The best grocery credit cards for 2020

Jun 9, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the current card information. This page includes information about the Discover it Cash Back card that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date.

Groceries are one of the most common everyday expenses. Whether you’re an aspiring at-home chef, stocking up on frozen food or somewhere in between, you’ll want to make sure you have a credit card that will earn you bonus points or cash back on your grocery store purchases.

Having the right credit card in your wallet is an easy way to save money or earn points and miles you can use to travel. We’re here to help you figure out the right one for your budget and lifestyle.

(Photo by d3sign / Getty Images)
(Photo by d3sign / Getty Images)

Related reading: Your definitive guide to online grocery delivery services

These are the credit cards that can earn you valuable travel rewards worth hundreds of dollars or more — or save you plenty of hard-earned cash every year.

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Best credit cards for groceries in 2020

In This Post

Comparing the best grocery credit cards

We ranked the best cards to have for groceries by the value of rewards you can earn and how easy they are to use.

Credit Card Welcome Bonus Annual fee Earning rate on groceries
Chase Freedom® $200 back (or 20,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. $0 Earn 5% (or 5x) back on the first $1,500 spent each quarter on rotating categories; grocery purchases are included as a bonus category through 6/30/2020.
American Express® Gold Card Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases in your first three months. $250 (see rates and fees) 4x points up to $25,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets; then 1x. Terms apply.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you make $3,000 in purchases in your first three months. $550 5x points on up to $1,500 spent during June 2020
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months. Terms apply. $95 3x points up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, then 1x, plus a 50% bonus when you use the card 30 times a billing cycle. Terms apply.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Receive a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Terms apply. $95 (see rates and fees) 6% cash back up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets; then 1%. Terms apply.
Target REDcard N/A $0 5% savings on qualifying purchases at Target.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Receive a $70 Amazon gift card. $0, but need Amazon Prime membership ($119 a year) Earn 5% cash back on Whole Foods and Amazon.com purchases.
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after making $1,000 in purchases in your first three months. $0 2x points up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, plus a 20% bonus when you use the card 20 times a month. Terms apply.

The information for the Amex EveryDay, Amex EveryDay Preferred, Target REDcard, Chase Freedom and Amazon Prime Visa Signature have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Our take on the best credit cards for groceries

Let’s do a deeper dive into the details of each card. We’ll be focusing not only on grocery store spending, but also the value you can get out of each card in your first year of card membership.

Chase Freedom: Best for rotating categories

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Grocery rewards: During the second quarter of 2020, you can earn 5% (or 5x) on the first $1,500 spent on groceries.

Other rewards and perks: The Chase Freedom is a rotating category card, offering 5% back (or 5x if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card as well) on the first $1,500 spent each quarter on changing categories. These categories vary throughout the year, from gas stations to fitness clubs. From April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, one of the 5% bonus categories is grocery stores.

As we mentioned earlier, if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, the 5% back you earn with the Chase Freedom can be used as Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This means you’ll essentially be getting a 10% return on those purchases, since TPG values them at 2 cents each. You can use these points to travel by transferring them to some of Chase’s partners, including United and Hyatt.

The information for the Ink Business Preferred 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.

Welcome bonus: Earn $200 (or 20,000 points) after spending $500 in the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

Keep in mind: You have to activate the new categories each quarter, which is easy to do and takes less than a minute. Typically, you can begin activating the new categories halfway through the month before the new quarter begins, though you won’t start earning until the first day of the new quarter. For example, April 1 was the first day to earn bonus points for second-quarter categories.

Something else to remember is that these categories change every three months. While this card is excellent for grocery shopping until the end of June , it will be better suited for a new set of categories starting July 1. But since the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, it won’t hurt to keep it in your wallet throughout the year — groceries is a common spending category that gets repeated frequently, and the other bonus categories offered next quarter could be equally as rewarding for your spending habits.

Further reading:

American Express® Gold Card: Best for big supermarket spenders

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Grocery rewards: You can earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).

Other rewards and perks: With this card, you’ll earn 4x points not only on groceries, but also on dining worldwide, as well as 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com and 1x points on other purchases.You earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your card at participating partner restaurants. You’ll also receive up to $100 annually in travel credits when the qualifying airline you choose charges you incidental fees, and there are no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees). Take advantage of all the perks, and this effectively lowers the annual fee to $30.

Welcome bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases in your first three months — though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher welcome offer.

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

Keep in mind: Although this card has great bonuses for spending at supermarkets (but not including superstores and warehouse clubs) and restaurants, you’ll want to use a different card on gas purchases. Make sure you use the monthly dining credits as well as the annual airline-fee credit because these credits can effectively offset the annual fee.

Further reading:

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for redeeming on groceries

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Point Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Point Guy)

Grocery rewards: In June 2020, earn 5x on up to $1,500 spent on groceries. This is a temporary bonus category added by Chase to help cardholders whose spending habits have changed during the past few months due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s worth noting that the Chase Sapphire Preferred (along with a number of other Chase credit cards) is also offering 3x on up to $1,500 spent on groceries during June.

Other rewards and perks: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel credit cards for frequent travelers, in part because of its earning structure, in part because of it’s extensive travel protections and in part because of the many benefits it offers cardholders. While the card does charge a steep annual fee, perks such as Priority Pass lounge access, a $300 travel credit and a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit help make up the cost.

Of course, many of those perks aren’t as valuable while people are at home. To help combat that, Chase has added a number of temporary perks for cardholders. One of those benefits is a new Pay Yourself Back feature, which allows you to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for non-travel purchases. Now through Sept. 30, 2020, you’ll also get a 50% bonus when you use the Pay Yourself Back feature to pay for groceries, dining and home improvement — which means you’ll get the same redemption rate as you would by booking travel through the Chase travel portal. Chase is also expanding the $300 travel credit to also be applicable to groceries and gas through the end of the year.

Related reading: Chase adds limited-time Sapphire benefits to help grounded travelers

Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you make $3,000 in purchases in your first three months

Annual fee: $550

Keep in mind: The perks and benefits that make the Chase Sapphire Reserve an excellent choice for groceries right now are temporary. Once June ends, you’ll no longer earn bonus rewards on groceries with this card. And once September 2020 ends, you likely won’t be able to use the Pay Yourself Back feature with the same bonus to redeem for groceries.

Further reading: 

The Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card: Best low annual fee

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Grocery rewards: You can earn 3x points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).

Other rewards and perks: You’ll earn 2x points at U.S. gas stations and 1x points on other purchases. If you use your card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period, you’ll earn 50% more points on those purchases (less returns and credits).

Welcome bonus: You can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months — though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher welcome offer.

Annual fee: $95.

Keep in mind: Since this card is a part of Amex’s Membership Rewards program, you’ll earn points instead of cash back on your purchases. Points, though, are more valuable than the standard one cent each you’ll find with most cash-back cards — 2 cents each, to be exact, according to TPG’s latest valuations.

In other words, for every dollar you spend at supermarkets (not including superstores and warehouse clubs), you’ll earn 3 points, worth up to 6 cents. If you hit 30 monthly transactions, those 3 points per dollar spent turn into 4.5 points per dollar spent. That’s worth 9 cents in our book, making this the most valuable grocery card available if you use it 30 times a month.

Better yet, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to partners such as Delta and Aeroplan for maximum value.

Further reading:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for cash back

The Blue Cash Preferred is the best cash-back card for grocery store purchases.

Grocery rewards: With this card, you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases — then 1%).

Other rewards and perks: You’ll also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit and 1% back on other purchases. Yes — this card essentially pays you to watch Netflix.

Welcome bonus: You’ll receive a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees).

Keep in mind: When it comes to earning grocery rewards, not all stores are treated equally. American Express says you won’t earn 6% cash back at superstores or warehouse clubs. Meanwhile, with bonus cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, this card is a great option for the average household’s most common expenses, making it one of the best cash back credit cards and one of the overall best credit cards on the market for consumers today.

Further reading:

Target REDcard: Best for shopping at Target

Shoppers check out with "Black Friday" deals at a Target on November 24, 2016 in Orem, Utah. Retailers kicked off the unofficial start of the holiday season with sales that in many instances began on the Thanksgiving holiday. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
If you do your grocery shopping at Target, this card could be an excellent choice. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Grocery rewards: You’ll earn 5% savings on qualifying purchases at Target.

Sign-up bonus: The Target REDcard does not offer a sign-up bonus.

Annual fee: $0.

Keep in mind: You can only use this card at Target, but with it, you’ll save 5% on all the shopping you do here. You can’t actually redeem points for anything, though, and the card is offered as either a debit or credit card.

Further reading:

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases

Shoppers browse the produce section at Whole Foods Market grocery store in Dublin, California, June 16, 2017, June 16, 2017. On June 16, 2017, Amazon.com announced that it would acquire the upscale grocery chain. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
(Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

Grocery rewards: You’ll earn 5% cash back at Whole Foods and on Amazon.com purchases with this card.

Other rewards and perks: You’ll also earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Sign-up bonus: With this card, you get a $70 Amazon gift card when you are approved.

Annual fee: None, but you must have an Amazon Prime membership, at $119 a year.

Keep in mind: If you shop for groceries at Whole Foods, this card is especially valuable. The added benefit of free shipping on eligible Amazon orders can easily make getting an Amazon Prime Membership worthwhile beyond the rewards from this card.

Further reading:

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card From American Express: Best for no annual fee

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Grocery rewards: You’ll earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x).

Other rewards and perks: You’ll also earn 1x points on other purchases. If you use your card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period, you’ll earn 20% more points on those purchases (less returns and credits).

Welcome bonus: With this card, you can earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points after making $1,000 in purchases in your first three months.

Annual fee: $0.

Keep in mind: This card earns fewer points than the EveryDay Preferred, but it also doesn’t have an annual fee.

In the long term, if you only put groceries on these cards, the break-even point between the EveryDay and the EveryDay Preferred is $4,750. This factors in the annual fee on the EveryDay Preferred, but doesn’t factor in the bonuses on hitting 20 or 30 transactions in a billing period.

If you spend significantly less on groceries annually, the Amex EveryDay card will likely be the better choice.

Further reading:

Cards with temporary grocery bonuses

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major shift in spending habits for many cardholders. For months, travel was pretty much on standstill (and we’re unlikely to see it come back at full strength for a while, even though some places are starting to open back up). That means that many travel credit cards have been sitting in the metaphorical sock drawer. To combat this, many issuers have announced temporary bonus categories in common spending categories — most commonly, groceries.

Here’s an overview of other top cards currently offering temporary bonus point promotions on groceries:

Related reading: Best cards to use on groceries during the coronavirus pandemic

Maximizing online grocery orders

If you don’t have a grocery store nearby, don’t have the time to go to the store or simply want to avoid the crowds, then ordering your groceries online may be the way to go.

Related: Your definitive guide to online grocery delivery services.

The aforementioned credit cards can be equally as rewarding — but to be safe, we’ve broken down how each grocery service codes for each issuer.

Instacart

Instacart delivers groceries from thousands of local grocery stores. New customers can get up to 14 days of free express delivery and current customers may be eligible for free delivery on orders of $35 or more.

Amex codes Instacart orders as “groceries,” therefore you should consider using the Amex Gold card (4x on the first $25,000 in purchases per year; then 1x), the Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card (3x up to $6,000 per year) or the Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back up to $6,000 per year; then 1%).

Fresh Direct

Amex also codes Fresh Direct orders as “supermarkets,” therefore you should consider using the Amex Gold card (4x on the first $25,000 in purchases per year; then 1x), the Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card (3x up to $6,000 per year) or the Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back up to $6,000 per year; then 1%).

Amazon

Amazon offers several grocery delivery services including Prime Now, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods.

If you’re a loyal Amazon Prime member, you may want to opt for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, as it will save you 5% on groceries. However, Chase often has special offers for Amazon grocery services where you can save up to 10% on orders. In that case, it’s better to use a card like the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Just don’t forget to activate your Chase Offer.

If you’re an Amex cardholder, you should consider using the Amex Gold card (4x on the first $25,000 in purchases per year; then 1x), the Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card (3x up to $6,000 per year) or the Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back up to $6,000 per year; then 1%).

Walmart Grocery

Similar to Amazon, Chase also frequently offers special promotions for Walmart Grocery. For example, we’ve heard reports of people earning $5 back on an order of $50 or more.

In that case, you may want to consider paying with your Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited. This way, you’ll earn cash back and points on your purchase.

However, a more rewarding points option would be to use the Amex Gold card (4x), the Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card (3x) or the Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back).

Other good grocery credit card options

Earn more rewards with rotating categories

Another great card for rotating bonus categories, in addition to the Chase Freedom, is the Discover it Cash Back card. Like the Freedom, you’ll get 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter. There’s a quarterly maximum of $1,500 spent on purchases each quarter if you activate the bonus, so just keep that in mind.

While the second quarter doesn’t include grocery stores for the Discover it, it does tend to pop up throughout the year.

Related: Ultimate guide to the best cards for each bonus category.

Small-business cards

If you’re willing to put in some work, using business credit cards with an office-supply store bonus — such as the Ink Business Cash Credit Card — to buy gift cards toward grocery shopping could help you earn 5% cash back (up to $25,000 per year in combined purchases for the Ink Cash). You may find a limited selection of grocery store gift-card options at most office-supply stores, however, and some stores may place limits on the use of credit cards when purchasing gift cards.

The information for the Ink Business Cash has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

More cash back choices

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is another solid-cash back option when shopping for groceries. It doesn’t have an annual fee and you can earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%).

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card can also be a rewarding choice for grocery shopping, especially if you bank with Bank of America and qualify for its Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card lets you choose your 3% cash back bonus category from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores and home improvement or furnishing stores. You’ll also earn 2% back on grocery and wholesale club stores on up to $2,500 spent each quarter (then 1%).

With the highest rewards level in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, that can amount to 3.5% back on groceries on a card with no annual fee.The information for the Bank of American Cash Rewards 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.

Finally, if you’re looking for the best credit card for groceries purchased outside the U.S., you’ll likely do best with a general spending card without foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line

Everyone needs groceries — so do yourself a favor and take advantage of a card that offers bonus points on supermarket purchases or online grocery delivery services. And, keep in mind that the best card for groceries may not be the best card for other transactions, such as dining out at restaurants.

Related reading: The best credit cards to use for food delivery services.

But before you head to the grocery store or place that next Instacart order, make sure at least one of the above cards is in your wallet. You’ll be racking up plenty of travel rewards or cash back in no time.

Additional reporting by Mike Cetera.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday card, click here.

Featured photo by Tom Werner / Getty Images

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
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Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.