The Best Credit Cards for Buying Groceries in 2020

The average U.S. family spends over $4,000 per year on groceries. With the right credit card, you could earn hundreds of dollars in cashback rewards.
Last updated Oct 21, 2020 | By Kat Tretina
Best Credit Cards for Buying Groceries

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When you’re coming up with your monthly budget, you’re probably blown away by how much you spend on food. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American households spend $4,363 on food consumed at home, on average. That’s a substantial chunk of your income going toward groceries.

But what if you could earn cash back on that grocery spending? You could get valuable rewards just for spending money on food you’d buy anyway — a total win. Here are the best credit cards for groceries and what you should know to get the most bang for your buck. If you're looking for a new card with the best grocery rewards, this list is for you.

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What are the best credit cards for groceries?

We selected these credit cards based on their value to consumers. When evaluating each cash rewards credit card, we looked at their earning rate on grocery store purchases, their spending limits to earn cash back, their total possible rewards, redemption methods, and annual fees.

These are the best grocery credit cards:

Card Reward rate Cap on grocery rewards Credit needed Annual fee
Blue Cash Preferred by American Express 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases Up to $6,000 spent per year Excellent, Good $95 (waived first year)
Chase Freedom Unlimited 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases; plus 5% on Lyft rides and 5% on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year) Up to $12,000 spent per year Excellent, Good $0
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Card 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2022), 4% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases Unlimited Excellent $95
American Express Gold Card 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases Up to $25,000 each year Excellent, Good $250
Citi Double Cash Card Up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay Unlimited Excellent $0

Blue Cash Preferred by American Express

With the Blue Cash Preferred, you’ll get 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year) and select U.S. streaming services. If you spend the average amount on groceries — $4,363 — you’d earn $261.78 in cashback rewards each year. Plus, you’ll get a $300 statement credit bonus if you spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months after account opening.

While the card does have an annual fee, the potential cashback rewards outweigh its cost. You’ll earn:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year) and select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and eligible transit
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The Blue Cash Preferred card is perfect for those who spend more than the national average on groceries and who want to redeem their rewards for statement credits. The card allows you to redeem your rewards whenever your balance hits $25 or more, and you might pick this card if you also have a lot of streaming subscriptions.

However, if you do most of your shopping at specialty shops or superstores, this card may not be for you. Groceries purchased at Amazon, Walmart, Target, or warehouse stores aren’t eligible for the 6% cashback rate. And you’ll need to have good-to-excellent credit to qualify for this card. If your credit isn’t quite that high yet, you may need to look for a different card. Or if you prefer to pay no annual fee and don't mind earning only 3% at U.S. supermarkets, you could opt for the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.

#1 Cash Back at Supermarkets

Benefits

  • $300 statement credit welcome offer (limited time offer - ends Dec. 10)
  • 6% cash back on U.S. streaming services and at U.S. supermarkets
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
  • Terms apply

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. For groceries, you also get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year). With that rewards rate, cardholders can earn $218.15 after spending the annual average of $4,363 on groceries. Not to mention, you’d also earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Since the Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee, it’s easy to earn rewards without the stress of an annual cost. You’ll earn:

  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year)
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

The Freedom Unlimited is an ideal card for everyday purchases, especially if you’re heading to the grocery store. Stores like Walmart and Target won’t qualify for the 5% bonus on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year), but the excellent all-around 1.5% cashback rate will still work. Having an unlimited cashback rate and bonus categories makes earning rewards simple and straightforward. 

You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for cash back, gift cards, or travel through the Chase travel portal. To qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll need good-to-excellent credit.

Unlimited Cash Back

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • 5% cash back grocery store purchases for the first year (up to $12k)
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card

While it does have an annual fee, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card gives you 2% on grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target), and there is no limit on how much you can earn. If you spend the average amount on groceries, you could earn $87.26. That amount is significantly less than you’d earn with the Blue Cash Preferred card, but the Savor’s other benefits may make it worth the difference.

With the Capital One Savor Card, you'll earn:

  • 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2022)
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 2% cash back on grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Dining out is likely a significant expense for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends $3,365 on food away from home each year. If you spent that amount and used the Savor card to pay for it, you’d earn $134.60 in additional cash rewards. If you eat at restaurants often, the Savor card can be a great option. And you can redeem your rewards for statement credits or even a check.

As an added perk, you’ll get a $300 cash bonus if you spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account. However, you do need good-to-excellent credit to qualify for the card, so the Savor card isn’t for everyone.

Top Cash Back

Benefits

  • $300 cash back welcome offer
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • No foreign transaction fees

American Express Gold Card

If you're looking for a card that earns on groceries, but is also more versatile in earning you travel rewards, then you might consider checking out the American Express Gold Card. This card earns cardmembers 4X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and restaurants worldwide.

With this card, you'll earn:

  • 4X Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and restaurants worldwide
  • 3X Membership Rewards at flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com
  • 1X Membership Rewards at all other eligible purchases

You'll also enjoy an annual dining credit. You can earn up to $10 in statement credits each month at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations for an annual savings of up to $120.

Big Rewards for Dining Out

Benefits

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • High rewards rate in certain categories
  • Up to $100 airline fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply

Citi Double Cash

If you don’t want to worry about keeping track of spending categories or paying annual fees, consider the Citi Double Cash Card. You’ll up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay.

There’s no limit to how much you can earn. If you spend the average amount on groceries, you’d earn $87.26 in rewards. But you’d also earn 2% cash back on every other purchase you make, including fuel for your car, clothes, and other essentials.

In addition to a high potential for earning bonus cash, the Citi Double Cash also has the added feature of offering an introductory APR on balance transfers. New cardholders will get a 0% on balance transfers for 18 months. After that time expires, you will pay the regular APR and you will need to pay a balance transfer fee on any amount you transfer, even during the intro period.

Earn Cash Back Twice

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee

4 cards that are great for buying groceries at specific stores

If you’re loyal to particular stores or if your credit is less than stellar, you may be better off with a credit card designed for use at a specific store. Some of these options are store credit cards that can only be used at a specific retailer, while some can be used anywhere you shop.

Target REDcard

If you do most of your grocery shopping at Target, signing up for the Target REDcard may be a good choice. You’ll get a 5% discount on every purchase you make at Target and Target.com. If you spent $4,363 on groceries each year, you’d save $218.15 with the REDcard. That’s a great offer from a credit card without an annual fee.

The card does charge a higher-than-average APR (annual percentage rate), so make sure you pay off your balance in full each month to avoid costly interest fees. Plus, the card is a store card, meaning it can only be used at Target stores and Target.com. But because it’s a store card, you may be more likely to qualify for it than other cards. The REDcard requires you to have a “fair” credit score.

Target RedCard

Target RedCard

Target RedCard

Benefits

  • 5% off Target purchases
  • Free 2-day shipping from Target.com
  • No annual fee

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Are you already an Amazon shopper? If you shop for groceries at Whole Foods Market, with AmazonFresh, or with Amazon Prime Pantry, consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

With an eligible Amazon Prime membership, you can earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases. There’s no cap on how much you can earn, so if you spent $4,363 on groceries at Whole Foods, you’d get $218.15 in rewards. Those are excellent rewards for a card with no annual fee.

If you are not an Amazon Prime Member, there is also the option of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, but it only earns 3% at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.

Earn Easy Cash Back at Amazon.com

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Benefits

  • Get a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

If you have a big family or like to shop at Costco, the Costco Anywhere Visa card may be for you. You’ll earn 2% cash back on Costco purchases. If you spend $8,000 per year on groceries, that means you’ll get $160 in rewards.

You’ll also earn:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (on up to $7,000 per year)
  • 3% cash back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Unlike most store-branded credit cards, the Costco Anywhere Visa card has strict credit requirements; your credit score will need to be in the “excellent” range to qualify.

And while it has no annual fee, you should be aware that you’ll need to have a Costco membership to apply. A basic membership costs $60 per year.

Earn up to 4% cash back

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Costco Anywhere Visa Card

Benefits

  • Up to 4% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

If you like the convenience of Walmart’s grocery pickup service, consider applying for the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard. You’ll get 5% back at Walmart.com, on the Walmart app, and on Walmart grocery pickup and delivery; 2% back in Walmart stores, at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations, and on restaurant and travel purchases; and 1% back on everything else. That means, if you ordered all $4,363 worth of groceries on Walmart.com, you’d earn $130.89 in rewards. This card has a $0 annual fee, so the rewards you earn are all cash in your wallet.

Great rewards on Walmart purchases

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard

Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited rewards in and out of Walmart
  • Bonus rewards on select gas purchases

Why using multiple credit cards could earn you the most rewards

Instead of using one credit card for all of your grocery purchases, it might make sense to use several cards to maximize your rewards.

For example, let’s say you have a big family and spend $10,000 per year on groceries. If you used the Blue Cash Preferred Card, you’d earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 you spent at the grocery store, then 1% cash back after that. That means you’d earn $360 at the 6% cash back rate and $40 at the 1% cash back rate, for a total of $400.

While that’s a decent amount of cash, you could earn more rewards by using the Blue Cash Preferred along with other cards. Once you hit the $6,000 spending limit, you could switch to the Chase Freedom Unlimited (if you are in your first year of having the card), which earns 5% on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year).

Juggling multiple cards requires you to be organized, as you may need to keep track of your spending toward the cards’ limits; you’ll also need to remember to sign up for rotating spending categories. But the payoff can be worth the extra effort.

An important detail: What’s considered a “grocery store?”

When thinking about which card is best for you, it’s important to remember how companies define a “grocery store" or as "supermarket purchases." In most cases, companies consider grocery stores to be supermarkets that primarily sell food, such as Giant Food, SuperFresh, Whole Foods, or Winn-Dixie.

Wholesale clubs and superstores, like Target or Walmart, don’t usually count as grocery stores. As always, be sure to read the details on your particular card before you create your spending plan.

Bottom line

Putting food on the table is likely one of your biggest expenses as a family. However, finding the best cashback credit card for buying groceries can help you earn valuable rewards and even discounts, softening the impact to your budget — and saving you money on food.

If you apply for a new credit card, be sure to read the fine print on all the card details. Also make sure you can afford to spend the minimum required to earn the welcome bonus. These bonuses can be a significant reward, putting hundreds of dollars back in your pocket. How much you have to spend and how many bonus points you can earn will vary by card and credit card issuer.

To avoid costly interest fees, make sure you pay your statement balance in full each month. By using the best rewards credit cards for groceries wisely, you can maximize your rewards without carrying a balance.

Earn Cash Back Twice

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee