Which cards should you use for online grocery delivery services?

Mar 24, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Before 2020, I got almost nothing delivered. I was the kind of person who enjoyed perusing stores and boutiques for clothes, and I found grocery shopping a cathartic part of my weekly schedule. The only thing I ever had delivered was takeout on occasion and maybe the odd Amazon order if I couldn’t find what I needed in person. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic changed that — suddenly I was getting everything delivered because I wanted to leave my apartment as little as possible.

Want more credit card news and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter! 

This also means I’m a recent convert to Instacart, which I’ve been using in recent months to order groceries. Though I’ve been using the service out of necessity this year, I imagine I’ll continue using it even as the risk of coronavirus wanes. Of course, just because I’ve started shopping for groceries online doesn’t mean I’ve stopped wanting to maximize those purchases. So here are a few of the popular online grocery delivery services and which cards will earn rewards at each.

Related: Your definitive guide to online grocery delivery services

In This Post

Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh codes as an Amazon purchase, which means you’ll want to use cards that earn extra on Amazon.

The Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card is the obvious choice, earning 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. And during Q4 2021, the Discover it Cash Back is another great option since once you enroll, you’ll earn 5% on Amazon.com (among other categories) as part of its rotating cash back calendar (up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases). While Amazon doesn’t code as groceries for cards, you can purchase Amazon gift cards at your local supermarket that will earn points. The information for the Amazon Prime Visa and 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.

Related: Best cards for Amazon 


(Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon)

Instacart codes as groceries, which means you can use any standard grocery credit card for those purchases. Personally, I’ve been using my new Chase Freedom Unlimited to maximize the card’s 5% (5x). But previously, I would have used my American Express® Gold Card for 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).

Other cards to consider for Instacart:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express — New cardholders earn 10x on U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined eligible 10x purchases in the first six months of card membership)
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — Earns 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1%). Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

Related: Best credit cards for groceries 

Local grocery delivery services

Your local grocery store chain may have its own delivery service that you can use. For example, my local Harris Teeter offers delivery in my area. Because these purchases are made through the grocery stores, you should use the same cards you normally would at the grocery store.

  • Amex Platinum — New cardholders earn 10x on U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined eligible 10x purchases in the first six months)
  • Amex Gold — Earns 4x on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x)
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — Earns 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per calendar year; then 1%)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Earns 2x/3x (respectively) on groceries (up to $1,000 in purchases per month through April 2021)

Related: A complete list of online grocery delivery promo codes

(Photo by Carol Yepes/Getty Images)

Bottom line

Though some overlap exists between which cards are best for online delivery services versus in-store grocery purchases, not all cards that obtain bonus points at your typical grocery store will earn them on online grocery spending. For example, many people have found that Shipt doesn’t always code as groceries on rewards credit cards, which means you may have to switch up your card strategy to use a flat-rate card like Citi® Double Cash Card or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to maximize.

Featured photo by McLittle Stock

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.