reply

  • I normally use the Amex Everday card with no annual fee. Although for this quarter, I am using the Chase Freedom Android Pay for the 5% points.