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Best Credit Cards for Foodies in Canada for 2021

March 11, 2021
13 mins
An older couple stirs a pot of sauce while cooking together in their bright modern kitchen

If you live for homemade lasagna, your grandma’s signature recipes, the pie from that place around the corner, or know where to get the best eats for any time of day or location, then you are a foodie. But, with the rising cost of produce and other nutrients, you may want to find a way to save some dough this year.

According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2021, the average Canadian family will spend $13,907 on food in 2021 (grocery store and restaurant purchases). That number is nearly $695 more than last year, which could mean compromising on the quality or quantity of your food purchases.

Luckily, several credit cards reward shoppers for buying food and can even earn free groceries, tasty treats, or money-back.

Here are the five best credit cards for grocery shopping or dining:

Our top picks

Credit card

Great features for foodies

First-year value*

1. American Express CobaltTM Card

  • Earn five points for every $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and food delivery

$120 ($10 a month)

2. Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

  • Earn five Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, and food delivery purchases

$120

3. President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®

  • Earn 10 points for every $1 spent at President’s Choice grocery stores
  • Earn additional points with PC Optimum offers

$0

4. Tangerine World Mastercard®

  • Get up to 2% cash back on grocery and restaurant purchases

$0

5. BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES®† Mastercard®* 

  • Earn three Miles for every $25 spent at Sobeys and Foodland stores

$0

*The RATESDOTCA Best of Finance methodology assumes the cardholder spends an average of $2,000 a month on their card to determine the first-year value. The calculation includes all welcome bonuses and promotional offers at the time of publishing.

1. American Express CobaltTM Credit Card

American Express CobaltTM Credit Card

card image
Welcome bonus
$787
AMEX Rewards points
Annual rewards
$1155
AMEX Rewards points
Annual fee
$120

Winner – Best Overall Rewards Card and Best Card for Young Professionals
Particularly great for individuals who live in the city, eat out often or order in.
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$787
Annual rewards
$1155
Winner – Best Overall Rewards Card and Best Card for Young Professionals
Particularly great for individuals who live in the city, eat out often or order in.
Details at a glance Collapse details

Apply for the American Express CobaltTM Credit Card to earn up to 45,000 bonus points in the first year. Use your rewards toward purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and more.

Not only that, but this card is also a powerful everyday earner. Collect five times the points on eats, drinks, and groceries; two times the points on travel, transit, and gas; earn one point for every dollar spent everywhere else.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Fair: You’ve had a credit card or loan for one or more years. For the last two years, you’ve paid back debts to creditors (with no defaults). You haven’t missed more than two payments on your credit in the last three months.

Annual fee:

$120 ($10 per month)

Additional cardholders: $0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 45,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year. Collect 2,500 Membership Rewards® points each month you spend $500 on your card. Plus, when you apply by May 5, 2021, you can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend at least $3,000 in the first three months of opening the account.

Offer expiry date: May 5, 2021

Rewards:

  • Earn five points for every $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and food delivery.
  • Earn two points for every $1 spent on eligible transit, gas, and other eligible travel purchases.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 111,000 Membership Rewards® points
Monetary value= $1,942.50
Annual fee = $120
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,822

You can redeem your points for:

  • Groceries
  • Dining out
  • Retail
  • Purchases on Amazon.ca
  • Gift Cards
  • Gas
  • Merchandise
  • Flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program
  • Other travel through American Express Travel Online.ca events

Insurance:

  • Out of province/country emergency medical
  • Flight delay
  • Baggage delay
  • Hotel burglary
  • Lost or stolen baggage
  • Car rental theft and damage
  • $250,000 travel accident
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Cardholders get exclusive benefits at over 600 hotels and resorts, including credits for hotel amenities and complimentary room upgrades when available.
  • Access the American Express Invites® program, featuring reserved ticket sales, special offers, and exclusive experiences.
credit card mascot.png

Compare the best credit cards on RATESDOTCA

Find the best credit card for your lifestyle today!

2. Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card

card image
Welcome bonus
$400
Scotia Rewards points
Annual rewards
$744
Scotia Rewards points
Annual fee
$120

Winner – Best Travel Card and Best Card for Snowbirds/Cross Boarder Shopping
Strong travel perks and 0% foreign transaction fees compliment great reward value
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$400
Annual rewards
$744
Winner – Best Travel Card and Best Card for Snowbirds/Cross Boarder Shopping
Strong travel perks and 0% foreign transaction fees compliment great reward value
Details at a glance Collapse details

Whether you dine in or dine out, the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card can net plenty of rewards. Plus, cardholders are eligible for up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in the first year. That is a $400 value.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, this card could put an extra $1,024 in your pocket, making it a well-rounded earner.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$120

Annual fee for additional cards: $29

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardholders can earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in the first year. Get 30,000 Scotia Rewards points by spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of opening the account. Get an additional 10,000 points when you spend at least $7,500 in eligible purchases the first year.

Offer expiry date: August 31, 2021

Rewards:

  • Earn five Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, and food delivery purchases.
  • Earn five Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible entertainment purchases.
  • Earn three Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible gas and daily transit, including taxis and rideshare services. Also, for every $1 spent on select streaming services.
  • Earn one Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 114,400 Scotia Rewards points
Monetary value= $1,144
Annual fee = $120
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,024

You can redeem your points for:

  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Convert Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points
  • Statement credits

Insurance:

  • Travel emergency medical
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay
  • Baggage delay and lost baggage
  • Travel accident
  • Rental car collision loss and damage
  • Hotel/motel burglary
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Pay no foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad or online.
  • Cardholders get the Best Price Guarantee on airfare through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service, an exclusive travel agency.
  • Access the American Express Invites® program, featuring reserved ticket sales, special offers, and exclusive experiences.

Similar Visa alternative:

The Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card also has a $120 annual fee. While the rewards potential is lower, you can earn 4% cash back on groceries and subscription purchases, including eligible meal delivery boxes.

3. President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®

President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®

card image
Welcome bonus
$20
PC Optimum Points
Annual rewards
$300
PC Optimum Points
Annual fee
$0

Free and easy card for fans of PC Optimum Program
Some insurance included
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$20
Annual rewards
$300
Free and easy card for fans of PC Optimum Program
Some insurance included
Details at a glance Collapse details

The President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® is a leading grocery credit card on the market. Cardholders can earn rewards through their credit card purchases as well as the associated PC Optimum program.

PC Optimum members have access to exclusive offers through the app tailored to the user’s spending habits. Consumers who routinely shop at Presidents Choice Financial stores and participating retailers can earn extra rewards by loading their offers or shopping online at eligible sites like PC Express.

Related read: 3 Easy-to-Use Apps That Can Save You Money on Groceries in Canada

PC Express allows shoppers to buy their groceries online and either pick them up at their closest location or have them delivered. This means cardmembers can earn rewards by running their basic errands at the supermarket or home — amounting to free groceries!

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Annual fee for additional cards: $0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Get 20,000 PC Optimum points after your first purchase.
  • Get a promotional interest rate of 0.97% on balance transfers made within 90 days of account approval for the first six months.

Offer expiry date: N/A (subject to change without notice)

Rewards:

  • Earn 10 points for every $1 spent at President’s Choice grocery stores.
  • Earn 25 points for every $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Earn at least 30 PC Optimum points per litre with Esso Mobil.
  • Earn 20 points for every $1 spent on PC Travel.
  • Earn 10 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 320,000 PC Optimum points
Monetary value= $320
Annual fee = $0
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $320

*Assuming all groceries are purchased at PC Financial stores, all pharmacy products are purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart, private transportation is through PC Travel, and gas is purchased through Esso Mobil.

You can redeem your points for:

You can cash in your points as soon as you have 10,000 ($10 monetary value) for:

  • Free groceries
  • Merchandise at participating stores
  • Online at Beautyboutique.ca, JoeFresh.ca, and Pc Express

Insurance:

  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Get up to four free supplementary cards for family members.
  • Access the Mastercard Global Service in an emergency to replace lost or stolen cards within 48 hours from anywhere in the world.

Similar options:

For those looking for a similar, albeit more powerful option, the PC Financial World Mastercard® and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard® offer two to three times the earning potential. However, they have higher income requirements for approval.

4. Tangerine World Mastercard®

Tangerine World Mastercard®

card image
Welcome bonus
$0
Money-Back Rewards
Annual rewards
$309
Money-Back Rewards
Annual fee
$0

Bonus: $100 e-Gift card upon approval
Flexible no fee card that gives you the ability to choose what categories earn you the most cash back
Includes rare mobile device insurance
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$0
Annual rewards
$309
Bonus: $100 e-Gift card upon approval
Flexible no fee card that gives you the ability to choose what categories earn you the most cash back
Includes rare mobile device insurance
Details at a glance Collapse details

Apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard® to earn 2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice. Earn 0.5% back on everything else.

Food lovers can choose restaurants and grocery as 2% Money-Back Categories, which means getting cash back is as easy as ordering off the menu or buying produce.

Plus, for a limited time, receive a $100 e-Gift Card upon approval when applying through RATESDOTCA.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Annual fee for additional cards: $0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Take advantage of the 1.95% promotional interest rate on balance transfers during the first 30 days of opening the account for six months. A 1% balance transfer fee does apply.
  • For a limited time, receive a $100 bonus Amazon or Best Buy e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA upon approval for a Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card or Tangerine World Mastercard when you apply through the site.

Offer expiry date:

  • Tangerine offer: N/A (subject to change without notice)
  • RATESDOTCA offer: May 30, 2021

Rewards:

Earn 2% cash back in up to three Money-Back Categories of your choice. Start with two categories and earn the third when you deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account. Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Change your selected Money-Back Categories to suit your spending habits and maximize your earning potential.

The 10 Tangerine Money-Back Categories include:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Grocery
  3. Gas
  4. Entertainment
  5. Home improvement
  6. Furniture
  7. Hotel-motel
  8. Recurring bill payments
  9. Drug store
  10. Public transportation and parking

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = $309 Money-Back Rewards
RATESDOTCA bonus e-gift card**= $100
Annual fee = $0
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $409

*This calculation assumes the cardholder deposits their rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account, earning the third category. The cardholder selects grocery, restaurant, and gas purchases as their 2% Money-Back Categories.

**Earn a $100 e-Gift Card from RATESDOTCA upon approval until April 30, 2021.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Deposit cash back into a Tangerine Savings Account monthly.
  • Apply cash back as a statement credit each month.

Insurance:

  • Rental Car Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
  • Mobile Device Insurance
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Access Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey for exclusive dining, retail, and spa offers in over 400 airports worldwide.
  • Get free supplementary cards for authorized users.

5. BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES®† Mastercard®*

BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard*

card image
Welcome bonus
$261
AIRMILES Rewards
Annual rewards
$247
AIRMILES Rewards
Annual fee
$0

Great option for frequent flyers who frequently spend on groceries
A no fee option to accelerate your AIR MILES earning
Details at a glance Collapse details
Welcome bonus
$261
Annual rewards
$247
Great option for frequent flyers who frequently spend on groceries
A no fee option to accelerate your AIR MILES earning
Details at a glance Collapse details

The BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES® MasterCard® is made for loyal customers of Sobeys and Foodland. Much like the President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®, shoppers can earn extra points using the associated program card at the checkout.

New cardmembers can earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus Miles by spending at least $1,000 within the first three months. Cardholders can cash in their rewards through the AIR MILES program, which means members can reward themselves with kitchen and dining merchandise, gift cards to Metro, Starbucks, and more.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Annual fee for additional cards: $0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Get 800 AIR MILES bonus Miles by spending at least $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Get 5X the AIR MILES Reward Miles on groceries at participating retailers until May 31, 2021.

Offer expiry date: October 31, 2021

Rewards:

  • Earn three Miles for every $25 spent at Sobeys and Foodland stores.
  • Earn one Mile for every $25 spent everywhere else.

*Members can earn additional rewards if they use their AIR MILES Collector card at participating retailers.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 12-month period.

Rewards earned over a 12-month period = 2,953 AIR MILES
Monetary value= $508
Annual fee = $0
Total earned over the first year (rewards minus annual fee) = $508**

*Assuming all grocery purchases are made at Sobeys and Foodland stores.

**AIR MILES redemption value varies depending on how you choose to spend your Miles.

You can redeem your points for:

AIR MILES are transferred to the AIR MILES Collector number associated with your BMO Sobeys AIR MILES Mastercard once a month and are redeemed through the AIR MILES program.

  • Redeem toward your purchases in-store at participating Cash Partners
  • Redeem toward e-vouchers to shop online at participating Partners
  • Merchandise
  • Events and attractions
  • AIR MILES Stage Pass
  • Travel

Insurance:

  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Access BMO pay-as-you-go RoadAssist across Canada and the U.S. and have the charges billed conveniently to your card.

Pick the right card for your eating habits

If you a wiz in the kitchen or a cuisine connoisseur, you may want to consider tailoring your credit card to your food habits. Whether you shop for food online, in-store, or order over the phone, there is a card for that. You may be able to cash in on some free groceries or get the latest kitchen gadget, and you won’t have to change how you spend your money.

Rates, product information, and reward estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely those of RATESDOTCA. Information in this article is accurate as of the date of this posting, March 11, 2021. Read our full disclaimer.

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

Find Hayley Vesh on LinkedIn.

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