You don’t have to be a foodie to appreciate earning rewards when dining out or ordering in from your favorite restaurant. Just knowing you’ll earn rewards on your meal is nearly as good as enjoying the food!
But when it comes time to pay the check, do you worry about which of your cards will earn the most cash-back or multiple points on dining purchases?
We do, too — and that’s why we’ve created this go-to guide for the best credit cards to use when dining out.
We’ve put together a collection of the best credit cards for earning cash-back, getting multiple points per dollar, and our wild card recommendations for earning even more rewards on your credit cards when dining out.
The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining (Overall)
You’d have to spend an extraordinary amount of money on dining to select a credit card based solely on the level of dining rewards that the card offers. For this reason, our choices for the best credit cards include cards that offer more than just dining rewards.
Earning 4 Membership Rewards Points per dollar for purchases at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; 1x thereafter) makes the Amex Gold card a clear winner for dining rewards. It also comes with up to $10 monthly dining statement credit when making purchases at participating restaurants. Participating partners are Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.
Earning rewards in 4x bonus spending categories, receiving dining credits, and the benefit of Uber Cash deposits easily offset the annual fee. Notes that terms may apply and enrollment is required for certain Amex Gold card benefits. The card is a top choice for dining rewards. See the full benefits and perks offered for being an Amex Gold cardholder, valued at over $4,000.
Although the Amex Platinum card doesn’t regularly offer increased bonus points for dining, its newest welcome offer includes 10x bonus points at restaurants worldwide during the first 6 months you hold the card. The 10x bonus caps out at $25,000 in spend, but if you can max that out you have to ability to earn 250,000 points on dining alone!
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a $550 annual fee, it’s packed with premium benefits that bring great value for the frequent traveler. These include travel purchase credits, worldwide lounge access, earnings on travel purchases, and a generous welcome bonus.
Further, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card includes a free membership to DoorDash DashPass, a subscription service that includes free food delivery on select DoorDash orders over $12 and reduced fees, which makes ordering food delivery just a little bit cheaper. There’s also a $5 monthly DoorDash credit available.
It also earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining, making it one of our top picks for dining rewards.
Hot Tip: If you are using a Chase credit card, check your Chase Offers to see if you’re eligible for additional restaurant discounts or cash-back.
With a $95 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns a solid 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and travel purchases.
Redemption options are flexible and include travel at a value of 25% more for your points, cash-back, gift cards, and transfer options to hotel and airline partners.
Likewise, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card also includes the free DoorDash DashPass subscription mentioned earlier.
For all these reasons, plus no foreign transaction fees, we’ve included it as one of the best credit cards for dining worldwide.
Hot Tip: Cardholders of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card, and Ink Business cards receive access to the Chase Dining hub via Ultimate Rewards online.
The CapOne Savor card is a foodie’s delight with unlimited 4% cash-back on every dining purchase.
The card also earns 4% cash-back on entertainment and 3% cash-back at grocery stores.
There are no rewards more flexible than cash-back, so if you spend a lot on dining out, you’ll want to have the CapOne Savor card handy to pay the check.
Hot Tip: At this time, the Citi Prestige card is no longer available for new applicants.
Earning 5 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining puts the Citi Prestige card up there with some of the top earners for restaurant purchases.
Although the card comes with a higher annual fee, you’ll enjoy several premium travel benefits such as lounge access, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement, $250 in annual travel credits (that can also be applied to supermarkets and dining purchases in 2022), and more.
Bottom Line: If you spend a lot on dining, it pays to find a card that rewards all of those purchases. Seek out cards that have dining category earnings of 4x points, 4% cash-back (or more!), or those that earn flexible travel rewards to maximize your earnings at restaurants.
Best Credit Cards With Dining Credits and More
Receiving a statement credit for a dining purchase is a real plus. Several cards offer dining statement credits or other rewards currencies you can utilize to pay for that next meal.
Uber Cash Credits
The Amex Platinum Card
You’ll enjoy $15 deposited into your Uber Cash account every month from January through November and $35 in December. You must add your Amex Platinum card to your Uber account to receive this benefit and select the card when paying for your purchase. Uber Cash can only be used for U.S. rides or U.S. Uber Eats.
Select American Express Cards With Dining Credits
Dining credits have become a trend, showing up on several rewards-earning credit cards. Here’s the newest collection of American Express cards offering these valuable credits.
Up to $20 Monthly Statement Credit for Restaurant Purchases
Up to $15 Monthly Statement Credit for Restaurant Purchases
Up to $10 Monthly Statement Credit for Restaurant Purchases
Bottom Line: Check your American Express cards for dining credits and Uber Cash, and also review your list of Amex Offers for additional earnings or savings that can be utilized at specific restaurants.
Best Airline and Hotel Credit Cards for Dining
Dining out may be a necessity when you’re traveling, but you won’t earn rewards unless you pull out the right credit card to pay for your meal.
Hot Tip: Accelerate your earnings for dining when paying your entire hotel bill, including dining expenses, with your hotel-branded credit card.
Best Business Credit Cards for Dining
When you pay for an expensive business dinner meeting, you’ll want to earn dining rewards. Here are some of the business credit cards to consider for 2% or better earnings on those expenses.
Hot Tip: Holding your business dinner meeting at a hotel and paying with your hotel-branded business credit card could result in multiple times the dining rewards.
Best Cash-Back Credit Cards for Dining
Earning cash-back is the simplest form of dining rewards, and fortunately, there are plenty of credit cards that offer excellent levels of cash-back earnings on your dining purchases.
The following cards earn generous cash-back on dining:
Hot Tip: Dining as we know it obviously includes utilizing a food delivery service or a food order pickup at your favorite restaurant. We’ve put together our recommendations for the best cards to use when you’re using a food delivery service instead of restaurant dining in our comprehensive article.
Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards for Dining
Earning rewards on a no-annual-fee credit card is like getting free money because you can use the card a little or a lot and never worry about offsetting an annual fee with a specific level of purchases.
These cards allow you to spend on dining and reap the rewards.
|Costco Anywhere card||3% cash-back|
|PNC Cash Rewards® Visa® Credit Card||3% cash-back|
|Sam’s Club card||3% cash-back|
Bottom Line: You don’t have to pay an annual fee to secure a credit card that earns dining rewards, as there are plenty of choices.
Best Credit Cards With Dining as a Quarterly Category
If you spend a lot on dining out, you’ll want to consider having one of these cards in your wallet to take advantage of the higher earnings when restaurants are a quarterly bonus category.
|Best Credit Card with Dining as a Quarterly Category||Dining Rewards||Best for Dining Because|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- Up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter earn 5% when dining/restaurants are a quarterly bonus category.You'll earn flexible Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for statement credits or cash-back that can offset dining purchases
|U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card|
(at U.S. Bank's Secure Site)
Rates & Fees
- Earn 5% on your choice of 2 bonus categories each quarter, which can include dining categories such as fast food and food delivery
- Earn 2% on your choice of 1 bonus category, which includes dining
- You'll always be earning rewards on dining out
Every quarter, the Freedom Flex card offers quarterly spending categories that earn 5% cash-back, and frequently, one of the quarterly categories is restaurants.
Similarly, cardholders of the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card can select 2 bonus earning categories to earn 5% cash-back on up to $2,000 in purchases each quarter. The category list changes each quarter but there are usually plenty of options, of which dining, restaurants, or fast food are common.
Plus, you can also select restaurants as a 2% bonus earning category.
Hot Tip: Quarterly bonus spending categories can also include retailers that may sell restaurant gift cards when dining is not included as a quarterly bonus category option.
Best Credit Cards Earning 2% Cash-Back or 2x Points for Dining (Honorable Mention)
There’s nothing wrong with earning 2% cash-back or 2 points per dollar spent on dining using your credit card. While we’re focusing this article on the best credit cards for dining, here are a few solid cards that earn 2 points or 2% cash-back on every dollar you spend on dining.
Bottom Line: When considering a credit card that earns dining rewards, 2% cash-back or 2 points per dollar spent is a respectable level of earnings to consider.
Best Credit Cards for Purchasing Dining Gift Cards
In addition to earning rewards for purchases made directly at restaurants, bars, fast food, and other dining establishments, you can purchase restaurant gift cards from merchants that fall into the bonus purchasing categories.
For example, purchasing a restaurant gift card from an office supply store with a credit card that earns 5% cash-back in this category yields an effective 5% cash-back on dining.
Hot Tip: If you often eat at fast food establishments or chain restaurants, you can purchase discounted restaurant gift cards with your credit card on websites including Raise and Gift Card Granny for as much as 50% off.
Dining Rewards Programs
If you live in a major metropolitan area, it’s easy to earn dining rewards on nearly any credit card by joining a dining rewards program and registering the credit card you’ll be using to pay for your meals at member restaurants.
Some of the dining programs require you to submit a review of the eating establishment before crediting your rewards, and some may issue restaurant credits for future meals versus actual cash-back.
Joining any of these dining programs is free, but beware that you cannot normally register a card with several programs and double or triple dip earnings, as the most recent registration can override the others.
Be sure to check for current sign-up offers and earning bonuses prior to joining as these factors can change periodically.
Hot Tip: While dining rewards programs can generate miles, points, and cash-back, participating restaurants can be limited. Using a credit card that earns rewards for dining to pay for your meal directly at the eating establishment is usually a better option.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. household spends nearly $3,000 each year on food away from home. If you spend that, or more, having a credit card that earns dining rewards is a smart move.
Dining rewards are just 1 earning category. You’ll want to match your entire spending profile with the bonus categories that come with any credit card to make sure you’re maximizing the earning power of that specific credit card.
If dining out is your passion or your job, your bottom line will grow with a credit card in your wallet that rewards those expenses. Bon appétit!
The information regarding Citi Prestige® Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Sam’s Club® Mastercard®, PNC Cash Rewards® Visa® Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Hilton Honors Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.