Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is my favorite cash back card for groceries, with 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in spending a year. You’ll also get 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses), and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s a $95 annual fee. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back with no annual fee, so that’s an attractive offer as well.
American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card was revamped in 2018 to include some amazing spending reward categories, including 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar on up to $25,000 a year in spending at grocery stores. That’s an incredible return of 8% based on our valuation of Membership Rewards points. There are other great benefits of the card, including 4 points per dollar at restaurants and 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airlines. There’s a $250 annual fee, partially offset by $10 a month in select restaurant credits.
Chase Freedom Card
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card is a good pick for a grocery store credit card because it has no annual fee, and for one quarter every year (April to June), it offers 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in combined purchases at grocery stores. While it’s not a year-round discount like the Blue Cash Preferred Card, other quarters offer strong 5% bonuses as well, like gas stations and local commuter transportation in Quarter 1 of 2018. You’ll also receive 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, there’s a $200 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months of card membership.
Another compelling way to receive even more than 5% return on your grocery purchases with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card card is by pairing it with any card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. While the Freedom Flex℠ card alone is strictly a cash back card, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Preferred card, you can transfer, at one cent per point, your cash back rewards into your Ultimate Rewards account. From there, you can expand the value way beyond one cent per point in value when you redeem for free travel (just see what I did with some of my Ultimate Rewards points in Australia). If you’re interested in learning more about the Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, check out our post on the Top Airline Credit Cards.
Keep in mind, Chase does have another Freedom card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, that offers a strict 1.5% cash back on every purchase (no rotating categories). While the bonus might not be as high during the grocery store bonus quarter, there’s no cap to the cash back that you receive with the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. These rewards can also be transferred to your Ultimate Rewards account for maximizing your bonus. For some, this hassle-free card may be a better pick.