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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
TPG Reader Dana tweeted me to ask about earning points for gas and grocery expenses:
@thepointsguy — “Which flexible points card should I pair with the Chase Sapphire Preferred to maximize rewards in the gas & grocery categories?”
For me, the clear answer is the American Express Everyday Preferred card, because you earn 3 points per dollar on groceries and 2 points per dollar on gas, plus you can get a 50% bonus if you have 30 or more transactions per month. That works out to an effective earning rate of 4.5x on groceries and 3x on gas!
I also like this option because it can help you build up your bank of Membership Rewards points, so you’ll have two transferable points programs to work with, each of which has valuable airline and hotel partners.
Another no-brainer for me would be to tag the Chase Freedom card onto your Chase Sapphire Preferred, because that has rotating 5x categories (currently it’s gas, but groceries are often included at some point during the year). It also has no annual fee, and you can transfer those points to your Sapphire Preferred card and on to other partners. Even if you’re not going to max out the $1,500 cap for each quarter, you can buy gift cards to use during the rest of the year.
There are a lot of other cards out there that give bonuses or cash back on groceries and on gas purchases, but if you’re looking for flexible, transferable points, I think these combinations are best. Let me know what you choose!