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Many of us only think about how we can earn bonus points from our travel and dining spending. But using credit cards for grocery purchases helps pad your balance too. Depending on the credit card, you can get up to 6% cash back or travel rewards for your grocery purchases.
Cash Rewards: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
If you want cash rewards, go with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. On your first $6,000 in annual U.S. supermarket purchases, you get 6% cash back which equals $360 bonus cash. After that, your remaining grocery purchases earn 1% back.
You also earn an unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. For all other purchase categories, you earn an unlimited 1% back.
New cardholders can also earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first three months of account opening.
Although the Blue Cash Preferred is a cash rewards credit card, you can also enjoy these Amex benefits:
- Redeem reward for cash statement credit, gift cards, or shopping credit
- Secondary rental car collision and theft coverage
- Purchase Protection
- 2-day ShopRunner Shipping
- Amex Entertainment Access for ticket presales and member-only events
However, if you are planning a trip abroad, you will want to use a travel rewards card instead.
Travel Rewards: American Express Gold Card
This card comes with the ability to earn 4x Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent at US restaurants and US supermarkets, up to $25,000. After hitting the $25,000 limit, you will only earn 1x on remaining purchases. The American Express® Gold Card is a good option if you prefer travel rewards but you want to earn bonus points from your everyday spending.
Besides the 4x grocery and dining bonus, you also get 3x membership rewards points on flights booked directly with the airline or on AmexTravel.com. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1.
Airline and Dining Credits
The American Express Gold also offers two annual purchase credits.
You can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
Monthly, you get a $10 dining statement credit when you order from one of these dining partners and pay with the Gold card (enrollment required):
- Cheesecake Factory
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Shake Shack
Redeeming Your Rewards Points
This card is better when you prefer travel rewards to cash rewards. Although you can redeem your points for cash statement credits and gift cards, you’re better off with one of these two redemption options:
- 1:1 airline partner transfer partners
- Booking award flights on AmexTravel.com
These two redemption options value your points for at least 1 cent each. This is especially true with 1:1 point transfers. Some of the point transfer partners include Delta, JetBlue, Emirates, Etihad, and British Airways Avios.
Free Hotel Nights: Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
Not only do you earn 6x bonus points for U.S. supermarket purchases with the Hilton Honors Ascend Card, but you can also get a free weekend night. This credit card offers a double reward for your grocery purchases.
When you spend $15,000 in total card purchases each year, you get a free weekend night certificate. Since most households spend between $400 and $1,000 on groceries every month, your grocery purchases are almost enough to qualify for the free hotel night.
To help you reach your spending milestone, you also earn bonus points on these categories:
- 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases
- 6x points on eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. restaurants
- 3x points on remaining eligible purchases
You also get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. With Hilton Honors gold status, you can get the 5th night free when you pay for your first four nights with points. Plus, you can enjoy space-available room upgrades.
While the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is primarily a hotel rewards card, you also get 10 free Priority Pass Select airport lounge passes each year too. The free nights potential is why this is one of the more advantageous credit cards for grocery purchases.
Rotating Cash Rewards: Chase Freedom
Although the Chase Freedom doesn’t offer 5% cash back on groceries all the time, you can enjoy it at least three months each year. While the other card recommendations offer fixed rate grocery purchase rewards, the Chase Freedom has rotating 5% cash rewards categories. Each quarter, you get 5% back on a different set of purchase categories. Your other purchases earn 1% back.
If your grocery store accepts digital wallet payments, you could also get 5% back in the first quarter too. Each quarter, the 5% back you earn is only on the first $1,500 spent on the bonus categories. After you reach the $1,500 spending limit, all remaining purchases earn 1% for the rest of the quarter.
If you crave flexibility, the Chase Freedom is the card for you. You can redeem your point for cash, gift cards, or award travel. But if you own another Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, you can either get a travel redemption bonus or transfer your points on a 1:1 basis.
You won’t pay an annual fee with the Chase Freedom. Even if it’s your “daily driver”, it’s a free way to earn points on grocery purchases. Plus, you can build your credit score at the same time!
Even if you own one of the other cards on this list, you may use the Chase Freedom during the bonus months to earn more!
Summary of Credit Cards For Grocery Purchases
Groceries are one of the largest monthly expenses for most households. However, with one of the above, you have an easy way to earn bonus points on this necessary expense. If you’re not already using one of the credit cards for grocery purchases, it’s time to start!The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.