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If you are one of the many who spend the majority of each paycheck on restaurants, you’re not alone. In fact, the amount Americans are spending on food and drink is at an all-time high, according to a report released Wednesday by the Commerce Department.
“Sales at food-service and drinking establishments rose 1.3 percent in July to $61.6 billion,” Bloomberg reported, which at a gain of 25.3% over the summer alone is “the fastest pace in figures going back to 1992.”
The increased spend could signify that consumers are feeling more financially stable at the moment, according to economists Kevin Cummins and Michelle Girard at NatWest Markets. On the flip side, restaurants are certainly doing their part to keep dinner tabs high by raising prices to “keep up with higher minimum wages and rent costs.”
Whether a higher number of consumers are dining out more often, or fewer consumers are simply spending more, it’s a win-win for the credit card savvy: Spending in this category can work overtime for you if you know what you’re doing.
The proliferation of dining rewards programs and credit cards that offer double or triple the points on dining means you’ll earn more rewards with every order of steak frites and every bowl of pho that hits your table.
Image courtesy of Michael Berman via Getty Images.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. 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 $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is 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