Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

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salilsurendran
 
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Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby salilsurendran » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:46 pm

Hello,
One of my biggest spending categories is eating out and groceries. They total to about $400 a month. I was thinking about going for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card since it offers 2x points for this category. That alone should cover the $95 annual fee. I right now have the Chase Freedom Card which offers 1% back and 5% back during certain quarters with no annual fee. Also since this year I will be travelling quite a bit I can use the 50k points they give for spending $4k in the first 3 months for the flight tickets. Are there any better credit cards out there for dining and grocery categories? Interest rates don't make a difference since I pay off my credit card in full every single month.


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:45 pm

salilsurendran wrote:Hello,
One of my biggest spending categories is eating out and groceries. They total to about $400 a month. I was thinking about going for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card since it offers 2x points for this category. That alone should cover the $95 annual fee. I right now have the Chase Freedom Card which offers 1% back and 5% back during certain quarters with no annual fee. Also since this year I will be travelling quite a bit I can use the 50k points they give for spending $4k in the first 3 months for the flight tickets. Are there any better credit cards out there for dining and grocery categories? Interest rates don't make a difference since I pay off my credit card in full every single month.

Once Q2 ends, you might look at Amex EveryDay Preferred for groceries. Amex PRG is also a decent all-around card for airfare, groceries, and restaurants.

This assumes you can use MRs well. If you want cash, look at Blue Cash Preferred.

* After the first year, a lot of the rewards from $400 a month on dining and groceries might be eaten up by annual fees. Hunting for bonuses, or sticking with no-AF cards, are also worth considering. You don't say what you expect to spend on travel.
Last edited by CarefulBuilder14 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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thom02099
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby thom02099 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:42 am

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred has 6% back on groceries (up to $6000/year), 3% back on fuel, 3% back on select department stores, and 1% back on everything else. You could consider the BCP for your grocery needs; I use it exclusively for groceries, have put nearly $6K/yr on groceries alone on this card, and it's surprising how quickly the cash back adds up.
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kdm31091
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:44 pm

If you want grocery rewards, Amex BCP is hard to beat with 6% back. There's a $75 annual fee though, and a few caveats. Rewards take two months to appear, and can only be claimed in $25 increments, so you technically may never cash out all of them, meaning the reward effectively is a bit less than the 6%. Also, Amex is fairly stringent about "grocery stores". If you shop at "normal" grocery stores like Shop Rite, Acme, Albertsons, Giant, whatever, you will be fine, but Target/Walmart do NOT count, even supercenters. You may save more money shopping at Target/Walmart and not getting the special grocery rewards though. All depends.

For dining, unfortunately, there really are not any mind-blowing cards out there at the moment. If you want to travel regularly, the CSP can be a good choice with the 2x dining (considering the points can be worth more than 2x if redeemed with travel partners), but if we are just talking about taking the cash there's no reason to pay the annual fee for 2% on dining. Again, just depends on the goal here. Amex PRG also offers, I believe, 2x dining, with flexible points. Hefty annual fee though. For any card such as CSP you generally need to travel frequently for it to make sense over a cash back card. A once a year vacation or so may not justify it.

If you want cash back for dining, the options are very limited. There are a couple 3% dining cards like Chase AARP or Golden1 CU (only for California I believe).

So in conclusion if you want travel points, CSP is a good dining card. If you want cash, there aren't really any super worthwhile options out there at this time, IMO, depending which cards you already have.

takeshi
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby takeshi » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:36 am

salilsurendran wrote:I was thinking about going for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card since it offers 2x points for this category.

For a program like Ultimate Rewards you need to consider more than just the earn rate on rewards. You need to follow through the entire redemptions process to calculate out how much you can earn in rewards. If you're redeeming UR points for cash back you're redeeming at the lowest possible point value for UR and might want to just consider a cash back card. If you're only going to put $400/month on it then you should definitely consider a different card. Programs like UR generally require high levels of spend.

Is $400 groceries and dining out? Or is it $400 each? Can you break out and verify the volumes for each?

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:This assumes you can use MRs well.

Yeah, same sort of consideration applies to Membership Rewards as well. Redeeming MR points against charges yields even worse value per point than a statement credit with UR. IIRC redeeming MR points that way yields 0.06 cents/point whereas a statement credit with UR is 1 cent/point.

salilsurendran wrote:Interest rates don't make a difference since I pay off my credit card in full every single month.

It's a given that if you're not paying every statement balance in full that you shouldn't be playing the rewards game. Interest will more than kill any rewards.

salilsurendran
 
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby salilsurendran » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:11 pm

Basically I spend about $3k on groceries and another $1.4k on gas in one year and $6k on restaurants(which includes coffee shops, fast food etc.). So the BCP is definitely a good card for the groceries + gas part. What I was thinking about is that with the CSP I can get 50k points if I spend $4k in the first 3 months which is $625 for my flight expenses which I plan to do this year. Any caveats to this?

TXviking
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby TXviking » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:32 pm

The biggest caveat is having to spend $4K in three months. Not everyone spends at this level, but if you do, it sounds like $625 in free money to me. Especially if you are able to book your travel through Chase. I recently got approved for this card myself; waiting for it to show up in the mail. :cheers:

Elijahmex
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby Elijahmex » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:02 pm

Discover. This quarter, 5% cash back on restaurants and cinemas. Needless to say I'm eating out more often this spring. I was skeptical about this card at first but all around it's pretty good. The customer service is good & it's free!
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martin7
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby martin7 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:43 am

New Citi Costco Visa has 3% back on restaurants/travel, 4% on gas (including Costco's already lower gas prices), 2% at Costco.

aru
 
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Re: Best credit card for someone who eats out a lot

Postby aru » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:20 am

For dining, my favorites are:

1) US Bank Cash+ for 5% on fastfood year round. it gives 1% cb on non fast food restaurants but gives 5% in my office cafeteria
2) AARP Chase/US Bank Business Edge Select Rewards/Amex SimplyCash that gives 3% cb on all dining. These can be used for non fastfood dining.

I currently use USB Cash+ & Amex SimplyCash for my eating out. But I plan to replace the Amex with USB BES as the latter has wider reward categories and lot of restos don't take Amex.



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