Best Credit Cards for Groceries in 2018
Everyone needs to eat, and unless you have unlimited money to shell out at restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, groceries are an unavoidable weekly expense. For gourmands and families alike, grocery bills can add up fast. Luckily, there are a number of credit cards available to you that get you up to 6% cash back at grocery stores.
To help you figure out which one is right for you, we put together a list of some of our credit card top picks for groceries for 2018. For a more generalized roundup of great credit card deals, see our article on the Top Credit Cards of 2018.
Best Credit Cards for Groceries 2018
Click on a credit card below to read more about how you can best use them for grocery store purchases.
|Credit Card||Grocery Store Bonus|
6% Cash Back
5% Cash Back
2% Cash Back
1% Cash Back on Every Purchase, Additional 1% Back When You Pay Your Bill
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Our absolute first pick of credit cards for grocery expenses is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Bottom line, the card gives you 6% cash back on the first $6,000 at supermarkets per year (then it goes back down to 1%), making it the strongest card on the market for this category. Plus, there's a sign-up bonus of $150 back if you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. So, you could potentially get $210 on your first $1,000 in groceries back if you meet the spend requirement at grocery stores.
The card also features 3% cash back on gas and department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else. Keep in mind, there is a $95 annual fee, so you would have to spend $1583.33 per year at grocery stores before you'd break even (not counting the first year's sign up bonus). If you're not keen on the annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in supermarket purchases, but does not have a sign-up bonus.
It's also important to note that American Express does not consider Walmart, Target, Costco or Amazon as supermarkets, so if you do the bulk of your grocery shopping at one of those stores, this might not be the card for you.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Highlights
- 6% cash back at supermarkets (up to the first $6,000, after that, 1%)
- $150 cash back on the first $1,000 in purchases in the first three months after account opening
- 3% cash back on gas and department stores, 1% cash back on everything else.
Chase Freedom Card
The Chase Freedom Card is a good pick for a grocery store credit card because it has no annual fee, and for one quarter every year (April to June), it offers 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in combined purchases at grocery stores. While it's not a year-round discount like the Blue Cash Preferred Card, other quarters offer strong 5% bonuses as well, like gas stations and local commuter transportation in Quarter 1 of 2018. Plus, there's a $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months of card membership.
Another compelling way to receive even more than 5% return on your grocery purchases with the Chase Freedom card is by pairing it with any card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. While the Freedom card alone is strictly a cash back card, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Preferred card, you can transfer, at one cent per point, your cash back rewards into your Ultimate Rewards account. From there, you can expand the value way beyond one cent per point in value when you redeem for free travel (just see what I did with some of my Ultimate Rewards points in Australia). If you're interested in learning more about the Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, check out our post on the Top Airline Credit Cards of 2018.
Keep in mind, Chase does have another Freedom card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card, that offers a strict 1.5% cash back on every purchase (no rotating categories). While the bonus might not be as high during the grocery store bonus quarter, there's no cap to the cash back that you receive with the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card (and it offers the same sign-up bonus of $150 after $500 in spend, with no annual fee). These rewards can also be transferred to your Ultimate Rewards account for maximizing your bonus. For some, this hassle-free card may be a better pick.
Chase Freedom Card Highlights
- 5% cash back at a rotating list of categories each quarter
- $150 cash back on the first $500 in purchases in the first three months after account opening
- No annual fee
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a "3, 2, 1" cash back rewards system that's easy to remember. You receive 3% cash back on gas purchases, 2% cash back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on everything else, up to $2,500 in combined purchases per quarter. That means up to $200 back each year on groceries, if you spend the entire $10,000 limit each year at your preferred grocery store. Plus, there's an easy-to-hit sign-up bonus of $200 if you spend $500 in the first 90 days of card membership.
If you are a Bank of America banking or Preferred Rewards client, you can stretch these rewards even further. If you have a checking or savings account, you can transfer your cash back to your bank account for a 10% bonus on cash back. If you maxed out your grocery store bonus, that's $220 each year! If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, having between $25,000-$100,000 in combined balances between Bank of America banking and/or Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts, you can increase that cash back to $350 per year, or 3.5% cash back. Learn more about Preferred Rewards in our detailed breakdown of the program.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Highlights
- 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- $200 cash back after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
- 10% cash back bonus for being a checking/savings customer, up to 75% bonus if a Preferred Rewards customer.
- No annual fee.
Citi Double Cash Card
While this is not a specifically "grocery store" card, the Citi Double Cash Card does offer 1% cash back on every purchase, and 1% cash back once you pay your bill, with no annual fee. However, unlike other no-fee cards mentioned in this post, there is no sign-up bonus to be had here.
Citi Double Cash Card Highlights
- 1% cash back on every purchase, and 1% cash back once you pay your bill.
- No annual fee
Summary: Best Credit Cards for Grocery Shopping
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
- Chase Freedom Card
- Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Citi Double Cash Card
What's behind our selection methodology?
We pride ourselves on editorial independence at Brad's Deals, and we make sure to give our honest and researched recommendations, regardless of compensation from card issuers. The recommendations above are either based on my own personal experience with these cards, or based on the hundreds of discussions we've had with readers on what they need out of a grocery store credit card.