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There are several different benefits to having credit cards. Many cards come with a welcome offer that can be 100,000 points or higher. Others come with ongoing perks, such as free checked bags on a particular airline or free nights with a hotel chain. For other cards, a big benefit comes from the miles, points or cashback that comes with ongoing spending on the card. While many cards offer just 1 point per dollar spent for most purchases, it is not uncommon for cards to additionally offer bonus points for spending money in particular categories. Bonuses on grocery spending are particularly common as grocery spending is one of the biggest spending categories out there.
You’re going to see a lot of American Express on this list – Amex has certainly shown an interest in incentivizing spend at grocery stores as a bonus category. The first card on our list is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The Blue Cash Preferred gives 6% cashback on U.S. supermarkets spending (up to the first $6,000 spent; then 1% afterward). That’s the highest grocery category bonus of any card out there.
The Blue Cash Preferred also gets 6% cashback on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and 3% on transit (taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses) and gas. Currently, there is a welcome offer of $250 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, and there is a $95 annual fee (not waived the first year).
If you’re looking for a similar alternative with no annual fee, consider the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express. The Blue Cash Everyday has a current welcome offer of $150 when you spend $1,000, and only gives 3% cashback on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Another option from American Express is the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express. It gives 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at grocery stores (again only for the first $6,000 spent each year). The EveryDay Preferred also has a unique incentive to keep it front of wallet: for each billing period where you use it for at least 30 transactions you get 50% extra points. So you have the potential to get 4.5 Membership Rewards for each dollar spent at grocery stores. Generally, I value 1 Membership Rewards point more than 1 cent, so the grocery bonus on the EveryDay Preferred is comparable to that of the Blue Cash Preferred. The current welcome offer on the EveryDay Preferred is 15,000 Membership Rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
The annual fee on the EveryDay Preferred is also $95, and once again there is a no annual fee version – the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. The EveryDay card has a bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months and offers 2 Membership Rewards for each dollar spent at grocery stores, with a 20% bonus for using the card 20 times in one billing period.
Let’s take a break from American Express, shall we? Another option is the Target REDcard™, which gives 5% cashback at just about everything at Target, including groceries. Of course, unlike the American Express cards which give a bonus on spending at anything categorized as grocery, the Target REDcard only gives a bonus at, well, Target.
So if you get your groceries at Target, the REDcard makes a lot of sense. In addition to 5% back on groceries, the REDcard also gives 5% on most Target purchases online or in-store, 5% on purchases at in-store Starbucks stores, and more.
Another option for grocery spending at specific stores is the Chase Amazon Rewards card, which gives 3% cashback on purchases on Amazon.com and Whole Foods stores.
Another option from American Express is the American Express® Gold Card. The Gold card is more of a premium card and comes with a $250 annual fee.
The Gold Card has been positioned as a card for foodies – it earns 4 Membership Rewards at supermarkets AND restaurants, with a much higher limit (up to the first $25,000 of spending per year). To help offset the higher annual fee, it also comes with an annual $100 airline travel credit and a $10 monthly statement credit at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. I have this card and my wife and I like to use this credit by going on a monthly dessert date for a slice of cheesecake.
Going back to American Express cards, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is an option if you’re looking for travel rewards instead of cashback. The Surpass card gives 6x Hilton points at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations. It also comes with a welcome offer of 125,000 Hilton points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, and an annual fee of $95. You’ll also get complimentary Hilton Gold status, which in my opinion is the most valuable mid-tier hotel status since it comes with free breakfast at most Hilton hotels.