Best Rewards Cards for Dining and Restaurants [2020]

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Everyone should have a plan to maximize their credit card earnings on dining and restaurant purchases. After all, we all love having someone else do the cooking—and our spending habits reflect that.

In fact, according to USDA statistics, over 37% of all spending on food in the U.S. is spent dining out. That's a considerable portion of overall credit card spend each year. Consequently, if you’re not using the right card on every dining purchase, you’re leaving thousands of points on the table.

The best credit card for dining purchases depends on your current goals. Are you chasing flexible rewards points that transfer to airline or hotel partners? Or do you prefer earning fixed-value rewards to pay for other travel expenses? Perhaps cash is king more than ever for your situation. No matter your goal, we want to make maximizing your purchases easier. To that end, here's our list of top credit cards for dining and restaurant purchases.

Receive bonus points on dining categories

Our Pick – The Best Credit Card for Dining and Restaurants

Citi Prestige® Card
Citi Prestige® Card
Annual Fee$495
Welcome Bonus Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.
  • Signup bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
  • $250 Travel Credit each calendar year
  • 5X points on air travel and at restaurants; and 3X points at hotels and on cruise line purchases
  • 4th Night Free when you book any eligible hotel through thankyou.com
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership
  • 5X points on air travel and at restaurants
  • 3X points at hotels and on cruise line purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases

Following Citi’s overhaul of the Citi Prestige® Card, it easily secures the top spot on our list. That's because it earns a staggering 5X ThankYou Points on dining worldwide.

Citi ThankYou Points are worth a minimum of 1¢ each when redeemed for cash back. Even at that rate, earning 5X translates into a solid 5% cash back. But, that's just the minimum return. By utilizing Citi's transfer partners, those same ThankYou Points could be worth much more. In fact, my baseline valuation for ThankYou points is ~1.6¢ per point. Now, 5X translates into at least an 8% return on restaurant spending—which is simply phenomenal.

Of course, there's a catch. The Prestige Card charges a hefty $495 annual fee. So, you'll need to get good use out of the Prestige Card‘s many other benefits—or have exceptionally high restaurant spending—to justify the annual fee.

If you don't have the card yet, the Prestige Card currently offers a signup bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.

Top Picks for Each Earning Category

The Prestige Card‘s 5X earning rate makes it the clearcut winner. However, there are plenty of other valuable options with more affordable annual fees. Let's go through some of our favorites and break down the best choices for every earning preference.

Best Card for Earning a Flexible Reward Currency

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® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • 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 on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • 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 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.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide.
  • 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.

After the Prestige Card, the American Express® Gold Card (full review) delivers the most bang for your buck at your favorite eatery. That's because it earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide—including takeout and delivery.

The card comes with a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees). However, that's almost fully offset by two valuable benefits:

  • $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.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.

Plus, you'll earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). So, this card is great for racking up points on your food bill, no matter how you purchase them.

Best Card with No Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

The latest addition to the Ultimate Rewards stable, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (full review) sports a dizzying array of point-earning potential and bonus categories—including 3% on dining at restaurants (or 3X Ultimate Rewards points).

Alone, these points are worth 1¢ each towards a selection of redemption options, including cash back. However, the value increases if you also hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or another Ultimate Rewards card charging an annual fee. If so, you can combine your Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for an increased fixed value towards travel. Or you can transfer points to partners for potentially much higher value. This transforms that 3X earned on dining into a potential 4.5%+ return.

The new 3X dining category has also been added to the Chase Freedom Unlimited® as part of its recent refresh.

Best Card for Earning Cash Back

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Annual Fee$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Welcome Offer $300 Cash Back after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • $300 Cash Back after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 2% at grocery stores
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020

If cash back is your thing, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card card is a fantastic option. That's because the card includes the ability to earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining purchases. So, if you spend $3,000 a year on dining (the national average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), you'll earn $120 in cash back. That's a great return—especially since the annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Best Card for Small Businesses

American Express® Business Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
American Express® Business Gold Card
Annual Fee$295
Welcome Bonus Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases.
  • 4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
  • Terms Apply
  • Rates & Fees
Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle from the list below:
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

*4X points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year; then earn 1 point per dollar.

For small business owners, there isn't much competition. No other card comes close to that of the American Express® Business Gold Card—with one major caveat.

With the Business Amex Gold, it's possible to earn 4X Membership Rewards on up to $150,000 at U.S. restaurants. However, to accomplish that, U.S. restaurant purchases need to be one of your business's top two spending categories in every billing cycle. If this matches your business's spending tendencies, then it doesn't get much better than this. You can learn more about how the 4X earning categories work in our full card review.

Other Great Options for Dining & Restaurants

Outside of the top picks listed above, these next cards represent the 3X point earners for three of the major transferrable currencies: Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Amex Membership Rewards. Note that of the three, only the Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges an annual fee higher than $150.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee$550
Welcome Bonus Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Chase's flagship Ultimate Rewards card. You get a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access courtesy of a Priority Pass membership and industry-leading travel insurance benefits. New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
  • 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

The Sapphire Reserve is a great choice for those that prefer to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards to Amex Membership Rewards and can maximize the benefits of the card. The Sapphire Reserve earns 3X Ultimate Rewards points. With a redemption value of 1.5¢ per point through the Chase Travel Portal or Pay Yourself Back, you can get a minimum of a 4.5% return on dining spending without any legwork.

Keep in mind, like the Prestige Card, the Sapphire Reserve is a premium credit card, and it sports an appropriate price tag. The annual fee is now $550 per year, though the $300 travel credit and other benefits largely offset the cost.

Related: Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth $550 per Year?

Citi ThankYou Points

Citi Premier℠ Card
Citi Premier Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
The Citi Premier card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. This card is best-in-class for rewards on travel spending, and it tops our list of the best cards for gas & fuel purchases with a generous 3X ThankYou® Points.
  • 60,000 point signup bonus worth $750 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 3X points per $1 on travel, including gas stations, plus 2X points at restaurants and on entertainment
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points per $1 spent on on travel including gas stations, as well as airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, public transportation, tolls, and parking
  • 2X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including many cafes, bars and lounges
  • 2X points per $1 spent on entertainment, including sporting events, movie theaters, concerts and more
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Earlier this year, Citi announced a major overhaul for its mid-tier rewards card, the Citi Premier Card. This included several bonus category updates, including increasing the earnings on dining to 3X ThankYou points. That's a solid return for a low-annual fee card.

The card currently comes with a bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after meeting spending requirements. With only a $95 annual fee, it's easily one of the best mid-tier rewards cards available.

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express® Green Card
American Express® Green Card
Annual Fee$150
Welcome Bonus Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

American Express has a lot of great options for earning points while dining out. However, Amex's stars—the Amex Gold and Business Amex Gold—both sport a significant annual fee. If you're willing to sacrifice one point per dollar, the revamped American Express® Green Card card (full review) might be a better option at only $150 per year.

Table of the Best Rewards Credit Cards for Dining & Restaurants

We've got most of the bases covered with the cards detailed above. However, to present an even broader perspective of the category, we've created a table covering most of the major cards. For candidates to make it onto this table, the card needs to provide at least a 3% return on restaurant spending.

Credit CardPoints Earned on Dining & RestaurantsOther Bonus CategoriesAnnual Fee
Citi Prestige® Card5X points on dining5X points airfare
3X points on hotels and cruise lines
$495
American Express® Gold Card4X points at restaurants worldwide4X points at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year)
3X points on airfare on a scheduled flight charged directly with the airline or amextravel.com (charter flights/private jet flights excluded)
$250 - Rates & Fees
American Express® Business Gold Card4X points at U.S. restaurants (if it's one of the 2 categories where your business spends the most in a billing cycle)Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spent the most each billing cycle from the list below:

• Airfare purchased directly from airlines
• U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
• U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
• U.S. purchases at gas stations
• U.S. purchases at restaurants
• U.S. purchases for shipping

*4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year; then earn 1 point per dollar.
$295 - Rates & Fees
Citi Premier Card3X points on dining3X points on airfare and hotels
3X points on gas
3X points on groceries
$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3X points on dining3X points on travel$550
American Express® Green Card3X points on restaurants worldwide3X points on all eligible travel$150
Chase Freedom Flex℠3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
3% on drugstore purchases
$0
Chase Freedom Unlimited®3% on dining at restaurants5% on travel purchased through Chase
3% on drugstore purchases
1.5% on all non-bonus purchases
$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2X points on dining2X points on travel$95
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card4% cash back on dining2% cash back on groceries$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card4X points on takeout, food delivery, and dining2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services, and gas stations$0
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express2X Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners (applies to first $50,000 spent each year, then 1X)N/ANo annual fee - Rates & Fees
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card3X points on dining3X points on travel purchases, streaming services, and at gas stations$0
AARP® Credit Card from Chase3% cash back at restaurants3% cash back at gas stations$0
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi3% cash back on restaurants4% cash back on gas (up to $7,000 per year, then 1% after that)
3% cash back on eligible travel purchases
2% cash back at Costco stores and Costco.com
$0 (with a paid Costco membership)

Stack with a Dining Program

If you’re hunting even higher returns on your dining spend, don’t forget to join the numerous dining programs offered by rewards programs.

For example, say you agree to receive emails from Alaska's Mileage Plan Dining Program and clock up 12 qualifying transactions in a calendar year. Any subsequent dining purchases earn 5X Mileage Plan miles at the program's over 10,000 participating restaurants. That return alone is a better return than ANY credit card on this list. But, you don't have to choose one or the other. Dining reward programs stack these miles on top of the credit card points you earn for the same purchase!

What Purchases are Included in the Dining & Restaurant Category?

The merchant category code defines purchases included in the dining category. Consequently, the merchant must code the purchase correctly for you to receive bonus points. When in doubt, we recommend using the AwardWallet Merchant Category Lookup Tool to see how previous purchases have coded.

Chase

“…merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments.”

Citi

“…restaurants (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants)…”

American Express

“…restaurants worldwide…” (Personal)

“…restaurants located in the U.S…” (Business)

Capital One

“…purchases made at dining establishments.”

Wells Fargo

“Eating places and restaurants, drinking places, or fast food restaurants.”

Final Thoughts

The hands-down winner of the best card for dining and restaurants is the Prestige Card. However, you'll need to leverage the card's other benefits to justify the annual fee.

The Amex Gold comes in a strong second place, offering 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants worldwide—including takeout and delivery. Plus, the card's dining credit and airline travel credit offset almost all of the $250 annual fee.

For frequent diners who'd prefer to avoid a yearly fee, the Freedom Flex provides a stellar return at 3% cash back or 3X Ultimate Rewards points if you hold a card that can transfer to partners.

Apart from those, the right decision ultimately comes down to your currency preference and spending habits.

Have a favorite rewards card for dining and restaurants we’ve missed? 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), American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees), and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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Comments

  • Avatar

    It is fantastic to be able to collect miles like this, when I lived in NY it was very easy to get miles, now in South America there are no really convenient programs.

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    Manuel Varela says:

    I really like the resere card. Remember that Amex simplycash can be set to 3% cashback on restaurants. Thanks!

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    Considering annual fee, Chase Freedom Flex is my best choice!

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    While the Prestige gives 5x on dining, the hefty annual fee combined with the reduction in benefits really make it a very limited proposition. I have had a prestige for the past few years but am planning to downgrade coz the AmEx gold at 4x gives me a fairly close earning rate with a much better value proposition.

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    Might switch to AMEX Blue after reading this. My prestige AF is due in November and can’t justify the AF anymore. It lost it’s luster and now just taking up a space. I cashed out my TYP, so likely will just go to a straight cash back card like the DC

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    I have both the CSR and Amex Gold, and I prefer to use the Gold card for dining because I can cash out at a higher rate of 5 cents per dollar when combined with the Amex Schwab Platinum.

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    @Robert – Agreed on the preference for 3x UR over 5x TY.
    Also, while it was nice that Chase bumped up the dining bonus to 3x on the Freedom Unlimited (and of course introduced the Freedom Flex), I would really have liked to see Chase simultaneously bump the CSR to 4x on dining to keep that card at the premium level in all categories. Being able to earn 3x UR with a no-AF card is unfortunately also a stealth devaluation of the CSR.

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    The Amex gold has always been been my favorite card for dining but it has now been supplanted by the CSR. Dining is one of the only categories that earn multiple points per dollar that also qualify for pay-yourself-back. That gives the most value for my situation.

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    I like cards with the most flexibility for redemption so my pick is AMEX but that’s mostly because I’m limited in which cards I can have. I can either use the points as is or convert then to whatever airline miles makes the most sense at the time.
    I appreciate the multiplier points that they sometimes offer as well.

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    I like to stick in the chase ecosystem with the sapphire reserve but would love them to up the points to compete with some of the other brands

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    As much as I like earning 5x with the Prestige, my card of choice will often be the CSR.

    There is an opportunity for STACKING to earn an additional 5-10¢ per $ cash back on top of the 5-3x.

    DOSH will often pay out 5% This can be used with any registered card. The other stack is VISA local offers. This too has up to 5% cash back automatically added to your Uber account.

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    After hanging on to the CSR since it first launched I’m finally looking at dropping it this year if they won’t waive the annual fee – without being able to utilize any of the travel benefits it just doesn’t make sense to pay at this point.

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    Until the CSP and CSR are updated, the Freedom cards are the way to go. For me, 3 UR points is preferable to 5 TY points.

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    Ulisses Jensen says:

    The Sapphire Reserve is hard to beat! Go for it!

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    Uber card and Capital one savor both look quite nice and useful. Will have to check them out.

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    Don’t forget double points on the Marriott card. Not the greatest unless you are trying to accumulate for a reward or towards your lifetime status. With either of those goals, the double points can be quite helpful.

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    At certain airports the merchant shows up as the airport itself.

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    CSR is definitely top card for dinning.

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    Chase Sapphire is always on the top.

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    Interesting that Amex doesn’t classify purchases inside nightclubs as restaurants and that Barclay does.

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    I do constantly see that the Chase Sapphire Reserved is at the top of many lists as a great card. That is why I have the preferred one, just cannot do the higher AF. But I did just get the freedom unlimited and now I think I’ll be able to show my husband why we got all the cards by almost being able to pay nothing for a trip to see my family this Nov.
    I don’t know if I ever would have thought about stacking the cards and then transferring it all to my sapphire or even would have looked at the sapphire because of the AF, if I hadn’t had explanations here of the benefit. Sometimes it can take a really long time to earn miles and then use them. Now it’s not as long since I’m able to earn UR faster than airline miles directly. That dream to take my hubby in first to syd just got a little better now that United will go iah to syd! Yeay! Now I just have to build up UR points and transfer.

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    I’m still considering the switch to the Sapphire Reserve but the fee for authorized users is also a hurdle. It’s free for the Sapphire Preferred and I have two authored users. Any data points on whether they ever waive the authored user fee for the Reserve?

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      That is a valid concern — it definitely gets expensive quickly. I’ve never heard of those fees being waived — Chase has to pay for the benefits provided on those cards, otherwise, they’d simply lose money.

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    Know I eat out but doubt I get anywhere near the 30% statistic level. I was surprised it was that high but I guess those of you who travel frequently may pull those statistics up some. Great benefit to capitalize on dining out with credit card usage.

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    Going to look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, thanks for the heads up, looks good for my use

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    Amex simplycash can be set to 3% cashback on restaurants.

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    For Costco members, I find the Citi Costco CC really valuable. Yes you have to wait for the yearly statement to get your reward certificate, which you can redeem at any Costco for cash, but with 4% back on Gas, 3% on dining, 3% on travel its hard to beat. Plus no annual fees as long as you’re a Costco member (any level).

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    This is a great analysis of how to obtain the highest value for your dining dollar! Thanks!

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    For a no-fee card, the Uber Visa’s 4% cash back on dining is outstanding

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    CSR moved to the front of my wallet almost as soon as I activated it. When dining out I use it w/o hesitation.

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    Pretty hard to beat this card.

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    While it’s not 4.5% when redeemed for travel through Chase’s site, like the Chase Sapphire Rewards card, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is worth mentioning. If you have $100,000 with Bank of America, including Merrill Lynch (move a $100,000 IRA balance to Merrill Edge, Bank Of America’s discount brokerage, and the 2% on dining and travel is increased by 75% to 3,5%, redeemable for cash (your $100,000 balance lets you maintain a free Bank Of America checking account with a free safe deposit box also). The $99 annual fee gives you a $100 annual airline incidentals cfedit, a TSA Precheck of Global Entry fee rebate, and 1.5%, increased to 2.625% rebate on all other purchases with the $100,000 balance.

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      The Bank of America program is an excellent one. The $100k requirement is a roadblock for many which is why we don’t cover it more.

      • Avatar

        That’s true. I figured the idea of moving a $100,000 IRA to Merrill Edge, their discount (cheap-no commission) brokerage may be easier for some people, although that, obviously, is only for people with a $100,000 IRA to move. I should have added that Merrill Edge has a promotion offering at least $200 depending on how much you move, You also get a lower percentage boost to the credit card cash back with lower balances.

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    Chase Sapphire Reserve seems to come out on top on a lot of your articles. Wonder if that’s advertiser bias or just the cold hard facts. I’m thinking the latter.

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      If this card didn’t have a permanent slot in our wallets it wouldn’t be on the list. At 3x earning for travel + dining and all of the other card perks, it is difficult to NOT include this card in such a list!

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    Thanks! I love using Rewards Network for dining and easily made VIP with 12 dines last year.

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    CSR is obviously the best. Just depends if you can make up the remainder of the value ($150 after travel credit) in dining and other benefits.

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      Haha! We must go out to eat too much, because that’s never an issue for us!

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      The CSR is my hands-down favorite card for dining, not only because of its everyday earnings of 4.5x when I redeem UR points through Chase Travel but also because of its frequent lucrative offers to earn additional points on restaurants.

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    Lee Ann Bixler says:

    The Reserve Card is my favorite