For most Americans, grocery shopping eats up a huge chunk of their monthly budget – especially these days. And even if travel is not top of mind for you right now, you can (and should) still be earning all the points, miles, or even cashback you can to put toward future travel.
As luck would have it, there has perhaps never been a more rewarding time to use a travel rewards credit card at the grocery store.
We’ll break down the best cards for grocery shopping at U.S. grocery stores. If you spend a lot on this category, one of the cards listed below should be at the top of your wallet.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex
New Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex cardholders will earn $200 cashback after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of card membership. If you hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, that $200 can be converted into 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.
In addition to the bonus cash back or points, new cardmembers will also earn 5% back (or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $12,000 of spending at grocery stores for the first 12 months. Unfortunately, this excludes stores like Target and Walmart. But that’s an additional $600 back or 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.
If you already have a Chase Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex, you won’t be eligible to earn 5% back (or 5x points) on grocery store purchases. But if you don’t have either of these cards, it is a phenomenal deal – especially when you consider that neither card has an annual fee.
Make sure to read our post comparing the Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited cards to see how they’re alike and different.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex.
The American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card should be a mainstay for your grocery store spending. And that’s been true since long before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the travel and credit card rewards landscape.
The card offers 4x American Express Membership Rewards Points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in spending each year. After that, you will earn 1x point per dollar spent.
Not to mention, the card is currently offering its best-ever welcome bonus offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. And you can even get targeted for a 75,000 point offer with the same spending requirement via CardMatch.
This isn’t a temporary benefit either. Since the card was refreshed back in 2018 it has offered 4x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, making it a staple on this list, and a frontrunner in the conversation about the best credit cards to use at U.S. supermarkets.
Spending $6,000 each year at U.S. supermarkets with this card would yield around 24,000 Membership Rewards points. To me, that alone is nearly enough to justify the annual fee in and of itself.
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Gold Card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred
In August, Chase confirmed new benefits on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards. While the changes to the Sapphire Reserve were not that excited, the Sapphire Preferred Card got a handful of new exciting benefits – all without an annual fee increase.
One of those new benefits is the ability to earn 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery orders. This excludes stores like Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs like Costco, but it will include your Instacart grocery orders.
The card previously didn’t offer a points multiplier for grocery store spending, so this is an exciting new development and immediately brings this card into the conversation of the best credit cards for grocery shopping.
Not to mention, the card is currently out with a limited-time offer of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. Not online is this the best offer we have ever seen on the card, but it’s also the best credit card sign-up bonus offer we have ever seen, period. Butr critically, the offer may not be around much longer.
Finally, one of the best reasons to use a Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve) Card at the grocery store right now is the Pay Yourself Back feature. The benefit allows you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay yourself back for purchases made at grocery stores, restaurants, and home improvement stores.
When you do so, each point will be worth 1.25 cents towards groceries. That means you can erase a $100 charge at a grocery store using just 8,000 points. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you could remove the $100 charge for only 6,666 points since the points are worth 1.5 cents each.
It is a great benefit that provides a ton of flexibility for using your points.
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
The Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier Card is another solid option for grocery store spending as it earns 3x Citi ThankYou points for every dollar spent at grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and on-air travel and hotels.
For a limited time, you’ll also earn 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership. It’s the biggest offer we have ever seen on this card.
While we think Citi ThankYou points are the clear loser behind Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, there is still plenty of value to be found in the program. Additionally, through mid-November, you can even transfer Citi ThankYou points to your American Airlines AAdvantage account on a 1:1 basis. that means one Citi ThankYou point equals one American Airlines AAdvantage mile.
Click Here to learn more about the Citi Premier Card.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Not everybody values points and miles. And if you spend a lot of money at U.S. supermarkets but would rather earn cashback, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is another good option.
The card earns 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 of purchases each year. After that, you will earn 1% back. Spending $6,000 each year at U.S. supermarkets with this credit card would yield $360 cashback – almost four times the amount you pay for the card’s annual fee.
- Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cashback in the form of statement credits.
- 6% cashback on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% cashback on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
- 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 3% cashback at U.S. gas stations.
- 1% cashback on other purchases.
- Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. See rates & fees.
Click Here to learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
When it comes to earning valuable points and miles to redeem for travel (or cash back), make sure you are taking advantage of your grocery store spending. One of these cards will set you on the right path to maximizing your spending.