Best Rewards Credit Cards for Dining Out - NerdWallet
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Best Rewards Credit Cards for Dining Out

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Dining Out

Chances are, you will, at some point, eat something today. That’s what people do. So why not earn rewards on a basic human need? Whether you prefer half-off happy hour quesadillas or saffron-scented lobster paella, everyone needs a good dining card. It’s not difficult to find a product that offers accelerated rewards on restaurant purchases–the hard part is finding a card tailored perfectly to your spending patterns. In this article, we’ll show you four of today’s best rewards credit cards for dining out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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A powerhouse of a credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one of the top cards on the market for its stellar travel rewards. This card starts you off with a sizable signing bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Both dining and travel purchases then earn 2 points per dollar spent. All other purchases accumulate rewards at a flat 1% rate. Part of why this card rocks is the 20% discount you receive when you use points to book travel through Chase. There are no foreign transaction fees, and it has an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. To put the cherry on top, points can be transferred to a number of travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 no-fee rate.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Credit Card
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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is one of the best flat-rate rewards cards out there. It earns 2 miles for every $1 spent, plus gives you a 5% miles bonus when you redeem as a statement credit. It also starts off with a strong bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. It has no foreign transaction fee, key for international travelers, and its annual fee is $89 - Waived first year.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points

Citibank ThankYou Preferred Credit Card
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Matching the Chase Sapphire Preferred®’s 2-point-per-dollar dining rate, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points card has its own batch of benefits. You also receive 2 points for every dollar spent on entertainment and 1 point per dollar on everything else. This card also comes with a signing bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $1,500 in card purchases within 3 months of account opening - redeemable for $200 in gift cards or other great rewards. When you open your account, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points comes with an APR of 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% Variable . While the rewards program is nowhere near as extensive as that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card — Earn 20,000 Bonus Points comes with an annual fee of: $0*. Another cool feature is the embedded smart chip that increases your card’s compatibility with international vendors when traveling abroad.

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  • Joel

    If you’re a college student, you can get the Citi Forward card for college students that pays you 5 ThankYou points (which ends up being a 4% – 5% reward depending on how you redeem the points) at restaurants, movie theaters, music stores, and book stores (and Amazon.com counts as a book store).

    The AmEx Costco card also pays 2% cash back at restaurants.
    I got these other cards from the handy summary at http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/711457/ which also lists some others.

  • Joel

    If you’re a college student, you can get the Citi Forward card for college students that pays you 5 ThankYou points (which ends up being a 4% – 5% reward depending on how you redeem the points) at restaurants, movie theaters, music stores, and book stores (and Amazon.com counts as a book store).

    The AmEx Costco card also pays 2% cash back at restaurants.
    I got these other cards from the handy summary at http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/711457/ which also lists some others.