Best credit cards for meal-prep-kit services
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Some nights the last thing you want to do is turn on your stove and do meal prep. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or simply lack time and energy to cook each night, a meal kit is a sure-fire way to prepare home-cooked meals.
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Numerous meal-prep-kit delivery services compete for the business of busy consumers. The kits deliver easy-to-follow recipes, pre-measured ingredients and fresh produce and meats to your door.
Many meal-prep-kit services now partner with major grocery store brands, so you can purchase the kits in stores and earn rewards with a card earning bonus points on groceries. Likewise, certain credit cards earn bonus rewards from online purchases, helping consumers maximize credit card spend.
Related reading: 5 Amex Offers to save money and make your life easier right now
Here’s a deep dive into which credit cards are best and the major brands in the meal-prep-kit business.
Home Chef offers a wide variety of meal solutions, including traditional meal kits and oven-ready lunches and dinners. Meals include grain bowls, salads, sandwiches and tacos with fully cooked proteins that can be prepared easily at home or at the office.
Lunch kits are priced from $7.99 and dinner kits start at $9.95 per serving. In fall 2018, Home Chef partnered with Kroger Co. to offer its ready-to-cook meals in more than 900 stores nationally.
Consumers can earn 6% cash back by using the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express to purchase Home Chef kits at Kroger stores or they can opt to earn valuable transferrable points with The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card, at 3x and 4x Membership Rewards per $1 spent, respectively.
The information for the The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit 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.
Sun Basket offers meals for numerous diets, from vegetarian and gluten-free to pescatarian and paleo. They are also customizable each week. Sun Basket says 99% of their produce is organic and their meals use only hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats and seafood.
Prices are in the mid-upper tier of home-prep-kit brands — ranging from $11 to $13 per serving for two or four people. Customers can skip a week on their subscription or cancel at anytime.
Although the service has no physical presence at grocery stores, you can still earn 2x miles per dollar by ordering Sun Basket via its app or online using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The information for the Venture 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.
Most of us order everything from dental floss to refrigerators on Amazon, so of course the e-commerce titan would enter the meal-prep-kit arena.
The catch? They’re only available to Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh members who live in areas with Amazon Fresh grocery delivery or select Whole Foods stores. If you’re in such an area, some credit cards offer bonus points for spend on Amazon.com or Whole Foods.
If your goal is to earn straight cash back, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a solid option since it offers an impressive 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. The Discover it Cash Back card also offers 5% cash back on Amazon purchases when they’re in a quarterly bonus category — in 2020 it’s a bonus category in the fourth quarter (on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate; then 1%).
In addition, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card allows you to choose your own bonus category with online shopping as one of the options. Purchases on Amazon.com (including Amazon Fresh) earn 3x cash back if that’s your bonus category.
All the cards mentioned for Amazon Fresh have no annual fees.
Related Reading: The best no-annual-fee credit cards
The German startup HelloFresh is now the largest meal-kit provider in the United States. Its kits are sold in supermarkets such as H-E-B and Giant Food, which allows you to use a grocery rewards card.
The company also has a fantastic app and website for online delivery. Measured ingredients arrive on your doorstep. You can cancel via the app or online but give them a minimum of five-day notice prior to your next shipment.
You can use a cash-back card such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express that earns 6x cash back U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases then 1% thereafter, (if you live near a Giant Food store) or the Bank of America Cash Rewards® credit card that lets you select online shopping as a 3x bonus category. Or, the Target RedCard® provides 5% discount on every eligible Target purchase, including HelloFresh gift cards sold in store and online.
Related Reading: The best store credit cards
Launched in 2012, Blue Apron pioneered the meal-prep-kit delivery service industry in the United States. Their kits are designed for newbies or cooks who just want straightforward recipes.
Blue Apron appeals to the most harried consumers with 20-minute meals — as compared to its competitors whose meals can be prepped and cooked in 30 minutes. Subscribers on a two-person plan can choose to switch to four-serving meals for a week at any time without altering their subscription — a convenient option if you’re having guests.
Blue Apron doesn’t have an in-store operation, so your best bet is to use a card that offers bonus points for online purchases or a fixed-earning card that earns 2x points per dollar spent, such as the Capital One® Venture® Card, or a 2% cash-back card (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay) like the Citi® Double Cash Card.
Use online shopping portals to save more
To save even more on your home-delivered meal kits, check online shopping portals to earn cash back or airline miles prior to placing your custom-meal order. The Points Guy’s credit cards editor, Benét Wilson, earns 550 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points each week from her HelloFresh orders.
With so many online shopping portals these days, it’s easy to become confused in finding the best one to use. Thankfully, the online aggregator CashBack Monitor displays the cash back, points and miles reward rates for various online portals, as well as airline and credit card issuer portals.
Meal-prep-kit delivery services are convenient for people with busy lives, but they can also be qexpensive — especially if you are ordering weekly. With the right rewards card and an online shopping portal, you can save a considerable amount of cash or rack up tons of points and miles on your next order.
Featured photo by Counter/Getty Images.
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