How to Maximize Rewards on Grocery Spending

Ariana ArghandewalOct 18, 2019

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Groceries are a big spending category for most of us. Thanks to credit card category bonuses, shopping portal deals and mobile apps, it’s also a category we can earn something back in the form of points, miles, or cash. Whether you’re looking to earn points or cash back, here are a few ways you can maximize your return on grocery spending.

The first step to maximizing your grocery spending is to choose a in this category. The “best” card really depends on your goals: Are you saving up for a luxury vacation? Are you looking for flexible rewards? Maximum cash back? Below are some of the best cards to help you get the most out of your grocery spending.

The earns 6 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (terms apply). While , your points can go a long way if you redeem them right. For example, I recently got over 1.5 cents worth of value out of a . So putting your grocery spending on this card could get you the equivalent of a 9% return on your spending, but you should be able to get at least 2.4% return.

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If you prefer cash back on grocery spending instead of the uncertainty of point redemption value, look no further than the . The card earns 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets every year (terms apply). The card does have a annual fee, so factor that in when you’re calculating earnings based on your grocery spending habits.

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The  offers 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

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The earns 4 points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets every year (terms apply). The card is ideal for those who don’t want to be locked down into a single rewards currency. can be transferred to 19 different airline and hotel partners, providing plenty of opportunities to maximize the rewards earned from your grocery spending. Terms apply.

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Similar to the , the earns 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in rotating categories every quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. You must opt in to the program to participate. Grocery stores appeared on the between January and March this year.

But what makes the card so great is that all cash back is matched during the first year. So you will end up with a total of 10% cash back on the rotating categories at the end of the first year.

earns 3 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets on the first $6,000 every calendar year. Every billing cycle when you charge 30 or more transactions on this card, you’ll get 50% bonus points, meaning you could earn 4.5 points per $1 on the first $6,000 of your grocery spending every year. Terms apply.

What we like about is that it gets you access to . These are statement credit offers that get updated quite a bit. They include statement credits for select hotel spending, discounts on cell phone bills, and more. Terms apply.

Both airline and hotel reward programs offer substantial earnings when you use their shopping portals. This includes grocery stores like Safeway, which appears on both the United and American Airlines shopping portals. AAdvantage offers the biggest payout at 1 mile per $1 spent on the first order only.

It’s absolutely worth it to do a quick search on a shopping portal aggregator like to find out if your grocery store is eligible for extra rewards on online orders.

Lots of mobile apps offer cash back or points when you link your card and shop at a participating grocery store. Some of them, like iBotta, feature a coupon function that rewards you with cash back on select items.

Other examples include Dosh, which partners with Sam’s Club to offer cash back rewards. Simply link your credit card to your Dosh account and you’ll get bonus cash back. At the moment, Dosh is offering 5% cash back at Sam’s Club.

When you combine this deal with your rewards credit card, the points (or cash back) can really stack up — even if your preferred credit card doesn’t code Sam’s Club as a grocery store.

All information about the  has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The  is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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