Editors note: This post has been updated with the current card information. It was originally published on Oct. 9, 2019.
Americans spend more annually on food than on any other major household expense that can be easily paid for with a credit card about 10% of disposable income, according to the USDA. To that end, you should have a rewards credit card in your wallet that maximizes one of the biggest line items of your personal budget. But unlike travel credit cards, where the choices are plentiful, there are only a handful of points and cash-back cards that offer groceries as a bonus category. Many of the top choices come from one issuer American Express.
Still, that doesnt mean its hard to find a card that pays more than one cent per dollar spent on your grocery shopping. Weve selected six credit cards that can earn rewards worth hundreds or more annually for the typical household. The larger your grocery budget, the more you stand to benefit from a rewards card tailored for grocery spending.
Best credit cards for groceries in 2020
- The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express: Best low annual fee
- American Express Gold Card: Best for high spenders
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best for cash back
- Target REDcard: Best for shopping at Target
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon/Whole Foods purchases
- The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express: Best for no annual fee
Comparing the best grocery credit cards
Lets take a look at the six best cards to have when youre at the supermarket, ranked by value on grocery spending:
|Earning Rate on Groceries
|Value of Points (based on TPG valuations)
|Total Value Per Dollar Spent
|The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express
|3x points up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, then 1x, plus a 50% bonus when you use the card 30 times a billing cycle. Terms apply.
|2 cents each
|6 to 9 cents
|American Express Gold Card
|4x points up to $25,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets; then 1x. Terms apply.
|$250 (see rates and fees)
|2 cents each
|Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
|6% cash back up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets; then 1%. Terms apply.
|$95 (see rates and fees)
|5% savings on qualifying purchases at Target
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
|5% cash back on Whole Foods and Amazon.com purchases
|None, but must be an Amazon Prime member
|The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express
|2x points up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, plus a 20% bonus when you use the card 20 times a month. Terms apply.
|2 cents each
|4 to 4.8 cents
The information for the Amex EveryDay, Amex EveryDay Preferred and Amazon Prime Visa Signature have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Lets dive deeper into the details of these credit cards not only the bonuses on grocery-store spending but also the total first-year value of each card.
Grocery rewards: Earn 3x Amex points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).
Other rewards and perks: Earn 2x points at U.S. gas stations and 1x points on other purchases. Use your card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases (less returns and credits).
Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if youre targeted for a higher welcome offer.
Annual fee: $95
Keep in mind: Since this card is part of Amexs Membership Rewards program, points are more valuable than the standard one cent each youll find with most cash-back cards. According to TPGs latest valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth two cents apiece in travel rewards.
That means for every dollar spent at supermarkets which doesnt include superstores and warehouse clubs youll earn three points worth six cents. Then if you hit 30 monthly transactions, those three points per dollar spent turn into four and a half points per dollar spent (worth nine cents), making this the most valuable grocery card available for those who use it 30 times a month.
The information for The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Grocery rewards: Earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).
Other rewards and perks: Earn 4x points on dining, 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 1x points on other purchases. Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your card at participating partner restaurants. Receive up to $100 annually in travel credits when the qualifying airline you choose charges you incidental fees. No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
See the full Amex Gold card review for more details.
Welcome bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases in your first three months though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if youre targeted for a higher welcome offer.
Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)
Keep in mind: Although this card has great bonuses for spending at supermarkets (not including superstores and warehouse clubs) and restaurants, youll want to use a different card on gas purchases. Make sure you use the monthly dining credits as well as the annual airline-fee credit; these credits can effectively offset the annual fee.
Grocery rewards: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
Other rewards and perks: Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit and 1% back on other purchases. To learn more, read our Amex Blue Cash Preferred review.
Welcome bonus: Receive a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)
Keep in mind: When it comes to earning grocery rewards, not all stores are treated equally. American Express says you wont earn 6% cash back at superstores or warehouse clubs. Meanwhile, with bonus cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, this card is a great option for the average households most common expenses.
Grocery rewards: Earn 5% savings on qualifying purchases at Target.
Sign-up bonus: None.
Annual fee: None.
Keep in mind: Target offers the REDcard as either a debit or credit card. This card is only valid at Target, so you can save on your grocery shopping and any other shopping you do at the large retailer. Unlike with other cards, you wont actually redeem points for anything youll just save 5% at checkout.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. No foreign transaction fees.
Sign-up bonus: Youll typically get an Amazon gift card when you are approved though the precise amount varies.
Annual fee: None, but you must have an Amazon Prime membership.
Keep in mind: This card is especially valuable if you shop at Whole Foods. Also, the added benefit of free shipping on eligible Amazon orders can easily make getting an Amazon Prime Membership worthwhile beyond the rewards from this card.
Grocery rewards: Earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x)
Other rewards and perks: Earn 1x points on other purchases. Use your card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases (less returns and credits).
Welcome bonus: Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after making $1,000 in purchases in your first three months.
Annual fee: None
Keep in mind: This card earns fewer points than the EveryDay Preferred but it also doesnt have an annual fee. In the long term, if you only put groceries on these cards, the break-even point between the EveryDay and EveryDay Preferred when factoring in the annual fee differential is when your annual grocery bill is $4,750. (This doesnt factor in the bonuses for hitting 20 or 30 transactions in a billing period.) If you spend significantly less on groceries annually, the Amex EveryDay card will likely be the better choice.
Other grocery credit card options
If youre willing to put in some work, using business credit cards with an office-supply store bonus such as theInk Business Cash Credit Card to buy gift cards toward grocery shopping could help you earn 5% cash back (up to $25,000 per year in combined purchases for the Ink Cash). You may find a limited selection of gift-card options at most office-supply stores, however, and some stores may place limits on the use of credit cards when purchasing gift cards.
A few cards like theChase Freedom and Discover it Cash Back offer quarterly bonuses in rotating categories with a quarterly max of $1,500 spent on purchases each quarter which sometimes includes grocery stores. And both cards have no annual fee.
Related Reading: Ultimate guide to the best cards for each bonus category
Another solid cash-back option with no annual fee (see rates & fees) is the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express since it provides 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%). Finally, if youre looking for the best credit card for groceries purchased outside the U.S., youll likely do best with a general spending card without foreign transaction fees.
Everybody needs groceries, so you should be taking advantage of a card that offers bonus categories for supermarket shopping. Keep in mind that the best card for groceries may not be the best card for other transactions, such as when you dine out at a restaurant (Amex Gold notwithstanding) or fill up at a gas station. But before you head to the grocery store, make sure at least one of the above cards is in your purse or wallet in order to rack up plenty of travel rewards or cash back.
Additional reporting by Bent J. Wilson and Jason Stauffer.
Featured photo by chantal garnier / Unsplash.