Best Credit Cards for Groceries of October 2019

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The best credit cards for groceries let cardholders earn cash back and flexible rewards based on how much they spend on food. Most of the top options come without an annual fee and 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.)

Editors' Picks

Best Overall

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
4.8
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
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 (%) 15.74% - 25.74% 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

The combination of a great rewards-earning rate on groceries and no annual fee puts the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card at the top of our list. It also offers very generous rewards on dining and entertainment, along with 1% back on everything else you buy. You’ll even earn $150 in cash back when you spend $500 within three months. There’s no limit to how much you can earn, your rewards will never expire, and you can redeem your cash back however you want. This is also our pick for the best card for grocery rewards with no annual fee and best for unlimited rewards on grocery spending.

Highest Rewards-Earning Rate

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
4.6
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
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 (%) 14.74% - 25.74% 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 made our list thanks to the fact it gives 6% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend on groceries each year (then 1%). The 6% cash-back rate also applies to purchases with select U.S. streaming services. 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.

Best Brand-Specific Card

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our Rating Among Grocery Cards
3.9
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
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 (%) 16.24% - 24.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Why We Chose This Card

If you spend considerable sums buying groceries on Amazon.com or at Whole Foods, make sure to look at the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. This pick earned a spot on this list based on the fact you earn 3% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases without an annual fee. You also get 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, making this card a winner for everything you buy.

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.

Different Types of Grocery Rewards Credit Cards & How 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.
  • 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 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?

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 to 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.

How to 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

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

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 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 2017, the average American household spent $4,363 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. For more information about how The Balance evaluates credit cards, see our full credit card review methodology