Whether you do major weekly grocery shopping to feed a family of 5 or just pop in to grab a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work for a solo meal, we all spend money at the grocery store.
Doesn’t it make perfect sense to be earning points/miles/cash-back for the spending you’re doing already? Looking ahead a year from now, you’ll still have spent money on groceries… but you could also have earned valuable rewards.
These are rewards you can use to subsidize a vacation, pay for school clothes, or enjoy a celebratory group dinner at a nice restaurant — it’s your choice!
At this point, you’re probably thinking about which credit card is best for spending on groceries and at supermarkets in general. After all, supermarkets sell more than just groceries, and there are probably other items you buy elsewhere that can be purchased at the supermarket.
We’ll happily answer that question and more in this article as we cover:
- How to select a credit card that earns rewards at grocery stores
- The best credit cards for earning cash-back, points, and miles for grocery/supermarket spending
- How to maximize your earnings by buying things other than groceries at supermarkets
Let’s take a look at some of the best credit cards for earning rewards on supermarket purchases.
How To Select a Grocery/Supermarket Rewards Credit Card
First, credit cards that reward supermarket purchases are not limited to earning rewards on those purchases. You’ll likely land on a card that has a broader range of bonus categories. This is a good thing.
While we’re focusing on earning the most rewards for grocery/supermarket spending in our article today, to maximize earnings, your credit card selection should have additional earning potential that matches your other spending priorities.
When selecting a credit card that earns grocery spending rewards, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Does the card have an annual fee? Just because a credit card charges an annual fee doesn’t mean you should pass on that card. You might realize benefits that far exceed the value of the annual fee.
- Is there a welcome bonus? Welcome bonuses can add significant value. These bonuses are usually earned after meeting minimum spending amounts in the first few months after card approval, but each offer will differ.
- Are rewards capped at a certain amount? If so, you’ll want to calculate how much you’ll actually earn on the card at your anticipated spending levels.
- Are there additional bonus categories on the card? Selecting a card that allows you to earn on more than 1 category is the best scenario.
Bottom Line: If you spend a lot on groceries, finding a credit card that rewards those purchases is important. But you’ll want to consider cards that have additional bonus earning categories that match your spending habits to maximize earnings.
Best Cash-Back Cards for Groceries
American Express offers 2 cash-back cards that deliver excellent earnings on grocery/supermarket purchases.
Despite its annual fee, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card more than makes up for it with 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases) and additional earnings on gas, streaming subscriptions, and transit (taxis/rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more).
Add a nice welcome bonus statement credit after making minimum required purchases in the first 3 months after card approval, and you’ll have received far more than the annual fee in value.
If you’d prefer to have a credit card that’s less expensive to own (this card doesn’t have an annual fee) but you still want those U.S. supermarket rewards (3% back at U.S. supermarkets), try the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card (see rates and fees).
Best $0 Annual Fee Credit Cards for Groceries
A credit card that earns grocery and supermarket spending rewards is even better if you don’t have to pay an annual fee on the card.
Here’s a sampling of credit cards that provide solid earnings when it comes to grocery/supermarket purchases and don’t charge an annual fee.
The Hilton Honors card — with 5x earnings at grocery stores — allows you to build points quickly. Hilton Honors points are most valuable when redeemed for free hotel nights but can also be transferred to airline partners.
The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5% cash-back on groceries (and all other purchases), but those earnings become more valuable when paired with a premium Chase card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That’s because the cash-back is earned as valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for up to 50% more in value for travel purchases when transferred to premium cards.
The CapOne SavorOne card offers unlimited 3% cash-back at grocery stores and on dining, entertainment, and streaming services.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
With bonus earnings on common everyday purchases, you’ll be using your Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card on a daily basis.
You’ll earn 2% cash-back at grocery stores and at wholesale clubs and 3% cash-back on the bonus category of your choosing, which includes gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement/furnishings.
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
If you’re a qualified military member or another qualifying member of PenFed Credit Union, the PenFed Platinum card is a great card for gas and grocery shopping. The card earns 3 points per dollar spent at grocery stores and military commissaries, plus 5 points per dollar spent on gas.
While PenFed points can’t be redeemed for cash-back, you can redeem your rewards for merchandise or gift cards. However, you’ll receive less than 1 cent in value per point. Redeeming your points for travel can result in far better value.
Additional No-Annual-Fee Card for Groceries
In addition to being one of the best cards for earning cash-back on grocery store purchases, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card we mentioned previously is also a card that does not charge an annual fee.
Bottom Line: Selecting a card with no annual fee that earns well at grocery stores is a win-win. You’ll be earning rewards on a card you can keep for the long-term without getting charged each time you renew the card.
Best Travel Rewards Credit Card for Groceries
The Amex Gold card is incredibly rewarding for spending at grocery stores. You’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases.
This opportunity equals the ability to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points each year, just for maximizing spending in 1 bonus category.
This card is best for a traveler who wants a card for earning rewards on flight purchases (3x points per $1 spent) and on everyday purchases who will also find value in redeeming those rewards for travel.
You’ll also earn 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants, including takeout and delivery — that can really add up if you dine out often!
Don’t be put off by the annual fee — there’s a generous welcome bonus, statement credits for dining out at specific restaurants and food delivery, and more benefits to offset the fee.
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 03/31/22.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $95
Must Reads: For more info on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, see our thoughts on its benefits and travel insurance coverage, which includes primary car rental insurance. Take a look at our full review to see why it’s one of our favorite cards.
The freshly updated Chase Sapphire Preferred card now offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on online groceries. This is in addition to its new 3x bonus on select streaming services and dining, as well as an annual $50 hotel credit towards hotel stays booked via the Chase travel portal.
Best Airline Credit Cards for Groceries
You wouldn’t select an airline-branded card specifically for shopping at grocery stores, however, here are a few airline cards that do offer bonus earning on those purchases.
- The no-annual-fee AAdvantage MileUp card might seem an unlikely choice for supermarket spending, but this card earns 2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services.
- If you fly on American Airlines, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar for any purchases you make with the airline and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases.
Best Hotel Credit Cards for Groceries
Perhaps you wouldn’t naturally consider your hotel-branded credit cards for earning rewards on grocery purchases, but many hotel credit cards actually feature grocery stores as a bonus spending category.
While it wouldn’t make sense to apply for a hotel-branded card solely for earning rewards at supermarkets, it could be an excellent decision if Hilton, IHG, or Marriott were your hotel brand of choice.
Here are some of the best hotel-branded cards for supermarket purchases.
We mentioned the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors card earlier as a great card for earning on supermarket purchases but the Hilton Surpass card offers even more rewards with 6x bonus for every dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets. The card also earns 12 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties.
Check out all the ways to earn Hilton Honors points if you’re a Hilton loyalist by accessing our complete guide.
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO
|IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn 125,000 bonus points + a Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
- Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
- IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommend (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $89
The IHG Premier card earns 25 points per $1 spent at IHG properties and 2x IHG Rewards points per $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants. The card also offers a free hotel night certificate at each card anniversary.
Loaded with Marriott Bonvoy perks, including an annual free night award, the Marriott Boundless card earns up to 17 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott hotels (the card comes with automatic Silver elite status). You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases, including grocery store purchases.
For more ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, check out our guide.
Bottom Line: Travel rewards credit cards often charge annual fees, but these cards also offer travel benefits that can more than offset the cost of that annual fee. Just be sure to select travel rewards credit cards with benefits you’ll actually use.
Best Quarterly Category Credit Card for Grocery Stores & Wholesale Clubs
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info
|Chase Freedom Flex℠|
(at Chase's secure site)
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99% – 23.74%.
- Keep tabs on your credit health – Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
- Good to Excellent Credit Recommendation (670-850)
- Annual Fee: $0
Having this no-annual-fee credit card that offers rotating bonus categories each quarter allows you to earn cash-back on a variety of purchases. Grocery stores and wholesale clubs are commonly featured as bonus categories throughout the year.
Total earnings from 5% spending categories are capped at $75 per quarter ($1,500 in purchases); after that purchases earn 1% cash-back.
Hot Tip: If you were to spend the maximum in bonus categories each quarter on your Freedom Flex card, you would earn $300 each year. Not bad for a no-annual-fee card that earns flexible, transferable rewards.
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
You’ll earn unlimited 2% cash-back at grocery stores when you select this option each quarter. You’ll also earn 5% cash-back on 2 bonus categories of your choice on up to $2,000 in purchases when you select from up to a dozen additional bonus categories.
Best 2% or 2 Points+ per $1 Credit Cards for Groceries
Earning 2x rewards per dollar spent or 2% cash-back on your grocery purchases is a respectable return. These cards not only earn that much, but they offer additional earning potential and other bonus spending categories or flat-rate earnings that help you build rewards faster.
Earn 1% cash-back when you make a charge and an additional 1% when you pay for the charge. Every purchase you make earns rewards, including purchases at grocery stores.
If you want the simplicity of not having to keep track of or register for ongoing bonus categories, the CapOne Venture card with 2x miles per dollar spent on every purchase you make, could be appealing.
Known for its generous earnings of 4% cash-back on dining, you’ll also relish the 3% cash-back you’ll earn at grocery stores with the CapOne Savor card. Entertainment purchases also earn 4% cash-back.
Bottom Line: Having a credit card that earns at least 2% cash-back or 2 points per $1 spent on groceries is great. But it’s even better if the card has additional bonus earning categories or flat-rate earnings on every purchase you make.
Best Grocery Rewards Credit Card for Less-Than-Perfect Credit
If you have no credit or your credit history has some flaws, you can still qualify for a credit card that earns rewards for grocery/supermarket spending.
Secured credit cards work the same as other credit cards, but they’re specifically designed for consumers with poor or no credit, so they require a security deposit that’s held with the card issuer.
The SunTrust Secured Credit Card is a secured card that serves the purpose of building or rebuilding your credit, but it also allows you to earn cash-back during the process. You’ll be earning:
- 2% cash-back on up to $6,000 spent annually for gas and grocery purchases
- 1% cash-back on all other purchases
Hot Tip: If you’re working on getting your credit back on track, be sure to select a card that reports your new positive credit activity to the credit bureaus as this card does.
Best Credit Cards for Supermarket Purchases — Summary
We’re mentioned a lot of rewards-earning cards today. Now it’s time to pull all this information together and focus on how these cards stack up when it comes to earning rewards on grocery and supermarket purchases.
Here’s how each featured card earns rewards on those purchases:
||Supermarket Purchase Rewards
|AAdvantage Mile Up card
||2x American Airlines AAdvantage miles per dollar spent
|Amex Blue Cash Everyday card
||3% cash-back on up to $6,000 in purchases each year
|Amex Blue Cash Preferred card
||6% cash-back on up to $6,000 in purchases each year
|Amex Gold card
||4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year
|Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card
|CapOne Savor card
|CapOne SavorOne card
|CapOne Venture card
||2x miles per dollar spent
|Chase Sapphire Preferred card
||3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
|Delta Gold card, Delta Platinum card
||2 miles per dollar spent
|Double Cash card
|Freedom Flex card
||5% cash-back at grocery stores when this is a quarterly bonus category, 5% cash-back at grocery stores for 12 months after card approval, up to a total of $12,000 in purchases
|Freedom Unlimited card
|| at least 1.5% cash-back on purchases
|Hilton Honors card
||5x Hilton Honors points per dollar spent
|Hilton Surpass card
||6x Hilton Honors points per dollar spent
|IHG Premier card
||2x IHG Rewards points per dollar spent
|Marriott Boundless card
||2x Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent
|PenFed Platinum card
|Sun Trust Secured card
||2% cash-back, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
|U.S. Bank Cash+ Signature card
||2% cash-back on up to $2,000 in purchases when grocery stores is a chosen category each quarter
Maximizing Grocery Store Rewards
Most grocery stores sell more than groceries. Here are some ideas on how to maximize earnings each time you make a shopping trip to your local supermarket.
Maximize Earnings With Gift Card Purchases
Nearly every major grocery store sells gift cards. Whether you’re able to buy the gift cards with your credit card and earn rewards will depend on the store’s policy.
The list of gift cards you’ll find sold at grocery stores is nearly endless, and can include the following:
- The store’s own gift card (Safeway, Giant, Albertsons, etc.)
- Other grocery stores such as Whole Foods
- Retail merchant gift cards
- Chain restaurants (Panera, Olive Garden, Chili’s, etc.)
- Specialty retailers (Amazon)
- Entertainment (Netflix, Fandango, iTunes, etc.)
- Transportation/travel (Uber, Southwest Airlines, Hotels.com, etc.)
- Home/garden (Lowes, Tractor Supply Co., etc.)
- Visa/MasterCard/American Express gift cards
If your grocery store allows you to purchase with a credit card, you may be able to purchase Visa, Mastercard, and American Express gift cards that can be used to pay other bills such as insurance, utilities, and medical bills.
Keep in mind that Visa, Mastercard, and American Express gift cards carry fees, so you would only purchase them to meet initial minimum spending requirements for card welcome bonuses — or when the amount of any rewards earned exceed the amount of the fees.
Purchasing gift cards (at grocery stores) that you’ll use in the future, for your own purchases or as gifts, is a way to earn more rewards on the spending you’re doing already.
Be sure to start with a small purchase and check your statement to ensure you’re earning rewards prior to making any significant gift card purchases.
To learn more about the best cards for purchasing gift cards, we have more information in our article on the topic.
Bottom Line: If your supermarket will allow you to purchase gift cards with your credit card, you may be able to earn even greater rewards.
Earn More at the Grocery Store With These Additional Purchases
Perhaps you have a local grocery store that’s more like a department store: it has everything you need including clothing, electronics, outdoor furniture, and much more.
To maximize your supermarket rewards, consider purchasing items you wouldn’t earn rewards on elsewhere.
Here are some of the items grocery stores may carry in addition to groceries:
- Bakery, deli, and catering for office functions/parties
- Pharmacy, medicine, wellness
- Baby gear
- Pet supplies
- Patio furniture
- Home decor
- Lawn maintenance supplies
- Automotive items
Bottom Line: If you’re earning rewards on your supermarket purchases, consider purchasing additional items at supermarkets that you would have normally purchased elsewhere without earning rewards.
According to the most recent 2021 USDA statistics, the average household family of 4 spends between $1,169 and $1,370 per month on food at home.
Let’s ballpark that to an estimate of $1,200 per month for an annual expense of $14,400 spent each year (not including eating out, which is another expense that could be earning rewards).
If you’re spending that much money on groceries (or other supermarket purchases) and not earning rewards, it makes sense to consider a credit card that earns on those purchases.
You’ll need the discipline to pay off your card each month, of course, but you’ll end up with cash-back, points, or miles that can be turned into something of value you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, Capital One® SavorOne® Rewards card, Bank of America® Cash Rewards Card, PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card, U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, and SunTrust Secured Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.