What Are The Best Credit Cards For Supermarkets & Grocery Stores? (2019)

Filed Under: American Express, Capital One
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We all have to eat, whether that comes in the form of eating at restaurants or at home. I’ve written in the past about the best credit cards for dining out, and in this post wanted to write about the best credit cards for grocery store and supermarket spending.

There are lots of great credit cards offering bonuses on supermarket spending, whether you want to earn cash back, transferable points, airline miles, or hotel points.

In all cases, I’ll only be looking at cards earning at least 2% back (or the equivalent of that based on my valuation of points).

What Qualifies As Grocery Store or Supermarket Spending?

We all have different places that we buy our groceries, so to start it’s probably worth clarifying for the purposes of credit cards what qualifies as grocery store spending, and what doesn’t. So here are a few things to be aware of up front:

  • The grocery store category generally excludes warehouse stores, Walmart, Target, drug stores, convenient stores, etc.; so you should only expect to earn bonus points or bonus cash back when shopping at “traditional” grocery stores, whether that’s Publix, Albertsons, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.
  • For American Express cards offering bonuses on grocery store spending, this is limited to U.S. locations only; so foreign grocery store spending doesn’t earn you bonus points or bonus cash back
  • This also all comes down to how a particular merchant chooses to categorize themselves; for example, while I imagine it’s not supposed to be the case, I’ve also found that liquor stores are sometimes categorized under the “grocery” category
  • Generally, I’ve found that Instacart orders from supermarkets earn bonus points or cash back, but that’s also not consistently the case

Best Points Cards For Grocery Stores & Supermarkets?

Personally, I love to earn points for my credit card spending, since I can get outsized value with those points by redeeming them for international first & business class tickets. So while it’s not for everyone, there are some incredible cards that can earn you lots of bonus points on your grocery store and supermarket purchases.

What are the best points cards for grocery store and supermarket spending?

1. Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: Up to 4.5x Membership Rewards points (which I value at 7.65%)
Card annual fee: $95
Other things to be aware of: This card offers bonus points only on U.S. supermarket purchases, and only on the first $6,000 spent every calendar year; the card offers 3x points at supermarkets, but if you have at least 30 transactions per billing cycle you earn a 50% points bonus, for 4.5x points

2. American Express® Gold Card

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: 4x Membership Rewards points (which I value at 6.8%)
Card annual fee: $250 (Rates & Fees)
Other things to be aware of: This card offers bonus points only on U.S. supermarket purchases, and only on the first $25,000 spent every calendar year

3. Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: Up to 2.4x Membership Rewards points (which I value at 4.08%)
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: This card offers bonus points only on U.S. supermarket purchases, and only on the first $6,000 spent every calendar year; the card offers 2x points at supermarkets and grocery stores, but if you have at least 20 transactions per billing cycle you earn a 20% points bonus, for 2.4x points

4. Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: 2x Membership Rewards points (which I value at 3.4%)
Card annual fee: $0 (Rates & Fees)
Other things to be aware of: While there’s no bonus category specifically for supermarkets, the card offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year, which is excellent

5. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: 6x Hilton Honors points (which I value at 3%)
Card annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations

6. American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 2x AAdvantage miles (which I value at 2.8%)
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: Earning 2x miles on grocery stores with a no annual fee card with no limit is excellent

7. Avianca Vuela Visa® Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 2x Avianca LifeMiles (which I value at 2.8%)
Card annual fee: $149
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 2x miles at gas stations and grocery stores

8. Asiana Visa Signature® Credit Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 2x Asiana miles (which I value at 2.8%)
Card annual fee: $99
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 2x miles at gas stations and grocery stores

9. JetBlue Plus Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 2x TrueBlue points (which I value at 2.6%)
Card annual fee: $99
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 2x TrueBlue points at restaurants and grocery stores

10. Chase Freedom Unlimited® 

Reward for grocery store spending: 1.5x points (which I value at 2.55%)
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: This card earns 1.5x points per dollar spent on all purchases, and those points can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points if you have it in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

11. Venture® from Capital One®

Reward for grocery store spending: 2x Venture miles (which I value at 2.55%)
Card annual fee: $95, waived the first year
Other things to be aware of: This card earns 2x Venture miles on all purchases, which can either each be redeemed towards the cost of a travel purchase, or can be transferred to an airline partner at a ratio of up to 2:1.5

Bonus: Chase Freedom®

Reward for grocery store spending: Varies
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, and sometimes the card offers 5x points on grocery store spending, so keep an eye on that

Best Cash Back Cards For Grocery Stores

While I like earning points, a lot of people prefer to earn cash back for their supermarket spending. This is especially true for families with a lot of people to feed, where earning cash back that you can put back into household expenses is useful.

So, what are the best cash back cards for grocery store and supermarket spending?

1. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: 6%
Card annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 6% cash back only on U.S. supermarket purchases, and only on the first $6,000 spent every calendar year

2. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Reward for U.S. supermarket spending: 3%
Card annual fee: $0 (Rates & Fees)
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 3% cash back only on U.S. supermarket purchases, and only on the first $6,000 spent every calendar year

3. Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 2%, up to 3.5%
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: In other categories, this card earns up to 3% cash back, but there’s a trick to really maximizing value with the card, where you can earn up to 5.25% cash back on certain categories

4. Citi® Double Cash Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 1% + 1%
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: This card doesn’t actually offer bonus points specifically on groceries, but does offer 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for a purchase, making it a very well rounded card

5. Savor® Rewards from Capital One®

Reward for grocery store spending: 2%
Card annual fee: $95, waived the first year
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on everything else

6. Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Reward for grocery store spending: 2%
Card annual fee: $0
Other things to be aware of: This card offers 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on everything else

Best Grocery Store Credit Card Summary

There are some really fantastic credit cards for grocery store and supermarket spending, ranging from earning 4.5x points transferable points, to earning 6% cash back. Regardless of what kind of rewards you’re looking to earn, there are some great cards to be had.

When you make a purchase at local stores, I always recommend checking afterwards how they’re categorized. For example, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by bodegas, liquor stores, Instacart, etc., also sometimes coding as grocery stores or supermarkets. This often determines which cards I’ll use for those purchases going forward.

What cards do you use for grocery and supermarket spending?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees), Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. You mentioned the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, but the BofA Cash Rewards card actually has a higher return on groceries. Groceries is a bonus category earning 2% or 3.5% if you meet the highest tier in their Preferred Rewards Program.

  2. Barclays Wyndham Rewards Visas is 2X points at grocery stores. Walmart and Target excluded.

  3. Earth fare is very similar to a Whole Foods as a concepts and it coded fine for 3
    Months (dec-feb) then all of a sudden, it started posting at 1xMR per $ on my AmEx Gold. Reached out to both AmEx and Earth Fare and never really got an answer. It that isn’t grocery, what is it? Insane. I almost never go anymore.

  4. Can you please account for the point earning/redemption value and annual fees so we can evaluate which cash back or points credit card actually puts the most money in our pocket at years end? Thus, the evaluation would yield an equivalent percentage comparable to a no annual fee 2% cash back credit card. This would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you.

  5. The Citi AA MileUp Card ($0 annual fee) gives 2 miles for groceries and Convenience Stores where I live, like 7/11 (ones without gas stations) get the bonus.

  6. Citi Rewards+ offers 2x points on groceries (up to $6K per year). Since you value Citi Thankyou points at 1.7 cents, it should be #6 on the list.

  7. This is the first I’ve heard anything about groceries…

    I might have to tell Brian that Eric and I were planning on ORDERING food.

  8. Actually Walmart neighborhood markets do count as grocery stores at least for Amex here in SF Bay area. I would expect that to be true across the US. Regular Walmarts of course do not, as stated in the article.

    Haven’t used any non-Amex cards that give grocery store bonus, so don’t know if the above is true for them or not.

  9. Citi AAdvantage MileUp card doesn’t either, as well as the Chase Freedom card when it has the 5X bonus for grocery store. This is in spite of the fact that WMT Neighborhood Markets are purely grocery stores and code as such on the VISA Supplier Locator.

  10. Amex has not been rewarding at Meijer a local grocery store in the Mid West, also some local meat markets are being given the Pass

    And I have called Amex,,no help..

  11. Amex has not been rewarding at Meijer a local grocery store in the Mid West, also some local meat markets are being given the Pass

    And I have called Amex,,no help..Wal mart is not my store.

  12. I can’t find any way to apply for the Amex Gold Card…. when I click on your link it says the offer isn’t around anymore. When I just go to the Amex site I can’t even find the card to apply …. is this just me or is there something up with Amex Gold being on the market right now?

  13. What about the Amazon Prime card if you only shop at Whole Foods? Wouldn’t that be 5% cash back, which is better than most cards, and is a zero fee if you already use prime.

  14. @ PatrickDCA — The link works for me. Maybe try again, or try a different browser? Sometimes there are temporary outages, which may have been the situation.

  15. – AMEX’s grocery category is technically “US supermarkets.” It excludes a lot of what I consider groceries, including farmers markets, butchers, cheese shops, specialty food retailers, etc. It also excludes a lot of bodega type shops in NYC. I’ve had this issue going back to last year with the Ascend, and it continues with the Gold card. On the other hand, Chase’s grocery category (when the Freedom has the 5% back) includes all of these merchants. It’s a minor negative, but a negative. I use Freedom Unlimited for the purchases I don’t think will count for AMEX grocery

    – PatrickDCA – I had that issue for a while – I was able to apply for and get approved for the Gold via a referral link. Another way is to try to use incognito on your browser

  16. Since you pointed out that AMEX cards *don’t* earn points at foreign groceries, I was expecting to see listed which cards have foreign transaction fees and which do not (I spend a lot of time in Mexico). Alas, that detail is missing from the specs for each card, and I have to go look that up, one card at a time.

    Please keep the expats in mind in the future?

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