Do you find yourself in line at the grocery store pretty much every day? Wouldn't it be nice if you got more than just a daily glance at the tabloid covers? Shopping at the grocery store is a real chore. Shouldn't you be trying to make the most of it by earning cash or rewards? JD Power recently published the results of a customer satisfaction survey for credit card holders. Consumers reported that the cards they liked best provide cash back on purchases. Their favorite cards were those that gave cashback on the things they spent the most on—especially groceries!
The grocery card landscape is diverse. There are lots of credit cards out there that reward you with points or cashback for grocery shopping, but deciding which one is the best is tough. There are annual fees, rotating reward categories, caps on earning, and other unique features for every card. It's hard to calculate which ones are most valuable based on your habits.
Let's figure it out together. Maybe you've tried to take advantage of cashback or rewards credit cards but haven't seen a lot of actual cashback or rewards. Or, maybe you've never had a cashback or rewards card and want to figure out which one works best for groceries. We're going to help you harness the power of your grocery bill to earn you money!
Blue Cash Preferred Amex is our pick. As you'll see, once we looked at all the cards out there, this one rose to the top for cashback on groceries. The Blue Cash Preferred Amex does have an annual fees. But its cashback rate for groceries rules—and it's got an awesome welcome offer.
What You Need to Know
Pay attention to the annual fees if you want to truly benefit.
The rewards might not be worth the fee. A lot of the cards out there providing cashback or rewards for grocery purchases have an annual fee. If you're not using the card to purchase a lot of groceries, the fee might not be worthwhile. Here's an example:
Let's say you only spend $4,000 on groceries over a year (about $77 a week). And let's say your credit card offers 2.5% cashback on groceries but also charges a $95 annual fee. It would be easy to think you just earned yourself $100 in cash back. That said, you paid a $95 annual fee to have the cashback card. $100 in grocery cashback over the year would barely cover the $95 annual fee.
Avoid missing out on grocery points by shopping at the wrong stores
Make sure your grocery store is a qualifying "supermarket." There are many cash rewards credit cards that only provide grocery cashback or reward points rates for shopping at "supermarkets." That means if you usually buy groceries from Walmart, Costco, or Amazon you would not get the grocery cash/points rate. Check the card you're applying for to make sure your stores are included as "supermarkets." The store needs to report to your credit card as a grocery merchant.
How We Picked These Cards
The best picks are all here. We've looked at all of the cards that provide cashback or rewards for spending on groceries. We've found the top three and compared them all here. We considered features like the rate for spending cash you get back on groceries. We looked at the reward points you can earn, and how to redeem them. We reviewed the annual fees charged by some of the cards. And we checked out if they have special limits or caps on what you can earn or spend. You can use these comparisons to find the credit card that's best for your grocery shopping habits.
Blue Cash Preferred by AMEX is best for big grocery spenders
Although there's a fee, with Blue Cash Preferred you benefit from the opportunity to get cashback rewards to the tune of 6% at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). Big household? Teenagers? Rampant foodies? This card is for YOU.
We picked the Blue Cash Preferred by AMEX for people who spend more than average on groceries
Above average spenders and big families take note. We mentioned that the average American spends close to $4,000 on food to eat at home a year, but that's only about $77 per week. And that's not even counting non-food grocery purchases! If you're clocking $6,000+ a year in grocery purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred by AMEX is a better option for you than the Blue Cash Everyday.
The best card for grocery rewards, hands down. In fact, the Blue Cash Preferred is so strong it's our pick for the best card for groceries. It's highest for earning cash back on groceries at 6% on the first $6000 you spend. If you spend $6000 a year on groceries you earn $360 at 6%. Subtract the $95 annual fee, and that covers more than two weeks' of grocery shopping! All of that is before you start earning 3% on gas and select department stores and an everyday rate of 1% on all other purchases.
What's more? You get a great welcome offer. After spending $1,000 in purchases, you will earn a $250 statement credit.
You have to pay to play. Unlike its sister card, Blue Cash Everyday (Spoiler alert! This card is next on our list.), the Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee. You pay $95 every year for the card, but if you spend a lot on groceries it is definitely worth it.
Don't jump on board blindly though. If you're not a person who spends a lot at grocery stores, this is not the card for you. We did the math and anyone spending near or below the $4,000 average should go with the Blue Cash Everyday card or look elsewhere. Cardholders complain that people shouldn't expect to get rich from this card. They say it's a big burden to pay a fee in addition to paying interest, especially if you don't maximize the cash you get back.
Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX is perfect for people who don't spend a lot at grocery stores but want to earn cash back when they do.
The Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX is good because it offers decent cash back on grocery store purchases, and best of all it doesn't charge you a fee. It's similar in structure to it's sister card, mentioned above, Blue Cash Preferred. It differs in that the Blue Cash Everyday card is better for people with a lower grocery spend. Here's how it stacks up to our top choice, Blue Cash Preferred:
We picked the Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX because it suits the average grocery shopper For families, the average monthly grocery spend for a family of four is close to $1,000. But if you're flying solo, have someone else buying groceries for your home, or whatever the case, are only spending around $4,000 a year on groceries then the Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX is a better fit for you.
Cashback on everything, especially groceries. First, it's of important note that while this card has no fee, the Blue Cash Everyday offers a lower cashback rate then it's sister card, Blue Cash Preferred. If you're looking for that hot 6%, few cards will give you that offer on groceries, or anything for that matter. Still the Blue Cash Everyday offers above average cashback benefits on groceries up to $6,000 before reverting to the everyday rate.
The best part is there's no annual fee. But what's best about the Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX is that there is no fee. So when you earn the modest signup bonus on groceries, you keep the whole thing. If you're choosing this card because it gives you good cashback then you'll love the welcome offer. It isn't quite as lucrative as the Blue Cash Preferred, but it's totally free money. For more details about that and how to apply, check out the offer below!
The Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX has low credit limits, which can limit what you earn
If you can't spend a lot you can't earn a lot. Some people apply for the Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX and find they get approved, but for a lackluster credit limit. That could mean limits to the amount of cash back you can earn.
Make sure you're on time with payments. One thing that pops out when you look closely at the fine print is its high penalty APR. If you miss a payment or have a payment returned your interest rate skyrockets. The penalty APR applies for 6 months (if you get back on track with on time payments).
Time your Blue Cash Everyday by AMEX application wisely
Plan to spend a grand to take full advantage. Before you apply, make sure you plan to spend $1,000 on your card over the first three months. It's worth $200 as part of the generous welcome offer. If you don't spend $1,000 you get no extra cash. So if you don't usually spend that much you might want to wait for Christmas or a big upcoming purchase when you know you'll spend the $1,000.
The PenFed Platinum Rewards card is great for the biggest grocery spenders!
The only card here with no rewards limit. For many families one of the biggest monthly expenses is groceries. If you're looking for no limit on the amount you can spend to earn rewards, the PenFed Platinum Rewards card is for you.
We picked the PenFed Platinum Rewards card for people who spend the most on groceries
Spend big and earn big points. Does your family spend $200+ a week on groceries? Then you could be earning exponential points a week with the PenFed Platinum Rewards card. For gas, it's an even better choice.
Fill up on points every day. People love that you can earn high rewards points for the most common purchases of gas and groceries. They also love that you can get good rewards and cash back with no annual fee.
But make sure you understand how the card works You can tell from the online reviews that not everyone understands the value of the rewards points from this credit card issuer. You can use them for online shopping and travel through the PenFed rewards center. However, you can also redeem them for gift cards, prepaid Visas, or to pay your credit card balance with statement credit, which pretty much turns it into a cashback card.
It's ok! We've done the math and the news is good. It's actually pretty complicated but we've crunched the numbers and this is what you need to know: The value of points on grocery is a roughly about average cashback percentage rate when compared to most cashback cards on the market, on gas the rewards are well above average. The kicker is that you get to keep it all, unlike with the Blue Cash Preferred by AMEX and other cards that charge annual fees.
Spend after signing up for PenFed Platinum Rewards Like all cards we talked about on this list, there's a welcome bonus and it's pretty easy to access. If you meet the minimum spend within the first few months after you sign up for the card, you get a modest statement credit. Since this is the card for big grocery spenders, it should not be hard at all. But to get the full scoop, check this out:
Are your ready to earn cash by going on your weekly (or daily!) trip to the grocery store? The card you end up picking should be based on your shopping habits. But for people who are above average spenders at the grocery store, the Blue Cash Preferred by AMEX is for you. It's got it all: the highest cash back for groceries. It offers good cashback rewards for gas. The annual fee is easily covered if you shop frequently. And there's an awesome welcome offer for signing up.