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It doesn’t matter if you’re single or a parent of several children, you probably visit the grocery store regularly. Food is a large monthly expense because it’s the jet fuel for our bodies. Because it’s a consistent purchase, getting rewarded for it should be a no-brainer. The best credit card for groceries helps you save – sometimes up to 6% – on every supermarket visit!
How to Get Cash Back on Groceries
Although many stores sell groceries, you will only get bonus cash back at supermarkets like Kroger, Safeway, HEB, and Albertsons.
You won’t get bonus cash if you buy groceries at discount stores like Walmart and Target or even gas stations. This is because these stores specialize in selling other merchandise and groceries aren’t their primary income stream. Your credit card company can’t distinguish the food items from the clothing and pet supplies you also purchased on the same receipt.
The Best Credit Card for Groceries
The Blue Cash Preferred from American Express earns 6% on the first $6,000 in grocery purchases. After earning your $360 in welcome cash, your remaining purchases earn 1% for the rest of the year.
You will also earn an unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations, restaurants, and select department stores. All non-bonus purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.
For online purchases, you can also enjoy free 2-day ShopRunner shipping. American Express will also extend the warranty one year on select original manufacturer’s warranties less than five years too.
Note that the Blue Cash Preferred card does have a $95 annual fee. Since the average American household spends approximately $600 a month in groceries, you can easily maximize the 6% bonus and justify the annual fee. All of these perks and offers make this card one of the best credit card for groceries options available.
Although the Blue Cash Preferred has a stellar 6% grocery rewards, it might not be the best credit card for groceries option for you. These other recommendations might also fit the bill if you don’t want cash back rewards or don’t want to pay an annual fee.
Blue Cash Everyday
The Blue Cash Everyday from American Express is the no annual fee alternative to the Blue Cash Preferred. Instead of 6% back, you will get 3% back on the first $6,000 in grocery purchases. By maxing out the 3% bonus, you will get $180 a year in bonus cash plus 1% on all remaining bonus categories.
You will also get unlimited 2% back at U.S. gas stations and departments, plus 1% back on all other purchases.
Even though the Blue Cash Everyday doesn’t have an annual fee, it still comes with the following card benefits:
- Roadside assistance
- Extended warranty protection
- 2-day Shoprunner shipping
Hilton Honors Credit Cards
If you regularly stay at Hilton hotels (Hilton, Hampton Inn, etc.) or you enjoy free hotel nights, the Hilton credit cards are the best credit cards for groceries that are also hotel cards. Grocery purchases are an easy way to bank points to earn free nights sooner.
Hilton Honors Credit Card
The Hilton Honors Credit Card earns 5x points at all U.S. supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations. As long as you don’t buy your groceries from a discount store like Walmart or Target, you’re guaranteed to earn an unlimited 5 points for every dollar spent.
As this is a hotel rewards card, you will earn 7x points on all Hilton purchases. All remaining purchases earn 3x points. Free Hilton nights start at 5,000 points per night and you can get the 5th night free when you pay for your first four nights with points. You can calculate your current credit card spending to quickly see how many rewards nights you can earn each year.
This recommendation is a great option if you want a secondary credit card or one that’s truly fee-free. You will never pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fee with this card.
The one “catch” to this card is that there’s a better Hilton credit card option if you spend at least $15,000 in total card purchases each year. If that’s the case, you can automatically get a free Hilton hotel night certificate.
Hilton Honors Ascend Card
When you spend at least $15,000 annually in total card purchases the Hilton Honors Ascend Card is the better option. The reason why is that you get a free weekend night certificate valid at virtually any Hilton Portfolio property. This free night is in addition to any free nights you can claim with your points balance.
Grocery purchases earn 6x points, in addition to U.S. restaurant and gas station purchases too. All Hilton purchases earn a 12x bonus.
This card comes with a few other Hilton Honors perks including:
- Free continental breakfast
- Space-available room upgrades
- Milestone bonuses
If you also fly on a regular basis, you also get 10 free Priority Pass Select airport lounge passes to relax away from the general terminal.
You won’t earn bonus points every month of the year at supermarkets, but you will earn 5% back when you can. The Chase Freedom offers 5% back on rotating quarterly categories. In 2018, grocery store purchases got 5% back during April, May, and June. If you can pay for your groceries with a digital wallet like Chase Pay or Apple Pay, you could also get 5% back during the first three months of 2018.
Getting 5% back on groceries is one reason to consider the Chase Freedom, but it can make an excellent pairing with a Chase Sapphire travel rewards card. Some people prefer travel rewards to cash rewards and maybe you’re one of “those people.”
If you own the Chase Sapphire, you can pool your Freedom points to get a travel redemption bonus or even transfer them on a 1:1 basis so your points are always worth at least 25% more. Some of the travel partners include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Hyatt, and Marriott. Instead of paying regular cash value for your next trip, your grocery trips can help you save.
Award travel might not be your cup of tea and you can still redeem your Freedom purchase rewards for cash back, gift cards, or travel rewards for 1 cent each.
Summary of the Best Credit Card For Groceries
You might not think about getting bonus points on grocery purchases because it’s a “boring” purchase. There are several credit cards that make the trip down the grocery aisle highly rewarding. Just like you can earn rewards points at any grocery store, you can also enjoy cash back or free travel as a reward too.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.