The best grocery credit cards for 2021
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the current card information.
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 for travel. We’re here to help you figure out the right one for your budget and lifestyle.
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. Check out more of our best rewards credit cards.
Best cards for groceries in 2021
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for welcome offer
- American Express® Gold Card: Best for big supermarket spenders
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for cash back
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for redeeming on groceries
- The Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card from American Express: Best low annual fee card
- Target REDcard: Best for shopping at Target
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon or Whole Foods purchases
- The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express: Best no-annual-fee card
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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for welcome offer
Grocery rewards: 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at U.S. Gas Stations on up to $15,000 in combined 10x purchases during your first six months of card membership.
Other rewards and perks: Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through Amex Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases each calendar year) and 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel; 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at U.S. gas stations (up to $15,000 in combined eligible 10x purchases) during your first six months of card membership. The card also comes with an abundance of travel perks and benefits.
Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership (valued by TPG at $1,500). However, be sure to check the CardMatch tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher welcome offer (offer subject to change at any time).
Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)
Keep in mind: The Amex Platinum is not normally considered a top card for groceries. In fact, the card is typically only best for eligible travel spending. But new cardholders can take advantage of an elevated welcome offer that does make the Amex Platinum a great card for grocery spending in the first six months of card membership. Right now, you’ll earn 10x on eligible U.S. supermarket spending (an impressive 20% return according to TPG valuations).
Of course, the Amex Platinum also comes with a knockout list of perks. It is an asset in any frequent traveler’s wallet — from lounge access to travel credits to valuable travel redemption options.
- Amex Platinum review
- Amex Platinum guide to benefits
- How to earn up to 225,000 bonus points with the new Amex Platinum offer
American Express® Gold Card: Best for big supermarket spenders
Grocery rewards: You can earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1x).
Other rewards and perks: With this card, you’ll earn 4x points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, 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. There are no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases in your first six months — though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher welcome offer (targeted offer subject to change at any time).
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 and the annual airline-fee credit because they can effectively offset the annual fee. Enrollment required for select benefits.
- American Express Gold Card review
- Maximizing the Amex Gold in 2020
- Why the Amex Gold is the perfect ‘in-between’ credit card
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for cash back
Grocery rewards: With this card, you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per calendar 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: $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $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.
- Credit card review: American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
- Choosing the best American Express card for you.
- Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for redeeming on groceries
Grocery rewards: Earn 3x on groceries through April 30, 2021 (up to $1,000 in monthly spending)
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 its 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, an annual $300 travel credit and an up to $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 added a number of temporary perks for cardholders. One of those benefits is the Pay Yourself Back feature, which allows you to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for non-travel purchases. Through April 30, 2021, Chase Sapphire Reserve customers can redeem points at 1.5 cents apiece to offset purchases made at grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishments, including take-out and delivery services.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.
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. Please check the Chase website or this TPG story for an update of the latest temporary credit card benefits.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve review
- Maximizing Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature
- Here’s why I’m keeping my Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card: Best low annual fee
Grocery rewards: You can earn 3x points at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per calendar 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 (minus returns and credits).
Sign-up bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months — but check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a higher welcome offer (targeted offer subject to change at any time).
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. However, points 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 3x points, worth up to 6 cents. If you hit 30 monthly transactions, those 3x points per dollar spent turn into 4.5x 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.
- The best ways to earn a 50% point bonus on the Amex EveryDay Preferred card
- Choosing the best American Express card for you.
- Amex EveryDay vs. Amex EveryDay Preferred: Which should be in your wallet?
Target REDcard: Best for shopping at Target
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.
- Contactless pay and 5% off: Why the Target debit REDcard makes sense for me during a quarantine
- The best credit cards for Target purchases
- The best store credit cards of 2020.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
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 $100 Amazon gift card upon approval.
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.
- The best credit cards for Amazon purchases
- 3 reasons why the Amazon Card is on my 2020 wish list
- Is the Amazon Prime credit card still worth the cost?
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card From American Express: Best for no annual fee
Grocery rewards: You’ll earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per calendar 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 (minus returns and credits).
Sign-up 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.
- Dip your toes into the world of Membership Rewards: Amex EveryDay card review.
- Choosing the best American Express card for you.
- Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers.
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.
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 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 calendar 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 calendar year; then 1%).
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 calendar 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 calendar year; then 1%).
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 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 calendar 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 calendar year; then 1%).
Similar to Amazon, Chase also frequently offers special promotions for Walmart Grocery. For example, we’ve heard reports of people earning $5 back on orders of $50 or more.
How can you earn rewards with grocery cards?
Earning rewards with grocery credit cards couldn’t be easier. If you think about it, the monthly grocery shopping bill is likely to be one of the single biggest spending categories for families, and even couples and those living on their own. And where there’s money being spent, there are rewards to be earned.
For example, the Platinum Card from American Express will earn you 10x points per dollar spent in the first six months of card membership. Let’s say you spend $200 per month on groceries, that stacks up quickly to 12,000 points over your first six months of membership. What’s more, that’s money you would have been spending anyway.
If you’re more interested in getting cash back than earning points, cards like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card might be for you. It’ll earn you 5% cash back on spending at Whole Foods as well as Amazon.com purchases. There are other cash back grocery cards where earning rewards is not limited to spending at certain retailers.
In most cases, cards that earn rewards or cash back for grocery spending will also earn rewards in other categories, too. It’s worth making sure you go for a card, or even multiple cards, that compliment all your spending habits, rather than just focusing on groceries.
Other good grocery credit card optionS
What is the best grocery credit card with rotating categories
Another great card for rotating bonus categories 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.
The first quarter of 2021 does include grocery stores as a category, and it does tend to pop up throughout the year.
The information for the Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Which is the best small business card for grocery shopping?
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 account anniversary 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.
What are the cash-back choices best for grocery shopping?
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 (see rates and fees) and you can earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each calendar 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 on combined purchases 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.
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. 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.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Featured photo by d3sign/Getty Images.
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