According to a recent article from Time, dining out at U.S. restaurants is at an all-time high. Americans spend over $60 billion at foodservice and drinking establishments each month, according to the Commerce Department. Additionally, the average American household spends an average of $3,008 per year on dining out.
In the current climate that is going to drastically change. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the CDC is recommending social distancing and those who are able to remain home. This means that restaurants are scrambling to pivot as they try to keep their businesses afloat. Many restaurants are now offering curbside pick-up and many are offering delivery that didn't in the past.
Your favorite local restaurants could use your business now more than ever. In this post, we will break down our favorite cards to use for purchases at U.S. restaurants. Earn points for future travels by ordering pick-up, delivery, or even getting a gift card or two to some of your favorite restaurants for future use.
The American Express® Gold Card
American Express revamped the Amex Gold Card (formerly the Premier Rewards Gold Card) and it is now very enticing for those who spend at restaurants around the world and U.S. Supermarkets. The card now offers 4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in both categories (with a $25,000 annual cap on U.S. supermarkets, then it will earn 1x point per dollar).
Further, the card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.
The card also offers a $120 annual dining credit split up in $10 monthly increments for charges at GrubHub, The Cheesecake Factory, Wine.com, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, and participating Shake Shack locations.
These new benefits are a big reason I hold the card and feel that it is worth the $250 annual fee.
- Welcome Offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
- 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants & US Supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually then 1x)
- $120 annual dining credit
- Annual Fee: $250 (see rates & fees)
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Gold Card.
The American Express® Green Card
The newly revamped Amex Green Card offers 3X Membership Rewards per dollar spent on dining and travel purchases. It also offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards for spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership.
- Earn a welcome bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $2,000 within the first three months of card membership.
- 3x points per dollar spent on all travel and dining expenses.
- $189 credit towards CLEAR membership each year.
- $100 credit for Lounge Buddy each year. Purchase airport lounge access starting at just $25
- $150 annual fee
Click Here to learn more about the American Express Green Card.
All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase rolled out the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card at the end of 2016 and it was an immediate hit. Among many other premium benefits, the card offers 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at all restaurants worldwide. It also has no foreign transaction fees.
On top of the bonus Ultimate Rewards points for dining, the card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points for all travel expenses (airfare, hotels, parking, Uber, etc.) after the card's travel credit has been used up. It comes with a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass lounge access, a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and many other premium benefits.
- Welcome Offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points at restaurants worldwide
- $300 annual travel credit
- Annual Fee: $550
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card was the powerhouse in the Chase travel rewards credit card portfolio until the launch of the more premium Sapphire Reserve card mentioned above. The card offers 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at all restaurants worldwide and has no foreign transaction fees.
On top of the bonus Ultimate Rewards points for dining, the card also earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points for all travel expenses (airfare, hotels, parking, Uber, etc.). While it doesn't earn as many points as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card on dining, it does have a more digestible annual fee at only $95 a year.
Thrifty Tip: Need help deciding which Sapphire Card is right for you? See our full guide to help you make the decision.
- Welcome Offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points at restaurants worldwide (including delivery services)
- Annual Fee: $95 per year
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
If you plan on spending a lot dining in and taking out from your favorite restaurants you can maximize every dollar you spend by using one of the five credit cards mentioned above. Whether you value travel rewards or cash back, using one of the best credit cards for restaurants can help you get the most out of your next dining purchase.