- The average American household spends more than $4,000 on groceries each year, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics expenditure survey.
- That’s a significant amount of money, but the good news is that several credit cards offer bonus rewards or cash back on groceries.
- Using the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card, or the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card for a year’s worth of purchases at US supermarkets can get you as much as $266 in cash back or more than 25,000 hotel points.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics expenditure survey, the average American household spent $4,445 on groceries between 2017 and 2018. With so many popular credit cards offering bonus rewards on grocery spending, this is a category that can translate to substantial points or cash back.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.
$266 cash back with the Blue Cash Preferred Amex
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express earns 6% cash back at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 worth of spending per year. After that, all other grocery purchases earn 1% cash back. Considering the average household’s annual grocery spending is $4,445, that limitation shouldn’t be an issue for most cardholders.
At 6% cash back, the average American household can earn $266.70 worth of cash back on $4,445 grocery spending. That’s a pretty substantial amount of cash that can be reinvested into paying household bills — or the next grocery run.
Cash-back rewards are a great choice for people who don’t want to spend time researching the best redemption value with different travel programs. It’s simple and straightforward.
Read more: The best cash-back credit cards
26,670 hotel points with the Hilton Honors Surpass
The Hilton Honors Surpass card earns 6 points per dollar at US supermarkets. On $4,445 worth of spending, the average household could earn 26,670 Hilton points.
Hilton requires 5,000 to 95,000 points for a standard award night. With 26,670 points, you could cover one to five free nights at a Category 1-4 hotel. Check out the Hilton Points Explorer for an idea of the types of hotels you could book with 26,670 Hilton points.
17,780 points with the American Express Gold Card
The Amex Gold Card is popular thanks to generous bonus categories and statement credits for dining. Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar on up to $25,000 per year at US supermarkets (then 1 point per dollar). The 17,780 points earned from $4,445 in annual grocery spending can add up to quite a lot of rewards, depending on how you use them.
Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to 19 airlines and three hotel programs. With 17,780 points transferred to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, you could book a one-way economy-class ticket between the East Coast and London — and still have 7,680 points to spare. That’s the cheapest transcontinental flight you can book using points and miles.
British Airways is another great transfer option. The airline’s awards are based on the flight distance, which can work out great depending on where you travel to. For example, a one-way flight between the West Coast and Hawaii is just 12,500 miles in economy class. If you’re traveling during the off-season, you can score tickets between the East Coast and Ireland for just 13,000 miles one-way.
The best option
The best credit card for grocery spending really depends on your goals. With reward programs getting devalued all the time, cash back is becoming more valuable. It provides redemption flexibility and isn’t subject to blackout dates or devaluations.
Bank rewards currencies like Amex Membership Rewards points remain solid alternatives. There’s more potential to maximize these points through premium travel redemptions or take advantage of sweet spot pricing. With so many transfer partner options and the ability to redeem points for statement credits, the possibilities are endless.
Read more: The best rewards credit cards