Best credit card for grocery rewards

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
van_sun_38
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:56 pm

Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by van_sun_38 »

Now that the majority of our spending goes to groceries, I am curious what do you recommend in terms of best credit card for earning rewards in that category? I have a Discovery card that earns 5% in grocery for 3 months ( Jan-Mar) but now we hardly spend on anything else so it's not really useful. TIA!
Lalamimi
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:22 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Lalamimi »

Chase Freedom! April, May and June, 5% Groceries.
BeneIRA
Posts: 846
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by BeneIRA »

van_sun_38 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 7:51 pm Now that the majority of our spending goes to groceries, I am curious what do you recommend in terms of best credit card for earning rewards in that category? I have a Discovery card that earns 5% in grocery for 3 months ( Jan-Mar) but now we hardly spend on anything else so it's not really useful. TIA!
A lot of Amex and Chase cards have bonuses. For Amex through 7/31 and for Chase through 6/30. If you don't max out the categories, buy grocery gift cards.
musicmom
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:48 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by musicmom »

Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
decapod10
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by decapod10 »

Depends on how much you spend and also what kind of rewards you want.

Bank of America cash rewards gives 2-3.5% depending on if you have status with BofA, up to $2500 spend per quarter. No annual fee

American Express gold card gives you 4x points for groceries, up to $25k spend per year. Annual fee $250 but there are some other perks. Probably only worth it if you spend a lot (like buy gift cards at the grocery store).

AmEx Blue cash gives 6% back up to $6000 spending per year. Annual fee $95

Those are some of the options I can think of.
go_mets
Posts: 794
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by go_mets »

van_sun_38 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 7:51 pm Now that the majority of our spending goes to groceries, I am curious what do you recommend in terms of best credit card for earning rewards in that category? I have a Discovery card that earns 5% in grocery for 3 months ( Jan-Mar) but now we hardly spend on anything else so it's not really useful. TIA!
Unless you hit the maximum spend, most people just buy grocery gift cards to cover some of the other months.

In my opinion, you can have the Discover and Chase Freedom and Fidelity Rewards (2% for everything else).

.
bayview
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by bayview »

musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
We cleaned up like bandits when we lived in California, as grocery stores also sold liquor (“distilled spirits”), motor oil for cars, and lots of other items that we would otherwise buy elsewhere.

It is still our grocery card now that we’re no longer in Cali, but its impact is a bit diluted.
Last edited by bayview on Wed May 20, 2020 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri
Nate7out
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:06 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Nate7out »

musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
WS1
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:45 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by WS1 »

The magic of the Blue Cash Preferred is it’s 6% groceries and 3% on gas. If you don’t hit the $6000 grocery store cap every calendar year it’s not worth it.
User avatar
tyrion
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by tyrion »

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred can also be used for amazon if you don't spend the full 6k at grocery stores by buying amazon gift cards at the grocery store then loading them in your amazon account. Or any other gift cards you feel like buying - home depot, target, etc. Amazon just happens to be the easiest since you can upload them immediately and use the money from your account later.
HawkeyePierce
Posts: 1756
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Amex Everyday Preferred offers 4.5x on groceries and 3x on gas as long as you hit 30 transactions a month.
psy1
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:40 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by psy1 »

It depends on your goals and spending. If your goals are cash back and your spending modest, then the 5% cash back cards win.

If your goal is travel (now in holding pattern) then AMEX Gold which offers 4X points up to $25,000 per year is hard to beat. The spend includes gift cards purchased at grocery including Amazon and all of the usual department stores and gas stations.

If you happen to also have an AMEX Platinum card through Schwab then the points pool and you can convert to $ in your brokerage account at 1.25X. That means you can convert all your AMEX grocery charges to 5% invested in cash in your brokerage account. You can still do better if redeeming for travel but that is a good deal.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13079
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

It takes some work, but Citi Sears this quarter has 5% in Thank You Points at Restaurants, Grocery stores and Gas stations. But the catch is that you have to spend at least $2k. How I do this, when Covid isn't present :shock: is that I'll buy a visa gift card (probably cards) at the grocery store. Then I buy things that are not in the bonus categories (Amazon, insurance payment, hardware) using that gift card.

To me, it's not worth it for 5% as above mentioned that Chase Freedom has groceries at 5% this quarter. When the Citi Sears offers 10%, then it's worthwhile.

Note also that some stores (Giant, Stop & Shop, Price Chopper) also offer extra gas points (for cents per gallon discounts) for gift card purchases. You can game the system by buying the visa gift card with your Freedom at, say, Stop & Shop to get your gas bonuses, when they are offering. Then use the Visa gift card at Price Chopper to buy another gift card that you will use that is offering a gas points discount. There are other schemes to maximize points, but that's getting a bit off the topic here.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
MrJedi
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by MrJedi »

Our household spends about $12k year on groceries. It's easy for us to max out the $6k limit on the 6% back Amex Blue Cash Preferred (nets about 4.2% back after subtracting $95 annual fee) and also whenever Chase and Discover do their Grocery 5% bonus quarters. Between the 1 amex, 2 Chase, and 2 Discover cards, we earn the 5-6% back through the whole year on basically the entire $12k annual grocery spending ($6k amex, $3k 2 Chase, $3k 2 Discover).
MikeG62
Posts: 3434
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by MikeG62 »

MrJedi wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 8:01 am Our household spends about $12k year on groceries. It's easy for us to max out the $6k limit on the 6% back Amex Blue Cash Preferred (nets about 4.2% back after subtracting $95 annual fee) and also whenever Chase and Discover do their Grocery 5% bonus quarters. Between the 1 amex, 2 Chase, and 2 Discover cards, we earn the 5-6% back through the whole year on basically the entire $12k annual grocery spending ($6k amex, $3k 2 Chase, $3k 2 Discover).
We are in a similar position and do precisely the same thing.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience
carolinaman
Posts: 4446
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by carolinaman »

Covid 19 has changed our payment strategy. We used to use CCs mostly for large purchases, travel, and gas; and debit cards for everything else. We are now using CCs for everything including food. It eliminates the need to key pin and touch card reader.

We have Costco Visa which rewards 4% for gas, travel and restaurants, 2% at Costco and 1% for everything else. I will continue to use it for larger purchases with warranties because of its warranty protection. We use WF Visa for other CC purchases. It pays 1.5% for everything. Last year we got $225 back from Costco Visa and probably a $100 or so from WF Visa. We have used debit cards for groceries (about $8000 a year), home improvement stores, clothing and lots of other things. My rough guess is that we can redirect at least $30k from debit to credit cards

I do not want to have a number of CCs, each suited for particular types of transactions and only save $100 or $200 a year. For example, the Amex Blue would net me $175 over current CCs for groceries. That is not enough to incent me to get another CC. My preference is to keep Costco and possibly swap WF for something else provided it is worth it.

What cards should we consider or is what we have ok given our situation and preferences?
MrJedi
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by MrJedi »

carolinaman wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 8:53 am Covid 19 has changed our payment strategy. We used to use CCs mostly for large purchases, travel, and gas; and debit cards for everything else. We are now using CCs for everything including food. It eliminates the need to key pin and touch card reader.

We have Costco Visa which rewards 4% for gas, travel and restaurants, 2% at Costco and 1% for everything else. I will continue to use it for larger purchases with warranties because of its warranty protection. We use WF Visa for other CC purchases. It pays 1.5% for everything. Last year we got $225 back from Costco Visa and probably a $100 or so from WF Visa. We have used debit cards for groceries (about $8000 a year), home improvement stores, clothing and lots of other things. My rough guess is that we can redirect at least $30k from debit to credit cards

I do not want to have a number of CCs, each suited for particular types of transactions and only save $100 or $200 a year. For example, the Amex Blue would net me $175 over current CCs for groceries. That is not enough to incent me to get another CC. My preference is to keep Costco and possibly swap WF for something else provided it is worth it.

What cards should we consider or is what we have ok given our situation and preferences?
If you just want simple cash back on one card, there are some 2% options. Citi Double Cash, Fidelity Visa and PayPal MasterCard.

Other wildcard options that can be single card but have requirements:
Schwab Amex Platinum can earn and cash Amex MR points effectively at a rate of 2.5% cashback. This has flexibility if you do occasional points based traveling. $550 annual fee though.

Bank of America can be good for a single card too particularly if you're willing to hold $100k in assets there (this does include their brokerage side in Merrell Edge, so doesn't need to be cash at least) to qualify for Platinum Honors status which boosts rewards on their credit cards.
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 22661
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by willthrill81 »

It depends greatly on where you are buying your groceries.

We buy most of ours at Fred Meyer. We learned the hard way that Amex categorizes them as a supercenter or something similar and not as a grocery store, hence, the 6% cashback does not work for them. I believe that this is true of Wal-Mart and Target as well.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
User avatar
FrugalProfessor
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 11:34 am
Contact:

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by FrugalProfessor »

https://frugalprofessor.com/boa-raise-c ... g-savings/
https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/

~8.25% cash back at walmart (first link)
5.25% cash back (+ 2% executive) at costco

Conditional on 100k at ME.

Pretty good system. I have 5 kids, so we eat a lot of food. The cash back adds up.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
H-Town
Posts: 3197
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by H-Town »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 10:05 am It depends greatly on where you are buying your groceries.

We buy most of ours at Fred Meyer. We learned the hard way that Amex categorizes them as a supercenter or something similar and not as a grocery store, hence, the 6% cashback does not work for them. I believe that this is true of Wal-Mart and Target as well.
^ this. I wish AMEX would widen their groceries coding.

Still, I buy groceries mostly from HEB (those from Texas may have heard of HEB). It's 6%. I keep track of the benefit of the "preferred" card vs. the regular no-fee AMEX blue cash card. We come out ahead every year. So I still keep the preferred blue cash.
Savermom
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed May 20, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Savermom »

Nate7out wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:48 pm
musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
Actually, this old card is 1 percent on everything else now. You have to spend 6,500 in a calendar year to start earning the 1 percent and 5 percent groceries/gas. It used to be 1.5 percent on everything else though.
TravelGeek
Posts: 4005
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by TravelGeek »

BeneIRA wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 7:57 pm
A lot of Amex and Chase cards have bonuses. For Amex through 7/31 and for Chase through 6/30. If you don't max out the categories, buy grocery gift cards.
Or other gift cards such as Amazon, ARCO gas, airlines.... okay, maybe not airlines, but basically prepay for stuff that you will use in the not too distant future ;)
Nate7out
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:06 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Nate7out »

Savermom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:37 pm
Nate7out wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:48 pm
musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
Actually, this old card is 1 percent on everything else now. You have to spend 6,500 in a calendar year to start earning the 1 percent and 5 percent groceries/gas. It used to be 1.5 percent on everything else though.
Thanks for that info. I was not aware. When they first offered the upgrade, I did a spreadsheet and the old card was better than the new card with fee. Haven't checked it since except I did not notice a significant drop in rewards.

I thought the rewards were 1% up to the 6500 and then the 2 higher tiers kicked in. I'll have to take a closer look.
musicmom
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:48 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by musicmom »

So, am I getting this right?
I can get 6% cash back on Amazon gift cards bought at a grocery store using my Amex blue preferred card?
TravelGeek
Posts: 4005
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by TravelGeek »

musicmom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 4:07 pm So, am I getting this right?
I can get 6% cash back on Amazon gift cards bought at a grocery store using my Amex blue preferred card?
Yes, up to $6000 in spend/year.

I use different cards, but I always have an Amazon gift card balance and rarely use an actual credit card. An exception would be when I want to be sure I have the purchase protection/extended warranty of the card.
decapod10
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by decapod10 »

musicmom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 4:07 pm So, am I getting this right?
I can get 6% cash back on Amazon gift cards bought at a grocery store using my Amex blue preferred card?
Yes, you can get 6% cash back on any gift card you purchase at a grocery store. We are currently using an Amex Gold card (which has a $25k spend limit on groceries), but same idea. Though I usually just use my Amazon Chase card for Amazon specifically for the convenience, we buy lots of other gift cards from the grocery store to get the bonus points. We spend a lot at Disney, for example, so we buy a lot of Disney gift cards there. Also Netflix, Google cards (for YouTube TV), Target, eBay, Southwest Airlines, most department stores, Best Buy etc. Most major retailers you can think of. In addition, our supermarket (Safeway) gives gas points as well which are worth roughly 3% cash back, so it's not a bad discount.

Grocery store credit card bonuses are one of the most useful categories if you're willing to go the gift card route.
musicmom
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:48 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by musicmom »

Wow. Not sure how Ive missed the whole gift card angle to this point.
Thanks for the education!
mouses
Posts: 4217
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by mouses »

WS1 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 10:06 pm The magic of the Blue Cash Preferred is it’s 6% groceries and 3% on gas. If you don’t hit the $6000 grocery store cap every calendar year it’s not worth it.
I applied for that card and was told I needed a letter from a financial institution verifying my address and signed by some particular employee with the employee's personal contact info. The two credit unions I asked about that had never heard of such a thing and were not set up to do it.

So I wrote the Amex CEO and some clueless person called me and said it was necessary because they suspected fraud. I was never able to find out what they were concerned about.

This was very annoying, but none of my interactions with Amex over the years have ever gone well. I should know better than to deal with either them or BofA.
Jags4186
Posts: 5360
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Jags4186 »

Nate7out wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 1:54 pm
Savermom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:37 pm
Nate7out wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:48 pm
musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
Actually, this old card is 1 percent on everything else now. You have to spend 6,500 in a calendar year to start earning the 1 percent and 5 percent groceries/gas. It used to be 1.5 percent on everything else though.
Thanks for that info. I was not aware. When they first offered the upgrade, I did a spreadsheet and the old card was better than the new card with fee. Haven't checked it since except I did not notice a significant drop in rewards.

I thought the rewards were 1% up to the 6500 and then the 2 higher tiers kicked in. I'll have to take a closer look.
Actually :wink:

The old blue cash rewards break down as follows:

First $6500 spend:
0.5% cashback on non-bonus categories
1% cashback on gas, grocery, and drug

Next $50,000 in spend
1% cashback on non-bonus categories
5% cashback on gas, grocery, and drug
Nate7out
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:06 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Nate7out »

Nate7out wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 1:54 pm
Savermom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:37 pm
Nate7out wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:48 pm
musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
Actually, this old card is 1 percent on everything else now. You have to spend 6,500 in a calendar year to start earning the 1 percent and 5 percent groceries/gas. It used to be 1.5 percent on everything else though.
Thanks for that info. I was not aware. When they first offered the upgrade, I did a spreadsheet and the old card was better than the new card with fee. Haven't checked it since except I did not notice a significant drop in rewards.

I thought the rewards were 1% up to the 6500 and then the 2 higher tiers kicked in. I'll have to take a closer look.
Savermom was, of course, correct. I had to download my cardmember agreement. One other thing I found out about the old card that still makes it better, it is not capped at $6000 spending for rewards, it goes up to $50,0000. For me the $6500 min. is about 3 months total spend and then I get 5% back on about $1200/month*9 = $540, plus the prior 1% and 0.5% up to $6500 and outside the main categories. Usually around $700ish per year. I buy everything at Meijer and it gets coded as groceries.

$6000*.06-$95 = $265. Way less benefit on groceries.

I also use 5% Discover, but it is usually only groceries 1 quarter per year.

I am intrigued by the costco visa - I basically stopped going to costco when they dropped Amex, I didn't want to get another CC.
Nate7out
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:06 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Nate7out »

Jags4186 wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 5:31 am
Nate7out wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 1:54 pm
Savermom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:37 pm
Nate7out wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:48 pm
musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
Actually, this old card is 1 percent on everything else now. You have to spend 6,500 in a calendar year to start earning the 1 percent and 5 percent groceries/gas. It used to be 1.5 percent on everything else though.
Thanks for that info. I was not aware. When they first offered the upgrade, I did a spreadsheet and the old card was better than the new card with fee. Haven't checked it since except I did not notice a significant drop in rewards.

I thought the rewards were 1% up to the 6500 and then the 2 higher tiers kicked in. I'll have to take a closer look.
Actually :wink:

The old blue cash rewards break down as follows:

First $6500 spend:
0.5% cashback on non-bonus categories
1% cashback on gas, grocery, and drug

Next $50,000 in spend
1% cashback on non-bonus categories
5% cashback on gas, grocery, and drug
Agreed. You posted while I was typing.
MrJedi
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by MrJedi »

Nate7out wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 5:38 am
Nate7out wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 1:54 pm
Savermom wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:37 pm
Nate7out wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:48 pm
musicmom wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:02 pm Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
It does have an annual fee $99

But 6% on groceries and streaming services year round.
I have the old Amex Blue cash, never updated it. 5% on gas groceries and drugstores. 1.5% everything else. No fees. There is a min spend before 5%, but I determined I come out ahead. Hence I did not update. Back in the day you could buy I bonds, get cash back and quickly get to the high rewards tier. Alas, no more.

For a new card I would go with preferred.
Actually, this old card is 1 percent on everything else now. You have to spend 6,500 in a calendar year to start earning the 1 percent and 5 percent groceries/gas. It used to be 1.5 percent on everything else though.
Thanks for that info. I was not aware. When they first offered the upgrade, I did a spreadsheet and the old card was better than the new card with fee. Haven't checked it since except I did not notice a significant drop in rewards.

I thought the rewards were 1% up to the 6500 and then the 2 higher tiers kicked in. I'll have to take a closer look.
Savermom was, of course, correct. I had to download my cardmember agreement. One other thing I found out about the old card that still makes it better, it is not capped at $6000 spending for rewards, it goes up to $50,0000. For me the $6500 min. is about 3 months total spend and then I get 5% back on about $1200/month*9 = $540, plus the prior 1% and 0.5% up to $6500 and outside the main categories. Usually around $700ish per year. I buy everything at Meijer and it gets coded as groceries.

$6000*.06-$95 = $265. Way less benefit on groceries.

I also use 5% Discover, but it is usually only groceries 1 quarter per year.

I am intrigued by the costco visa - I basically stopped going to costco when they dropped Amex, I didn't want to get another CC.
I see that first $6500 as equivalent to the $95 annual fee. Since you can only get 0.5% on that vs using a 2% card. 1.5% difference on $6500 = $97.50.

I could still see the old card being pretty good if you can front load that $6500 quickly and have a huge amount of groceries in the year, like $15+k. Otherwise I generally get 5-6% back on $12k groceries all year using a combination of the newer Amex, Chase Freedom, and Discover.
McDougal
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:42 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by McDougal »

mouses wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 3:31 am
WS1 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 10:06 pm The magic of the Blue Cash Preferred is it’s 6% groceries and 3% on gas. If you don’t hit the $6000 grocery store cap every calendar year it’s not worth it.
I applied for that card and was told I needed a letter from a financial institution verifying my address and signed by some particular employee with the employee's personal contact info. The two credit unions I asked about that had never heard of such a thing and were not set up to do it.

So I wrote the Amex CEO and some clueless person called me and said it was necessary because they suspected fraud. I was never able to find out what they were concerned about.

This was very annoying, but none of my interactions with Amex over the years have ever gone well. I should know better than to deal with either them or BofA.
Is your credit frozen at any of the reporting companies?
Jags4186
Posts: 5360
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by Jags4186 »

If you have the ability to max out the $56,500 spend all in bonus categories, at a cost of $12.89/$1000 you still earn about $2000 in rewards. Otherwise you need to look at your year long blended spend to determine if it’s worth using the OBC.

Based on the above poster described spend he’s averaging north of 2.6% cashback overall, which is pretty good for someone not looking to absolutely max everything.
onourway
Posts: 2821
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by onourway »

MrJedi wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 6:10 am
I see that first $6500 as equivalent to the $95 annual fee. Since you can only get 0.5% on that vs using a 2% card. 1.5% difference on $6500 = $97.50.

I could still see the old card being pretty good if you can front load that $6500 quickly and have a huge amount of groceries in the year, like $15+k. Otherwise I generally get 5-6% back on $12k groceries all year using a combination of the newer Amex, Chase Freedom, and Discover.
Yep, this is what I do. I front-load expenses onto the Blue Cash, typically takes me 1-2 months. Some years these months align with the Chase Freedom grocery bonus quarter. :D

We spend $12k+ on groceries, plus the Blue Cash gets us 5% back on gas as well.
mouses
Posts: 4217
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by mouses »

McDougal wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 6:24 am
mouses wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 3:31 am
WS1 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 10:06 pm The magic of the Blue Cash Preferred is it’s 6% groceries and 3% on gas. If you don’t hit the $6000 grocery store cap every calendar year it’s not worth it.
I applied for that card and was told I needed a letter from a financial institution verifying my address and signed by some particular employee with the employee's personal contact info. The two credit unions I asked about that had never heard of such a thing and were not set up to do it.

So I wrote the Amex CEO and some clueless person called me and said it was necessary because they suspected fraud. I was never able to find out what they were concerned about.

This was very annoying, but none of my interactions with Amex over the years have ever gone well. I should know better than to deal with either them or BofA.
Is your credit frozen at any of the reporting companies?
I temporarily unfroze it when I applied for the card, and when I ran into this fraud stuff later I asked if that were the problem, and they said no, they had already accessed my credit reports. So I don't have a clue as to what this is about. My credit score has always been 800+ as far as I know.
go_mets
Posts: 794
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by go_mets »

mouses wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 10:58 am
McDougal wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 6:24 am
mouses wrote: Thu May 21, 2020 3:31 am
WS1 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 10:06 pm The magic of the Blue Cash Preferred is it’s 6% groceries and 3% on gas. If you don’t hit the $6000 grocery store cap every calendar year it’s not worth it.
I applied for that card and was told I needed a letter from a financial institution verifying my address and signed by some particular employee with the employee's personal contact info. The two credit unions I asked about that had never heard of such a thing and were not set up to do it.

So I wrote the Amex CEO and some clueless person called me and said it was necessary because they suspected fraud. I was never able to find out what they were concerned about.

This was very annoying, but none of my interactions with Amex over the years have ever gone well. I should know better than to deal with either them or BofA.
Is your credit frozen at any of the reporting companies?
I temporarily unfroze it when I applied for the card, and when I ran into this fraud stuff later I asked if that were the problem, and they said no, they had already accessed my credit reports. So I don't have a clue as to what this is about. My credit score has always been 800+ as far as I know.
I ran into this problem with Capital One.
I refused to do the verification since I already had a credit card with them.
Made no sense.
Never activated the card and missed out on the sign in bonus. The card still shows in my account.


.
carolinaman
Posts: 4446
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by carolinaman »

carolinaman wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 8:53 am Covid 19 has changed our payment strategy. We used to use CCs mostly for large purchases, travel, and gas; and debit cards for everything else. We are now using CCs for everything including food. It eliminates the need to key pin and touch card reader.

We have Costco Visa which rewards 4% for gas, travel and restaurants, 2% at Costco and 1% for everything else. I will continue to use it for larger purchases with warranties because of its warranty protection. We use WF Visa for other CC purchases. It pays 1.5% for everything. Last year we got $225 back from Costco Visa and probably a $100 or so from WF Visa. We have used debit cards for groceries (about $8000 a year), home improvement stores, clothing and lots of other things. My rough guess is that we can redirect at least $30k from debit to credit cards

I do not want to have a number of CCs, each suited for particular types of transactions and only save $100 or $200 a year. For example, the Amex Blue would net me $175 over current CCs for groceries. That is not enough to incent me to get another CC. My preference is to keep Costco and possibly swap WF for something else provided it is worth it.

What cards should we consider or is what we have ok given our situation and preferences?
After reading this thread and a little other research, I applied for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred which rewards 6% on groceries up to $6k a year. We will use this for groceries and continue to use Costco Visa for gas, travel, restaurants and Costco. Will use WF CC for everything else. Since we are now using CC for groceries this will work nicely and I get a $300 bonus for spending $1,000 in first 3 months which we will easily do. I like to keep things simple but I do not think this unduly complicates things.
Topic Author
van_sun_38
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by van_sun_38 »

I just saw a Chase ad on my email: Congrats! As a valued Chase customer, you are earning a $200 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Plus earn 5% cash back on grocery stores up to $12k spent the first year.
I wonder anyone has seen similar offer and if it's worth it?
sycamore
Posts: 1554
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by sycamore »

van_sun_38 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:59 pm I just saw a Chase ad on my email: Congrats! As a valued Chase customer, you are earning a $200 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Plus earn 5% cash back on grocery stores up to $12k spent the first year.
I wonder anyone has seen similar offer and if it's worth it?
The terms sound like the current reward for a new Freedom Unlimited card. But the email said "you are earning" so you already have that card, yes?

Whether it's worth it depends on what you're comparing it to. Compared to doing nothing, I'd say it's worth it :)
Topic Author
van_sun_38
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by van_sun_38 »

sycamore wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:45 pm
van_sun_38 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:59 pm I just saw a Chase ad on my email: Congrats! As a valued Chase customer, you are earning a $200 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Plus earn 5% cash back on grocery stores up to $12k spent the first year.
I wonder anyone has seen similar offer and if it's worth it?
The terms sound like the current reward for a new Freedom Unlimited card. But the email said "you are earning" so you already have that card, yes?

Whether it's worth it depends on what you're comparing it to. Compared to doing nothing, I'd say it's worth it :)
Ha! I wasn't aware that Chase just rolled out a new card offer. Looks like both Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. I have not had either of them. I only have Chase preferred card which I downgraded to be no annual fee. I also have the Discover Card as well. Since Discover card earns quarterly 5% bonus, would it make sense to just go with the Freedom Unlimited?
User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1720
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by heartwood »

We had an AMEX Blue Preferred until about mid-May when our annual fee was due. We were over $4000 for groceries for the year at that point so the math going forward didn't work out. Basically pay the $95 fee for the remainder of the year (plus following 2021 months) and about (6% * $2000) $120 in cash back in 2020. We switched to the free Amex Blue Everyday card getting 3%. They prorated our fee for May. It's just two of us, but we'll hit the $6000 mark in about another month since we also use it to buy some non-Part D Rx at the grocery pharmacy that gets coded as grocery. Even with GoodRx its expensive. So we'll stop using AMEX at all for the year in a month or so when we hit our $6k mark.

I'm rethinking the AMEX Blue experience overall. Used to use AMEX Premium Car Rental Protection, but don't any more. It's a small hassle for me to request the cash rewards each month in over $25 chunks. So thinking of just going with the Fidelity 2% Visa and simplifying things.

Some of this is Covid related changes in thinking as to what's worth a hassle. We recently renewed our Costco Executive membership even though we have not been in a store since early March, only buying online from them. Tried to downgrade to a regular card, but could not find a way to do it online. Phone waits were multi-hour. So rather than not renew and then have to get a new card and photo in the future, we considered the extra $60 (?) a service fee and renewed.
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 3516
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Northeastern US

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by beyou »

I never pay annual fees. Don’t want to play the annual game. We also buy alot of organic groceries, so limits of $6k are easily spent. Used to use Amex but they reduced my cash to 3% back so...went to rotating 5% deals at Chase and Citi....PITA.

We just got 2 new cards without annual fees but decent cash back year round.

Amazon Prime Visa for 5% back on all Amazon including Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh.

For other stores (should we want to venture out to scary public places), we get 4% back on the new Verizon Visa. This deal is only useful to Verizon Wireless customers.
Many who avoided VZW, may find they are now more competitive. I pay $35/line for unlimited everything and now get 2% back when I charge the phone bill to this card. 4% groceries/gas and 3% restaurants, all can go to pay the cell phone bill or upgrade a phone. No annual fee, no limits on cash back, no rotating categories.

That said, been using Amazon card mostly due to fact Fresh and WF are in my area, and looking to avoid covid exposure.
User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1720
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by heartwood »

van_sun_38 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:57 pm
sycamore wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:45 pm
van_sun_38 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:59 pm I just saw a Chase ad on my email: Congrats! As a valued Chase customer, you are earning a $200 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Plus earn 5% cash back on grocery stores up to $12k spent the first year.
I wonder anyone has seen similar offer and if it's worth it?
The terms sound like the current reward for a new Freedom Unlimited card. But the email said "you are earning" so you already have that card, yes?

Whether it's worth it depends on what you're comparing it to. Compared to doing nothing, I'd say it's worth it :)
Ha! I wasn't aware that Chase just rolled out a new card offer. Looks like both Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. I have not had either of them. I only have Chase preferred card which I downgraded to be no annual fee. I also have the Discover Card as well. Since Discover card earns quarterly 5% bonus, would it make sense to just go with the Freedom Unlimited?
Any insight into what "up to $12k spent the first year" might mean? Does it change the 2nd year? I looked at the Chase site and can't find anything in the Terms.
redmaw
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:20 am

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by redmaw »

I just got a mailer for the amex blue card, offering a $300 sign up bonus...so I'm seriously considering getting one. Is there anyway to tell if the stores we shop at are considered supermarkets? Does anyone know if sam's counts?

Anything else to watch out for, never had an amex before, but I thought they were a bit different than other cards.
User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1720
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by heartwood »

heartwood wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:47 pm
van_sun_38 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:57 pm
sycamore wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:45 pm
van_sun_38 wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:59 pm I just saw a Chase ad on my email: Congrats! As a valued Chase customer, you are earning a $200 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Plus earn 5% cash back on grocery stores up to $12k spent the first year.
I wonder anyone has seen similar offer and if it's worth it?
The terms sound like the current reward for a new Freedom Unlimited card. But the email said "you are earning" so you already have that card, yes?

Whether it's worth it depends on what you're comparing it to. Compared to doing nothing, I'd say it's worth it :)
Ha! I wasn't aware that Chase just rolled out a new card offer. Looks like both Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. I have not had either of them. I only have Chase preferred card which I downgraded to be no annual fee. I also have the Discover Card as well. Since Discover card earns quarterly 5% bonus, would it make sense to just go with the Freedom Unlimited?
Any insight into what "up to $12k spent the first year" might mean? Does it change the 2nd year? I looked at the Chase site and can't find anything in the Terms.
OK, think I get it after reading Doctor of Credit. It's part of the revolving category approach, so after either 1 year or $12k, whichever comes first, it's no longer 5% on groceries unless that's the current category.
MBB_Boy
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by MBB_Boy »

I have actually been using my Square Cash debit card for groceries instead of the Blue Cash Preferred. You can instantly load a variety of discounts to the debit card, and they have consistently had a 10% cash back on groceries. I literally load money for the bill in the store, load the Boost, and pay. All instantly.

There's typically discounts for Walmart, Amazon, and a bunch of random restaurants. And it's a free account, so no reason not to have it. If they stop offering the grocery discount, I'll just use the Amex BCP.

I've been a credit card optimizer for a while now, and think everyone sleeps on this because it's a debit card, which don't typically offer rewards because their interchange is capped due to Dodd-Frank/ Durbin amendment. But debit card usage has been increasing industry wide, so look to see if debit rewards make a comeback. There are a few players dabbling, thinks like 1% cash back or .10c a swipe of whatever
TravelGeek
Posts: 4005
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by TravelGeek »

sycamore wrote: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:45 pm
The terms sound like the current reward for a new Freedom Unlimited card. But the email said "you are earning" so you already have that card, yes?

Whether it's worth it depends on what you're comparing it to. Compared to doing nothing, I'd say it's worth it :)
Looks like a new account offer, not something for existing card holders. FT has two posts where one poster requested a match for a card they received in Feb and it was approved. Another poster was denied.

I am going to switch my Grocery spend to my UA Explorer card for August and September to earn 5X. New offers just out:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/targeted ... gust-sept/
slyfox1357
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:13 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by slyfox1357 »

Two words - Amex Gold.
cowbman
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: Best credit card for grocery rewards

Post by cowbman »

WS1 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 10:06 pm The magic of the Blue Cash Preferred is it’s 6% groceries and 3% on gas. If you don’t hit the $6000 grocery store cap every calendar year it’s not worth it.
Actually, as long as you spend $95/3% (because there is a free Amex Blue Cash card that gets 3% on groceries) = $3166.67, it's worth it.
Post Reply