What to know about grocery rewards credit cards

Man in a grocery store holding a jarImage: Man in a grocery store holding a jar
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If you’re a frequent supermarket shopper, then you might want to look into getting a credit card that rewards you for getting groceries.

While a high rewards rate on grocery purchases is the top draw on these cards, different options cater to different shoppers’ needs. When looking for one of these cards, consider your habits and what you’re most looking for from a grocery rewards card.

We’ve singled out a few key factors below.

Grocery rewards rate

Naturally, the rewards rate you earn on grocery purchases is one of the most important features to consider when looking at these credit cards. Depending on the card, you might be able to earn a rewards rate of as high as 6% on some of your grocery purchases. If you shop often, those savings could really add up.

It’s also important to look at where you’ll earn your grocery rewards. For instance, some cards allow you to earn rewards at all U.S. supermarkets, but that might not include wholesale clubs like Costco or superstores like Walmart and Target. If you do most of your grocery shopping at those stores, you’ll want to look for cards that offer rewards specifically with them.

Annual fee

It may seem like a no-brainer to prefer a grocery rewards credit card with no annual fee over one with an annual fee, but that’s not always the best financial decision. Annual-fee credit cards may offer higher rewards rates than similar cards with no annual fee. Depending on your spending, the card with an annual fee might actually save you money in the long run.

Restaurant rewards rate

A grocery rewards credit card isn’t just about one rewards rate — you can also try to maximize your rewards earnings in multiple categories. If you dine out or order in often, you might benefit from a card that offers bonus rewards for both groceries and restaurant purchases.

Cash back vs. travel rewards

Once you’ve earned your rewards, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to redeem them in the most effective way. Many of the best grocery rewards credit cards are cash back cards, but others may allow you to redeem your rewards for travel. You’ll want to consider the best option for you, depending on your goals and needs.

Next steps

To get the most out of your grocery credit card, you need to figure out what type of shopper you are and decide on the credit card that best fits your needs.

Then, make sure you use that card every time you go grocery shopping.

Depending on the credit card you select, you might be able to earn a sign-up bonus or rewards that could help pay for groceries.

About the author: Eric Freeman is a writer and editor at Credit Karma, specializing in credit cards and credit scores and reports. He strives to make personal finance relatable for readers and to ground complicated issues in everyday e… Read more.