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Amazon took ownership this week of Whole Foods with a newsworthy bang by slashing prices on many products. The pricey supermarket chain offered discounts of up to 43 percent on everything from organic avocados to responsibly-farmed Tilapia.
For price-conscious consumers, this is a big win.
But you can save even more by employing another smart shopping strategy: Use a credit card that offers cash back on groceries. Some of the more generous rewards cards rebate up to 6 percent on supermarket spending.
Credit cards that can save you money
Don’t make the mistake of relying solely on sales and coupons to save money. If you do a lot of grocery shopping, a rewards credit card should be part of your savings arsenal.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a prime example. Card owners earn a whopping 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases of up to $6,000 per year (then 1 percent). Plus, new cardholders earn a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of card ownership. The card carries a $95 annual fee.
If you hit that minimum spending requirement at the supermarket alone, you will earn $260 — for doing something you would have done anyway. And if you spend $100 at the supermarket per week, you’ll earn more than $300 per year. That’s three weeks of free groceries.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is another option. This long-time favorite of people who want a low-maintenance card — there is no annual fee — comes with considerable perks.
Earn 3% cash back on gas or your choice of one of five other popular categories, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and unlimited 1% on all other purchases (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
This card also comes with a $200 cash rewards; all you have to do is spend $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your card.
More than just groceries
If you want to earn cash back on more than just your supermarket spending, you might consider a cash-back card that offers higher rewards on certain rotating categories throughout the year. The Chase Freedom® card is a top pick.
Cardholders will earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter on rotating categories that include groceries, restaurants, gas, movie theaters and even holiday shopping. Users still earn 1 percent on all other purchases.
Chase makes it easy to find out which category is good for the 5 percent offer, so you can plan your spending accordingly. For example, the current bonus categories (through September 2018) are restaurants and movie theaters.
Remember, a good cash-back credit card is just another savings tool — like great deals (thank you, Amazon) and coupons — provided you sidestep interest rates and pay off your balance every month.
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