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Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard review

This co-branded Mastercard features cashback for purchases made with mobile wallets and Kroger brands.

The Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard lets frequent shoppers of Kroger, King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Baker's, Smith's, Fry's, and QFC earn cashback for their spending. The card features no annual fee and comes along with a handful of Mastercard protections.

If you're a regular Kroger customer and you're thinking about signing up, keep reading to learn what the Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard's biggest strengths are, and which alternatives might let you earn more rewards over time.

Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn $100 cash back when you apply, get approved and spend $200 in net purchases within 40 days of account opening with your Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®
APR11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward Rates
  • 3 points per eligible net $1 on the Kroger Family of Companies Own Brand Products
  • 2 points per eligible net $1 spend in the Kroger Family of Companies (excluding fuel centers)
  • 1 point per eligible net $1 spent anywhere Mastercard is accepted
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Rewards & Redemption Details

Key Takeaways

  • Earn 5% cashback (on $3,000 spent, then 1%) for purchases made with mobile wallets: Do you prefer to pay with your phone when you shop? Then you can rake in the rewards. Eligible wallets include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Garmin Pay and LG Pay.
  • Earn 2% cashback on Kroger purchases: Kroger has an impressive number of brands beneath its belt, and 2% is competitive with most flat-rate cashback cards. Using this card for all of your Kroger grocery spending would be a lucrative choice.
  • No annual fee: Never pay an annual fee to earn cashback on your grocery spending, and never wonder whether you should cancel. Without an annual fee, you can plan to keep this card for the long haul.
  • Redeem for statement credits or gift cards: Cardholders can begin to redeem rewards after earning $10 worth of cashback. Redeem for statement credits to reduce your statement balance or redeem $25 for a Kroger gift card.
  • Be wary of the high APR: Avoid carrying a balance from month to month to dodge interest charges. This is good practice with any credit cards you may have.

An ok rewards card for Kroger shoppers

Before we dig into the nitty-gritty details, let's start with the positives of the Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard. First, this card earns one of the highest rates of cash back for a card with no annual fee, albeit with a low spending cap. Use mobile wallets for all of your purchases up to the spend limit of $3,000 to earn $150 back in rewards. And if you're paying your statement balance in full each month to avoid interest charges, that's essentially free money back in your pocket.

The 2% cash back rate is good, and competitive with the best flat-rate cards on the market. For those who shop exclusively at Kroger stores, it can be a lucrative deal.

The fact that this card doesn't charge an annual fee might be its biggest benefit as a rewards credit card. If you're not earning any type of cashback and don't want a more traditional rewards credit card, the Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard is an alternative to consider if you frequent the Kroger family of stores.

While the perks aren't great (not unexpected for a co-branded card with no annual fee) it does provide a handful of nice protections. There's a zero liability guarantee for fraudulent purchases and access to Mastercard ID Theft Protection which can help should you become a victim of identity theft. There's also the Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee -- Mastercard will refund the difference if you book a hotel and find it listed for less elsewhere -- as well as no foreign transaction fees should you choose to use the card outside the US.

Also: Best metal credit card: Cold hard cash cards

Where it falls flat

The biggest downside of the Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard is the low spending cap for its 5% cash back category, as most people can spend way more than $3,000 annually. Once you hit that cap, the rewards fall to 1%, meaning you'd be better off switching to either a flat-rate card or a non co-branded rewards or grocery card. 

Another downside of the Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard is that the 2% cash back rewards are restricted to Kroger brands only. This is fine for consumers who only shop with Kroger, but that's unrealistic for most people. Granted, you can use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted, but you'll only earn 1% cash back. Opting for a flat-rate card a higher rewards rate everywhere you shop.

Also: Most exclusive credit cards: Oh you fancy, huh?

Who should get this card:

  • Someone who shops exclusively at Kroger brand grocery stores
  • Someone who doesn't want to pay an annual fee
  • A person who uses mobile wallets for most of their transactions

Who should pass:

  • Someone who is willing to sign up for a better cashback card to earn more rewards
  • Anyone who wants additional options when it comes to how they redeem their points and where
  • Someone who wants to earn a good reward rate at other stores
  • Someone who spends more than $3,000 on purchases annually

How does it compare to other grocery store credit cards?

If you're looking for a no-fee credit card that lets you rack up cash back at US supermarkets specifically, you may want to take a look at the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.

It earns 3% cashback at US supermarkets (earned as a statement credit; up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores. It earns 1% everywhere else. It's a rewarding card with no annual fee.

However, if you want to step it up a notch, AmEx offers an upgraded version of the card: the Blue Cash Preferred. It earns 6% cash back (up to $6,000 spent, then 1%) at US supermarkets and for select US streaming services, plus 3% cash back at US gas stations and on transit. It has an annual fee of $95 (waived the first year), but it would take just $1,700 in grocery spending to cover it.

Consumers should also consider a flat-rate card, like the Citi Double Cash Card. It earns 2% cash back no matter where you shop (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay it off), and doesn't have an annual fee. If you really want to maximize your rewards, you could combine either the Blue Cash Everyday or Blue Cash Preferred with the Double Cash. Use either of the Blue cards for groceries and gas, and the Double Cash for everything else.

[This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in March 2022.]

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