Credit Cards

Best Grocery Credit Cards for May 2022

Groceries are 10% more expensive than last year. You can counter inflation with a grocery credit card.

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Grocery credit cards can help soothe the pain of rising food prices. While grocery costs aren't spiking as high as gasoline, the Consumer Price Index shows that the inflation rate on "food at home" is now at 10%, the highest average level for 12 months since 1981.

Due to factors such as rising transportation and energy costs, the war in Ukraine and the avian flu, experts predict that food prices will stay high for a while. Grocery credit cards can help you stay within your budget by giving you rewards like cash back on grocery purchases. They might also offer welcome bonuses that could cover a few loads of groceries.

Review our top partner offers for grocery credit cards below to find the one that works best for your lifestyle and spending habits.

Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
APR14.74% - 24.74% Variable
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Intro Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months
Additional Details
Balance Transfer Fee N/A
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Penalty APR 29.99% Variable
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases

Our Take

Whether you're shopping for groceries for yourself or your family, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a solid option for most people. It provides the highest cash-back rate of any card we researched, earning 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year -- for as much as $360 back per year at this rate. Plus, you'll still earn 1% cash back if you exceed $6,000. 

Additionally, you'll earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% back on U.S. gas station purchases and transit. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. 

For more details, check out our full review of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Good for any grocery store

Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
APR14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APR0% for 15 months on purchases
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 15 months on balance transfers
Balance Transfer Fee Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Balance Transfer APR14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees 3%
Penalty APR Up to 29.99% (Variable)
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Our Take

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is unique in that it automatically selects your highest eligible spend category and applies 5% cash back rewards (on up to $500 of expenditure per billing cycle, then 1%). Grocery stores are one of these categories, as are restaurants, gas stations, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. As long as you're not spending more on the other categories than at grocery stores with this card, you'll earn 5% cash back on all your grocery store purchases (on up to $500 spent each billing cycle), without limitations on location like some other cards impose. This card has no annual fee, so you can easily keep it as just a grocery credit card to avoid confusion.

Check out our full review of the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.

Great for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods

Card Highlights
Intro OfferUp to a $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval
APR14.24% to 22.24% Variable
Recommended Credit N/A
Reward Rates
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Balance Transfer APR14.24% to 22.24% Variable
Late Payment Fee Up to $39
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*

Our Take

If you're a regular shopper at Amazon and Whole Foods, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* is a great way to earn cash back on your purchases. It offers 5% cash back at Whole Foods Market and on Amazon Fresh and other Amazon.com purchases, which can be redeemed at checkout or as a statement credit from Chase. You can also score up to a $150 Amazon gift card upon account approval.

This card also features 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1% on everything else. You must have an Amazon Prime membership -- $119 per year -- to apply for this card, but we're guessing if you're a heavy Amazon shopper, you're already a member.

Check out our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

Best grocery card for travel rewards

See Rates and Fees Terms Apply
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Annual Fee$250
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR See Rates & Fees
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Our Take

If you would like to redeem rewards for travel, the American Express® Gold Card is a great choice. On up to $25,000 of purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards® Points (then 1x points) -- valued at 1 cent each when used to purchase flights through American Express Travel. That's essentially a 4% return on your U.S. supermarket purchases toward flights.

Keep in mind this card has a higher-than-average annual fee of $250, and for the most bang for your buck (or points), you must book travel through the American Express Travel Portal. These points are only worth 0.6 cent each when redeemed for a statement credit.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

FAQs

How do you choose the right grocery credit card?

Deciding which grocery credit card is right for you will depend largely on your shopping habits. Keep in mind that most major credit card companies do not consider wholesale clubs and big-box stores like Walmart and Target to be grocery stores, so your purchases there might not qualify for the same rewards. Before applying for a grocery credit card, you'll want to closely read the fine print to make sure that your needs will be met depending on where you shop.

One last thing to keep in mind: Don't get overly enamored of credit cards with a welcome bonus offer. While the immediate cash back can be appealing, it is typically a one-time or short-lived reward. Groceries are purchases that you need to make every month. You're better off focusing on maximizing these rewards over time rather than going for the up-front bonus.

How do you earn rewards with grocery cards?

Here's the way cash-back rewards credit cards typically work: Let's say your credit card offers 3% cash back on groceries. That means for every $100 you spend on groceries, you will get $3 back. While it's called "cash back," the card issuer won't actually give you physical cash. Instead, the "cash" will be associated with your account. Depending on your card, your cash back earned could appear as a statement credit or could be redeemed in other ways, like for travel or as gift cards.

To make the most of your cash back, it's important to pay off your balance in full each month, in order to avoid accruing interest that would essentially void any rewards you may have earned.

Is a grocery credit card right for me?

Grocery cards can be a great way to earn rewards for essentials you purchase every week or month. But that doesn't mean they're the best option for you. It all comes down to how you spend your money. If you travel frequently, travel rewards credit cards or airline credit cards might make more sense. And if you're worried about overspending to earn rewards, consider a flat-rate cash-back card that will earn you the same rewards rate for any purchase.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles -- with the understanding that everyone's financial situation is different -- and the designated function of a card. 

For cash-back credit cards, for example, key factors include the annual fee, the welcome bonus and the cash-back rate (or rates, if they differ by spending category). For rewards and miles cards, we calculate and weigh the net monetary value of a card's respective perks. And with balance transfer credit cards, we analyze specs such as the duration of the introductory 0% APR period and the balance transfer fee, while acknowledging secondary factors such as the standard APR and the length of time you have to make a balance transfer after you open the account.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express Gold Card, click here.

*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.