Now that we're all spending more on groceries, it's a great time to get a credit card that earns you bonus points. Here are 6 top options.
The best credit cards for buying groceries in 2021:
- Please note: while the offers mentioned below are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
- Best for earning points on groceries at US supermarkets: American Express® Gold Card
- Best for cash back on groceries at US supermarkets: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Best for Whole Foods: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Best for Amex points with a sub-$100 annual fee: Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
When I go to the grocery store, I'm always sure to grab the credit card that will give me the best rewards. And now that we're staying home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are spending more money on groceries.
If you don't have a credit card that earns you bonus rewards at the supermarket, now could be a great time to add one to your wallet. My top choice is the American Express® Gold Card, but there are also excellent cards that can earn you cash back instead of travel points — and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is running a new-cardholder bonus for 5x rewards on groceries for the first year of account opening that makes it an outstanding option as well.
We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year of opening an account. Beyond that, this card gives you 1.5% cash back on most purchases with no annual fee (the Freedom Unlimited also recently started offering bonus cash back on eligible travel, grocery, and drugstore purchases).
If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, however, the cash back on this card can get supercharged. Chase allows you to convert cash back to Ultimate Reward points at a ratio of 1 point to 1 cent in cash back. So 5% cash back at grocery stores would become 5 points per dollar — which is pretty hard to beat.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a new cash-back card that's currently offering the same grocery bonus for new cardholders as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. If you apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can earn 5% cash back on grocery purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first 12 months from account opening.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter when you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstores, and 1% back on everything else.
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening
- Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- $95 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Generous bonus rewards, especially at US supermarkets
- One of a small handful of credit cards that offer bonus rewards on select streaming services
- Intro APR offer
- Unlike many other cash-back cards, it charges an annual fee
- If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets each year, you'll want to use another card once you reach that cap
This powerhouse cash-back card offers 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 in combined annual purchases and 1% thereafter. If you spend $500 per month on groceries and take advantage of the full $6,000 in annual purchases, you'll earn $360 in cash back just from groceries.
The card also offers 6% back on select US streaming services, 3% on transit, 3% at US gas stations, and 1% everywhere else. While it does charge a $95 annual fee (See rates), it's easy to see how you can earn much, much more every year in cash back if you use the card regularly.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Welcome bonus: Get an $70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
Annual fee: $0 with Amazon Prime membership
The Amazon Prime Visa from Chase gives you 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods. Amazon might not be a grocery store, but it does offer a ton of food and pantry goods on its website. If you live in a city with Prime Now or Amazon Fresh, you can get even more of your groceries from the country's biggest online retailer.
Once you factor in 5% back at Whole Foods, you can earn a lot of rewards on groceries. If you have this card and don't have a Prime Membership, it gives you 3% back instead of 5%. But with no annual fee, you shouldn't have any recurring costs as long as you pay off the card in full each month by the due date.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $95
This was my longtime personal primary card at the grocery store before switching to the Amex Gold card. This card was my main card for good reason: It gives you 3 points per dollar at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year) by default, but if you make at least 30 purchases per calendar month you'll get a 50% bonus on all rewards you earn. That means you can earn up to 4.5 points per dollar at US supermarkets.
It also offers 2x points at gas stations and 1x everywhere else. But the 50% extra points bonus after 30 purchases per statement period makes it a serious point earner.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
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