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The 7 Best Credit Cards to Use For Dining in 2024

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Whether it's for your lunch break or a weekend outing with friends, heading to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant is one of the simple joys in life. But dining at a restaurant (or ordering takeout) adds up fast … into one of the biggest expenses for many Americans. Why not get rewarded for all that spending by using the right credit cards?

There are hundreds of travel credit cards to pick from, but they're not created equally: Some are better than others when it comes time to pay the bill at the restaurant. The best credit cards for dining out will help you get points to fuel your future travels, getting you a return of 3x (or higher) points for every dollar you spend on dinner or come with monthly credit that will help you save on your next meal – and some cards are good for both. 

Let's dive into our roundup of the top credit cards to swipe next time you're eating out.

 

 

Best Credit Cards to Earn Points at Restaurants

Foodies could easily rack up valuable credit card points every time they dine out and transfer those rewards to airlines to get outsized value from booking flights. With several cards from banks like American Express, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo to choose from, there's likely a perfect option for you and your spending habits.

 

The American Express Gold Card

The *amex gold* tops our list as one of the best all-around travel cards out there. And the points you'll earn when eating are a big reason why.

Cardholders earn an unlimited 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide. From five-star Michelin restaurants to your favorite fast food spots or simply stopping for coffee, you'll earn 4x points for every dollar you spend. It's one of the biggest expenses for average Americans – especially the younger crowd.

Want to cook at home instead of eating out? The Amex Gold Card also earns 4x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 each year (1x points thereafter), making this card a go-to for buying groceries at home, too.

Both categories make the Amex Gold a mainstay for travelers looking to pile up more Amex Membership Rewards points, which are incredibly valuable for booking flights on the cheap.

The card also offers a monthly $10 dining credit for charges at GrubHub, The Cheesecake Factory, Wine.com, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations, and an additional monthly $10 Uber Cash, with an annual benefit of $120 in Uber Cash on the Amex Gold Card.  Just be sure to add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.

These benefits are a big reason I hold the card and feel it's easily worth the $250 annual fee.

  • Welcome bonus offer: bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 4x points at restaurants & U.S. Supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually then 1x)
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit ($10 per month)
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash ($10 per month)
  • Annual fee: $250 (see rates & fees)

 

*amex gold card*

 

Learn more about the *amex gold*

 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The *chase sapphire preferred* is one of the best travel credit cards to get started with points and miles. And you'll earn plenty of them when paying for dinner.

You'll earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at all restaurants worldwide.

On top of the extra Ultimate Rewards points for dining, the card also earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points for all travel expenses (airfare, hotels, parking, Uber, etc.). There's even a $50 annual hotel credit available when you book a hotel stay through Chase Travel℠.

All that for an incredibly reasonable annual fee of only $95 a year. It might lack the premium travel benefits of the *chase sapphire reserve*, but it comes with the same welcome bonus – and an identical 3x points per dollar on dining.

Thrifty Tip: Need help deciding which Sapphire Card is right for you? Check our guide comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve cards!

 

  • Welcome bonus offer: bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 3x points on dining
  • Earn 2x points on travel purchases
  • Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 annual hotel credit
  • Up to $50 annual hotel credit for Chase Travel℠ bookings
  • Annual fee: $95

 

*chase sapphire preferred*

 

Learn more about the *csp*.

 

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

The Citi Strata Premier℠ Card is another great card with a low annual fee that can help you earn more points.

You earn 3x ThankYou Points for everyday spending at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations (including EV charging), air travel, and hotels. With an annual fee of just $95 a year, this is a powerful card to have in your wallet whether you're planning to dine out or go to the grocery store to cook dinner.

One thing that sets this card apart from others on this list? You'll earn 3x points at gas stations as well.

When you're booking travel, airfare and hotel purchases also earn 3x points … or even more: Hotel and car rentals booked through the Citi Travel portal earn 10x points.

This is a card you might want to consider having in your wallet to earn more points on almost all your everyday spending.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 3x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on air travel and hotels.
  • Earn 3x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations (including EV charging).
  • Earn 10x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on hotels and car rentals when you book through the Citi Travel portal 
  • Earn 1x Citi ThankYou Points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Save $100 annually on a single hotel stay of $500 or more when you book through the Citi Travel portal.
  • Trip delay and interruption, lost or damaged luggage, and MasterRental car insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (not waived)

All information about the Citi Strata Premier Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not be verified by the issuer.

 

Citi Strata Premier Card

 

Learn more about the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).

 

Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card is Wells Fargo's first true crack at a travel rewards card designed for frequent travelers. 

With a small but mighty list of transfer partners (so far) and strong bonus categories where you can earn even more points on your spending, the Autography Journey card is worth paying attention to. 

The card is perhaps the most well-rounded on this list, earning 3x points on dining and travel, plus 5x points on hotels, and 4x points on airfare. It also comes with an excellent 60,000-point bonus for new card members who spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the card.

The Autograph Journey's $95 annual fee is partially offset with an annual $50 airline credit that will be automatically applied to your first airfare purchase each year. On top of all that, the card comes with additional travel protections like lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage, roadside assistance, and even cellular telephone protection.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn a 60,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 5x points on hotels
  • Earn 4x points on flights
  • Earn 3x points on travel
  • Earn 3x points on dining
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • $50 Flight Credit: Get an annual $50 statement credit for airfare purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $95

All information about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not been reviewed by the issuer. 

 

WF Autograph Journey Card

 

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Autograph Journey Visa® Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).

 

Best Credit Cards to Save More on Dinner

Beyond earning points, some travel credit cards also come with statement credits where you'll get money back on restaurant purchases. Beyond the Amex Gold card's monthly Uber Cash and dining credits we already mentioned, here are three other cards with perks that will save you money the next time you eat out. 

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Earlier this year, Delta and American Express raised the annual fee on their suite of SkyMiles cards, adding a laundry list of new benefits to soften the blow.

With the annual fee of the *delta reserve card* rising by $100, Amex added up to $240 in annual statement credits for Resy restaurants, doled out in $20 monthly increments.

Resy is a restaurant reservation platform, acquired by American Express back in 2019. Since then, the bank has slowly been integrating the platform into its cards and services. In general, you'll find Resy restaurants in larger metropolitan areas like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles and some midsize locations like Austin, Minneapolis, and Portland.

To take advantage of this new credit you don't have to pay through Resy – or even make a reservation, for that matter. Instead, the restaurant just needs to be affiliated and available to book through Resy. Simply using your Delta Reserve card to pay when the bill comes is all it will take. 

If you're a loyal Delta flyer who lives in (or frequents) the over 200 cities where Resy restaurants are located, this credit could easily make the Delta Reserve's $650 annual fee much more manageable (see rates & fees).

In addition to the monthly dining credit, you'll also get a $200 Delta Stays credit, $120 Rideshare Credit, and an up to $100 TSA PreCheck and Global Entry credit to offset the annual fee, on top of other travel perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, an annual Delta companion certificate, Delta Sky Club access, and more.

  • Welcome bonus offer: bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta purchases
  • Earn 1x SkyMiles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 1 MQD for every $10 you spend on your card
  • MQD Headstart: Get a head start on earning Medallion status with an automatic 2,500 Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) each year.
  • Up to a $200 Delta Stays credit: Earn up to $200 in statement credits each year when you make a Delta Stays prepaid hotel or vacation rental booking on the Delta Stays platform.
  • Up to a $120 Rideshare Credit: Get up to $120 in statement credits (doled out in $10 monthly installments) a year when you use your card to pay for a ride with Uber, Lyft, Curb, Revel, or Alto.
  • Up to a $240 Resy Credit: Get up to $240 in statement credits each year (doled out in $20 chunks each month) when you use your card to pay for eligible purchases on Resy.
  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck ($100 for Global Entry and $78 for TSA PreCheck) once every four years.
  • Annual fee: annual_fees (See rates & fees)

 

*delta reserve card*

 

Learn more about the *delta reserve card*.

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Like its more premium sibling, the annual fee of the *delta skymiles platinum card* also went up by $100, but Amex added up to $120 annually in Resy statement credits, doled out in $10 monthly increments.

These credits work the same: Simply pay the bill at a participating Resy restaurant with your Delta Platinum card and you'll get $10 back on your statement. These credits don't roll over so be sure to use them up every month to take full advantage of the benefit.

While you get fewer Resy credits than the Delta Reserve, you'll earn more SkyMiles on those purchases. The Delta Platinum card earns 2x Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets.

This is your best option for saving and earning on dining with a Delta SkyMiles credit card.

  • Welcome bonus offer: bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 3x SkyMiles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases and at hotels
  • Earn 2x SkyMiles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets
  • Earn 1x SkyMiles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 1 MQD for every $20 you spend on your card
  • MQD Headstart: Get a head start on earning Medallion status with an automatic 2,500 Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) each year.
  • Up to a $150 Delta Stays credit: Earn up to $150 in statement credits each year when you make a Delta Stays prepaid hotel or vacation rental booking on the Delta Stays platform.
  • Up to a $120 Rideshare Credit: Get up to $120 in statement credits (doled out in $10 monthly installments) a year when you use your card to pay for a ride with Uber, Lyft, Curb, Revel, or Alto.
  • Up to a $120 Resy Credit: Get up to $120 in statement credits each year (doled out in $10 chunks each month) when you use your card to pay for eligible purchases on Resy.
  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck ($100 for Global Entry and $78 for TSA PreCheck) once every four years.
  • Annual fee: annual_fees  (See rates & fees)

 

*delta skymiles platinum*

 

Learn more about the *delta skymiles platinum card*.

 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Believe it or not, the *bonvoy brilliant* is a valuable option for more than just hotel stays. Foodies who hold the Bonvoy Brilliant card will get up to $300 in dining credits each year, doled out in monthly $25 statement credits. And unlike the dining credits on other Amex cards, there aren't any hoops to jump through with this one. Simply use your Bonvoy Brilliant card to pay the bill at any restaurant and you'll automatically get a statement credit for up to $25. 

This is the perfect way to bring down the card's hefty $650 annual fee (see rates & fees). But that's as long as you remember to use it each month – any unused credits won't roll over.  

The Bonvoy Brilliant card also earns 3x points at restaurants worldwide. Plus, you get travel perks like complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, 25 elite night credit boost, Priority Pass Select membership, $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and a valuable free night certificate each year you renew your card.

This was a card I just picked up with plans to convert the bonus into airline miles. Don't be like me and sleep on the Bonvoy Brilliant card! 

  • Welcome Offer Bonus: bonus_miles_full
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status.
  • Get up to $300 in annual credits to use at restaurants worldwide. These will be available in up to $25 monthly increments – you will lose any unused credits each month.
  • Free Night Certificate: Receive a free night certificate each year on your cardmember anniversary for properties that cost up to 85,000 points. This benefit starts in your second year of card membership.
  • 25 elite night credits towards Bonvoy elite status each year you hold the card.
  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck ($100 for Global Entry and $78 for TSA PreCheck) once every four years.
  • Priority Pass Lounge Access: Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in a Priority Pass Select membership. This comes complimentary with the card, and enrollment is required.
  • Earn 6x Points: For each dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy Program.
  • Earn 3x Points: at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • Earn 2x Points: on all other eligible purchases.
  • Annual fee: annual_fees

 

*bonvoy brilliant*

 

Learn more about the card_name

 

Bottom Line

Spending a lot on dining out, ordering in, or even just on groceries for cooking at home? Maximize each dollar you spend by putting the bill on one of these credit cards. Whether you're focused on earning points or saving on dining, there's a perfect card out there for you.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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