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The best credit cards for restaurants: Earn rewards while dining

Earn while you grub with these best credit cards.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
American Express® Gold Card | Best for flexible rewards
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
Best for flexible rewards
View now View now
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards | Best for dining out
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards
Best for dining out
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Chase Sapphire Reserve® | Best premium credit card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Best premium credit card
View now View now
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card | Best for no annual fee
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
Best for no annual fee
View now View now

In recent years, third-party delivery services like UberEats and GrubHub have made a mint from lockdowns and quarantine. Many people began to rely more upon delivery and takeout services when their favorite restaurants shut down, but now as the world reopens, we find ourselves flocking back to our favorite cafes and bistros in search of both social and culinary sustenance. 

The more time you spend on restaurants and dining, the more you spend, and this is where the top credit cards specifically for restaurants and dining could help save you money and help you earn rewards, all while you spend as you normally do. 

Based on our expert recommendations, these are the best credit cards for restaurants and dining in 2022.     

card highlights
intro bonusEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
APRSee Pay Over Time APR
recommended creditExcellent/Good
reward rates
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
annual fee$250
intro purchase APRN/A

The American Express Gold card welcomes you with earning 60,000 membership rewards points when you spend $4,000 or more in your first six months of having the card. Your food needs are covered with 4x points on dining at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per year (then 1x). Travel is included, too, with 3x points on flights when you book directly through airlines or via AmexTravel.com. When you connect your Gold card to Uber, you will receive an automatic monthly credit of $10 in Uber Cash that you can use for either Uber rides or UberEats orders. A dining credit helps matters with up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you order through participating partners like Grubhub, Seamless, and Goldbelly. You will also receive 1x points on all other eligible purchases.

With the Pay Over Time Feature, there is a 20.99% to 28.99% variable APR. Cards come in a shiny gold or rose gold color with an annual fee that is a bit steep at $250 per year. 

Pros

  • Generous rewards
  • Pay Over Time option
  • Monthly dining credits

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Varied rewards structure
  • Good to excellent credit required
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.
American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

card highlights
intro bonus$300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
APR20.99% - 28.99% Variable
recommended creditExcellent, 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

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card has a straightforward approach to its credit card with just three different options for your APR instead of the typical sliding scale. New members are awarded a one-time cash bonus of $300 after you spend a minimum of $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account. Rewards are unlimited, with 4% cashback on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services. You also receive 3% back on grocery stores with unlimited 1% cashback on all purchases. 

There is an annual fee that costs $95, which is lower than most. However, there are no foreign transaction fees, and your rewards never expire. Capital One also includes exclusive benefits like complimentary concierge service for dining, entertainment, and travel that is available 24/7 to cardholders. Purchase warranty comes automatically included, as well as travel accident insurance. When it comes time to redeem your rewards, you can use the Capital One Shopping portal or simply use Amazon.com or PayPal to pay with your rewards.

Pros

  • Generous intro offer
  • High earnings
  • Straightforward APR

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • No intro APR
  • Select merchants for bonuses
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

card highlights
intro bonusEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
APR22.49% - 29.49% Variable
recommended creditExcellent Credit
reward rates
  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
annual fee$550
intro purchase APRN/A

New cardholders receive 60,000 points within the first three months of opening your account when you spend $4,000 or more. After that, rewards include 10x points on hotels and car rentals with 5x points on flights when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards and spend at least $300 on travel annually. Each year, you will receive up to $300 annual travel credit in statement credits upon your account anniversary. 

Chase gives 10x points on Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards, giving you some of the highest rewards seen for dining and restaurants. Other dining purchases receive 3x points, including delivery and takeout, while all other eligible purchases receive 1 point per dollar.  

Pros

  • Sign-up bonus
  • Premium benefits
  • Flexible redemption

Cons

  • Very high annual fee
  • Excellent credit required
  • High APR
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

card highlights
intro bonusIntro Offer: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
APR18.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
recommended creditExcellent
reward rates
  • 4X points on dining, takeout, and restaurant delivery.
  • 2X points on streaming services.
  • 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations, and EV charging stations
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases.
annual fee$0
intro purchase APR0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases

The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature card makes it easy to begin earning rewards immediately. You only need to spend $1,000 in the first 90 days in order to receive 20,000 bonus points. It is a more easily attainable figure to those who are not making large purchases but rather charging the occasional bill or date night. There is also a $15 statement credit for annual streaming subscriptions to services like Netflix, Apple TV+, and Spotify. 

Regular rewards are the most generous for your meals, in fact, offering 4x points on dining, takeout, and restaurant delivery. There are also 2x points for those nights in when you stock up on groceries, fill gas, or use your card at an EV charging station. Other purchases earn you 1x points, but if you redeem through the Rewards Center Earn Mall, you can earn extra points at more than 1,100 online stores. Points never expire, so there is no rush for redemption, and there is no annual fee to help save you money.

Pros

  • 4x dining rewards
  • No annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Bonus rewards through the Rewards Center Earn Mall

Cons

  • Balance transfer fee
  • Limited perks
  • Lower rewards rate
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

How did we choose these credit cards?

There are countless credit cards available today, but not all of them may carry the rewards structure or fee schedule that you may need for your spending habits. 

To find the best credit cards for restaurants and dining, we consider a variety of factors that help narrow the field. 

  • APR: A credit card's APR shows the amount of interest that you will pay. 
  • Rewards: credit cards can offer a variety of different rewards for your restaurant and dining credit card, such as extra cashback on takeout or a higher rewards rate for your gas purchases. 
  • Welcome offer: Some credit cards may offer additional perks as a special welcome gift in addition to your normal rewards rate. This can include anything from extra cashback to a 0% introductory APR to get you started. 
  • Credit score: The type of credit you have will also determine what kind of credit card you can receive. For example, while you need excellent credit to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you could qualify with fair credit for an Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®.
  • Fees: The type of fees you pay can also cut into your savings. For example, while some cards have no annual fee, others may charge upwards of $400 each year for membership. Finding a card with few or no fees could significantly make a difference each year. 

Which is the right credit card for you?

There are many credit cards out there, but not all of them may deliver the right restaurant and dining rewards. Our editorial team at ZDNet offers our expert recommendations to help you find the right restaurant and dining credit card for you. 

Choose this product...

If you want...

American Express Gold card  

Want freedom with your rewards 

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card

Love a great night on the town

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Spend a lot on dining and travel

Chase Freedom Unlimited

When you are UberEats' biggest fan

U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card 

Don't want to get bogged down by fees

Why should I have a restaurant and dining credit card?

These credit cards specifically target restaurant and dining purchases so you can maximize your rewards and earnings. You can earn extra cashback or rewards points just for eating out, whether it is in the restaurant, a delivery, or takeout. If you dine out frequently, you could save a ton with special restaurant and dining rewards.  

What is the best credit card for restaurants?

The best credit card for restaurants and dining depends on your specific needs. Some credit cards have specific requirements for credit scores, while others may have rewards structures designed toward bigger spenders. Be sure to carefully shop and compare credit cards to find the best option for your needs.

Do bars count as restaurants for credit cards?

Many bars are considered food establishments, so they can count toward your dining rewards when you use your credit card for restaurants and dining. However, spending requirements may vary between card issuers, so you should always check the terms and conditions before choosing the best credit card for restaurants and dining. 

Are there alternative credit cards worth considering?

In our search for the best credit cards for restaurants and dining, we reviewed many credit cards. 

These are some of the other cards we found in our search that may be worth a second look. 

  • Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®: Don't have the best credit but want dining rewards
  • American Express® Business Gold Card: Ideal for small business
  • Citi Premier® Card: Excellent bonus categories
  • Discover it® Student chrome: Recommended for students
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Made for Hilton fans
  • Petal 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa credit card: Restaurant credit card for limited credit
  • Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Earn 3% dining rewards
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: Great for excellent credit

Before you finalize your search, consider our picks for the best starter credit card for no credit, the most exclusive presidents, and the best crypto credit cards for 2022!

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