Top 3 Credit Cards for Grocery Purchases

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It’s not uncommon for a family to spend $600 a month on groceries. If you’re only earning 1% back on groceries with your current credit card, you’re missing out! These top credit cards for grocery purchases make it easy to earn the most rewards points on everyday purchases!

To earn cash back on groceries, you will have to buy them at a supermarket like Kroger, Publix, HEB, Safeway, etc. You will only earn the basic purchase reward rate (generally 1 point per $1) if you shop at discount stores like Target, Walmart, or Amazon because they sell many non-grocery items too.

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express

Best Rewards Cards for Holiday Spending - Blue Cash Preferred

Payout: 6% on first $6,000

The Blue Cash Preferred earns 6% cash back your first $6,000 each year at all U.S. supermarkets for $360 in cash back. After you max out the 6% bonus rewards, you will earn 1% on all remaining grocery purchases for the rest of the year. This the most rewarding credit card for grocery purchases because of the 6% bonus payout.

If you max out the 6% bonus, you’ll earn $360 a year! That’s $300 more than you might already earn with a credit card that only offers 1% back on grocery purchases.

In addition to earning 6% on groceries, you will also earn bonus cash back on the following purchases:

  • Unlimited 3% cash back at all U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on all remaining purchases (plus all grocery spending after the first $6,000)

As a new Blue Cash Preferred credit card owner, you also have the opportunity to earn a $200 welcome offer after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.

The Blue Cash Preferred is a good option when you want a primary credit card that earns cash back. It can also be a good secondary credit card if you can maximize the 6% grocery reward and also buy gas on a regular basis.

Earn 3% Back If You Don’t Pay The Annual Fee

If you can’t justify the $95 annual fee and still want to enjoy the benefits of owning a cash back rewards card, you can also go with the Blue Cash Everyday.

While you’ll only earn 3% on groceries instead of 6% on the first $6,000, you still earn 2% back at U.S. gas stations and department stores, plus 1% on all non-bonus spending.

By maxing out the 3% grocery bonus, you will earn $180 in rewards each year and 1% on all remaining grocery purchases.

Premier Rewards Gold from American Express [Expired]

Editor’s Note: The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has been upgraded to the American Express® Gold Card. It comes with the opportunity to earn valuable Membership Rewards Points, 4x purchase rewards on U.S. restaurants and supermarket purchases, and a limited-edition Rose Gold metal color option. Click here to learn more.

Payout: 2 points per $1

The second best credit card earns 2x American Express Membership Rewards points on all grocery purchases. You might like this option if you enjoy redeeming your credit card rewards for travel.

With the Premier Rewards Gold from American Express, you will earn up to 3 points per $1 on all purchases:

  • 3 points per dollar on flights book directly through the airline
  • 2 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases

If you fly on a regular basis and still want to earn points on your non-travel purchases, the Amex PRG does a good job of rewarding your largest monthly living expenses, food, and gas.

The real value of the Amex Premier Rewards Gold is in the additional travel perks. For starters, you get an annual $100 air travel credit that covers the cost of baggage fees and in-flight purchases.

But, what makes the Membership Rewards points so valuable is the option to transfer your points to your favorite airline and hotel loyalty program on a 1:1 basis. If you fly on Delta, JetBlue, British Airway Avios (American Airlines and Alaska Air), you can book award travel faster than ever.

The annual fee for the Amex PRG is $195 (it’s $0 the first year) before you factor in the $100 air travel credit that effectively lowers the fee to $95 a year. If you prefer travel rewards to cash back, the PRG can be a better alternative to the Blue Cash Preferred (our #1 recommendation).

While the Amex Premier Rewards Gold is a great option to maximize your airline, gas, and grocery purchases, this travel rewards card is a perfect complement to the Amex Platinum that earns 5x Membership Rewards on airfare and hotel purchases (regardless of the travel provider), which is the highest travel reward for any flexible travel rewards card.

Chase Freedom

Best Rewards Cards for Holiday Shopping - Chase Freedom Card

Payout: Up to 5%

The Chase Freedom is an annual fee-free cash back rewards card that has a quarterly bonus category that rewards 5% on your first $1,500 spent. Occasionally supermarkets will be a rotating category like the spring of last year, but all the categories haven’t been released this year.

Owning the Chase Freedom can be beneficial if you want to earn cash back or travel rewards. As a member of the Chase Trifecta, you can transfer every Ultimate Rewards point to your Sapphire Preferred, Reserve or Ink Business Preferred to receive a 25% redemption bonus when you redeem your points for award travel, each point is worth 1.25 cents instead of the usual 1 cent redemption value.

If you relish the idea of transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to a travel partner like Southwest Airlines, United, Avios (American Airlines partner flights), or even hotel programs including IHG, Marriott, and Hyatt, your Chase Freedom points can be worth double if you own a Sapphire or Ink Preferred card.

Even if the idea of redeeming your Chase points for award travel isn’t your cup of tea, they are still very valuable for cash statement credits and gift cards.

What About Hotel Rewards Cards?

Some co-brand hotel credit cards will award bonus points on grocery store purchases as well. This option can be valuable if you like redeeming for credit card rewards for hotel nights. Overall, hotel rewards points are often less valuable as they usually have a value less than 1.0 cents each (10,000 points=$100).

With the options listed above, your rewards points are always worth 1 cent each or even as much as 2 cents when you can transfer them to an airline frequent flyer program.

Summary on Best Credit Cards for Grocery Store Purchases

At the end of the day, the best credit card to buy groceries with depends on how easily you can redeem your rewards points. If you prefer travel rewards, a cash back card will be nice but you can’t bank those rewards points up for a future trip. On the other hand, cash back cards offer immediate rewards that can be used to lower your monthly statement balance each month because they are easy to redeem.

Mary Renking

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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.

Top 3 Credit Cards for Grocery Purchases
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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