Kroger Rewards World Mastercard® review: a minimalist, gas-focused grocery store card
While the Mastercard and gas benefits make this card worth looking into, the overall rewards may be too minimal for most.
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Kroger Rewards World Mastercard® Overview
The Kroger Rewards World Mastercard® offers tiered points geared toward purchases made in Kroger stores and on Kroger-brand products. While the card comes with the benefit of no annual fee and the potential to save big on gas at Kroger-owned gas stations for the first year, the point structure and earning potential are a bit haphazard.
Put simply, if you’re an avid Kroger shopper, this card may be a great fit for your finances. But if your spending is more spread out, the Kroger credit card isn’t terribly compelling.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- Value of points is lower than average
- Purchases at Kroger fuel stations don’t earn rewards
- After the first year, gas savings aren’t great
A deeper look at the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 5X points for mobile wallet purchases for first $3,000 (then 1 percent thereafter), 2X points spent at Kroger family companies (excluding fuel centers) and 1X point spent on all other purchases
- Welcome offer:
- For new accounts opened by September 1, 2022, save 55 cents per gallon at Kroger Fuel Centers each time you redeem at least 100 points during the first year
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 11.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR
Kroger Rewards World Mastercard current welcome offer
This card offers a year-long fuel bonus tied to card ownership—when cardholders redeem at least 100 points at participating Kroger Family fuel centers, they receive 25 cents off per gallon (for new accounts opened by Sept. 1, 2022). After the first year, cardholders receive only 5 cents per gallon for points redeemed.
The main focus of the Kroger World Elite’s Credit Card rewards leans towards redemption on store purchases. With rewards earning up to 5 percent cash back in combination with the discounts at Kroger fuel stations, it can be advantageous for Kroger loyalists.
How you earn
You’ll earn 5X points on mobile wallet purchases for the first $3,000 (then 1 percent afterward), followed by 2X points on purchases at Kroger stores and 1X points on all other purchases.
Strangely enough, cardholders can’t earn reward points by spending money at Kroger fuel stations, but they can use their reward points to get 55 cents off per gallon when they fill up (up to $6,000, then 25 cents). While this does offer substantial savings at the pump, the benefit only lasts for the first year, after which the reward rate drops to just 5 cents per gallon.
How to redeem
You don’t actually need to redeem anything, as Kroger sends out reward certificates at least four times a year automatically if you have at least 1,000 Rewards Points.
How much are rewards points worth?
For every 1,000 points redeemed, cardholders get $10 to spend on groceries at Kroger stores. When you do the math, this statement means that one Kroger point is worth 1 cent. Note: you can’t redeem before you’ve earned 1,000 points. It’s also worth noting that grocery credit certificates are the only way to redeem rewards for this card.
Other cardholder perks
Along with decent grocery reward rates, the Kroger Rewards World Mastercard also offers other benefits that may be worthwhile for cardholders. Interestingly enough, many of these perks favor travelers, and could even work as a credit card for your next roadtrip.
Lowest hotel rate guarantee
Through Mastercard’s Travel & Lifestyle Service, you can find hotel stays for less. If you find the same hotel booking at a lower rate, Mastercard will refund you the difference.
Complimentary travel services
Cardholders receive complimentary access to the Lifestyle Manager service that will help you plan your next vacation. You can contact them at any time, whether over email, call or live chat.
You can get assistance at any time you need with Mastercard Global Service, whether the card is lost or stolen, you need help finding an ATM location or you need your questions answered. You also have zero fraud liability so you’re only responsible for the purchases you authorized. You also receive Mastercard ID Theft Protection that gives you access to services like surface, dark and deep web monitoring, fraud detection and compromised credentials searches.
Rates and fees
This Kroger credit card offers no introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers, but it does come with a competitive regular APR and no annual, overdraft protection or foreign transaction fees.
When it comes to balance transfers, however, cardholders are on the hook for $10 or 4 percent of the total amount, whichever is greater. For cash advances, there’s a charge of 5 percent or $10 minimum, whichever is greater. Late fees and returned payments can be up to $41.
How the Kroger Rewards World Mastercard compares to other rewards cards
As a grocery store-branded credit card, this Kroger card leans heavily on purchases from its grocery store ecosystem to deliver solid reward rates and potential savings. But how does it compare to other grocery store cards?
Kroger World Elite Mastercard vs. Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard
When it comes to grocery store credit cards, one card that comes to mind is the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard. It earns 5 percent on Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery, 2 percent in Walmart stores and gas stations, restaurants, travel and 1 percent on all other purchases. Redemption options include statement credits, gift cards and travel reservations without a minimum needed.
In comparison with the Kroger World Elite card, the Walmart Rewards card is a clear winner. With more reward categories available, higher rewards at the Walmart store and more redemption options, it shows it may be more lucrative to be a Walmart shopper than a Kroger loyalist. Add the fact that you need a fair to good credit score makes the card available to more consumers. That being said, the Kroger card does have one advantage in its competitive APR of 15.49 to 28.49 percent versus the Walmart Rewards APR of 17.99 to 26.99 percent. For people with great credit, you may find a lower rate with the Kroger card.
Kroger World Elite Mastercard vs. Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex rotating bonus categories typically include grocery stores each year, as well as superstores that offer grocery delivery and pickup. This perk, however, only lasts for three months and the cap of $1,500 is half of the Kroger card, plus requires activation.
The main advantage of the Chase Freedom Flex is that it is far more versatile. It has a better welcome offer of $200 bonus cash when you spend $500 within the first three months. You also receive 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months followed by the 17.24 to 25.99 percent ongoing variable APR.
If you want a card that focuses more on grocery purchases and are a frequent Kroger shopper, the Kroger World Elite will be more beneficial. However, if you prefer the perks of a traditional credit card, the Chase Freedom Flex is an overall better choice.
Best cards to pair witch the Kroger Rewards World Mastercard
If you’re looking to pair the Kroger Rewards card with other credit offerings, consider an everyday cash back card and true points card that lets you earn and redeem points more easily.
While it makes sense to use your Kroger card at the grocery store or when buying fuel from Kroger-owned businesses, a flat-rate 2 percent cash back credit card, like the Citi® Double Cash Card (1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases), offers greater utility for other everyday purchases. Additionally, more popular cash back or points and miles cards are great for large purchases and let you redeem for everything from airfare to gift cards.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Kroger Rewards World Mastercard worth it?
The Kroger Rewards World Mastercard doesn’t make our list of the best grocery credit cards or best no annual fee offerings. While the card offers decent rewards for shoppers who prefer the Kroger brand, it can’t compete with cash back and reward credit cards that offer rewards on any grocery purchases rather than store-specific spending. With frustratingly strange fuel benefits and a relatively small cash back welcome offer, this card is outperformed across the board by other credit cards.
The bottom line? While it may be a good fit for loyal Kroger shoppers, it’s not a standout spending option.
The information about the Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.