Best Credit Card for Groceries: Grocery Cashback Options Compared

Groceries and household supplies can end up being a huge expense category for most of us. Estimates put average grocery spending at around 5-10% of annual expenditures for the typical American. Thus, any way we can save more on groceries can free up a lot of spare cash to save, invest or spend elsewhere. One great way to save money is to rack up rewards by using the best credit card for groceries for all your grocery store purchases.

best credit card for groceries

By using the best credit card for grocery stores, you can earn bonus cashback on every purchase – anywhere from 2% to 6% cashback. Over time, this can add up to some serious savings! For even more savings opportunities, check out our guide to saving money on groceries.

 

What is the Best Credit Card for Groceries?

There’s no single “best” option for all people – the right choice will depend on a number of factors. One big thing to consider is whether or not you want to pay an annual fee on your card. Most of the time the no-fee cards don’t earn as much rewards, but the fee cards charge you a flat fee every year. Be sure to do the math for your individual situation to see what makes the most sense.

 

Best Grocery Credit Card for Families & Big Spenders: Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Blue Cash Preferred

Annual fee: $95
Earning rate: 6% cashback at US supermarkets, 3% at US gas stations & department stores; 1% on everything else
Signup bonus: $200 after spending $1000 in the first 3 months
Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
Best for: Big spenders in the grocery category, large families

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred is the best credit card for groceries for many people – particularly those who spend a lot on groceries.

The card earns a whopping 6% cashback at US supermarkets, although that rate is capped at $6,000 in annual spend. Amounts beyond $6,000 annually will only earn 1% cashback.

The card has a $95 annual fee, which is only worthwhile if you spend a decent amount on groceries. The cap on 6% cashback earnings is $6,000 per year, which works out to $500 per month. If you spend in the range of $350-$500 per month on groceries, this card is likely worth the annual fee – if not, you’ll probably be better off with a no-fee version.

 

Best Grocery Credit Card with No Annual Fee: Amex Blue Cash Everyday

Blue Cash Everyday

Annual fee: None
Earning rate: 3% cashback at US supermarkets, 2% at US gas stations & department stores; 1% on everything else
Signup bonus: $150 after spending $1000 in the first 3 months
Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
Best for: Those wanting a cashback card with no annual fee to worry about

The American Express Blue Cash Everyday is the no-annual fee version of the popular Blue Cash Preferred card. The card still offers great cashback rates, with 3% back on grocery store purchases (capped at $6,000/year in spend), 2% on gas and 1% on everything else.

This card makes more sense for those who don’t spend a whole lot on groceries. For big spenders, the Preferred will likely win out in the long run. See our comparison section below to learn more.

 

Blue Cash Preferred vs Everyday

For many people, choosing the best credit card for groceries will be a choice between the Everyday and the Preferred. Here’s a recap:

  • The Blue Cash Preferred earns 6% cashback on groceries, but has a $95 annual fee ($200 sign-up bonus currently)
  • The Blue Cash Everyday earns 3% cashback on groceries, but has no annual fee ($150 sign-up bonus currently)

You should do the math for your particular situation, but as a rule of thumb, here are our recommendations:

  • If you spend more than $3,200 per year ($266/month) on groceries, the Preferred is the better option
  • If you spend less than $3,200 per year ($266/month) on groceries, stick with the no-annual-fee version

Keep in mind that these figures ignore the signup bonuses (as they change frequently), and also ignore the different earning rates on gas purchases. Again, we recommend running the numbers for your specific situation.

 

Best Grocery Credit Card for Simplicity: Citi Double Cash

Citi DoubleCash

Annual fee: None
Earning rate: 2% cashback on all purchases
Signup bonus: None currently, sometimes offers $100 cash bonus
Introductory APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months
Best for: Those wanting just one credit card for all purchases

The Citi Double Cash credit card is the best credit card for groceries for those who crave simplicity in their lives. With this card there are no bonus categories, no caps on earnings, and no annual fee – just a flat 2% cashback on ALL purchases, not just groceries.

This card tops our list of the best cash-back credit cards because it offers a great earning rate with no annual fee to worry about. The great thing about this card is that you always know you’ll earn 2% back, regardless of where you make the purchase. With other cards with specific category bonuses, you may or may not earn the bonus rewards depending on how the merchant codes. For example, purchases at Costco or other warehouse clubs don’t usually code as groceries, so a card like the Blue Cash won’t earn the bonus points.

 

Merchant Codes & Cashback Earnings

Now that you’ve seen our recommendations for the best credit cards for groceries, there is one thing that you should be aware of.

Any card with category bonus cashback rates will use the merchant category code (MCC) to determine your cashback percentage. Thus, the rate of cashback you earn will depend on the how the purchase codes. And unfortunately, they don’t always code how you might expect.

For instance, Walmart purchases might code as grocery, but they could also code as warehouse store, home goods store, etc. Even stranger, some Walmarts might code differently than others. This can result in some surprises, and is one reason why some people prefer the simplicity of a flat 2% cashback card like the Double Cash.

This guide explains how you can find merchant category codes to determine whether or not a specific merchant will earn bonus cashback. Unfortunately, Visa is the only card issuer to make this data public.

Compare Card: American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover It

As you begin your search for the best cash credit card that will give you more, you may want to check out the American Express Magnet card or the Discover It card (American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover It). Not sure which one to choose? We’ve broken down exactly what each card offers and the type of spending power you’ll have with each, so you can pick the best credit card for your spending needs.

Quick Hit Summary (for those who hate reading)

American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover It Bonus Winner: American Express Magnet

American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover it Cash Back Winner: Discover IT

Annual Fee Winner: Tie (both come with $0 annual fee)

APR 0% Offer Winner: American Express

American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover It Overall Winner: American Express Magnet Card

American Express Magnet Card

American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover It

If you are looking for a credit card that truly gives you more, you’ll find the American Express Magnet card is the one for you. This card offers you a variety of ways to earn cash back on all your purchases. Spend $1000 in the first three months of owning the card, and you’ll receive $150 cash back just for using the card as you normally would.

Earn another $100 cash back when you spend $6500 in purchases in the first 12 months of owning the card. This is a great offer for those big purchases you intend to make. Cash back rewards are paid back to you through a statement credit.

After the introductory period, you’ll still continue to earn with the American Express Magnet card. Every purchase you make will give you 1.5 percent back. These Reward Dollars are redeemable as a statement credit, or you can trade them for gift cards, travel, or other merchandise and service offers from American Express.

The American Express Magnet card has no annual fee and features zero percent APR on your purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of signing up with the card. APR moves to 14.74 to 25.74 percent following the introductory period, depending on credit rating.

Other features of the American Express Magnet card include a Roadside Assistance Hotline, so you’ll never have to worry about being stranded with a broken-down vehicle on the side of the road. The card also provides car rental loss and damage insurance as well as travel accident insurance. The card’s Global Assist Hotline will provide you help no matter where you are located in the world.

You’ll also be able to buy with confidence with the American Express Magnet card. It includes purchase protection, an extended warranty, return protection, and dispute resolution. Entertainment access is also offered with the card.

Discover It Card

For even more cash back options, you’ll want to check out the Discover It card. This credit card offers 5 percent cash back at a variety of locations you already shop. Use the card at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or any wholesale club, and you’ll rack up the cash back rewards.

All other purchases made with the Discover It card will provide you with 1 percent cash back rewards. This is in addition to the cash back mash that Discover offers on your first year of purchases.

Redeeming cash back rewards with the Discover It card is simple as they never expire and can be used in a variety of ways. You can use your rewards towards cash back on your statement as they can be redeemed at any time in any amount.

There are also plenty of nice add-on features with the Discover It card. You’ll have free monitoring of your social security number in case of a threat or fraud. Notifications are sent directly your phone, making it easy to stay on top of your personal information. Additional security is provided with the credit protection, which monitors if something suspicious shows up on your credit report. 

The Discover It card gives you the ability to freeze your account at any time to prevent future purchases. You’ll also benefit from the $0 Fraud Protection option. With this feature, you’ll never be responsible for unauthorized purchases on your credit card.

The Discover It card has no annual fee and has eliminated the overage fee. Your first late payment is waived, and your APR will never increase. There is also no foreign transaction fee, so you can use this card no matter where your travels take you.

There is a zero percent APR for 14 months on all purchases and balance transfers. APR after the introductory period is 13.74 to 24.74 percent. There is also a 3 percent fee for balance transfers after 14 months.

Other enhancements from the Discover It card include free credit card reporting of your FICO score, U.S. based customer service, and the ability to make a payment on your card until midnight the day it is due without penalty.

Choosing between the American Express Magnet card and Discover It card doesn’t have to be difficult as they both offer plenty of cool features that you can easily take advantage of.

American Express Magnet Card vs. Discover it VERDICT 

Choose the American Express Magnet card if you are looking for a strong cash back program that will help you earn as soon as you open your account.

The Discover It card is ideal for those that want some additional security options with having to pay for them. The choice is yours!

American Express Magnet Card vs. Chase Freedom – Which is Best

There’s plenty of reasons to choose a credit card that gives you cash back. From paying down your balance to gaining more spending power, a cash back credit card offers you the ability to earn as you spend.

But, how do you know which one is the right card for you?

We put the American Express Magnet card in a head-to-head battle against the Chase Freedom credit card to see how these cash back credit cards stack up.

New Member Bonus

Chase Freedom: $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

American Express Magnet: Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the $250 back as a statement credit.

Winner = Chase Freedom (AMEX Magnet requires the card holder to spend way too much money in order to receive the bonus).

Cash Back

Chase Freedom: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

AMEX Magnet: Unlimited Cash Back 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.

Winner = Chase Freedom (the 5% cash back for gas or groceries makes this a winner)

Please check creditcards.chase.com/freedom/calendar to view a calendar showing which 5% cash back category is active.

THE FINER DETAILS…

American Express Magnet Credit Card

Let’s start with the American Express Magnet card, which as the company boasts is “simply rewarding.”

Offering an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on your purchases, this credit card can help you earn plenty of green to make it until payday.

American Express offers the cash back in Reward Dollars that you have the option to redeem as a credit on your statement. You can also redeem your Reward Dollars for gift cards or merchandise through American Express.

Looking to earn a little more? Spend $1000 or more in purchases with the American Express Magnet card, and you’ll earn a cool extra $150 back in the first three months of membership with the card.

There are even more ways to earn Reward Dollars if you spend an additional $6500 in purchases in the first three months of owning the card. American Express will reward you with an additional $100 in Reward Dollars for a total $250 possible in cash back rewards.

You can redeem your cash back earnings with the American Express Magnet card when your balance hits 25 Reward Dollars.

The American Express Magnet card also offers plenty of other perks that make this card worth owning. You’ll find that making your payment each month is easy as American Express offers Plan It – a monthly payment plan that offers you a fixed monthly fee without an interest charge. This is ideal for those larges purchase. Plus, you’ll continue to earn cash back rewards on these purchases as well.

Have a question about your American Express Magnet card? Take advantage of the company’s Global Assist Hotline no matter where you are located in the world. It can help with lost passports, legal help, custom information, and more. There is also Roadside Assistance offered with the credit card in case you are ever stranded.

A nice feature of the American Express Magnet card is its Purchase Protection that covers you when you buy a product. If it breaks or gets stolen up to 90 days from the moment you made the purchase, American Express will cover it.

APR on the American Express Magnet credit card is 0 percent for 15 months on purchases as well as balance transfers. After the introductory period, the APR moves to 14.75 to 25.74 percent. The card also has no annual fee.

Chase Freedom Credit Card

If you are looking for a credit card with even more earning potential, you may want to select the Chase Freedom card. This credit card offers a whopping 5 percent back on up to $1500 in combined purchases made in bonus categories each quarter. You’ll need to activate the offer each quarter, but the 5 percent cash back option will be all yours.

All other purchases earn you 1 percent back, and Rewards never expire for as long as your account is open. Plus, Chase offers no minimum balance to cash in your Rewards, making it possible to earn cash back even on small purchases.

You’ll also earn a nice $150 bonus on the first $500 you spend on purchase in the first three months of owning the Chase Freedom card. Rewards are earned at one point for each dollar spent.

The hefty rewards you’ll earn with the Chase Freedom card can be redeemed for cash or a statement credit. You can also use the rewards to purchase travel through Chase or redeem them for gift cards at your favorite locations. There is also a bevy of products and services that you can redeem your points for as well.

Points are valued at $.01 for cash, gift card, and travel redemption. Statement credits are valued at $.008 per point. This gives you choices as to how you want to use your points you earn on your purchases with the Chase Freedom card.

Chase offers the Freedom card with a 0 percent introductory APR for the first 15 months of ownership. This includes all purchases as well as balance transfers. After the first 15 months, the APR goes to 16.74 to 25.49 percent. The balance transfer fee is 5 percent of the amount transfers with a $5 minimum. You’ll also enjoy no annual fee with the Chase Freedom card.

The Chase Freedom card also offers plenty of other features that make it appealing. There are several protection options to use including the Zero-Liability Protection which covers you for unauthorized charges. The Purchase Protection covers damage or theft on items you purchase up to $500 for 120 days. There is also an Extended Warranty option, which extends the manufacturers warranty by another year.

The Verdict

Choosing between the American Express Magnet card and the Chase Freedom card is a challenge. Both cards offer plenty of cash back earning power and can help you rack up those reward points in a hurry.

The American Express Magnet card is ideal for making larger purchases as it has a greater earning potential for cash back savings. The Chase Freedom card, on the other hand, is a solid card for smaller purchases, where you want to earn quickly. Both credit cards have great introductory offers and plenty of ways to save with no APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.

You won’t go wrong with either of these credit cards but normal everyday consumers will want to pick the Chase Freedom credit card over the American Express Magnet card.