Best Credit Cards for Dining (In or Out) of September 2020

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The best credit cards for dining offer generous rewards on restaurant purchases, and sometimes even offer statement credits and dining perks. We’ve analyzed hundreds of card offers to find the most rewarding cards for all your restaurant purchases, regardless of whether you dine in or carry out. 

Best Credit Cards for Dining (In or Out)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best Overall

,

Best for Food Delivery

,

Best for Travelers

Our Rating Among Dining Cards
3.8
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Current Offer

50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $550
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit, 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This premium travel rewards card charges a steep $550 annual fee, but carries some standout benefits that can make the cost worth it for restaurant-loving travelers. For starters, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, as well as on travel purchases. Cardholders also get a DoorDash DashPass subscription for a minimum of one year if activated by December 2021 and can earn up to $120 back in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through 2021. Frequent travelers will enjoy a $300 annual travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access, and many more luxurious travel perks. The new-cardholder bonus is worth $750 in travel booked through Chase, or potentially more when transferred to an eligible partner travel loyalty program.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Earn extra points for travel and dining purchases
    • Many different purchases count as travel spending, which makes earning rewards easier
    • Several valuable ways to use points, including transfers to partner loyalty programs
    • Jam-packed with valuable travel credit and travel insurance benefits

    Cons

    • Massive annual fee
    • High ongoing APR
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Receive 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Get an annual $300 travel credit for eligible purchases charged to your card each anniversary year.
    • Earn 3 points on travel (excluding purchases eligible for the travel credit), restaurants, and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
    • Points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal.
    • Transfer points 1:1 to eligible Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partner programs.

Citi Prestige®

High Dining Rewards Rate

Our Rating Among Dining Cards
3.7
Citi Prestige®
Current Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $495
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5 points per dollar at airlines, travel agencies, and restaurants, 3 points per dollar at hotels and cruise lines, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Restaurant enthusiasts who want to get more out of each dollar spent on dining or takeout need to check out this premium travel card. It boasts one of the highest rewards-earning rates on the market for dining: 5 points per $1 spent. Even better, you’ll also get 5 points per $1 on air travel and 3 points per $1 on hotels and cruise lines. Take note of the steep $495 annual fee, but in exchange, this card offers some valuable travel perks, including a $250 annual travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access and hotel nights, and reimbursed Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fees. You’ll also earn a nice 50,000-point bonus worth $610, based on The Balance’s calculations.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Super high rewards earning rates
    • Long list of great travel benefits
    • Many ways to use points, including transfers to travel partner loyalty programs

    Cons

    • Steep annual fee
    • Additional cardholders will be charged an authorized user fee
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Indulge in exceptional travel and hotel rewards with the Citi Prestige Card, one of Citi’s ThankYou rewards credit cards designed for avid travelers.
    • 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points are redeemable for $500 in travel, anytime, with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou Travel Center.
    • Complimentary fourth night at a hotel of your choice after a minimum 4 consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com
    • Up to $250 travel credit every calendar year

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best With No Annual Fee

Our Rating Among Dining Cards
3.5
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% cash back on dining, 3% on entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    Some of the best credit cards for dining charge annual fees, but don’t feel left out if you’re fee-averse. This card is a great option and offers 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on everything else. While that earning rate on dining purchases is slightly lower than what you’d get with its sister card, you’ll still get access to special dining and entertainment experiences. New cardholders can also get a one-time bonus of $150, a competitive introductory 0% purchase APR for 15 months and, of course, no annual fee.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Good cash-back rate on both dining and entertainment, an unusual combination, especially for a card without an annual fee
    • No limit on how much cash back you can earn in bonus categories
    • Travel insurance benefits and lack of foreign transaction fee cater to travelers

    Cons

    • Exclusions on purchase categories may impact your reward-earning potential
    • Some benefits will depend on which type of Mastercard you’re approved for
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • Rewards don't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

American Express® Gold Card

Best Dining/Grocery Combination

Our Rating Among Dining Cards
3.5
American Express® Gold Card
Current Offer

Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4 points per $1 spent at restaurants and at US supermarkets (up-to $25,000 per year). 3 points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If you’re the sort of person who loves eating out and cooking your own meals, this card belongs in your wallet. It offers 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (the latter is limited to $25,000 spent each year), which is stellar compared to other card offers. The $250 annual fee can sting a bit, but it helps that you can earn up to $100 back in annual airline fee credits on an eligible airline of your choice and up to $120 annually (up to $10 per month) in dining credits. You’ll qualify for the dining credit when you use the card to order food via GrubHub or Seamless, or if you use your card to pay at The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Great earning rate on dining purchases, and good rate on flight purchases
    • Membership Rewards program offers many ways to redeem points, especially for travelers

    Cons

    • High annual fee, considering you can get similar travel rewards from other lower-cost cards
    • Limited financing options. (This is really a charge card.)
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • One annual fee. Unlimited possibilities. Explore just some of the unparalleled benefits that can add up to more than the annual fee.
    • $120 Dining Credit
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit
    • $100 The Hotel Collection Credit

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Most Ways to Earn

Our Rating Among Dining Cards
3.5
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Current Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months ($200 cash redemption value).

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, for travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals, as well as popular streaming services. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This is the second card on our list that has no annual fee, but it’s the card that offers the most reward earning categories in addition to dining. You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on eating out and ordering in, gas station purchases, rideshares and transit, flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals, and popular streaming services. That generous line-up of bonus categories makes it easy to earn extra points even when you aren’t enjoying a restaurant meal. When you first get the card, you can take advantage of a decent introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and earn a 20,000-point bonus worth $200.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Generous rewards rate on many common expenses
    • No annual fee

    Cons

    • Longer 0% APR offers on purchases and balance transfers exist
    • Cash back can only be redeemed in $20 or $25 increments
    • If you’ve received the bonus or interest deal before, you may not be eligible again
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $200 cash redemption value.
    • Earn 3 points on the following: eating out/ordering in, gas, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and popular streaming services.
    • $0 annual fee.
    • No limit to points you can earn, and points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
    • Cell phone protection offers insurance against your cell phone from damage or theft.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best With Annual Fee Under $100

,

Best for Going Out on the Town

Our Rating Among Dining Cards
3.4
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Current Offer

$300 Cash Back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate 4 % Cash Back on dining and entertainment. 2% back at grocery stores. 1% back on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If you want outsized rewards on restaurant purchases but don’t want to commit to a big annual fee, this card has your back. For a $95 annual fee, you get unlimited 4% cash back on both dining and entertainment, which is a standout earning rate and makes it the perfect card to use for a night on the town. You’ll also get access to special experiences, including fine dining events, VIP tickets, and more. What's more, the card offers 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. To top it off, the $300 new-cardholder welcome offer is decent.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • High (and unlimited) rewards earning rate on dining and entertainment purchases
    • Few cash back redemption rules, so rewards are easy to use
    • Valuable travel and cellphone insurance benefits
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Annual Fee
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
    • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
    • Cardholders get access to unforgettable experiences—think VIP tickets, five-star meals and beyond.
    • You won’t pay a transaction fee when making a purchase outside of the United States.
    • You’ll get additional warranty protection at no charge on eligible items that are purchased with your credit card.

How Do Credit Card Dining Rewards Work?

Rewards credit cards offer cash back, points, or miles when you make certain purchases. Depending on the card, it may offer a single earning rate for all purchases, or it may award more points for purchases that fall into certain categories, such as dining.

The best credit cards for dining rewards offer at least 3% back on restaurant purchases. However, some go an extra mile and offer 4% or even 5% back. 

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that not all rewards rates are created equal. Cash-back rewards cards are the most straightforward because you can use cash back for just about anything and the value remains consistent. For example, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 4% cash back on dining, which means you’ll get $4 back for every $100 you spend on qualified purchases.

However, if a rewards card offers points or miles—both of which are often associated with travel credit cards—how you can use those rewards and their value will vary based on the rewards program it’s tied to, such as American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

For example, the American Express Gold Card offers 4 points per $1 spent at restaurants (including takeout), which can be worth more than 1 cent apiece, depending on how you redeem them. That means you could get more than $4 back in value for every $100 you spend at restaurants with that particular card. If you’re interested in maximizing your rewards redemption values, getting a card with flexible rewards like that can be worth it.

Best Credit Cards for Dining (In or Out)
Credit Card Category Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best Overall $550
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best for Food Delivery $550
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best for Travelers $550
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card Best With Annual Fee Under $100 $0 for the first year, then $95
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card Best for Going Out on the Town $0 for the first year, then $95
American Express Gold Card Best Dining/Grocery Combination $250
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Best With No Annual Fee $0
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card Most Ways to Earn $0
Citi Prestige Credit Card High Dining Rewards Rate $495

What Types of Cards Reward Dining?

Dining rewards credit cards offer the chance to earn extra rewards on just dining out or on dining out and ordering in. Depending on the card, making purchases at some or all of the following places may qualify as dining purchases:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars, pubs, and taverns
  • Cafes
  • Fast-food restaurants
  • Bakeries

Some cards may also offer bonus rewards on purchases made through food delivery services such as DoorDash, GrubHub, and Seamless. Be careful about how you use your card, though. Some restaurant purchases that you think are dining purchases may not actually qualify. For example, if a card states that you’ll earn bonus rewards at restaurants only, you may not get anything extra if you order from a restaurant through a third-party delivery service.   

If you eat at a restaurant inside another establishment, such as a hotel or casino, the purchase may not count as a restaurant purchase and therefore won’t earn extra dining rewards. It’s important to know exactly what purchases are included in your card’s dining rewards category, so you can avoid missing out on extra cash back, points, or miles.

How Should You Choose a Dining Rewards Card?

To pick the best dining rewards credit card for you, ask yourself these questions to narrow down your options based on your spending habits and preferences:

  • How often do you eat out? If your immediate answer is “ a lot,” you may spend enough to make a card with a higher annual fee worth the cost. On the flip side, occasional diners may be better off with a no-annual-fee card, so there’s no extra cost to offset.
  • Do you prefer dining out or ordering in? As we mentioned, not all rewards cards reward the same types of purchases. Based on your preferred way to get restaurant food, check to see which dining-related purchases are eligible for extra rewards before you apply for a card.
  • Do you spend a lot in other categories? Many dining cards also offer bonus rewards on other types of purchases, such as groceries or travel. Picking a card that fits more of your spending habits can help you not only earn more, but also reduce the need to pair your dining rewards card with several others. How much flexibility do you want with your rewards? Using cash back is pretty easy, but you may be able to get more value with a credit card that offers travel points or miles for your dining purchases.
  • Am I going to pay off the balance in full each month? If not, don’t focus on earning dining rewards. Any monthly interest costs you accumulate will quickly negate any savings earned from racking up dining rewards. You’ll want a low APR card to keep debt costs low instead.
  • What perks do I want? Some of the credit cards that generously reward dining purchases charge steep annual fees, but provide some great benefits (such as statement credits or airport lounge access) that help make up for that unavoidable yearly cost. Review the options to determine if you will enjoy them and get enough value from them to come out on top.

Once you’ve answered these questions, review our list of the dining rewards cards above and apply for the card that will give you the most bang for your buck based on how you’d use it.

Methodology

We collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances. We do this because it's our mission to give you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews.

Our reviews are always impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive.

About This List

We reviewed more than 150 rewards credit cards to find the very best in the category, and these cards made the cut for this list.

What We Score

We first and foremost favor cards that allow you to earn a lot of rewards on restaurant purchases when taking into account their three-year average annual fee. We also took into consideration other ways consumers might want to earn rewards, such as on groceries, travel, or entertainment. Cards with food delivery benefits and special events that foodies might like scored better as well. For more information about how The Balance evaluates credit cards, see our full credit card review methodology