Best Credit Card for Gas and Groceries

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Which credit card is best for buying the basics: gas and groceries?

You’ve got a credit card for travel, one for airline tickets, one for restaurants and one for your favorite stores, but what about a trusty everyday credit card for things like gas and groceries? This may be a facet of your daily schedule that you overlook, but consider how many times you swing by the store to pick up that last ingredient for wine and spaghetti night? What about all the times you spotted a gas station advertising some extremely attractive low gas prices and just had to pull in to fill up?

If you’re already suited up with a credit card for every other need, then of course you’re going to be interested in saving even more money on things you must buy anyway. Gas and groceries - fuel for your car and fuel for your body - keep us going, so why not go the extra mile and earn some rewards when purchasing these necessities?

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

American Express offers one of the best credit cards for grocery and gas needs. With Blue Cash Preferred, you will earn 6% cash back at American supermarkets on purchases up to $6,000 per year (then it becomes a 1% earning rate). You’ll also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, and for everything else you’ll see 1% cash back.

Welcome bonuses are always welcome, and for Blue Cash Preferred cardholders, there’s a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. American Express does have a $95 annual fee, but ultimately these cardholders could enjoy estimated annual cash back from their grocery spending of about $250.

The catch in all of this is that American Express has definitive rules as to what qualifies as a grocery store, so you won’t get that generous 6% cash back at superstores such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, or specialty grocery stores. Before signing up for Blue Cash Preferred, look at what grocery stores you frequent and make sure that they qualify for the 6% cash back rate, otherwise you will need to entertain another credit card for the best rewards.

Target REDcard

Maybe you only shop at superstores and are looking to get the maximum benefits from your favorite all-purpose, go-to chain? There’s no problem with that, and in fact, superstore branded credit cards can be the best way to go for folks like you. Target being one of them! Target offers their RED card and there are some nice perks that come along with it.

For starters, there’s no annual fee, and on top of that, you can use the REDcard as either a debit or a credit card. Essentially, you won’t redeem anything with Target REDcard or see cash back, but you’ll be enjoying 5% discount on everything at Target which, of course, includes your groceries.

The Target REDcard is really a no-fuss option. There’s no sign-on bonus, but with no annual fee, there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re a Target-goer, this could be the credit card for you.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

American Express has multiple cards that are supersavers when it comes to earning the most in groceries and gas, and this Blue Cash Everyday Card is no exception. This card by American Express is only second to the overall winner of Blue Cash Preferred Card American Express, but depending on your spending habits, could be the perfect one for you.

With Blue Cash Everyday, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets and on $6,000 of purchases per year (and when this is met, the earning rate becomes 1 point per dollar, similar to Blue Cash Preferred). You’ll also receive an enticing welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $1,000 purchases in your first three months. 

When using Blue Cash Everyday outside of grocery stores, you’ll get 2x points at gas stations with the U.S. and 1x point on all other purchases. If you use the card 30 times or more within a billing period, you can earn 50% more points on those purchases - not bad for an everyday credit card!

There is an annual fee of $95, but with this card, you will be a part of American Express’ Membership Rewards program, where points earned are actually more valuable than most cash-back cards. With Blue Cash Everyday, you could be looking at some serious cash back for purchasing things you need anyway.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Are you an Amazon junkie? Then this could be the credit card for you. If you already have a Prime membership and find that you’re getting groceries, odds and ends, and everything in between delivered to your doorstep every day, then consider Amazon’s branded credit card. As far as groceries are concerned, you could be benefiting from Prime Pantry and from the fact that Amazon recently acquired Whole Foods back in 2017, both good news for online shoppers.

With the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa, there’s no annual fee with the card, but you’ll need a Prime membership. However, if you frequently buy from Amazon, you likely are already a Prime member. The welcome bonus is modest: a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval, but you’ll be enjoying 5% back on Whole Foods Market, Prime Pantry, and qualifying Amazon.com purchases with no limit. You’ll also earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, with 1% back on all other purchases.

Amazon does make it easy to redeem points, and you can do so even before you check out on eligible purchases. For those of us who spend a lot of time and money with this massive online tech giant, an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card might be worth it regardless.

Honorable Mention: Capital One Savor

Capital One is worth a mention on the list of best credit cards for gas and groceries because of its seemingly unlimited rewards that really are unlimited. With this card, you can earn 2% on all groceries, 3% on dining, and 1% on everything else. If you spend $3,000 in your first three months after opening the account, you can earn a one-time bonus of $500 in cash.

This card does have an annual fee of $95, but for your first year with Capital One Savor, it’s waived. Another added bonus with Capital One Savor is that you can use the card internationally with no foreign transaction fees.

How Do You Shop?

How do you shop? Asking yourself this question will shed light on which card is right for you. If you spend your time shopping online, then try Amazon’s branded credit card. If you’re a loyal Target goer and don’t find yourself in other grocery stores often or at all, then it’s Target REDcard for you. If you’re a gas-guzzler and store-hopping fiend, then try the versatile American Express cards (you really can’t go wrong with either). 

What if you’re all of these things? There’s no rule saying you can’t enjoy the perks of more than one of these rewarding cards, and for people who have a Prime membership, it’s probably worth it to pick up Amazon’s Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature anyway, if only to win back some cash on that annual membership fee. For credit cards, everyone’s needs are unique, just like their spending habits. As far as groceries, gas, and even casual spending is concerned, it does seem as if American Express has the market cornered on best rewards for your buck.