The Best Credit Cards for Grocery Shopping All Have This One Thing in Common
Most people will agree that groceries aren’t cheap. Currently, the average family in the United States dishes out $5,259 annually on food at home. While tried-and-true shopping hacks like swapping to store brands and avoiding prepared foods can reduce costs, thinking about how you pay can also benefit your budget. In fact, using a credit card that offers grocery rewards can take the sting out of rising food prices by giving you hundreds of dollars back each year.
While there are a variety of cash-back credit cards to consider, the best rewards programs offer a generous 5 to 6% cash back for grocery purchases. For many families, these reward dollars can go a long way in offsetting monthly expenses, including food costs. And cash rewards aren’t the only perk; you’ll also receive an interest-free period when you first sign up and cash bonuses (as long as you spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of opening your account). If you’re looking for a new grocery rewards card, here are three worth checking out.
Which Cards Offer the Most Generous Grocery Rewards?
1. American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
One of the best grocery rewards cards is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, which offers a whopping 6% cash back on up to $6,000 worth of grocery purchases each year. And remember, the average family spends just under $5,300, so this card option would be suitable for most.
Once this spending threshold is met, the reward rate drops to one percent, but you still earn additional cash back beyond the cap. New cardmembers will also receive a $250 bonus when they spend $3,000 in the first six months and 0% introductory interest rate for purchases made within the first 12 months, along with no annual fee in the first year. After that, the annual fee of $95 kicks in, but it’s a relatively small price to pay for a high reward rate.
2. Discover It Cash Back Credit Card
The Discover It Cash Back Credit Card also tops the list of popular grocery reward cards, offering a high cash back rate of 5% on groceries during the first three months each year. These bonus rewards apply towards a $1,500 maximum spend at supermarkets during that time, then 1% on any additional groceries purchases beyond the cap.
Although you won’t find a typical sign-up bonus, the reward program takes a different spin by offering to match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. Those who earn $150 cash back, for example, will automatically accrue a $300 reward, so those reward dollars can add up fast. Another perk: There’s no annual fee, ever.
3. Citi Custom Cash Card
The Citi Custom Cash Card is another smart pick for anyone looking to earn grocery rewards, as you’ll qualify for 5% cash back on a top eligible spend category, one of which includes groceries, on up to $500 spent each billing cycle. This spending limit translates into $6,000 worth of food-at-home purchased annually. Plus, there’s a sweet sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of the account opening and no annual fee, ever.
Before Applying for a Grocery Rewards Credit Card, a Few Tips
- Check your credit score. Credit cards with the most robust grocery rewards require good to excellent credit. If your current credit score falls below 690, you likely won’t be approved, so take steps to improve it before applying.
- Review your yearly grocery spend. High cash-back rates for grocery purchases are typically capped at a certain spending limit. While this provides plenty of opportunity to rack up rewards, you could be missing out on extra rewards if you spend much more than that cap.
- Read the fine print for store exclusions. Bonus rewards offered on grocery purchases are limited to those made at supermarkets such as Kroger, Albertsons, and Vons, while excluding big-box stores, drugstores, and wholesale clubs. If you do a bulk of your grocery shopping at a retailer like Target, Walmart, Costco, or Sam’s Club, check out store-branded credit cards that offer a better cash-back rate for that specific retailer.
- Research your options. You can compare grocery rewards cards and get detailed reviews at sites like CardRates.com to help you make the best decision for your budget and shopping needs.