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Best Rewards Credit Cards for Dining Out

Dining Out

by on October 1, 2013

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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® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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on Chase's
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A powerhouse of a credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the top cards on the market for its stellar travel rewards. The Sapphire starts you off with a sizable signing bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. 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®

Barclays Arrival Plus Credit Card
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on Barclays's
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The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is one of the best flat-rate rewards cards out there. It earns 2.2 miles on every $1 spent when you redeem for travel expenses, and 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. It’s got one of the best rewards rates out there, whether you’re splurging on restaurants or shopping for groceries.

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

Citibank ThankYou Preferred Credit Card
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on Citibank's
secure website

Matching the Sapphire’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. The signing bonus is 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 comes with a 0% on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99%-22.99% (Variable). While the rewards program is nowhere near as extensive as that of the Sapphire,the Citi ThankYou does not demand an annual fee. 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.