What to know about restaurant rewards credit cards

Waitress serving customers in cafeImage: Waitress serving customers in cafe
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When you pay with a great credit card for restaurants, you can earn rewards whether you’re dining out, grabbing takeout or ordering delivery.

But not every credit card with restaurant rewards will work for everyone. Look below for several key factors to consider when looking at these credit cards.

Restaurant rewards rate

If you’re interested in a restaurant rewards credit card, you’ll first want to be sure that you’re getting a good rewards rate when eating out, getting takeout or using a delivery app.

Check for a high rewards rate, but also make sure that you know where you’re able to earn the rate. Some purchases might only earn bonus rewards on certain restaurant purchases, with exclusions like restaurants inside hotels or international food delivery.

Restaurant credits

In addition to rewards, you can also get value when a card offers statement credits that apply to certain restaurant rewards. These credits often apply to specific purchases, like those through DoorDash or Uber Eats, so you’ll want to check where you’re able to earn. If your rewards card comes with these credits, it can be an easy way to boost the total value you get from your credit card.

Other bonus rewards

When deciding on a restaurant rewards credit card, your considerations may include more than just what you earn from restaurants. For instance, if you cook your meals just as often as you go out, you might want to look for a card that also offers a solid bonus rate on grocery purchases. Or if you like to catch a movie after eating out, check to see if a card also offers bonus rewards for entertainment purchases.

Next steps

Restaurant rewards cards can be great additions to your wallet, but the right card for you is likely to be one that fits your existing spending habits.

Think about where and how you spend your money with restaurants. Do you usually get takeout? Is there a card that offers statement credits you can easily earn? Do you also shop for groceries? Answering these questions can help you zero in on the best pick.

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.