Best credit cards for groceries and grocery delivery in 2021

1
martin-dm/Getty Images

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

Last year, more than half of Americans with New Year’s resolutions planned to improve their finances and eat healthier. Tackling both of those at once can seem daunting, but luckily, a rewards credit card can be the right tool to kick-start 2021.

The USDA estimates the average U.S. family of four on a moderate budget spends up to about $1,107 per month on groceries. Just 2 percent cash back would give you nearly $266 back per year with the right grocery credit card. Depending on your biggest everyday expenses, the best credit card for groceries might also help you rack even more cash back or miles on other parts of your budget, like gas or dining.

Take a look at this year’s top cards for groceries and grocery delivery and learn how you can use them to maximize your rewards.

Best grocery credit cards

Best for cash back: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

With 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1 percent), the Blue Cash Preferred card offers the best cash back for groceries available on a cash back credit card. It’s also one of the few cards to offer 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services and 3 percent cash back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases, making it a front-runner for commuting shoppers.

Even with a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for one year), the Blue Cash Preferred is a leading choice at its price tag.

Best for rotating categories: Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex edges out other rotating category cards like the Discover it® Cash Back because of its extra ongoing reward categories. You can earn an unlimited 5 percent back on Lyft purchases (through Mar. 2022) and Chase Ultimate Rewards travel with another 3 percent on dining and drugstore purchases to boot.

Although the main drawback is that Chase Freedom Flex rotating categories are only announced one quarter in advance, pairing it with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®) could make it a valuable addition.

The Reserve card is also excellent for grocery rewards, since the Pay Yourself Back feature allows you to cover grocery store purchases through Sept. 30, 2021, at a boosted 1.5-cent value per point redeemed. Plus, grocery store purchases will count toward the Reserve’s annual $300 travel credit through Dec. 31, 2021.

Best for wholesale clubs: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

If you value versatility but want a higher reward rate than a flat-rate credit card, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is your safest bet. It earns 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, which can increase by up to 75 percent in value if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member.

The card is also a great choice for those whose budgets are more flexible, as it comes with 3 percent back in one category of your choice (from six options) that you can change once per month. That way, you can pair your grocery earnings with cash back on purchases such as travel, home improvement or dining based on what matches your spending. Just keep in mind that your 2 percent and 3 percent rewards categories share a $2,500 in combined purchases per quarter spending limit (then 1 percent back).

The information about the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card was last updated on 05/18/2021

Best for superstores: Discover it® Cash Back

Besides the usual October to December Walmart.com, Target.com and Amazon.com rewards, Discover rotating categories consistently provide grocery and superstore coverage throughout the year. The Discover it Cash Back card typically offers 5 percent cash back (activation required, on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1 percent) on PayPal purchases in the third quarter, which extends to online superstore grocery orders. It’s also common to receive the same high cash back rate on grocery and wholesale club purchases each calendar year.

Best for travel rewards: American Express® Gold Card

Amex Membership Rewards are treasured as some of the most valuable credit card points on the market due to their sheer travel redemption power. The American Express Gold card’s 4X points on up to $25,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases per year (then 1 point) and monthly statement credits toward delivery services like Boxed could give you a massive head start toward your next getaway—if you can justify the $250 annual fee.

Fortunately, this card’s potential up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 monthly credits) and 12-month complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership (worth up to $119 annually, based on estimated $9.99 monthly price for 12 months; must enroll before Dec. 31, 2021) nearly recoup the annual fee themselves. These perks and 4X points on U.S. Uber Eats orders also make the Amex Gold a solid choice for your supermarket list since Uber Eats may also deliver groceries in your area. Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly rate. Terms Apply.

Other great cards for grocery shopping

As a rule of thumb, grocery stores that count toward your bonus category will generally earn rewards for delivery too. So will grocery-specific delivery services like Instacart and Shipt, but you might need a retail credit card to earn substantial rewards with other popular retailers that deliver groceries.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card, for instance, is a must-have for frequent Amazon Prime and Amazon Pantry users. You’ll earn an unlimited 5 percent back on Amazon.com purchases—including grocery deliveries—and another up to 20 percent back on rotating Amazon categories and products.

If you prefer in-store pickup, you’ll also get 5 percent back at Whole Foods Market, along with 2 percent rewards on other essential categories: restaurant (counting deliveries), gas station and drugstore purchases.

The Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® could also be a useful addition to your wallet if you like to one-stop-shop or if Walmart is the main grocer in your area. You can earn 2 percent cash back on in-store Walmart purchases (5 percent back on in-store purchases at Walmart using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval), but the unlimited 5 percent cash back on Walmart.com purchases including pickup and delivery purchases are the main appeals.

Comparing the best grocery cards

Card name Best for… Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome offers
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Cash back
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
  • 6% on select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% on transit and U.S. gas station purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases
$95 (waived first year)
  • Earn 20 percent back on Amazon.com purchases on the card within the first 6 months of card membership, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Rotating categories
  • 5% cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1%)
  • 5% on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1% back on all other purchases
$0
  • $200 cash bonus after spending $500 within your first three months
  • 0% intro purchase APR for 15 months (14.99% to 23.74% variable ongoing)
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Wholesale clubs
  • 3% cash back in one of six choice categories
  • 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs ($2,500 spending limit in combined quarterly purchases for 2 and 3% categories, then 1%)
  • 1% on all other purchases
$0
  • $200 cash bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days
  • 0% intro purchase and balance transfer (for transfers made in first 60 days, A 3% fee (min. $10) applies) APR for 15 billing cycles (13.99% to 23.99% variable ongoing)
American Express® Gold Card Travel rewards
  • 4X points on restaurant (including U.S. Uber Eats purchases) and U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3X points on flights through Amex
  • 2X points on rental cars through Amex
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$250
  • 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first six months
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Online grocery shopping
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1% on all other purchases
$0 (Amazon Prime subscription required)
  • $70 Amazon gift card upon approval
Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® Walmart delivery and pickup
  • 5% cash back at Walmart.com
  • 2% back in Walmart stores, restaurants and travel
  • 1% back on all other purchases
$0
  • Earn 5% back on in-store purchases at Walmart using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card No annual fee
  • 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 8% cash back on Vivid Seats purchases through Jan. 2023
$0
  • $200 cash bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening

How to maximize your cash back on groceries

The first step is to read your card terms carefully to understand which purchases are eligible for rewards. Once you know the ins and outs of its features, here are a few starter tips for making the most of your grocery rewards card.

  • Consolidate your spending and shop outside the box. Take the time to learn your favorite retailers’ merchant category codes, and try to do as much of your shopping at these locations that fit inside your bonus categories. You can then find a few creative cash back opportunities.
  • Use grocery delivery services at stores that don’t earn rewards. Services like Instacart will sometimes count as grocery merchants on your card, so use them to buy from superstores and wholesale clubs that wouldn’t normally collect cash back. This trick offers another layer of savings since you don’t even need a wholesale club membership to get big-box discounts.
  • Keep an eye out for limited-time promotions. Some credit cards may cycle in special deals that can earn you more cash back. For instance, Chase Freedom Flex offers three months of complimentary DoorDash DashPass with a lower subscription fee period afterward.

How to pick the best credit card for groceries

Finding the best grocery credit card for you comes down to three key considerations:

  • Can you take advantage of the reward categories, redemption options and benefits?
  • Are you getting enough value to offset the rates and fees?
  • Which card complements your shopping habits the most?

Footing the bill for a premier card like the Amex Gold is pouring cash back down the drain if you can’t take full advantage of its features. Make sure to plug each card’s fees and potential reward earnings into your budget so you can compare the returns you’d get with every option you’re considering. Then, you can develop a game plan for how to maximize your rewards.

All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Credit Card Reviews Writer
Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.
Reviewed by
Senior Director of Content