How to pick the best credit card for groceries (2019 analysis)
grocery shopping (1) (1)

How to pick the best credit card for groceries (2019 analysis)

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Consider a card’s annual fee and how much you spend on groceries.

There’s no single “best” grocery card for everyone — the top grocery card is the one that works most effectively for you.

The main thing to consider is whether you want to get the absolute best rewards rate by using credit card points optimally, or if you’d rather keep things simple with a cashback card.

Our pick for the best cashback rate on groceries

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • 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.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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Compare credit cards for grocery shopping

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
See Rates & Fees
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$95
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

“The best credit card for groceries”: What does this mean?

The best card for groceries is often defined as the one that brings you the highest rewards in this category.

Here are a few of the most important factors that can affect how useful the card is for you:

Jump to …

What is the best credit card for groceries?

There are two cards competing for this title. Both cards have annual fees, so they’re best if you have high spending on groceries. Otherwise, you might get more out of a no-annual-fee card.

Best for highest possible grocery rewards: Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

This card offers 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1x points.
While that doesn’t sound high, consider the card’s points boost: Each billing period, you use your card at least 30 times, you’ll earn 50% extra points. If you can manage this, you’ll essentially earn 4.5x points at US supermarkets, up to the yearly cap.

That’s not all. According to our valuations, your points can be worth up to 2 cents each when transferred to certain airlines. With the right transfers, then, your 4.5x points at US supermarkets can yield a fantastic 9% rewards rate. This is the highest rewards rate on groceries you’ll find anywhere.

When to choose this card over its no-annual-fee version

Assuming you use the card only for groceries:

  • Go with the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card if you spend at least $2,262 a year, or about $189 a month.
  • If you spend less than that, you’ll earn better rewards with the no-annual-fee Amex EveryDay® Credit Card.

Best for cashback rewards on groceries: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you don’t want to hunt for the best point redemption rates but still want excellent rewards, go with this card.
You’ll earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year and 1% after. This is the highest face-value grocery rewards rate on the market.

When to choose this card over its no-annual-fee version

Assuming you use the card only for groceries:

  • Go with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express if you spend at least $3,167 a year, or about $264 a month.
  • If you spend less than that, you’ll earn better rewards with the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Other superb credit cards for groceries

The following cards are excellent picks in certain instances. Read on and see our recommendations for when to get them.

Best for grocery rewards with travel credits: American Express® Gold Card

Though it costs a hefty $250 a year (see Rates & Fees), this card has two especially valuable benefits: a $120 annual dining credit and a $100 airline fee credit.
Not every cardholder will make use of these credits. But if you can, you’ll find this card offers higher effective rewards in groceries than the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card.

On top of that, you’ll enjoy the card’s excellent rewards on dining and eligible travel.

Best for travel rewards with moderate spending: Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Consider this card if you make at least 20 purchases with your card each billing cycle and want travel rewards for your grocery spending.

This card is a better pick than the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card if you spend less than $2,262 a year — or less than around $188 a month — on groceries. This assumes you make enough purchases for the points boost each month and want to get maximum value from your rewards by transferring them to airlines.

Best for cash back on groceries with moderate spending: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

If you want cash back and spend less than $3,167 each year on groceries — or about $263 or less each month — strongly consider this card.
You won’t earn as high of a cashback rate as you would with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but you won’t have to deal with an annual fee.

The best store-specific grocery credit cards

These two cards are limited in an important respect: You can use them only at select stores. If that’s not a problem, however, you’ll enjoy great rewards on groceries.

Best for shopping at Target: Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Target may be your all-in-one-stop for groceries, household supplies and apparel. If that’s the case, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card is a smart choice with its 5% discount on Target purchases.

Best for shopping at Whole Foods: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5% back — an excellent rate — at Whole Foods Market. You must have an eligible Prime membership to apply.

How we selected our top cards

When comparing the best credit cards for groceries, we looked at a number of features across eligible cards, including which grocery stores were eligible, points or cash back earned per dollar spent, limitations on cashback percentages, annual fees, introductory APRs and other reward perks a consumer might consider. The cards that stood out above the rest in one or several of these categories, or fulfilled a certain niche, earned a spot on our list.

What’s changed in 2019

The American Express® Gold Card has grown into a stellar choice for US supermarket purchases, with Membership Rewards points that can be highly valuable when transferred to travel partners. More generally, Amex continues its dominance in the grocery space, offering cards with excellent rewards on everyday purchases.

How to compare credit cards for grocery stores

Comparing these cards can get confusing — especially with so many products from one provider. Here are a few factors to consider that might help you pick the winner.

  • Annual fee.
    Consider whether you want to pay an annual fee for your card. For some, an annual fee is a dealbreaker. If this is the most important factor for you, you could narrow your options very quickly.
  • How much you spend on groceries.
    If you spend little on groceries, lean toward the no-annual-fee cards. If you spend a lot, you might get more rewards out of the annual-fee options.
  • Where you shop.
    The Target REDcard™ Credit Card is a formidable contender, but only if you use it at its designated store. Take a serious look at the card if you’re willing to do all of your grocery shopping at Target. If you like to shop for groceries outside of Target, one of the American Express cards will likely be a better fit.
  • Whether you want an intro APR.
    Most of Amex’s grocery cards offer decent intro APRs on purchases and balance transfers. The American Express® Gold Card doesn’t have an intro APR.
  • Welcome offer.
    Annual-fee cards tend to have more valuable welcome offers than no-annual-fee cards — though you’ll likely have to spend more to qualify. The Target REDcard™ Credit Card doesn’t have a welcome offer.

Bottom line

The two most important factors to consider may be each card’s annual fee and how much you spend on groceries. If you’re thinking about an American Express card, consider which type of rewards you want: cash back or membership rewards points. Points can be more valuable, but cash back is simpler.

For excellent options for rewards cards, check out our cashback credit card finder.

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