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7 Best Credit Cards for Groceries of January 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 16, 2020

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NerdWallet's Best Credit Cards for Groceries of January 2020

Our pick for

Overall high rewards rates

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1%-6%

Intro offer

$250

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: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. 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: $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.
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Cash back with no annual fee

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.00%

Intro offer

$150

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: $150 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 $150 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% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

2% cash back on everything

Citi® Double Cash Card

on Citibank's application

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-2%

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 cash back twice. 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 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Our pick for

Frequent restaurant diners

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
If your food expenses include as many trips to restaurants and takeout joints as to the grocery store, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card makes a good companion. You’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Rewards on $5,000 a year in grocery store spending: $100.

Pros

In addition to the $0 annual fee, there’s also a great 0% intro APR offer and a sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Cons

If you don't dine out much, you'll miss out on the biggest chunk of this card's value. Look elsewhere.
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

Our pick for

Customizable 5% cash back

US Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Credit Card

on US Bank's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card gives cardholders a choose-your-own-adventure experience every quarter. You select one unlimited 2% cash-back category from a list of three, which includes grocery stores. You also choose two 5% cash-back categories per quarter from a list of 12, on up to $2,000 in combined spending. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Rewards on $5,000 a year in grocery store spending: $100 (when choosing grocery stores as your 2% category).

Pros

The annual fee is $0, and you can earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Cons

Choosing and tracking categories each quarter can be a real hassle. For similar rotating bonus categories with less to keep track of, consider the Chase Freedom® and select Discover cards like the Discover it® Cash Back.
  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.49% - 25.49%
  • No annual fee*
  • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Customizable 3% cash back and Bank of America® customers

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score
With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, you earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% cash back in a category of your choice, on up to $2,500 in combined spending per quarter. Plus, you’ll get 1% cash back on all other purchases. If you qualify for Bank of America®'s Preferred Rewards program, you can earn a bonus of 25%, 50% or 75% of your rewards, depending on your account balances. Maximum rewards on $5,000 a year in grocery store spending: $100 (for Preferred Rewards customers: $125, $150 or $175).

Pros

The annual fee is $0, you get a 0% intro APR period, and you can earn a sign-up bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. The ability to choose your 3% category (from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement /furnishings) makes this card worth considering even if you're not eligible for Preferred Rewards.

Cons

The combined quarterly spending cap on the 2% and 3% rewards creates complications. Make a big purchase in your 3% category, and you could end up earning only 1% at the grocery store for the rest of the quarter.
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase

Our pick for

Travel rewards

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Rate

1x-4x

Points

Intro offer

35,000

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 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 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 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • 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.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

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 — 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 January 16, 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.