The best credit cards for dining

By
Benji Stawski
and
Christina Ly
Editor
Nick Ewen
Updated
24 hours ago
This page is a marketplace where our partners can highlight their current card offers. The reviews and insights represented are editorial, but the order in which cards appear on the page may be influenced by compensation we may receive from our partners.

If you’re a foodie and spend a lot on dining, you should be using a credit card that maximizes your travel rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Here are the best dining credit cards from our partners.

Apply now for American Express® Gold Card at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best overall dining card
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
3 - 4X points
details
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • 3X Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
60,000 points
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
60,000 points
$250

Why We Chose It

This isn’t just a card that’s nice to look at. It packs a real punch, offering 4 points per dollar on global dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar). There’s also an up to $120 annual dining credit at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, GoldbellyWine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. plus it added an up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in Uber Cash, which can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. Card must be added to Uber account to receive benefit. All this make it a very strong contender for all food purchases, which has become a popular spending category. Enrollment required for select benefits. Read our full review of the American Express Gold Card.

Pros

  • 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar).
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as effective for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits; few travel perks and protections..
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar).
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as effective for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits; few travel perks and protections..
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1 point per dollar).
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as effective for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits; few travel perks and protections..
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
BEST FOR TOTAL VALUE
Best for dining and travel
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
2 - 5X points
details
  • 5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x 3x on dining.
  • 2x 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
60,000 points
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
60,000 points
$95

Why We Chose It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit card on the market. Offering an excellent return on travel and dining purchases, the card packs a ton of value that easily offsets its $95 annual fee. Cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Chase or transfer points to one of Chase’s 14 valuable airline and hotel partners. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Pros

  • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases, 2 points per dollar on all other travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • The current welcome bonus on this card is quite generous. TPG values it at $1,200
  • Premium travel protection benefits including trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance and lost luggage insurance.

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

Pros

  • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases, 2 points per dollar on all other travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • The current welcome bonus on this card is quite generous. TPG values it at $1,200
  • Premium travel protection benefits including trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance and lost luggage insurance.

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

Pros

  • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases, 2 points per dollar on all other travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • The current welcome bonus on this card is quite generous. TPG values it at $1,200
  • Premium travel protection benefits including trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance and lost luggage insurance.

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
3.5/5
3 - 12X points
details
  • 12X Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Earn 130,000 Points
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
Earn 130,000 Points
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.

Why We Chose It

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card stands out in the crowded mid-tier category of cobranded hotel credit cards. It comes with elite-like perks at a reasonable annual fee. New cardholders can earn up to a generous 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Read our full review of the Hilton Honors Surpass Card

Pros

  • Reasonable annual fee.
  • 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases.
  • 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, 3 points per dollar on other eligible purchases.
  • Hilton Honors Gold status with an upgrade to Diamond by spending $40,000 in a calendar year.

Cons

  • No travel credits.
  • No chart to redeem points at Hilton properties.
  • Ties you to Hilton properties.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • Reasonable annual fee.
  • 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases.
  • 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, 3 points per dollar on other eligible purchases.
  • Hilton Honors Gold status with an upgrade to Diamond by spending $40,000 in a calendar year.

Cons

  • No travel credits.
  • No chart to redeem points at Hilton properties.
  • Ties you to Hilton properties.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • Reasonable annual fee.
  • 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases.
  • 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, 3 points per dollar on other eligible purchases.
  • Hilton Honors Gold status with an upgrade to Diamond by spending $40,000 in a calendar year.

Cons

  • No travel credits.
  • No chart to redeem points at Hilton properties.
  • Ties you to Hilton properties.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Best for Chase Ultimate Rewards
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
1 - 10X points
details
  • 10x Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 5x Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3x Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • 1x Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
60,000 points
details
Intro Offer tooltip icon
60,000 points
$550

Why We Chose It

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of our top premium travel cards. With a $300 travel credit, generous points on dining and travel purchases and other benefits, you can get excellent value that far exceeds the annual fee on the card. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners.
  • Unlimited 3 points per dollar on the broad category of travel and dining - 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Cons

  • Steep initial $550 annual fee.
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners.
  • Unlimited 3 points per dollar on the broad category of travel and dining - 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Cons

  • Steep initial $550 annual fee.
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners.
  • Unlimited 3 points per dollar on the broad category of travel and dining - 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Cons

  • Steep initial $550 annual fee.
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Dining out, taking out and ordering in: These are the best cards for foodies

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Card Best for Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus Earning Rate Annual Fee
American Express® Gold Card Best overall dining card 60,000 points
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
$250
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Best for dining and travel 60,000 points
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
$95
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Best for Hilton loyalists Earn 130,000 Points
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Best for Chase Unlimited rewards 60,000 points
  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
$550

Best dining card details

American Express Gold Card

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months. Check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a 75,000-point Gold Card offer (offers are subject to change at any time).

Earning rates: Earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants, 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 spent each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar), 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Analysis: The Amex Gold Card comes in a close second by earning 4 points per dollar at restaurants, an 8% return based on TPG’s valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points. In addition to this terrific return, the card offers up to $120 in annual dining statement credits that you can use at merchants such as  Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, GoldbellyWine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required. Cardholders also receive up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 credit per month), which can be applied toward Uber Eats orders or rides in the U.S.

American Express also acquired restaurant-booking service Resy, so cardmembers have more dining perks, including bonus points for bookings and preferred access to reservations. Enrollment is required for select benefits. Read more about the Amex Gold Card on our card hub. For more information, you can read the full review of the American Express Gold card here

Related: Why the Amex Gold is the perfect ‘in-between’ card

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Official application link: American Express Gold Card.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $1,200 when redeemed for travel, according to TPG valuations.

Earning rates:

  • 5 points per dollar on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
  • 3 points per dollar on select streaming services.
  • 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
  • 2 points per dollar on all other travel.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Analysis: If you’re looking for a cheaper option that earns flexible rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be your best choice. Cardholders get a complimentary membership for the DoorDash DashPass unlimited delivery program, normally $9.99 a month, through the end of 2024 — so long as you register by Dec. 31, 2024. For more information, you can read the full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card here.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. the Amex Gold Card: Which one is right for you?

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Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee (see rates & fees).

Welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. 

Earning rates: Earn 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, and 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Analysis: This card packs a punch for a relatively reasonable annual fee. It comes with automatic Hilton Honors Gold status, a free weekend night reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits a year — all with no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees). Enrollment required for select benefits. For more information, you can read the full review of the Hilton Surpass Amex review here.

Related: Best Hilton card strategies now for travel later

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Official application link: Hilton Surpass Amex.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $550.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $900 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Earning rates:

  • 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining purchases and flights and hotels booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 10 points per dollar on Lyft (until March 2025).
  • 5 points per dollar on flights booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3 points per dollar on all other travel and dining purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Analysis: The 3 points per dollar bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which ties for third with a 6% return, is valid for dining both in the U.S. and abroad. Dining is defined as “merchants in the restaurant category whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments.” As a cardholder, you’ll also get DashPass through DoorDash if you register by Dec. 31, 2024.

But keep in mind the card’s $550 annual fee. You can offset a large portion of that fee with the card’s $300 annual travel credit, but you should still consider whether the points you earn on the card are worth the money you’re paying each year for it. For more information, you can read the full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve here.

Related: How I used my Chase card to enjoy Michelin-worthy takeout and earn 10 points per dollar

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Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve.

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American Express Green Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $150 (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer: Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within six months of card membership.

Earning rates: Earn 3 points per dollar on global restaurants and travel, including transit, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Analysis: The mid-tier American Express Green Card earns 3 points per dollar at restaurants, plus 3 points per dollar for travel, which is defined broadly to include airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, tour operators, travel agencies, campsites and home shares, plus transit that includes ride-hailing, buses, taxis, metros, subways, tolls and more — and 1 point per dollar on everything else. It doesn’t have any dining-specific perks like the Amex Gold. Still, it offers up to $100 in annual credit for your Clear membership and up to $100 in credits for lounge access purchased with LoungeBuddy, meaning that if you can utilize both those credits in full, you’ve more than covered the annual fee. Enrollment required for select benefits. For more information, you can read the full review of the Amex Green card here.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Related: Why the Amex Green is my favorite card for points-and-miles beginners

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $450 (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Earning rates: Earn 14 points per dollar on eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio; 7 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select rental agencies, and at U.S. restaurants; and 3 points per dollar on other eligible purchases.

Related: 7 reasons to get the Amex Hilton Aspire card

Analysis: This is an excellent card for Hilton loyalists, but it’s an expensive one if your hotel focus lies elsewhere. Its 7 points per dollar equates to a 4.2% return on dining, based on our valuations. This card also comes with access to Amex’s concierge service that may help you get a table at certain sought-after restaurants.

Other benefits include an up-to-$250 annual Hilton resort statement credit, up-to-$250 annual airline incidental fee credit, complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, a free weekend night each year upon your account renewal and the ability to earn an additional free weekend night by spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. Enrollment required for select benefits. For more information, you can read the full review of the Hilton Honors Aspire review here. 

The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Related: Your definitive guide to the American Express Global Dining Collection

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earning rates: Earn 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and 1% on everything else.

Analysis: The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is a decent contender, with a $95 annual fee. The Savor Cash earns 4% on all purchases that involve eating establishments — from restaurants to Starbucks to food trucks — so it’s a rewards credit card to consider if you’d rather deal with cash back instead of travel rewards.

Aside from offering a solid return, Capital One has been investing in more unique dining-focused benefits. For instance, it provided access to exclusive dining experiences organized by the James Beard Foundation in the past. For more information, you can read the full Capital One Savor review here.

The information for the Capital One Savor has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

FAQs

How do we choose the best dining credit cards?

These card picks are based on numerous criteria: the points program value, welcome bonus, perks and more. Some of these dining credit cards’ popular features include monthly dining credits and exclusive access to reservations at certain restaurants.

When choosing the right dining credit card, always consider the sign-up bonus’s spending requirements since you won’t want to miss out on that. You should only apply if you’re able to meet the required spending comfortably.

Related: 10 best dining rewards programs

What counts as dining?

Every card issuer applies different criteria to charges that will qualify for these bonuses. For instance, Chase defines dining quite broadly, including everything from conventional restaurants to coffee shops and even some bars that don’t serve food. On the other hand, American Express typically only awards points for conventional restaurants and often not for independent coffee shops and bars. Some American Express cards also exclude foreign transactions from earning bonus points.

Some issuers define dining more broadly than others. (Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

Several of the cards discussed offer dining bonuses that are supposed to exclude food delivery services. However, in practice, these services usually still code as dining or food merchants and do earn bonus points. Sometimes restaurants aren’t categorized correctly, so if you feel like an eligible dining purchase didn’t code correctly, you can always try contacting the card issuer and asking for an exception.

Related: Food delivery promo codes to help you save money on your next meal

What is the best card for restaurants?

This depends on what your preferred reward is — points or cash back? If it’s points you’re after, then it’s hard to argue with the Amex Gold Card. With this, you’re looking at 4 points per dollar at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; then 1 point per dollar). The Capital One Savor card is likely the best option for cash back, with a healthy 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.

Do bars count as restaurants for credit cards?

This very much depends on the card issuer. But essentially, any establishment that serves (as opposed to sells) food or drinks counts. As long as a merchant classified itself in a restaurant category when applying to accept credit cards, the purchase will qualify. For example, bars (including ones that don’t serve food) and coffee shops such as Starbucks typically code as dining purchases. As a guide, the following count as qualifying “restaurants”: bars, cafes, breweries and juice shops. The following do not: catering services and inflight drinks.

Bottom line

The Amex Gold Card takes the cake here with a return of 8% or more on dining purchases at restaurants. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Green Card tie for third place with a 6% return on dining at restaurants. They all offer an unbeatable combination of a strong earning rate on dining purchases, a high point value and a reasonable net effective annual cost. But any of the cards on this list will get more value on dining purchases than a run-of-the-mill credit card, so make sure you pick the right card before you plan that night out — or a night in, since food delivery services count as dining with many cards. There are also worthwhile cash-back cards for those who don’t want to collect and redeem points.

Related guides

Featured photo by d3sign/Getty Images.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.

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