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Swipe the right card at the supermarket and you can earn big rewards for grocery purchases.

Whether you’re shopping for one or feeding the whole family, most of us head to the shops every week to purchase groceries, and points and miles fans can earn a ton of extra rewards by swiping the right card at the checkout. Groceries are one of life’s essential expenses and provide an excellent opportunity to bag additional points or cash back.

Below, we’ve put together the best credit cards for grocery purchases to help boost your rewards earnings on one of life’s fundamental needs, Food.

Earn points and cash back on grocery shopping

The Best Credit Card for Groceries

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Following its 2018 refresh, the Amex Gold cruises confidently into first place for grocery purchases. The card earns 4X Membership Rewards for every dollar spent in U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per year, a huge increase over its Amex stablemates. Unlike The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, which requires you to make 30+ transactions each billing period to receive the 50% bonus Membership Rewards (taking the tally to 4.5X MR per $1 spent), the Amex Gold earns 4x on all US supermarket purchases up to $25K each year, even if you only make a single purchase.

So while the Amex EveryDay Preferred potentially earns 0.5 points per dollar more on U.S. grocery spending, earnings are capped at $6K per year and you must make a minimum 30 transactions per month to score the top rewards rate. The Amex Gold earns 4x points on up to $25K per year, making it a clear winner for the supermarket and groceries spending category.

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Groceries

Credit CardPoints Earned on GroceriesOther Bonus CategoriesReturn on $6,000 Grocery SpendAnnual Fee
American Express® Gold Card4X Membership Rewards(R) points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).4X Membership Rewards® points at US restaurants$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 + 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
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)3% at U.S. gas stations$360$95 - Rates & Fees
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express2X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year + 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% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)2% at U.S. gas stations$180$0 - Rates & Fees
FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card2X FlexPoints on gas stations, grocery stores or airlines, whichever you spend the most on each billing cycle2X FlexPoints at most cell phone service providers$180$0 for the first 12 months, then $49
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
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic!N/A$153 (based on 1.7¢ per UR)$0
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
6X at U.S. supermarkets12X at Hilton properties
6X at U.S. gas stations
3X for all other eligible purchases
$144 (based on 0.4¢ per HH point)$95 - Rates & Fees
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)$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
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 Card2% at grocery stores4% cash back on dining and entertainment$120$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Amex has the supermarket and groceries category covered, landing the top five spots on the list, and collecting six of the top ten across a full spectrum of cards. You can choose an annual fee or no annual fee, Membership Rewards or cash back, and still select a card that offers top returns on grocery spending.

With so many great cards offering bonus rewards on supermarket purchases, we set our benchmark as the Fidelity Rewards Visa, which earns 2% cash back on all purchases. Cards had to provide better than 2% returns to make the cut. To help potential cardholders decide which card best suits their spending habits, we also dusted off the calculator to run some concrete numbers, based on the $6,000 spending cap on most of the Amex cards.

The Membership Rewards earning cards outperform their cash back counterparts by a fair margin, provided you can redeem Membership Rewards for more than 1.35¢ per point when transferred to travel partners. Any less than that, or for any use outside of travel, and you’re better off earning cash back with the Blue Cash cards. Not sure if you want the annual fee version of the card?

The magic spending threshold for the Amex cards is:

  • 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 over the Blue Cash Everyday.

While the Freedom Unlimited, Hilton Ascend, and Fidelity Rewards Visa don’t perform as well on paper, they do have an advantage in the respect that bonus points and cash back aren't capped for big spenders.

We haven’t included any cards featuring groceries as a rotating bonus category on this list, but it's worth adding that cards like the Chase Freedom® and Discover it® Card return up to 5% at the supermarket when groceries feature as a bonus category.

What Purchases are Included/Excluded in the Groceries Category?

Alliant, Chase, and Fidelity don’t clarify what’s accepted in the groceries category, as the bonus points or cash back is on every purchase rather than specific purchases. Both American Express and U.S. Bank specify that the purchase must come under the correct merchant category code for supermarkets or groceries to earn bonus points or cash back, with Amex the only provider to label specific exclusions:

“… superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets…”

Final Thoughts

Any of the top five Amex cards will return a handy sum of points or cash back on grocery spending, but you’ll be hard-pressed to swipe any card other than the Amex Gold at the checkout.

Have a favorite credit card for grocery purchases we’ve missed 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: Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Rates & Fees), Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees)

Best Credit Cards for Supermarkets & Groceries in 2019 (Updated December 2018)
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Comments

  • 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.

  • 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

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

  • 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.

  • 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 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

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

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

  • Any thoughts on the new AA Mileup card/

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