From no-annual-fee options to cards with high yearly caps and valuable benefits, you’re guaranteed to find a grocery card that matches your lifestyle.
The average American household spends thousands of dollars or more per year on purchases for groceries and dining out, and with inflation causing the price of food to increase over the last year, you may be spending more money than ever on food purchases right now. But even if you’ve managed to keep the food costs in check, groceries are one of the main expenses in most households.
And, given that food is one of the primary components in most people’s budgets, it makes sense that more and more credit card companies are offering credit cards with rewards that are tied to grocery shopping. Right now, there are numerous credit cards offering grocery rewards to cardholders, and by utilizing these types of rewards cards, you may be able to cut down on the cost of your grocery costs.
That said, with so many card choices, it may be hard to decide which grocery shopping rewards credit card is the right fit for you. To help you narrow down the options, we’ve compiled a list of the best credit cards for groceries in 2023. Here’s what you should know.
American Express Gold Card: Best for earning Membership Rewards points
Why we picked it: The American Express® Gold Card is a premium grocery card option that offers unprecedented rewards rates whether you’re dining in or out. With the Amex Gold, cardholders earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1X points) for a $250 annual fee. The card also offers rewards on restaurant purchases and flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, making it a great overall choice for foodies and travelers.
- 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first six months
- Up to $100 activity credit on vacations over $3,000 (booked with a participating supplier through American Express Travel)
- Up to $120 dining credit (enrollment required)
- Up to $100 hotel credit for qualifying activities through The Hotel Collection (minimum two-night stay, experience credit varies by property)
- No foreign transaction fees
- High annual fee
- Lack of more premium travel benefits
- Only able to earn travel rewards directly through airlines or Amex Travel
Who should apply: Since the Amex Gold has one of the highest combined rewards rates on both U.S. supermarket and restaurant purchases, it’s a good option if you typically spend the most each month on food expenses. Additionally, if you’re a frequent traveler, those Membership Rewards points can mean big savings on your next vacation.
Who should skip: If you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to maximize the value of this card, you may want to consider other options, given the card’s high annual fee. If you prefer a card that earns rewards on other non-travel categories, you should also keep shopping.
Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for customized rewards options
Why we picked it: The Citi Custom Cash® Card is a great option for flexible rewards options and can prove to be a valuable card for grocery shopping — especially if the grocery aisle is where you spend the most money. With the Citi Custom Cash, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. However, this is only good for up to the first $500 you spend per category, with rewards falling to 1 percent cash back after this point. Keep this in mind if you easily spend over $500 per month at the supermarket.
- 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in cash back) after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months
- Cellphone protection (up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year)
- May transfer points to other Citi ThankYou rewards cards
- No annual fee
- $500 spending cap on the 5 percent cash back category each billing cycle (then 1 percent)
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee
Who should apply: If your highest spending category is groceries and you typically spend about $500 per month on those purchases, this card’s rate is on par with the most lucrative grocery credit cards. It could also be a good option if you’re looking to pay off debt or have a large purchase on the horizon.
Who should skip: If you’re looking for a primary card to do most of your spending, you should skip the Citi Custom Cash and opt for a flat-rate cash back card with no spending cap. Or, if you can easily spend more than $500 per month on groceries, you might look for a grocery card option with a higher cap or none at all.
Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard: Best for shopping at Walmart
Why we picked it: Why go to a standard grocery store when superstores allow you to get all your shopping — for groceries, cleaning supplies and toys for the kids — done all in one shot? For those who prefer one-stop shopping (specifically at Walmart), the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® may be a good fit.
The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers 5 percent cash back on Walmart purchases online, including grocery pickup and delivery orders, 5 percent back on in-store purchases during your first 12 months (when using Walmart Pay) and 2 percent at fuel stations. You can also earn rewards outside of Walmart purchases, including at restaurants and on travel.
- 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including grocery pickup and delivery orders
- 2% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores and fuel stations
- 2% cash back on restaurant and travel purchases
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Flexible redemption options (such as cash back outside of Walmart)
- Must use Walmart Pay for your in-store purchases to earn 5 percent cash back during the first 12 months
- Lower ongoing rewards rate on in-store Walmart purchases after the first 12 months
Who should apply: Cardholders who specifically do most of their shopping online at Walmart.com or in the stores are best suited to fully maximize the value of this card.
Who should skip: If you don’t want to have your shopping restrained to one particular retailer, you can pass on the Walmart Rewards Mastercard. There are other card options available that offer high rewards on grocery purchases and have fewer restrictions.
Instacart Mastercard: Best for online grocery delivery
Why we picked it: For those who prefer to steer clear of in-store grocery shopping or regularly use Instacart, the Instacart Mastercard® can help you earn big on groceries delivered right to your door. You’ll earn 5 percent cash back on Instacart app and Instacart.com purchases — plus a free year of Instacart+ membership and a $100 Instacart credit automatically upon approval. As a cardholder, you’ll also earn points on Chase Travel Center purchases, as well as on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and for select streaming services.
- Free year of Instacart+, meaning no delivery fees on orders of $35 or more and reduced service fees
- No spending requirement needed to earn the welcome offer
- No annual fee
- Extended warranty protection, purchase protection and travel accident insurance
- Instacart prices may vary compared to in-store prices
- Instacart includes various fees that may eat into your rewards earnings
Who should apply: If you already use Instacart as your main method of grocery shopping, the Instacart Mastercard makes sense for you. You’ll be able to earn an impressive rate of cash back on those purchases without having to worry about offsetting an annual fee. Plus, the one year of free Instacart+ membership is a great benefit.
Who should skip: If you’re not already a loyal Instacart user, you’ll likely get more value out of a more flexible grocery card, especially considering the fees and occasional markups associated with Instacart.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best for high rewards
Why we picked it: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers perhaps the highest cash back rate available on groceries: 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent). There’s a $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year) associated with this card.
The Blue Cash Preferred also earns rewards on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, with notably no cap on earnings. At U.S. gas stations and on transit, you’ll earn 3 percent cash back — though your cash back is capped at $6,000 in purchases per year, then you’ll earn 1 percent.
- $250 statement credit welcome bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first six months
- Intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable after)
- Up to $84 in statement credits toward The Disney Bundle (you must spend $12.99 or more monthly)
- Up to $120 annually toward your Equinox+ membership
- Yearly spending cap on the U.S. supermarket category
- Superstore purchases at places like Walmart and Target don’t count toward U.S. supermarket category
- $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)
Who should apply: Those who spend a large chunk of their money at supermarkets should have no problem offsetting this card’s annual fee due to its impressive 6 percent cash back rate. But if you spend more than $6,000 a year on groceries, be sure to have a backup rewards card to utilize, as you’ll earn 1 percent cash back after hitting that cap.
Who should skip: More moderate spenders may find this card hard to maximize due to its $95 annual fee after the first year. Also, shoppers will be disappointed to know that the U.S. supermarket category does not apply to superstores like Walmart or Target.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards: Best for unlimited rewards on groceries
Why we picked it: A favorite among many cardholders, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns steady rewards across multiple fixed bonus categories, qualifying it as a great dining, entertainment, streaming services or grocery card. On the grocery front, you’ll earn 3 percent cash back at any “supermarket, meat locker, freezer, dairy product store and specialty market,” says Capital One, (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) . The Capital One SavorOne card comes with no spending cap and no limit to how much cash back you can earn.
- 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- 3 percent cash back on dining and entertainment
- $200 cash bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months
- 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (19.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable thereafter)
- Limited redemption options
Who should apply: If you spend heavily in the card’s fixed bonus categories — dining, entertainment, grocery stores and popular streaming services — you will have an easy time maximizing it and enjoy the unlimited cash back. Or, if you spend a great deal on groceries (more than $6,000 a year), you may also appreciate having no spending cap.
Who should skip: If you find 3 percent cash back on groceries too low, there are other cards that earn higher rewards, albeit with spending caps. However, if a $500 per month or $6,000 per year cap is in line with your regular budget, you could opt for a different card with higher rewards.
Comparing the best credit cards for grocery shopping
There are many rewards credit cards that offer attractive features and benefits catered toward grocery shopping. When deciding on a credit card to apply for, it’s important to compare the details side by side to better determine which works best for you.
|Card||Best for||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Welcome bonus|
|American Express Gold Card||Earning Membership Rewards points||$250||60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 6 months|
|Citi Custom Cash||Customized rewards options||$0||$200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points)|
|Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard||Shopping at Walmart||$0||5% cash back on in-store Walmart purchases for the first 12 months when using Walmart Pay|
|Instacart Mastercard||Online grocery delivery||$0||Free year of Instacart+ and a $100 Instacart credit upon approval|
|Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express||High rewards||$95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)||$250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months|
|Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||Unlimited rewards on groceries||$0||$200 if you spend $500 in the first 3 months|
How to choose a card for grocery shopping
For most of us, using a credit card at a grocery store simply involves taking it out in the checkout line. But if you want to up your grocery shopping game and save some serious money with a grocery card, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Flat-rate vs. premium bonus category cards: Do you prefer the flexibility of swiping your card and earning a flat rate of rewards on those purchases, or is tracking bonus categories more the name of your game? Make sure you have a solid idea of your spending style prior to applying so that you don’t end up with an annual fee you can’t justify or benefits you’ll never use.
- Redemption options: Keep an eye out for cards that offer multiple redemption options and allow rewards transfers between accounts — especially if you’re also interested in travel.
- Spending caps: Be aware of any limits on the rewards you can earn. Higher spenders should be wary of lower monthly rewards caps so they don’t end up earning 1 percent on valuable purchases.
- Credit score requirements: This goes without saying, but before you apply for a card, be sure that your credit score falls within the qualifying range. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred requires good-to-excellent credit, whereas the Walmart Rewards Mastercard requires at least fair credit. If the card you’re interested in is slightly out of reach, know there are a few ways you can work to improve your credit score.
Shopping for groceries is one of the main weekly expenses in most American households, so it makes sense to open a credit card that will allow you to earn cash back or points on grocery purchases.
There are many different options on the market, so determining which one is right for you can prove to be daunting. However, by consulting our guide and following the tips above, you’re bound to find the best grocery credit card for your needs.