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Why now is the time to get a card that earns rewards for groceries

Jan. 21, 2022
8 min read
Why now is the time to get a card that earns rewards for groceries
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Lately, I am home more than ever. The pandemic has significantly shifted my habits, as I have cut back on everything from travel to going out for meals.

With this change, I am finding myself cooking more meals at home, meaning I'm prioritizing always having a full pantry. However, more meals at home equals higher grocery bills, thanks, in part, to rising food costs.

According to the Department of Agriculture, food prices increased by 3.6% between 2020 and 2021.

Realizing these higher-than-average food costs are unlikely to come down as the pandemic continues, I've started reevaluating my credit card strategy.

Related: 6 foolproof ways to maximize rewards on grocery spending

Up until now, I had rarely focused on my grocery purchases, but that is about to change. If you are like me and want to pay more attention to grocery store spending in the new year, these are the credit cards to consider adding to your wallet.

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(Photo by AsiaVision/Getty Images)

Best credit cards to earn grocery bonuses

American Express® Gold Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The American Express® Gold Card is one of the best cards for big supermarket spenders. With this card, you'll earn 4 Membership Reward points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent. This amount is significantly more than what the average household spends, which means you'll likely earn the full bonus for all of your purchases. Since American Express points are worth 2 cents each, according to TPG's monthly valuations, this is effectively an 8% return on all of your grocery purchases at U.S. supermarkets.

Related: What are American Express Membership Reward points worth?

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The card also awards 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on the Amex Travel Portal.

However, with a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), you'll want to make sure the rewards you are earning are worth the cost. Fortunately, perks like up to $120 annual dining credits and up to $10 monthly in Uber Cash help offset the fee. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Related: American Express Gold review

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

(Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Another Membership Reward-earning credit card is The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express. If you have this card, you'll earn 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar spent. When you swipe your card 20 or more times in a single billing period, you'll earn 20% more points on those purchases (minus returns and credits).

While this card is a great option for earning grocery bonuses, if you find that your grocery bills are quite high, you may be better off choosing The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, which charges a $95 annual fee. This card earns 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, with the same $6,000 cap (then 1 point per dollar spent). Plus, you'll receive 50% more points on purchases if you swipe your card at least 30 times in a single billing period.

Without the 20% and 50% bonus taken into consideration, the break even point between the two cards (after factoring in the annual fee) is $4,750.

Related: Amex EveryDay vs. Amex EveryDay Preferred: Which should be in your wallet?

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

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

(Photo by The Points Guy)

If you are looking for a way to instantly receive a return on your high grocery store bills, a cash-back card may be your best option. With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you'll enjoy 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per calendar year, then 1%. While this is an extremely easy way to get cash back in your pocket to lower your purchases, the earning cap may be on the lower end for some.

Additionally, this card offers a $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).

You'll also earn earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit (including taxis and ride-hailing services, parking, tolls, trains and buses) and U.S. gas stations, and 1% cash back on everything else.

Related: Blue Cash Preferred Amex review

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Should you find yourself wanting to cut overall expenses without paying an annual fee, a cash-back card like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card may be an ideal option for you. Every time you use this card at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), you'll earn 3% cash back. There is no cap to the amount of cash you'll earn.

What's more, you'll earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services. On everything else, you'll earn 1% cash back.

Related: Capital One SavorOne review

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

For anyone who loves Whole Foods or prefers ordering groceries online through Amazon, there's the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which can save cardholders a boatload of money. When you use this card at Whole Foods or on Amazon.com (non-grocery orders included), you'll earn 5% cash back. Additionally, you'll receive 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

An added bonus is that when you use this card for Amazon purchases and those made at other stores, you'll receive purchase protection. With this service, you'll be covered if a product is damaged or stolen within the first 120 days of your purchase as long as the claim is no more than $500 and your account's claim totals do not exceed $50,000 in that calendar year.

While this card doesn't charge an annual fee, know that an Amazon Prime membership, which currently costs $119 a year, is required.

Related: Amazon Prime Rewards review

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa 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.

Target RedCard

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Anyone who regularly frequents Target for groceries and other purchases should consider signing up for the Target RedCard. Unlike other cards where you have to request cash back or wait for a check in the mail, the Target RedCard automatically deducts 5% from your total during checkout. This includes non-grocery items and any item purchased on Target's website.

However, groceries purchased at other stores do not receive this 5% discount, so if you're not exclusive to Target when grocery shopping, it may not be the right fit for your spending habits.

Related: Target RedCard review

The information for the Target Red 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.

Bottom line

As food prices continue to rise and families spend more time at home because of the pandemic, it's important to maximize rewards earnings when going to the supermarket.

Fortunately, there are several credit cards available to help you save more on groceries. Whether you want a traditional travel card, a cash-back option or a brand-specific card, there's usually a card that will work well with your spending habits.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.