Best Credit Cards for Groceries of September 2020

Earn top rewards and get other valuable perks with our favorite grocery cards.

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments we receive from our advertising partners. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

The best credit cards for groceries let cardholders earn cash back and flexible rewards based on how much they spend on food. The top options offer the potential to earn significant rewards on grocery spending. (We determine likely grocery-rewards earnings using a card’s rewards-earning rate and average consumer spending data.)

Best Credit Cards for Groceries

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Best Overall

,

Best With No Annual Fee

,

Best for Unlimited Cash-Back Rewards

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
4.8
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Current Offer

$100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

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 (%) 13.49% - 17.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5x back at gas stations, 3x back on groceries, and 1x back on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    In addition to big rewards on gas, you can stack up some serious points by using this card to do your food shopping each week, which is why it tops our list. Three points per $1 spent on groceries (even those bought from military commissaries) is a great earning rate for a rewards card with no annual fee. And there’s no cap on how much you can earn, making it the best unlimited cash-back card, too. Better yet, as long as you get an account with the credit union (you can open a savings account with as little as $5), anyone can apply for this card. You don’t have to be affiliated with the U.S. military.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Great rewards on gas and grocery purchases
    • Minimal transaction and penalty fees

    Cons

    • Use this card for promotional balance transfers and you’ll lose the interest grace period on purchases
    • Reward redemption options are quite limited
    • Applicants must be PenFed Credit Union members
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in first 90 days.
    • 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries.
    • 1x points on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Highest Rewards-Earning Rate

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
4.7
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Current Offer

Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

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 (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6% back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back on eligible transit and US gas stations, and 1% back on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers an outstanding 6% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend on groceries each year (then 1%). The 6% cash-back rate applies to purchases with select U.S. streaming services, too. You’ll also earn 3% back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases, along with 1% back on everything else. Even with the annual fee, this card is well worth it for big grocery shoppers and people frequently fueling their vehicles. The card also has a nice welcome bonus.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Outstanding rewards rates on spending at U.S. supermarkets and with U.S. streaming
    • Competitive and easy-to-earn welcome offer

    Cons

    • Annual fee, which is unusual among cash-back cards
    • Annual limit on earning 6% on supermarket purchases
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Receive a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • You may be elgible for an instant card number, allowing you to earn cash back before you card arrives in the mail.
    • Your cash back is earned in the form of American Express Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • $95 annual fee.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Best Store-Specific Card

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
4.2
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Current Offer

Get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.

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 (%) 14.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0, Prime Membership Required
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods market with an eligible prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    If you have an Amazon Prime membership and often buy groceries at Whole Foods, this card should be in your wallet. It offers 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases (as long as you have an active Prime Membership), and some extra points on dining, gas, and drugstore purchases, too. We like how flexible the rewards are, and points are always worth 1 cent each, regardless of what they are used for. To top it off, there’s no spending requirement for the welcome bonus, either. You’ll get a $70 Amazon.com gift card or statement credit automatically added to your account once you are approved. 

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • High rewards earning rate for frequent Amazon and Whole Foods Market shoppers
    • No spending requirement for the welcome bonus
    • Several ways to redeem rewards at a solid 1 cent-per-point value

    Cons

    • No annual fee, but Amazon Prime membership is required
    • No promotional APR deals, unlike some competing cards
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
    • Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
    • Earn 1% back on all other purchases.
    • You can redeem your rewards every day toward millions of items when you shop at Amazon.com. During checkout, you can use your rewards to pay for part or all of your purchase. There’s no minimum rewards balance to redeem. 100 points = $1.00 when redeemed toward eligible purchases.
    • Plus, there is no annual credit card fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no earnings caps!

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Best for Travel

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
4.1
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your 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 (%) 12.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 points per $1 at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year. Earn 2 points at US gas stations, and 1 point on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    This card offers competitive earning rates on groceries, and if you can use this card at least 30 times per month, you’ll earn a higher rate of rewards, too. The Amex EveryDay Preferred card is our pick for travelers because it offers Membership Rewards points, which are most valuable when redeemed for travel, particularly when transferred to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program. There’s a nominal annual fee, but we think the flexibility this rewards card offers makes it a worthy contender for those looking to earn travel rewards on groceries and other everyday purchases.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Competitive rewards earning rates on routine purchases
    • More points for frequent spenders
    • Flexible travel rewards

    Cons

    • Annual fee
    • Earning caps may limit grocery rewards
    • Weak bonus for new cardholders
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $1,000 on purchases within your first 3 months
    • 3x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 in purchases each year
    • 2x points at U.S. gas stations
    • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months after opening new account
    • Use card 30 or more times on purchases within a billing cycle to earn 50% more points on those purchases, minus returns and credits
Find Your Credit Card Match We believe the rate at which you earn rewards, as well as the overall cost of the card, are the most important factors to consider when choosing a rewards card, but we know you might have different priorities. See what suits you best.
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What Are Rewards Credit Cards & How Do They Work?

Credit cards that offer rewards work similarly to traditional credit cards since they grant you a line of credit you can borrow against. However, rewards credit cards provide an incentive for each dollar you spend, usually in the form of cash back, flexible points to spend in various ways, or travel rewards.

Use your rewards credit card to pay for regular expenses like groceries, gas, and utility bills. You’ll earn rewards for each dollar you spend and, depending on the card you have, you may qualify for consumer benefits like purchase protection or extended warranties.

Like all credit cards, however, rewards credit cards will charge interest on your purchases if you don’t pay your credit card bill in full each month. To benefit from rewards, you’ll need to pay off your card balance faithfully so you never pay a dime in interest.

What Are the Different Types of Grocery Rewards Credit Cards & How Do They Work?

  • Flat-rate cash-back credit cards. These cards earn the same rewards rate on all purchases. Examples: Capital One Quicksilver Rewards and Citi Double Cash.
  • General cash-back credit cards with multiple rewards rates. You earn a different amount of rewards depending on the category of your purchases. Some offer bonus rewards on grocery purchases—usually up to a specific annual limit—with different rewards rates on other purchases you make. Examples: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards.
  • Credit cards with rotating categories. Some credit cards change the category that earns the highest rewards. One quarter, that category may include grocery store spending, and the cards usually publish a calendar of the quarterly rewards categories. Keep in mind this means you may only earn bonus rewards on grocery purchases for part of the year. Examples: Discover it Cash Back and Chase Freedom Flex.
  • Co-branded grocery store cards. These cards earn extra rewards at specific grocery stores. Depending on the card, you may or may not be able to use the credit card elsewhere. Examples: Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard.

Also note that many of the top credit cards for groceries offer a welcome bonus if you can meet a minimum spending requirement within a few months. This bonus can be worth $100 or more on its own. 

How Do Cards With Discounts Work?

In addition to general rewards credit cards that happen to offer rewards for grocery purchases, some cards are co-branded with a specific brand of stores. Cards that fall into this category may let you earn rewards on your grocery purchases, or they may just offer a “discount” on your purchases when you pay with your credit card.

Getting a discount on your grocery purchases can help you keep food costs down over the long run, but scoring a discount isn’t the same as earning rewards. Before you sign up for a credit card for grocery purchases, make sure you know the difference. Will you be earning points you can redeem for cash back, merchandise, or gift cards? Or will you receive a discount on your purchases instead?

What Are Some Pros & Cons of Grocery Rewards Cards?

Pros
  • Annual fees are rare

  • The bigger the grocery bill, the better the rewards can be

  • Rewards earning may not be limited to groceries

  • You may get a sign-up bonus

Cons
  • Interest charges can swamp your rewards

  • Rewards aren’t always unlimited

  • Redemption options are sometimes limited

  • Discounts aren’t always as valuable as rewards

Pros Explained

  • Annual fees are rare: Many grocery-specific rewards credit cards come with no annual fee.
  • The bigger the grocery bill, the better the rewards can be: Families who spend a lot of money on food each month can earn a lot of rewards over time.
  • Rewards earning isn’t always limited to groceries: Many grocery store credit cards let you earn points on every purchase you make with your card, not just groceries.
  • You may get a sign-up bonus: Some grocery store credit cards offer a sign-up bonus if you can meet a minimum spending requirement within a few months.

Cons Explained

  • Interest charges can swamp your rewards: Like all credit cards, grocery store credit cards will charge interest on your purchases if you don’t pay your balance in full each month.
  • Rewards aren’t always unlimited: Some grocery store cards set annual limits on the bonus points you can earn. 
  • Redemption options are sometimes limited: Grocery store credit cards may offer limited ways to redeem your rewards.
  • Discounts aren’t always as valuable as rewards: Some grocery cards offer a discount on your purchases instead of points or miles you can redeem

How Do You Choose a Grocery Rewards Credit Card?

Here are some questions you should ask yourself as you compare grocery store credit card offers:

  • How much money do you spend on groceries each month or each year?
  • Do you want to earn a welcome bonus for meeting a minimum spending requirement?
  • Do you plan to use your credit card for purchases other than groceries?
  • Do you prefer to earn flat-rate rewards? Or do you mind keeping up with bonus categories, including ones that might change each quarter?
  • Are you okay paying an annual fee in exchange for a higher rate of rewards?

Ideally, you’ll settle on a grocery rewards credit card that lets you earn as much back as possible based on how much you normally spend. Also look for cards that offer the type of rewards you want to earn whether that’s cash back, gift cards, or a discount on your grocery purchases. 

If you’re on the fence about paying an annual fee, make sure to run the numbers to see how much you can earn in rewards if you go with a card that charges this fee but offers a higher earning rate. If you spend a lot on groceries and other purchases, you may find cards with the highest earning rate will leave you better off even after you account for the fees they charge.

When you decide what you’re looking for, take another look at our picks for the best credit cards for buying groceries:

Best Credit Cards for Groceries
 Credit Card Category Annual Fee​
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card Best Overall $0
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card Best With No Annual Fee $0
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card Best for Unlimited Cash-Back Rewards $0
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Highest Rewards-Earning Rate $0
Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card Best for Travel $95
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card Best Store-Specific Card $0

How Do You Accumulate Rewards Faster?

There are plenty of strategies you can use to earn more rewards over time.

  • If your rewards credit card offers a shopping portal, use it any time you make a purchase online to earn even more rewards for each dollar you spend.
  • Use your credit card for all regular purchases you make including groceries, gas, miscellaneous spending, utility bills, children’s activities, daycare, and health insurance premiums if you can. 
  • If your credit card offers a sign-up bonus, make sure you meet the minimum spending requirement before the deadline hits. 
  • Take advantage of special promotions that can help you earn more rewards, such as Amex Offers or Chase Offers. 

Can I Get a Grocery Rewards Credit Card With Bad Credit?

Since individual credit card issuers have unique approval criteria, there are no hard and fast rules that dictate the exact credit score you’ll need to get approved for a grocery store card. However, consumers with a FICO score in the “very good” or “exceptional” range—or any FICO score above 740—have the best chance at qualifying for a rewards credit card.

If your credit score needs work, you may want to take steps to improve it before you apply for a grocery store rewards credit card from a major issuer. For example, make sure all your bills are paid early or on time, pay down debt to improve your credit utilization rate, and refrain from opening or closing too many accounts.

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.

About This List

We evaluated more than 100 rewards credit cards to arrive at our top picks for grocery store rewards. To do this, we used consumer spending data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and calculated likely grocery-rewards earnings for each card. In 2018, the average American household spent $4,464 on food at home. While we use that average to determine potential earnings on grocery spending, you may earn more or less, depending on your personal budget.

What We Score

The potential rewards earnings on grocery spending largely determined our rankings, but we also heavily favored cards with low annual fees and those that aren't branded by airline or hotel to recommend rewards cards that can be enjoyed by many, rather than primarily fans of one or two travel providers. For more information about how The Balance evaluates credit cards, see our full credit card review methodology