Best Credit Cards for Groceries

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 31, 2022
BZ

Quick Look of the Best Credit Cards for Groceries

Some financial experts say you should never use a credit card to buy groceries because you will pay more for your food once you pay the interest. But if you use a credit card that offers cash back on grocery purchases and pay if off monthly, you can save money while building your credit.

If you want to use this little-known grocery bill-saving trick, read on to learn about the best credit cards for groceries:

Best Overall: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you want to use a credit card as a tool to help save on groceries, this is our favorite for credit card rewards. Not only will you get 6% cashback on all grocery purchases, but you will also receive a $300 statement credit if you spend $3,000 during the first six months of owning the card. That’s a lot of groceries you won’t have to pay for!

Best for Custom Points: Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card is flexible in its points in that you will receive 5X points for the category that you spend the most in. You earn 2% on every purchase with 1% at the time of purchase and 1% as you pay off each item. If you use this credit card for groceries, you will earn statement credits you can use to purchase more groceries. You can also use your points for selected restaurants, gas stations and travel. Special note: remember to make your payments on-time to earn your rewards.

Best for Sign-up Bonus: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you dine out as much as you spend in the grocery store, this card could be right for you. You will earn the same amount of points dining out as you do when you shop at the grocery store. And the points never expire, so if you don’t spend a lot at the grocery store or dining, this card could help supplement your food bill.

Best for Groceries and Dining: American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card allows 4X points for groceries at U.S. supermarkets up to $25,000 per year. Depending on the size of your family, you could earn generous points for every dollar you spend at the grocery store. Additionally, you can use the card to eat out with no cap on expenses. In short, this is a great card for grocery rewards. Cards can be used for purchasing food at grocery stores and restaurants.

  • American Express® Gold Card
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    *Terms apply ** Be advised that applicants who do not have a credit history in the U.S. but have had credit cards or loans in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland or the United Kingdom will need to provide a SSN or ITIN during the application process.

Best for Initial Points: U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card allows you to choose two categories in that you will receive 5X cashback, including groceries and dining. Combine that with the $200 sign-up bonus, and you could save some serious cash on your grocery expenditures. You must choose two categories for the 5X cash back each quarter.


Features to Look for in the Best Credit Cards for Groceries

When using a credit card for groceries, you should look for certain features to help save money on your food bill. 

Cash-Back Points

If your credit card offers cash-back points for every dollar you spend on groceries, it will help reduce your food bill. Look for the card that offers the highest number of points for every dollar spent at the grocery store.

Sign-up Bonus

Using the sign-up bonus as another way to reduce your grocery bill is smart. For instance, if the card offers a sign-up bonus of $200 after spending a certain amount, use that credit next time you go to the grocery store.

Annual Fee

If your goal is to reduce your grocery bill, paying an annual fee doesn’t make sense. Look for a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee to reduce your expenses so you can put more money toward your food bill.

Low-Interest Rates

Hopefully, you will never have to carry a balance on your card, but if you do, it will pay to have a low-interest rate. Make sure you understand the APR on a card before you accept the terms.

How to Get Approved for a Credit Card for Groceries

You can improve your chances of being approved for a credit card that you want to use for groceries by taking the following steps:

Check Your Credit Score

Checking your credit score is the first step to understanding it and making plans to improve it. If you see any fraudulent or suspicious activity on your credit history, report it to the credit reporting agency.

Use Secured Credit Cards

If your credit score needs a little work, or if you are a student just starting out, you can begin your credit journey by getting a secured credit card. These cards require a deposit, and if you get one that reports your payments to the credit agencies, they can help you build your credit.

Practice Good Spending Habits

Build your financial health by practicing good spending habits, and that includes your grocery store purchases. Look for sales and don’t go over the budget you have for food – or anything else.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Credit card issuers look at how you pay your bills. If you make a habit of paying them on time, they are more likely to extend credit to you and issue you a credit card.

How You Can Improve Your Credit Score

Keeping your credit score as high as possible will cause credit card lenders to see you as a good risk. Here are some steps you can take to improve your score:

 Don’t Use All of Your Credit

Just because you have $5,000 in available credit doesn’t mean you should use it. To get the best credit score, try not to spend more than 10% of your available credit. Credit cards should never be used as an additional source of income.

Pay Off Your Credit Cards Every Month

If you are using your credit cards for groceries, you should never carry a balance. Instead, use the card to earn points and rewards that will lower your grocery bill, and pay it off monthly to improve your credit score. 

Don’t Close Cards You Don’t Use

One of the things that make up your credit score is the amount of time your accounts are open. even if you don’t plan to use one of your existing credit cards for groceries, you should leave the card open.

Understand Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Creditors look at your debt-to-income ratio when deciding whether to issue you a credit card. To get yours, divide your total debt into your gross monthly income. The result is your debt-to-income ratio. It should be under 50%.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is a credit card good for groceries?

A

Credit cards are great for purchasing groceries — if you do it right. Be sure to get a card that offers cash-back points for groceries and, preferably, a sign-up bonus you can use toward future grocery purchases.

Q

Is Walmart considered a grocery store for credit cards?

A

Unfortunately, most credit card issuers do not consider Walmart a grocery store. Most credit card agreements exclude superstores such as Walmart when offering points for groceries.

Q

What do credit cards consider supermarkets?

A

Most credit cards define supermarkets as places that mainly sell a variety of food. But those credit card issuers often exclude warehouse clubs and big-box stores such as Target and Walmart because they also sell other products.

Q

Which credit card is best for online grocery shopping?

A

Not all credit card issuers allow their customers to earn points while shopping online for groceries. In fact, most of them don’t. But some do put FreshDirect and other online food companies in the grocery category. It’s best to check with your credit card company to learn its rules.

Suzanne Kearns

About Suzanne Kearns

Suzanne is an expert in the insurance, personal finance, real estate and retirement planning space.