Getting 6% Back on Groceries

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A few days ago I compiled a list of the best credit cards to use for different spend categories (i.e., supermarkets, gas, hotels, department stores, etc.). While putting the post together it reminded me that I hardly speak about one of the best credit cards out there for purchasing groceries.

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card gives you 6% cash back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spending per year). This is a great return, especially because the average person is not able to get nearly close to a 6 cent per point return when using their points and miles. And, I’d much rather cash in my pocket now.

While unfortunately there is a $6,000 cap on the cash back, that means a $500 grocery bill per month which is probably doable for the average household family. And, if you do not think you’ll meet that $6,000 cap towards the end of the year, many grocery stores sell other stores gift cards, so you can always purchase those to earn the 6% cash back when making purchases at another store.

This particular card does come with a $75 annual fee and is not a card I’d sign up on solely for the sign up bonus, but rather for your supermarket purchases. The sign up bonus is a $150 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.

While there is a no fee version of this card, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday, most people will probably come ahead by using the Preferred even though it comes with an annual fee. As long as you spend $2,500 or more at participating supermarkets throughout the year you’ll get more cash back by paying an annaul fee.

While a $75 annual fee is on the higher end (in my opinion) for a card that I’d personally only use for one type of purchases, it does have other worthwhile benefits. Because it is an American Express card you are able to take advantage of the Amex Offers promotions and potentially earn enough statement credits back in the year to make up for the annual fee (related post).

Keep in mind that this is only valid at U.S. Supermarkets that are coded “supermarket” in the system. You will not earn the 6% cash back at speciality stores (i.e., fish markets, wine markets, etc.), Superstores (Wal-Mart, Target,, etc.), and Warehouse Stores (i.e., Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.). You can read more about which stores are included and not included on this Amex site.


  1. I applied for this card myself back in November. We spend a ridiculous amount of money at the grocery store, and none of my normal points-earning cards are especially lucrative for groceries (with the exception of a few quarterly bonuses). If I don’t hit the $6000 max by the end of the year, I’ll buy a bunch of gift cards at the grocery store to maximize my earnings. Great card!

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