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Best Credit Cards for Restaurants

Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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Best Credit Card Offers for Dining Out

Food always tastes better when served with a side of credit card points, miles or cash back. Next time you grab takeout or visit a sit-down restaurant, take one of these credit cards with you to earn top-notch rewards on your tab.

Cash back

AARP® CREDIT CARD FROM CHASE

You don’t have to be a card-carrying member of AARP to qualify for this outstanding 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.

PNC CASH REWARDS℠ VISA® CREDIT CARD

This no-annual-fee card offers 4% at gas stations, 3% on dining and 2% at grocery stores, on up to $8,000 a year in combined spending in those categories. All other purchases earn 1% back. Through Aug. 31, 2017, you can earn a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after opening your account. However, the card is available only to people living in Washington, D.C., or in the 18 states where PNC has retail banking branches.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

This card, on which the annual fee is $0, serves up rewards buffet-style: You can choose your 5% and 2% bonus categories from a list each quarter. Foodies might want to opt in for “fast food” in the 5% category — capped at $2,000 per quarter — and restaurants in the unlimited 2% category. The card also features a New Cardmember bonus: $100 after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days you have the card.

Travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

You might get this card for its treasure trove of travel benefits, but restaurant connoisseurs will want to keep it for its first-rate dining rewards. It offers an unlimited 3 points per dollar spent on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel through Chase for 1.5 cents each, giving it an effective rewards rate of 4.5% on dining. The card comes with a supersized $450 annual fee — but also a sizzling sign-up bonus: Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

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Store-branded

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

If you like your shopping carts like your dining rewards — extra large — this is your card. It offers bonus rewards in several categories, including 4% on gas (up to $7,000 per year, then 1% after that), an unlimited 3% on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% at Costco stores and Costco.com and 1% on all other purchases. It doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. Its annual fee is $0, but it requires a Costco membership, which is $60 per year.

PayPal Extras Mastercard®

This card 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 cent each when redeemed for cash back, and they expire after 24 months or after 12 months of no card activity. The card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. Its annual fee is $0.

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. It gets you 5% on gas bought at Sam’s Club, Walmart and other gas stations (on up to $6,000 per year), an unlimited 3% on dining and travel, and 1% on all other purchases. Its annual fee is $0. It requires a Sam’s Club membership, which costs $45 a year.

Business

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

For entrepreneurs with clients to wine and dine, this $0-annual-fee card could be a perfect fit. It offers 5% cash back on wireless phone services and spending at office supply stores and 3% back on a category of your choice (on the first $50,000 in combined spending annually) and 1% on all other purchases. Dining enthusiasts can select “U.S. restaurants” as the 3% category. It also offers a big sign-up bonus, a feature that’s medium-rare among cash-back cards: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership. Terms apply.

Information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ and the AARP® Credit Card from Chase has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards.

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.