Best Credit Cards for Groceries

Best Credit Cards for Groceries

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

Credit cards that offer cash back, points, or miles on consumers’ grocery purchases are a popular category of rewards cards. We’ve analyzed all the cards in our extensive database to see how they stack up, based on average supermarket spending according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a number of other important features. 

Best Credit Cards for Groceries for July 2020

  • Blue Cash Preferred from American Express: Best Overall, Best for Cash Back
  • American Express Gold Card: Best Grocery Rewards Points
  • Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Best for Business
  • Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card: Best for Whole Foods Market
  • Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard: Best for Walmart

Best Overall, Best for Cash Back

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Rating as a Credit Card for Groceries
4.8
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Full Review
Apply Now
On American Express' Website

Current Offer:

Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6% back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back on eligible transit and US gas stations, and 1% back on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee If eligible, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is our top pick for best overall grocery and best cash back grocery rewards because of its exceptional 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on spending up to $6,000 per year, allowing cardmembers to earn up to $360 on grocery rewards alone. The card also offers strong bonus cash back at on gas and dining expenses, making a great primary card for expense categories that are typically the largest for most Americans. There is a $95 annual fee but most will find the cost to easily be worth it given the lucrative rewards structure.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Outstanding 6% cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in spending and on select U.S. streaming services
    • Generous $250 bonus offer for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
    • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and for balance transfers initiated within the first 60 days of account opening

    Cons

    • $95 annual fee, where many cards in this category have none
    • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
    • Cashback rewards on groceries are capped, and some wholesale and superstore chains excepted
    • American Express isn't as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard outside of the U.S.
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Receive a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • You may be elgible for an instant card number, allowing you to earn cash back before you card arrives in the mail.
    • Your cash back is earned in the form of American Express Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • $95 annual fee.

Best for Grocery Rewards Points

American Express® Gold Card

Rating as a Credit Card for Groceries
4.3
American Express® Gold Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On American Express' Website

Current Offer:

Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) N/A - See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4 points per $1 spent at restaurants and at US supermarkets (up-to $25,000 per year). 3 points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer balance transfers.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The American Express Gold Card is our top choice for grocery rewards points because of its 4 points per dollar on all U.S. supermarket purchases and U.S. restaurants up to $25,000 in combined spending. Given that the value of Membership Rewards points can be worth over 2 cents each based on how they are redeemed, the potential rate of return on grocery spending can be quite exceptional. There is an annual fee of $250, so this card makes better sense for someone who can take full advantage of its bonus rewards in groceries, gas, restaurant and travel spending.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Exceptional points rewards on flights, dining, and supermarket purchases
    • Redemption options include 1:1 transfers to many airline and hotel partners

    Cons

    • The annual fee is more than double that of many other cards
    • American Express isn't accepted as widely as Visa and Mastercard
    • Superstore and warehouse-club purchases don't earn supermarket rewards
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • One annual fee. Unlimited possibilities. Explore just some of the unparalleled benefits that can add up to more than the annual fee.
    • $120 Dining Credit
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit
    • $100 The Hotel Collection Credit

Best for Business

Amazon Business Prime American Express Card

Rating as a Credit Card for Groceries
4.0
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On American Express' Website

Current Offer:

$125 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval with an eligible Prime membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on the Card in the 2% Back and 1% Back categories in your first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0, Prime Membership Required
Rewards Earning Rate Get 5% back on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, on up to your first $120,000 in purchases each year. 2% at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. 1% on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer balance transfers.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card wins for best business grocery rewards, as grocery purchases through Whole Foods Market earn 5% cash back for eligible Prime Members on your first $120,000 in purchases each year. This card perk can be a great fit for many small business owners ranging from FBA sole proprietors to companies stocking up their work kitchens with snacks and beverages to fuel their employees. Amazon.com and Amazon Web Services charges also receive top bonus rewards along with 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and restaurants and 1% on all other purchases.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • Strong returns on your choice of Amazon rewards
    • Decent rewards at restaurants, gas stations, and cell-phone service

    Cons

    • Must have an active Amazon Prime membership
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Get a $125 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval for the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card.
    • $0 annual fee
    • Take advantage of 5% Back or 90 days to pay interest free on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership.
    • 2% back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers.
    • 1% back on other purchases

Best for Whole Foods

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rating as a Credit Card for Groceries
4.0
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Full Review
Apply Now
On Chase's Website

Current Offer:

Get a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.24% - 22.24% variable
Annual Fee $0, Prime Membership Required
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods market with an eligible prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    We chose the Amazon Prime Visa Signature as our top pick for grocery rewards at Whole Foods Market because of its large unlimited cash back bonuses with the WFM and other Amazon.com purchases. Based on government figures on average annual grocery spending we estimate a grocery earnings potential of over $220 in cash back from that category alone. There is no annual fee for eligible Amazon Prime members.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • No annual fee
    • 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases
    • Easy redemption while shopping
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Requires a paid Amazon Prime membership
    • No 0% APR introductory offer
    • Low one-time offer
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
    • Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
    • Earn 1% back on all other purchases.
    • You can redeem your rewards every day toward millions of items when you shop at Amazon.com. During checkout, you can use your rewards to pay for part or all of your purchase. There’s no minimum rewards balance to redeem. 100 points = $1.00 when redeemed toward eligible purchases.
    • Plus, there is no annual credit card fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no earnings caps!

Best for Walmart

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard

Rating as a Credit Card for Groceries
3.9
Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard
Full Review
Apply Now
On Capital One's Website

Current Offer:

Earn 5% back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use your Capital One Walmart Rewards Card with Walmart Pay - the quick and secure way to pay with your phone at Walmart.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 26.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% at Walmart.com, the Walmart app, and on Walmart grocery pickup and delivery. Earn 2% back on purchases at Walmart stores, Walmart & Murphy USA Fuel Stations, and on dining and travel purchases. Earn 1% back on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee $0 for transfers at the standard APR.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • WHY WE CHOSE THIS CARD

    The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is our top pick for earning cash back rewards on groceries from Walmart and Walmart.com. Walmart has become the nation's largest grocery chain after entering this category in the past decade by leveraging its massive national retail footprint and supply chain logistics and the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is the logical choice that can allow you to earn substantial cash back rewards on their groceries while taking advantage of their already discounted prices.

  • PROS & CONS

    Pros

    • High rewards on Walmart purchases online and in the first year
    • No caps on rewards at the highest rates

    Cons

    • The high Walmart in-store rewards are short-lived
    • Strong credit is recommended
  • HIGHLIGHTS
    • Introductory offer - Earn 5% back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months when you use your Capital One Walmart Rewards Card with Walmart Pay.
    • 5% back at Walmart.com, the Walmart app, and on grocery pickup and delivery.
    • 2% back at Walmart stores, Walmart & Murphy USA Fuel Stations, and for restaurant and travel purchases.
    • 1% back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted.

How Do Grocery Rewards Credit Cards Work?

Most rewards cards provide cash back, points, or miles on grocery purchases, but some make grocery shopping more rewarding than others. Typically, those cards feature grocery purchases as a bonus earnings category and pay a higher rate of rewards on them. Such cards may or may not exclude big box stores like Walmart or wholesale clubs like Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club from their bonus category. However, most big box stores and all the major wholesale clubs offer their own co-branded credit cards that pay consumers attractive rewards in exchange for their brand loyalty.


What Are the Types of Grocery Rewards Credit Cards?


Fixed-rate rewards credit cards.
As the name implies, the rewards earning rate on fixed-rate rewards cards is a set number of points or cash back on all purchases, typically 1.5% but some as high as 2%. That includes grocery purchases, which get no special treatment.


Tiered-rate rewards credit cards.
These cards provide more points, miles, or cash back percentages on certain categories of spending and a base rate on all other purchases. Many such cards include groceries in their bonus categories. Some cards with tiered bonuses, like those offering 5% cash back on certain categories, rotate their categories, so groceries might be eligible for bonus earnings only for part of the year. 


Other cards with higher levels of rewards for grocery spending, usually offered through partnerships between grocery retailers and card issuers, provide those extra rewards year-round. Getting one of these cards can make sense if you do most of your shopping at a particular grocery chain or wholesale club and want to earn rewards you can use there.  



What Are Pros and Cons of Credit Cards With Grocery Rewards?

Pros
  • Enhanced rewards on a major spending category

  • Other spending categories often have bonus rewards, as well

  • Most charge no annual fee

Cons
  • Grocery spending eligibility may be capped

  • Co-branded grocery credit cards typically limit rewards to purchases at their stores

  • Interest rates can be higher than non-rewards cards


Pros Explained

  • Enhanced rewards on a major spending category.  According to government data, the average American household spends close to $3,500 a year on “food at home,” and that doesn’t include the many other products people routinely purchase at grocery stores. Being able to earn bonus rewards on this large of a spending category can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesmy.nr0.htm
  • Other spending categories often have bonus rewards, as well. Cards that offer extra rewards on grocery spending frequently include other bonus categories, such as gasoline, restaurants, or travel.
  • Most charge no annual fee. Grocery rewards cards are usually free of annual fees. For the few that do charge an annual fee, that fee is often justified by the overall value of the card’s rewards and other benefits.


Cons Explained

  • Grocery spending eligibility may be capped. Many grocery rewards cards put a limit on the dollar amount of grocery purchases that are eligible for enhanced points or cash back, either on a quarterly or an annual basis.
  • Co-branded grocery credit cards typically limit rewards to purchases at their stores. Some cards offered by big box retailers, wholesale clubs, and grocery chains offer compelling rewards on grocery purchases, but those enhanced rewards are only available when you shop with that specific retailer.
  • Interest rates can be higher than non-rewards cards. This can apply to all manner of rewards credit cards. It goes without saying that the interest charged on carried balances can nullify the benefit of any rewards, so it’s best to pay bills in full and on time. 

What Should You Consider When Selecting a Grocery Rewards Card?

  • Where do you typically shop for groceries?
  • How much do you spend each month?
  • Would you be willing to change your shopping habits if the potential rewards warranted?
  • Are you willing to pay an annual fee in exchange for greater earning opportunities?
  • Do you have another rewards card that offers enhanced earnings on other spending categories, such as gas or restaurants? If so, are you willing to carry another card or would you prefer to have a single rewards card that gives you a good return across all your most important spending categories?
  • Are you willing to keep track of quarterly or annual spending if eligible grocery spending is capped?


To compare different cards, it’s helpful to examine your spending patterns and try to estimate how much you might get from each card in terms of rewards. While grocery shopping is a significant category for most people, other monthly spending categories can be equally or even more important. Also consider any sign-up bonuses a card might offer and whether it charges an annual fee.


Is It Possible to Get a Grocery Rewards Card with Bad Credit?


In many cases, people with bad credit can qualify for a secured credit card that offers cash back or points on all purchases, including groceries. Secured credit cards, if used responsibly, can be a way to build a good credit score and eventually qualify for a regular, non-secured card with solid rewards on groceries and other major spending categories.

Investopedia pledges to provide exhaustive and objective information about all credit cards offered in the United States. Reviews and rankings are created by our editorial team independently and impartially, without regard to any financial relationships Investopedia may have with credit card issuers or their affiliates.

Methodology

Information Gathering

In order to track and assess the entire U.S. domestic credit card market, we gather scores of data points on nearly 300 cards. This data is collected manually from both card-issuer websites and publicly available sources. 

To ensure our information is as up-to-date as possible, we deploy automated tools that monitor changes in such key data as annual percentage rates, introductory rates, introductory periods, bonus offers, rewards earnings rates, fees, and card benefits. We then rapidly make any needed updates to our card listings, reviews, and recommendations to ensure that readers have the most reliable information and advice. 


Initial Scoring

Once we collect credit card data we organize it in our database according to features, which roll up into feature sets (such as rewards, interest, fees, benefits, and security/customer service). Each individual card feature is assigned a star rating score on a 1 to 5 scale using a prescribed formula. For instance, for a one-time bonus score we would use a formula like: If bonus is $500 or greater, then assign a score of 5; if $300-$499, then 4; and so forth.


Weighting of Scores

Once all of a particular card’s features have received a score, we apply a weighting factor to each feature to arrive at a weighted average score for that card (according to the general category in which it resides, such as balance-transfer). 


This weighting process allows us to assign significantly more emphasis to the attributes important to a particular category and downplay those that are less relevant to it. That lets us objectively identify cards that stand out in their category and indicate why they do. For example, for balance-transfer cards we apply significantly higher weight to such key category attributes as interest rates or fees than to travel-specific features such as airport lounge access or primary rental car insurance, which might be more strongly considered for other categories, such as travel-rewards cards.

Earnings Rates

Another critical factor we consider when rating and ranking rewards cards is the cards’ effective earnings rates. We first calculate the average value of points or miles for all the rewards cards in our database, a painstaking process that entails collecting all airline fare data by carrier across scores of popular domestic and international city-pairs, along with per-night hotel charges at all major hotel brands. 

The required points and miles for air travel or hotel stays from the various reward programs is then used to calculate an effective earnings rate for each card. That allows our readers to make the most informed choices. By putting a card’s large one-time bonus or earnings rates into context across many dimensions and card features, readers can more readily weigh the card’s benefits relative to its costs. Uncovering the true but often opaque redemption value of rewards points or miles is, we feel, the only reliable way to make cogent choices among competing value-based cards.  


Card Features We Score

As mentioned in our methodology explanation, we place significant weight on certain features in determining our ratings for each rewards card. Specifically, we base over 50% of our overall assessment score on the combination of the following factors:  

  • Maximum value of any one-time bonus, whether in points or miles.
  • Initial card spending required to earn any bonus.
  • Redemption value of the bonus miles or points.
  • Global card acceptance, as detailed by the four card networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover).
  • Options to redeem points or miles with travel partners, both airline and hotel.

Another consideration is the cards’ coverage, if any, in these travel-related areas: 

  • Car-rental collision insurance, whether primary or secondary.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Lost or delayed luggage insurance.
  • Insurance for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay.
  • Cell phone loss or damage coverage.
  • Roadside assistance and towing.
  • Emergency travel medical/dental benefits.

General, non-travel related features that we consider and score include:

  • Interest rates, including both introductory and regular APRs for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Fees, including those for annual membership, late payments, cash advances, and foreign transactions.
  • Security/customer service features.
  • Other non-travel benefits, such as access to credit scores, ID theft protection, and contactless payment capability.


How We Reach Our Final Assessments

We rely primarily on the objective scores created by our rating algorithms to determine which card is chosen as the best in each category or subcategory.

However, we may make some adjustments from time to time, to both features and weightings that could affect rankings, based on subjective input from our credit card experts. Any potential modifications will be consistent with Investopedia’s belief that consumers are best served by cards that:

  • Provide superior value in earning awards.
  • Charge reasonable interest rates in the event that the cardholder carries a balance from month to month.
  • Charge fewer and/or more reasonable fees.
  • Provide solid customer service, based on the number and quality of customer service features.
  • Have helpful and protective security features.