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The 5 best credit cards for groceries: Save hundreds of dollars

What is the best credit card for groceries? Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is ZDNet's top choice. It has the highest rewards rate for groceries on our list. A grocery rewards card can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card has the highest rewards rate on grocery store purchases on our list. It also offers great rewards on gas purchases, which helps with today's higher gasoline prices.

But any rewards card can help you save money on groceries and other spending. The question is: Will a 1% rewards rate, which many credit cards offer, really help much? If you spend $500 on groceries, that's $5 back. If you're paying an annual fee, you may not break even. 

These cards below all offer substantially more than 1% on grocery purchases; in fact, the highest card offers 6% back. Choose wisely, and a grocery rewards card may save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
APR14.74% - 24.74% Variable
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Intro Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

If you're serious about racking up grocery store rewards, check out the Blue Cash Preferred credit card. It has the highest rewards rate of any card we reviewed. Yes, it has an annual fee, but the fee is waived the first year. You can set a reminder for yourself to see how many rewards you earned near the end of your first year, and decide if it's worth it for you to continue and pay the fee.

Unlike some other rewards cards, you don't need a top-tier credit score to qualify for this card. You may be able to sign up with a "good" or better credit score. 

The rewards don't end with grocery store savings. You'll receive the same level of rewards for select streaming subscription purchases, and lesser rewards rates on gasoline purchases and all other purchases.

Pros

  • Highest cash back rewards on grocery purchases
  • High cash back rewards on select streaming subscriptions
  • No annual fee the first year
  • Good and better credit scores accepted

Cons

  • Annual limit on grocery cash back rewards
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Average to high interest rates on balances
  • Penalty APRs (higher rates if you miss a payment)

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusIntroductory offer: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card with Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval
APR17.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Average, Fair, Good, Excellent
Reward Rates
  • Earn 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery
  • Earn 2% cash back in Walmart stores & fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel
  • Earn 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

If you shop for groceries at Walmart, you can't go wrong by getting a no-annual-fee credit card from Walmart. Its rewards rates on groceries and other items are almost as high as the grocery store rewards rate for the Blue Cash Preferred Card, but there is no limit on how much you can spend and receive the high rate. The only catch is that you must order your groceries online after the first year for the very best rewards rate.

If you don't shop for groceries at Walmart, their rewards card may convince you to try them out. Walmart carries name brands at very competitive prices, so you'll save money even before you start collecting rewards.

For even more rewards, use Walmart Pay, Walmart's digital smartphone app, with your Capital One Walmart Rewards Card.

Pros

  • Unlimited high cash back rewards on grocery purchases ordered online
  • Good rewards for in-store purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Higher rewards when you use with Walmart Pay, their digital app
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard is accepted

Cons

  • Must order online at Walmart.com to receive highest rewards rate
  • Lower rewards on purchases made at other grocery stores
  • Average to high interest rate (APR) if you carry a balance
Card Highlights
Intro Bonus$300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
APR16.24% - 24.24% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
  • Earn 3% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases
Annual Fee$95
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

We like the Capital One Savor Rewards Card for its good rewards rate, plus a cash bonus if you spend a certain amount within the first three months. 

You pay an annual fee right away with this card, but it should be well offset by your cash rewards. If you travel abroad, you'll appreciate no foreign transaction fees, and if you're ever late on a payment, your interest rate won't go up as a result (known as a penalty APR).

If you spend regularly on dining, entertainment, and streaming services, you can earn even higher rewards rates in these categories.

Pros

  • High cash back rewards on grocery purchases
  • Excellent cash back rewards on dining, entertainment, and select streaming subscriptions
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Moderate APRs
  • Signup bonus after you reach a spending threshold

Cons

  • Annual fee starting the first year
  • Good rewards rate, but lower than some competitors
Card Highlights
Intro BonusUp to a $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval
APR14.24% to 22.24% Variable
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward Rates
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

If you shop at Whole Foods and you're an Amazon Prime member, you probably need an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. It's a no-fee card that pays you back handsomely every time you shop at Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon.

You get the same high rewards rate when you shop at Amazon and lower rates at restaurants and gas stations. Your rewards rates on all other purchases seem low by comparison, but it can still add up.

You do need to pay for an annual Amazon Prime membership for this card

Pros

  • High cashback rates at Whole Foods and on Amazon.com
  • Good rewards rates at other stores
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Lower rewards rates at other grocery stores
  • Amazon Prime membership required
  • Rewards redeemed on Amazon.com purchases
Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
APR15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% Variable APR
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

Credit cards with fees tend to have the highest cash back rewards rates. What if you don't want to pay a fee or take the chance that your rewards won't be high enough to offset the annual fee?

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card comes with no annual fee, so your acceptable cash back rewards rate is all yours from the first month. It also offers a signup bonus after you meet a minimum threshold on your card. 

You must have excellent credit to qualify for this card.

Pros

  • Good cash back rewards on all purchases
  • No annual limits on rewards
  • No annual fee
  • Intro rate on balance transfers

Cons

  • Lower rewards rates than some competitors
  • Excellent credit score required

What is the best credit card for groceries?

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is the best credit card for groceries overall. It's for those of you who are serious about racking up grocery store rewards.

Which credit card is the right one for me?

You should choose a card that best matches the features you're looking for, such as high cashback rates, branding, APR, and more. The cards in this list are a great place to start. 

Can I use these grocery rewards cards at other stores and venues?

All our picks for grocery store rewards cards are also good at other stores, restaurants, online services, and anyplace else that accepts major credit cards. Walmart also offers a credit card that you can only use at its stores.

I usually carry a credit card balance. Would these cards be good for me?

High interest rates can cost you far more than you'll receive back in grocery store rewards. If you have significant credit card balances, concentrate on paying them off first, perhaps with a low- or no-interest introductory period credit card. When you're out of credit card debt, a grocery rewards card will make more sense.

What should I be careful of with a rewards card?

If having a rewards card tempts you to overspend, watch out. It wouldn't take much additional spending to cost you more than you're saving with rewards. You're always better off not spending a dollar than getting even several cents back.

How did we choose these cards?

We chose five credit cards with above average rewards rates on groceries. They either have no annual fee, or their rewards rates more than make up for a fee. Cards may have average or higher interest rates (APRs); however, it's assumed everyday purchases such as groceries are paid off every month. 

Are there alternative credit cards worth considering?

Below are a couple more credit cards worth checking out:

  • The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a no-fee card with moderate cash reward levels. It has no minimums to redeem your cash, and your rewards never expire. The Capital One Quicksilver card also offers no-interest introductory periods on purchases and balance transfers.
  • The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi offers good cash back rewards on your Costco purchases, including groceries, plus higher rewards on certain purchases such as gasoline. You must have a current Costco membership for this one, though.
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