According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian household spends $9,102.40 on food every year. And whether you’re single or have a family of growing tots to feed, you understand that spending more than you anticipated at the grocery store is all but too easy (Pro tip: Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach!).
But what if you could get a decent fraction of that money back?
Certain credit cards offer points or cash-back rewards for particular spending categories (gas, grocery, pharmacy purchases, etc.), and a good rewards card maximizes on your everyday purchases and ultimately helps you save.
And though there are many reward credit cards on the market, there are a few options that will get you the most bang for your buck if you’re looking for save on your grocery bills.
To make the decision-making process easier, RateSupermarket.ca has a handy-dandy card comparison tool. And with all things considered, from sign-up bonuses to earning categories, we used our Best of Finance methodology to rank the cards that provided the most cash value. These are the best credit cards for grocery store purchases and rewards:
2019 Best of Finance Best Credit Card for Groceries Category Winner
American Express CobaltTM Credit Card
Why it’s an awesome card
Upon release, the American Express CobaltTM Credit Card was dubbed the ultimate credit card for millennials and youth, as cardholders are rewarded for things like food delivery and ride-sharing. The card also carries a $120 annual fee that’s split up into simple monthly payments of $10. American Express cardholders also typically get exclusive access to entertainment and travel offers. And in your first year, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for every month that you put $500-worth of purchases on your card. This could add up to an additional 30,000 points in your first year.
You can redeem your points for merchandise (electronics, appliances, clothing, jewelry, etc.), gift cards from various retailers, or a charity donation. Or you could even use your points towards travel or a statement credit. The Membership Rewards® catalogue is pretty extensive.
Cobalt Card members receive regular perks such as bonus reward offers and access to events.
Optionally, you can also use your points to pay for gas, groceries, TV subscriptions, Amazon or Ticketmaster purchases specifically.
- Restaurants and bars, grocery, and food delivery: 5 points per $1 spent at eligible retailers.
- Gas, transit and travel: 2 points per $1 spent at eligible retailers.
- Other: 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Rewards earned over a 24-month period: 142,468 Membership Rewards® points
- Monetary worth: $1,194.68 (after annual fee)
*Earning rate up to card’s annual spending cap, if applicable.
**Assuming $1,600 is spent on the card monthly at eligible retailers, in the following categories:
- Pharmacy: $55.33
- Food: $710.58
- Gas**: $134.31
- Travel: $151.21
- Other: $548.57
2019 Best of Finance Best Credit Card for Groceries Runners Up
Capital One® MasterCard®
Why it’s an awesome card
First of all, who doesn’t love Costco? If you don’t already have a membership, you may want to reconsider so you can get access to this card. The Capital One® MasterCard® may be exclusively for Costco members, but you can use it virtually anywhere – not just at Costco – and earn cash-back at decently high rates too. The card also comes with no annual fee, and there’s no limit on how much cash-back you can earn.
Cash-back is earned automatically and detailed on your statement each month.
- Restaurants: 3% cash-back
- Gas: 2% cash-back
- Other: 1% cash-back on all other purchases.
- Rewards earned over a 24-month period: $489.95
President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®
Why it’s an awesome card
One of the best features about the President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® is that it has no annual fee. Cardholders also get exclusive access to in-store promos where they can earn even more points for purchases, in comparison to those who just have the PC Optimum points card.
It’s easy to rack up the points if you frequently shop at Loblaws, Fortinos, Joe Fresh and Shoppers Drug Mart or any other President's Choice-affiliated retailer. And you can redeem your PC Optimum points at those same retailers for groceries or merchandise. The easy redemption process and no annual fee made this card one of our top picks.
- Pharmacy: 25 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and PharmaprixMD.
- Grocery: 10 PC points per $1 spent on groceries purchased at participating stores where President’s Choice products are sold.
- Gas: At least 30 points per litre at Esso locations.
- Travel: 20 points per $1 on travel booked through pctravel.ca.
- Other: 10 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Rewards earned over a 24-month period: 440209 PC Optimum points
- Monetary worth: $440.21 in PC Optimum points