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When it comes to bonus categories, one of the most popular ones among TPG readers is dining (travel, unsurprisingly, is another top pick). And if you’re spending a lot on dining, you’ll want to know which credit card will maximize your rewards when enjoying a night out.

But it’s not as easy as just looking at the earning rate on a card and deciding that 3x on dining is better than 2x on dining. The value of the points or miles you’re earning is also an important part of the calculation, as it could mean that 2 points per dollar on one card is actually better than 3 points on another.

So rather than having to slog through every card in your wallet, we’ve done the math for you. For each card that offers valuable bonus rewards on dining, we calculated the bonus multiplier, the value of the points earned based on TPG’s most recent monthly point valuations, the annual fee and noted any special requirements about that card.

Category Bonus Value of the Points Total Earned per Dollar Spent Annual Fee Notes
Chase Sapphire Reserve 3x 2.1 cents 6.3 cents $450
Chase Sapphire Preferred 2x 2.1 cents 4.2 cents $95 (waived the first year)
Uber Visa Card 4x 1 cent 4.0 cents $0
Premier Rewards Gold from American Express 2x 1.9 cents 3.8 cents $195 (waived the first year) At US restaurants
Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card (with Platinum Honors Rewards) 3.5x 1 cent 3.5 cents $95 Must have at least $100,000 with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card (with Platinum Rewards) 3x 1 cent 3 cents $95 Must have at least $50,000 with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card 3x 1 cent 3 cents $0
Citi Prestige 2x 1.7 cents 3.4 cents $450
Citi ThankYou Premier Card 2x 1.7 cents 3.4 cents $95 (waived the first year)
Citi ThankYou Preferred 2x 1.7 cents 3.4 cents $0

As you can see, the Chase Sapphire Reserve leads the way, thanks to not only earning 3 points per dollar on dining but also since Ultimate Rewards points are one of the more valuable transfer currencies. But keep in mind the $450 annual fee of that card. While you can offset a large portion of that fee with the card’s $300 annual travel credit, you’re still going to want to consider whether the points you earn on the card are worth the money you’re paying each year for that card.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be your choice — it only earns 2 points per dollar on dining, but comes with a much lower $95 annual fee that’s even waived the first year. And if you don’t like paying annual fees at all, the Uber Visa Card is a surprisingly high #3 on this list. The card earns cash back so you can’t get extreme travel value with it, but at 4% for dining and no annual fee, it’s a card you might consider.

Speaking of cards with no annual fee, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is also a decent contender. Since it earns 3% on all purchases that involve eating establishments — from restaurants to Starbucks to food trucks — it’s another one to consider if you’d rather deal with cash back instead of travel rewards.

If you’re interested in cash back, the Capital One Savor card offers 3% on all dining purchases and no annual fee. (Photo by Paula Vermeulen on Unsplash)
If you’re interested in cash back, the Capital One Savor card offers 3% on all dining purchases and no annual fee. (Photo by Paula Vermeulen on Unsplash)

Finally, if you’re looking for Membership Rewards, the Premier Rewards Gold is your obvious choice with its 2x bonus for dining expenses. Just note that this card only rewards that bonus for purchases at US restaurants.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve lives up to its billing as one of the most valuable cards in the dining category. If its high annual fee makes sense for you, it can be a great card to have in your wallet. 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 in, since delivery services like Seamless count as dining with many cards.

Featured photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

This is one of the top premium cards out there since you earn 3x on all travel and dining and have access to great perks like a $300 travel credit each cardmember year, 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and you get elite travel benefits like Global Entry application fee rebate, Priority Pass Select and special rental car privileges.

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More Things to Know
  • 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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card for 2017’ by MONEY® Magazine
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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