Groceries are a major expense for many people, regardless of how often they travel. Therefore, having a grocery store credit card is a great way to earn points, miles, or cash back. Fortunately, the best grocery store credit cards have very lucrative earning structures that could help you travel for less.
Credit cards that are great for wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club are not included in this post. Wholesale clubs are a separate bonus category altogether for most credit card issuers. Instead, the focuses of this post are supermarkets and grocery stores.
Transferrable Points Cards
American Express cards dominate the grocery store rewards category. Therefore, two powerful Membership Rewards (MR) point–earning cards are highlighted. Fortunately, these cards offer some of the most versatile and generous rewards in the industry for travelers.
American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card is the best card in the industry for grocery store purchases! That’s because it earns 4x Membership Rewards (MR) points on restaurants worldwide and grocery stores stateside. There is a shared $25,000 annual spend limit for both 4x categories. The Gold Card also earns 3x MR points on travel from amextravel.com and one point per dollar on non-bonus spend.
Plus, the Gold Card also offers $120 in dining credits and $120 in Uber Cash credits each year. These credits can help to justify the card’s $250 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) if you can use them in full. Amex is currently offering a public a sign-up bonus worth 35,000 points for this card. This bonus can be earned after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
American Express Everyday Preferred
The American Express Everyday Preferred Card earns 3x MR points at US grocery stores. It also earns 2x points at US gas stations as well as one point per dollar for non-bonus purchases.
You can earn a 50% points bonus if you use the card at least 30 times per month. This means that you can earn 4.5x points at Grocery Stores, 3x points at Gas Stations, and 1.5x points on non-bonus spend. The Everyday Preferred card has the potential to be better than the Amex Gold Card if the points bonus is included.
This card has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year), which makes it a less expensive option than the Gold Card. Amex is also offering a sign-up bonus worth 15,000 points for the Everyday Preferred Card. This bonus can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months.
The Citi Premier is another excellent option for grocery store rewards. That’s because it earns 3x Thank You (TY) points on groceries, airfare, hotels, gas, and dining! This earning structure makes the Premier an underrated credit card for many.
Furthermore, Citi is offering a sign-up bonus worth 60,000 TY points. This bonus can be earned by spending $4,000 within the first three months. The Premier also has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). But that fee can be justified with enough earning or use of Citi’s $100 hotel credit.
Cash Back Cards
Cash back cards are not as rewarding as transferrable points cards for travelers. However, they shouldn’t be disregarded, especially in 2021. Cash back can oftentimes cover travel expenses that transferrable points can’t. American Express dominates the cash back market as well with two more of its cards featured.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is the best cash back credit card in the industry for grocery store purchases. That’s because it earns 6% back at US grocery stores and on select streaming services. It also earns 3% cash back at gas stations and for local commuter transit. Plus, it earns 1% cash back for non-bonus expenses. However, such a nice earning structure is countered by a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year).
Furthermore, Amex is offering a $300 sign-up bonus that can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. Earning the bonus is like getting 30% cash back (not including regular earning) for the first $1,000 you spend on the card.
American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card is the no annual fee version of the Blue Cash Preferred Card. Still, it’s a solid alternative for grocery store purchases. The Blue Cash Everyday Card earns 3% cash back at US grocery stores, 2% at department stores and gas stations, and 1% for non-bonus expenses. The Blue Cash Everyday is also the only American Express credit card to have a bonus category dedicated to department stores.
Moreover, Amex is offering a public sign-up bonus worth up to $350. This bonus comes in two parts. The first is a standard bonus worth $150 that can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. Earning the first part of this bonus is like getting 15% cash back (not including regular earning) for the first $1,000 you spend on the card. Plus, Amex is offering 20% back on the first $1,000 in Amazon purchases made on the card within the first six months. In other words, you can earn an additional $200 in cash back to complete the sign-up bonus.
Discover’s flagship card earns 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories. Grocery Stores are also a regular category for the Discover It, which offers the potential to earn up to $75 cash back each quarter.
Discover also offers an unconventional sign-up bonus that solely depends on how much you spend. They will double the amount of cash back earned within the first 12 months. You would need to spend $3,000 in the 5% categories to earn $150 in cash back. That requires you to maximize any two categories, which can take up to six months.
One of the easiest ways to earn points, miles, or cash back is by using a credit card with a dedicated bonus category for grocery stores. This is especially true if you have a large budget for groceries and/or a family. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options available that cater to different people. Travelers might prefer the Amex Gold Card or Citi Premier while cash back lovers might prefer the Amex Blue Cash Preferred or the Discover It.
- American Express Gold Card
- American Express Everyday Preferred
- Citi Premier
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday
- Discover It