Best of

6 Best Credit Cards for Groceries of October 2020

NerdWalletOctober 15, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Families with big grocery bills can save hundreds of dollars by paying for them with a credit card that offers elevated rewards at the supermarket. According to federal consumer expenditure data, the average U.S. household spent $4,363 on "food at home" in 2017, the most recent year available. Paying for groceries with a card that earned just 2% rewards on groceries would have earned such a household more than $87. Imagine saving that kind of money at the checkout — without even needing to clip coupons! You can do it with these cards

NerdWallet's Best Credit Cards for Groceries of October 2020

Best Credit Cards for Groceries From Our Partners

Our pick for

Highest rewards rate

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Rewards Rate

1%-6%

Cashback

Intro offer

$300

Recommended Credit Score

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the industry champ. 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms apply. Rewards on $5,000 a year in U.S. supermarket spending: $300.

Pros

In addition to the great rewards rates, you can earn a nifty new-cardholder bonus: Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020. Terms Apply. Plus, there's a good 0% intro APR offer.

Cons

There's an annual fee, and it's high for a cash-back card: $0 intro for the first year, then $95. But if you spend around $31 per week at the supermarket, you'll make that up in cash back — and that's not even taking into account rewards earned in the card's other bonus categories.

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • 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.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Ongoing high cash back with no annual fee

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else. Terms apply. Rewards on $5,000 a year in U.S. supermarket spending: $150.

Pros

This card comes with a great 0% intro APR period, plus a welcome offer: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. The annual fee is $0.

Cons

If you spend at least $61 per week at the supermarket, you’re actually better off paying the annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because you'll come out ahead with the higher rewards rate.

  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 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 and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Outstanding rewards in the first year

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

You're not going to do better at the grocery store for a $0 annual fee than you will with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® — for the first year, at least. New cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart) in the first 12 months. Rewards on $5,000 a year in grocery store spending: $250.

Pros

On top of the bonus grocery rewards in the first year, this card earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% at drugstores and restaurants, and 1.5% on other purchases. New cardholders get a great bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period, too.

Cons

After the first year (or after you spend $12,000 at the grocery store, whichever comes first), the rewards rate on groceries drops to a pedestrian 1%.

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

Our pick for

2% cash back on everything

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-2%

Cashback

Intro offer

$0

Recommended Credit Score

Not interested in carrying a special card just for groceries? The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a great one-card solution. It earns 2% back on all purchases — 1% when you buy and 1% back when you pay it off. Rewards on $5,000 a year in grocery store spending: $100.

Pros

This card's simplicity is its not-so-secret weapon: No bonus categories to contend with or spending caps to worry about. The annual fee is $0.

Cons

This offer doesn't include a sign-up bonus or a 0% intro APR period for purchases.

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Our pick for

Outstanding rewards in the first year

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ matches the boffo grocery rewards of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart) in the first year your account is open. Rewards on $5,000 a year in grocery store spending: $250.

Pros

In addition to the grocery rewards, this card earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter in categories that change every three months (online activation required); 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase; 3% at drugstores and restaurants; and 1% on other purchases. The card also matches the sign-up bonus, 0% intro APR period and $0 annual fee of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Cons

After the first year (or after you spend $12,000 at the grocery store, whichever comes first), the rewards rate on groceries drops to a pedestrian 1%. It remains to be seen whether grocery stores will appear as a quarterly category.

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

Our pick for

Travel rewards

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Rate

1x-4x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

The American Express® Gold Card earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases. And if you're tired of cooking? You can also earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, with no annual cap. Terms apply. Rewards on $5,000 a year in U.S. supermarket spending: $200 (assuming redemption value of 1 cent per point).

Pros

In addition to its 4X categories, this card pays 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. There's also a welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply. And the card comes with a slew of perks that can help offset its hefty annual fee.

Cons

There's a steep annual fee of $250. This card is for someone who spends a lot on groceries AND likes to travel. If you don't travel much, forget the 4X points and look elsewhere.

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR GROCERIES

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Overall highest rewards rate

If your household spends a lot on groceries, gas, transit and streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is for you. The rewards it pays in those categories — particularly at U.S. supermarkets and on select streaming services — are among the richest of any card. There's a nice bonus offer for new cardholders and an introductory 0% APR period, too. The generous benefits come at a cost, though: Unlike most cash-back cards, this one charges an annual fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: Outstanding rewards in the first year 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® was already a fine card when it offered 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Now it's even better, with bonus rewards on travel booked through Chase, as well as at restaurants and drugstores. On top of all that, new cardholders get a 0% introductory APR period, bonus rewards at grocery stores and the opportunity to earn a sweet cash bonus. Read our review.

Our pick for: Outstanding rewards in the first year 

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate, as well as on travel booked through Chase, at restaurants and at drugstores. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending matches the categories — and for a lot of people, it will — you can rack up hundreds of dollars a year. There's a fantastic bonus offer for new cardholders and a 0% intro APR period, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Ongoing high cash back with no annual fee

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. The rewards aren't as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn't charge an annual fee. New cardholders get a decent bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period. If you're buying groceries regularly but not necessarily all the time, it's worth a look. Read our review.

Our pick for: 2% cash back on everything

Year after year, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been our choice for the best flat-rate cash-back card. You earn 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you buy something and 1% when you pay it off. There's no 0% intro period for purchases and no sign-up bonus, but the high rewards rate more than makes up for the lack of bells and whistles. Read our review.

Our pick for: Frequent restaurant diners

Love the night life but dead-set against paying an annual fee? Consider the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It pays a lower cash-back rate on dining and entertainment than the regular Savor card, but the rewards are nevertheless quite good. The sign-up bonus is smaller than on the annual-fee version, too, but it's still solid. Read our review.

Our pick for: Customizable 5% cash back

If you don't mind putting some work into your rewards, check out the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card. It might be the most customizable cash back card available. You pick which categories earn the most cash back — you get two 5% categories and a 2% category — and you can change those options every quarter. There's a good bonus offer for new cardholders, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Travel rewards

The American Express® Gold Card can earn you a pile of points from everyday spending, with generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, at restaurants worldwide and on certain flights booked through amextravel.com. Other benefits include hundreds of dollars a year in available dining and travel credits and a solid bonus offer for new cardholders. There's an annual fee, though, and a pretty substantial one, so it's not for smaller spenders. Read our review.

Our pick for: Customizable 3% cash back and Bank of America® customers 

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gives you a little more control over your credit card rewards by letting you choose which category earns the highest cash-back rate, from a list that includes gas stations, restaurants, travel and others. You also get bonus rewards at grocery stores and supermarkets, plus a great new-cardholder bonus offer. Read our review.

Options for brand loyalists

The cards identified above can earn elevated rewards regardless of the supermarket or grocery store where you shop. If you shop at Costco, Whole Foods or Target, consider these options.

Costco: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

If you buy your groceries wholesale-club-style, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi earns 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com. It also earns 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (both at Costco and at other gas stations) on the first $7,000 per year (1% thereafter), as well as 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases. All other spending earns 1% back. The annual fee is $0, although you have to be a Costco member to apply, and membership starts at $60 a year. » Rewards on $5,000 a year in groceries at Costco: $100.

Whole Foods: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

If you're more of a Whole Foods fanatic — and if you already pay for an Amazon Prime membership — consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. It earns 5% back at Whole Foods, plus 5% back at Amazon.com, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% everywhere else. Redeem your points for Amazon.com purchases at a value of 1 cent per point. The card's annual fee is $0, but you must be an Amazon Prime member, which does require a yearly fee. » Rewards on $5,000 a year in groceries at Whole Foods: $250.

Target: Target REDcard™ Credit Card

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card doesn't offer rewards in the form of cash back or points, but you could argue that it gives you something even better: an immediate 5% discount on nearly everything you buy at Target, either in-store or online. You also get free shipping on most items at Target.com. If your grocery runs take you to a full-service Super Target — or just to the food aisles at a regular Target — this  $0-annual-fee card is mighty attractive. » Savings on $5,000 a year in groceries at Target: $250.

5% rotating category cards

The other cards on this page offer elevated grocery rewards year-round. The Chase Freedom® and select Discover cards like the Discover it® Cash Back pay a higher rate on groceries for only three months at a time when you activate rewards categories — but what a rate it is.

On each card, you earn 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In recent years, both cards have offered grocery stores as a 5% category. (See current and past categories here.) Other bonus categories on both cards tend to be common expenses, meaning it's not hard to get great value out of them. Neither card charges an annual fee.

» Maximum rewards on $5,000 a year in groceries (assuming each card offers grocery stores for one quarter): 

  • If using one card: $110.

  • If using both cards: $170.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please visit this page.

Last updated on October 15, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.