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Best Credit Cards for Foodies

Paying for Groceries with credit card

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 come the new year.

According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2020, the average Canadian family will spend $12,667 on food in 2020 (grocery store and restaurant purchases). That number is nearly $500 more than this year, which could mean compromising on the quality or quantity of your food purchases.

However, there are many credit cards that can reward you for buying food and can even earn you free groceries, tasty treats, or money-back. If a significant portion of your credit card transactions are in the restaurant or grocery category you may want to consider a reward card that focuses on rewarding these types of purchases.

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

Our Top Picks

  • American Express CobaltTM Credit Card: This card is for the ultimate food lover, featuring a heavy return for grocery store buys, fast food purchases, food delivery, and at bars.
  • Scotiabank®* Gold American Express® Card: This card offers a mighty return for grocery store and fast food purchases, food delivery and subscription services, and at drinking establishments, as well as providing great travel amenities.
  • President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard: This card is ideal for the foodie who cooks at home, grocery shops in-store or online, and routinely shops at PC stores, like Loblaws, the Real Canadian Superstore, or No Frills.
  • Tangerine World Mastercard®: Featuring a flexible reward program, this card can earn Money-Back on restaurants and grocery store purchases.
  • BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES® MasterCard®: This card is great for regular Sobeys and Foodland shoppers, who may want to cash in on kitchen and dining merchandise or gift cards to Starbucks, Metro, the LCBO, and more.

American Express CobaltTM Credit Card

American Express Cobalt

Apply for the American Express CobaltTM Credit Card and you can earn up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year. That is a $300 monetary value that you can use toward your purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and so much more. Not only that, this card is a powerful everyday earner. Collect five times the points on eats, drinks, and groceries. Earn two times the points on travel, transit, and gas; and earn one point for every dollar on everything else.

Based on our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will earn nearly $1,300 in rewards in the first two years of card membership. Once you have the minimum redemption value of 1,000 points, you can start to redeem your rewards for almost anything. Cardholders can redeem points against eligible purchases charged to their card or shop through the Membership Rewards website. The catalogue features merchandise and experiences from kitchen supplies to dining, travel, and entertainment.

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)

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • In the first year, earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each month in which you make at least $500 in net purchases on your card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year.

Rewards:

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

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 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 153,820 Membership Rewards Points
Monetary value = $1,538.20
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $240.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,298.20

You can redeem your points for:

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

Insurance:

  • Emergency medical (for when you travel out of province/Canada).
  • Flight delay.
  • Baggage delay.
  • Hotel/motel burglary.
  • Lost or stolen baggage.
  • Car rental theft and damage.
  • $250,000 travel accident.
  • Purchase protection.
  • Extended warranty.

Other perks:

  • Cardholders enjoy exclusive benefits at over 600 hotels and resorts. These benefits include credits for hotel amenities, and complimentary room upgrades when available.
  • American Express Invites® program, featuring advanced and reserved ticket access, special offers, and exclusive experiences.

Scotiabank® Gold American Express® Card

Scotiabank American Express Gold

Whether you dine in or dine out, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card can earn you plenty of rewards. Plus, cardholders are eligible for up to 30,000 bonus rewards within the first year. That is a $300 value.

Earn Scotia Rewards points on everything from grocery store purchases, fast food, food subscriptions, and at drinking establishments. Cardholders will also collect on entertainment purchases, rideshare services, and Netflix. This card is a well-rounded earner and according to our Best of Finance methodology, this card could put an extra $1,241.59 in your pocket.

Cardmembers can redeem their rewards through the Scotia Rewards website for merchandise, exclusive travel offers, or gift cards for groceries, coffee, and more. That means, eating at home or on the run can amount to sampling food and drink abroad. How great is that?

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 ($29 for each supplementary card)

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points within your first year of card membership. To qualify for the initial 25,000 bonus rewards you must open a new credit card by December 30, 2019, and make at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months. Earn an additional 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $10,000 on eligible purchases using your Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, within the first year.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: December 30, 2019

Rewards:

  • Earn five times the Scotia Rewards points for ever dollar spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, and food delivery subscription purchases.
  • Earn five times the Scotia Rewards points on eligible entertainment purchases.
  • Earn three times the Scotia Rewards points on eligible gas and daily transit, including taxis and rideshare services.
  • Earn three times the Scotia Rewards points on select streaming services.
  • Earn one Scotia Rewards point on everything else.

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 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 148,158.72 Scotia Rewards points
Monetary value = $1,481.59
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $240.00
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $1,241.59

You can redeem your points for:

  • Merchandise.
  • Gift cards.
  • Travel including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and more.
  • SCENE points (after you convert).
  • Towards the balance on your card.

Insurance:

  • Emergency medical (for when you travel out of province/Canada).
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.
  • Flight delay.
  • Baggage delay and lost baggage coverage.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Rental car collision loss and damage insurance.
  • Hotel/motel burglary.
  • Purchase protection.
  • Extended warranty.

Other perks:

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Cardholders enjoy benefits through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service, an exclusive travel agency.
  • American Express Invites® program, featuring advanced and reserved ticket access, special offers, and exclusive experiences. Cardmembers also have access to Amex Offers® and Amex Front Of the Line® perks.

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.


President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®

PC Mastercard

The President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® is one of the best grocery store credit cards 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 which are 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 by shopping online at eligible sites like PC Express.

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 from home, both of which can amount to free groceries!

Based on our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will earn nearly $582.72 in rewards in the first two years of card membership. Once you have the minimum redemption value of 10,000 points, you can start to redeem them for food.

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

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Promotional interest rate of 0.97% on balance transfers made within 90 days of account approval for the first six months.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: N/A (subject to change without notice)

Rewards:

  • Earn 10 points for every dollar spent at PC Financial stores.
  • Earn 25 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • Earn at least 30 PC Optimum points per litre with Esso Mobil.
  • Earn 20 points per dollar spent on PC Travel.
  • Earn 10 points per dollar on everything else.

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 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 582,718 PC Optimum Points
Monetary value = $582.72
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $582.72

*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:

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

Insurance:

  • Purchase assurance.
  • Extended warranty.

Other perks:

  • Enjoy up to four supplementary cards for family members for free.
  • Mastercard Global Service has cardholders covered in the event of an emergency, replacing lost or stolen cards within 48 hours from anywhere in the world.

A similar option:

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.


Tangerine World Mastercard

Tangerine World Mastercard

Apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard® and earn 4% Money-Back in up to three spending categories for three months. Start with two Money-Back categories of your choice and get a third when you deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account.

After the promotional interest rate expires, earn 2% on your preferred purchases. Food lovers have two categories tailored to them: restaurants and grocery, which means getting Money-Back is as easy as ordering off the menu or buying produce.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see a return of $546.85 within their first two years of card membership.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You've had a credit card or loan for at least 10 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 your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to three categories for your first three months of card memberhsip. Cardholders start with two categories but can earn the third category by choosing to have their Money-Back Rewards deposited into a Tangerine savings account.
  • Access a promotional interest rate of 1.95% on balances transferred to your Tangerine World Mastercard for the first six months. A balance transfer fee of 1% of the amount transferred will apply.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: January 31, 2020

Rewards:

Aside from the welcome offer, the average earn rate for this card is 2% on your two chosen categories and 0.5% on everything else. However, if you choose to have your Money-Back Rewards deposited in your Tangerine savings account, you are eligible for a third castigatory with a more favourable earn rate of 2%.

The best part—you can change your selected Money-Back categories to suit your spending habits, which could increase your earning potential.

The 10 Tangerine Money-Back Rewards categories are as follows:

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery
  • Gas
  • Entertainment
  • Home Improvement
  • Furniture
  • Hotel-Motel
  • Recurring Bill Payments
  • Drug Store
  • Public Transport 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 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $546.85 Money-Back rewards
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $546.85

*Assuming you have earned the third category by depositing your rewards into a Tangerine Savings Account and you have chosen to earn from grocery, restaurant, and gas purchases.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Rewards are paid out monthly and can be deposited into your Tangerine savings account.
  • Rewards can also be applied to your credit card bill as a statement credit.

Insurance:

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

Other perks:

  • Access Mastercard® Airport Experiences Provided by LoungeKey. This complimentary membership gives you access to exclusive dining, retail, and spa offers in over 400 airports around the world.
  • Free supplementary cards for authorized users.

BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES® MasterCard®

BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard

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

New cardmembers can earn up to 800 bonus AIR MILES when they make their first purchase using the card and spend at least $1,000 within the first three months. Cardholders can cash in their rewards through the AIR MILES program. This means members can reward themselves with kitchen and dining merchandise, gift cards to Metro, Starbucks, the LCBO, and more.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian can earn an additional $422.97 over the first two years. Points are applied monthly to the AIR MILES Collector number associated with the card and can be redeemed through the AIR MILES program.

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

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Earn up to 800 bonus AIR MILES when you make your first purchase on your card (400 AIR MILES) and spend at least $1,000 in the first three months (400 AIR MILES). That is a monetary value of $100*.

*We put the value of an AIR MILE at 12.5 cents, however, redemption value varies depending on how you choose to spend your MILES.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: January 15, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn two MILES for every $20 spent at participating Sobeys and Foodland stores.
  • Earn two times the MILES for every $20 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners.
  • Earn one MILE for every $20 spent everywhere else.

*Points are earned in addition to the rewards collected using your AIR MILES Collector card.

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 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 3383 AIR MILES
Monetary value = $422.97
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $422.97

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

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.
  • Identity theft assistance.
  • Zero Dollar Liability.

Other perks:

  • Cardholders have access to Mastercard Global Services for year-round help for lost or stolen cards, emergency cash advances, and applicable card benefits worldwide.
  • 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, instore, or order over the phone, there is a card designed for that. So, 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.

Compare credit cards at Rates.ca to find a credit card that earns rewards based on how you already shop.