BEST OF

Best Credit Cards for Restaurants of April 2021

NerdWalletApril 16, 2021
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Turn restaurant meals, including takeout and delivery, into serious rewards by paying with a credit card that offers extra cash back or points on spending at restaurants. According to federal consumer expenditure data, the average U.S. household spent $3,459 on "food away from home" in 2018, the most recent year available. When paying for those meals with a card that earned 3% on restaurant spending, the rewards would top $100 — enough for a few more free meals.

NerdWallet's Best Credit Cards for Restaurants of April 2021

Best Credit Cards for Restaurants From Our Partners

Our pick for

High rewards + no annual fee

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

on US Bank's website

Annual Fee

$0*

Rewards Rate

1x-4xPoints

Intro offer

20,000Points

Rec Credit Score

720-850Excellent

Our picks for

3% dining rewards

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%-5%Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Chase Freedom Flex

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

Our picks for

Travel rewards

NerdWallet rating 

4.6

/5
American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card

on American Express's website

Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Rate

1x-4xPoints

Intro offer

60,000Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5
Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Rate

1x-3xPoints

Intro offer

60,000Points

Rec Credit Score

720-850Excellent

Our pick for

Small business

NerdWallet rating 

3.5

/5
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website

Annual Fee

$295

Rewards Rate

1x-4xPoints

Intro offer

70,000Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR RESTAURANTS

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

Our pick for: Best rewards rate + sign-up bonus 

If a night out is more than a once-in-a-while proposition for you, consider the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. You get a best-in-class cash-back rate on dining and entertainment, plus bonus rewards at grocery stores. The sign-up bonus is one of the best you can get on a cash-back card. Read our review.

Our pick for: High rewards + no annual fee

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is perhaps the most cost-effective restaurant card on the market, earning a whopping 4 points per dollar on dining purchases including takeout and delivery. You can find higher rates on dining, but not on cards with no annual fee. Read our review. 

Our pick for: 3% dining rewards  

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: 3% dining rewards 

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.

Our pick for: 3% dining rewards 

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 and the opportunity to earn a sweet cash bonus. Read our review.

Our pick for: 3% dining rewards 

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: Customizable rewards 

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: Marvelous entertainment rewards

Earn extra cash back when your ideal date night is dinner and a movie, regardless of whether the film features an actual Marvel superhero. The Marvel Mastercard® earns bonus cash back on restaurants and entertainment categories like movie theaters, amusement parks, theater and concert tickets, game stores and more. 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: Travel rewards 

The high annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives many potential applicants pause, but frequent travelers should be able to wring enough value out of this card to more than make up for the cost. A fat sign-up bonus, annual travel credits, airport lounge access, 3X points on travel and dining, and a 50% boost in point value when you redeem for travel booked through Chase all add to the appeal. Points can also be transferred to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. Read our review. 

Our pick for: Everyday use 

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers so much value, it's hard to believe there's no annual fee. Start with a great bonus offer, then earn extra rewards in a host of common spending categories — restaurants, gas stations, transit, travel, streaming and more. Read our review.

OTHER OPTIONS

 Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

If you like your shopping carts like your dining rewards — extra large — the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is your card. It offers bonus rewards in several categories, including:

  • 4% cash back on gas (up to $7,000 per year, then 1% after that).

  • 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases.

  • 2% back at Costco stores and Costco.com.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

It doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. Its annual fee is $0, but it requires a Costco membership, which starts at $60 per year.

Sam's Club® Mastercard®

After using this card to fill up on gas at the pump, you'll want to tap it to fill up on daily specials at your favorite restaurant. The Sam's Club® Mastercard® gets you:

  • 5% cash back on gas bought at Sam's Club, Walmart and other gas stations (on up to $6,000 per year).

  • 3% back on dining.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

  • Extra rewards for Sam's Club purchases if you have a "Plus" membership.

The annual fee is $0. It requires a Sam's Club membership, which costs at least $45 a year.

PayPal Extras Mastercard®

The PayPal Extras Mastercard® is designed for people with average credit, but its dining rewards are better than average. You’ll get an unlimited 3 points per dollar spent at restaurants and gas stations, 2 points per dollar spent at eBay and PayPal, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points are worth 0.83 cents each when redeemed for cash back, and they expire after 24 months. The card doesn't have a sign-up bonus. The annual fee is $0.

AARP® Credit Card from Chase

You don't have to be a card-carrying member of AARP to qualify for this dining card. It gets you an unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% back on all other purchases. Its annual fee is $0, and it comes with a generous sign-up bonus: $100 bonus cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Information related to the AARP® Credit Card from Chase has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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

The information related to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

Last updated on April 16, 2021

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.