*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on product links. For more information, please see our Advertiser Disclosure
*This post has been revised to reflect current information as of November, 2014.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to host your own Christmas dinner or perhaps it was the luck of the draw, you may have already started considering what you’re going to cook and what can be prepped in the days ahead. You can definitely count on an increase in cost for those popular items, simply because merchants recognize the high demand and are able to charge more.
According to Dietchef in 2012, the average person eats about 7,000 calories on Christmas day and the average host spends around $100 on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, depending on how many guests you have and where you get your groceries. There’s no reason not to earn rewards on your grocery store purchases, so tie in your rewards credit cards with your Christmas dinner purchases in order to earn more.
Rewards Credit Cards for Holiday Grocery Purchases
There are a few types of credit cards you can use for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner; those that earn you a higher cash back amount for everyday purchases and those that earn you bonus rewards for supermarket purchases. I say “higher cash back amount” because earning 1 point or 1 percent on everyday purchases is too standard and we’re looking at how the host can get the most return for their effort. The other type will earn you bonuses on supermarket purchases because that’s the bonus category for that specific credit card or for quarter four of 2014.
Credit Cards With Grocery Category Rewards
The trick with this category of spending is to make sure you are buying your groceries at locations as defined by your credit card’s terms and conditions. Most of them mention “merchant category codes” and most exclude larger superstores, such as Costco and Wal-Mart. If you want to double check that the location you choose to shop at is covered, check out the merchant category code listing site.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express- This card earns you 6% cash back at US supermarkets, limited to $6,000 in purchases per year. For those of you who are new card members, you can earn $150 cash back after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Superstores and warehouses are not considered supermarkets and specialty stores, small corner grocers, gourmet shops, and natural food stores are not included. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express follows the same superstore and warehouse stipulations, but will only earn you 3% cash back at US supermarkets. *See credit card terms and conditions.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card- This cash back card will earn you 2% cash back on grocery store purchases for the first $1,500 (in combined grocery store and gas purchases) each quarter. Grocery merchants that are included are grocery stores and supermarkets, freezer/meat lockers, candy/nut/confection stores, dairy product stores, bakeries, and miscellaneous food stores (see the terms and conditions for codes). Those that aren’t included are discount stores and wholesale clubs.
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® – The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard will earn the card member an unlimited 2x cash back on groceries. They don’t provide a list of acceptable merchants and/or codes like Bank of America and American Express do, so I would definitely use the merchant category code resource.
Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express- This rewards credit card, designed for everyday purchases, will earn you 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year. Superstores and warehouses are not considered supermarkets and specialty stores, small corner grocers, gourmet shops, and natural food stores are not included. The Amex EverydaySM Credit Card from American Express follows the same superstore and warehouse stipulations, but will only earn you 3% cash back at US supermarkets. *See credit card terms and conditions.
Credit Cards That Earn 2 Points or More
The typical rate you see for rewards on everyday purchases is 1 point or 1%. With such a competitive market, more and more credit cards are beginning to offer 1.5% cash back or 1.25 points per dollar spent, but even that’s not enough. Below are our suggestions of cards offering 2 points or more for everyday purchases.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card -Earns cardholders a standard 2 miles per dollar spent on all net purchases. Miles never expire and there’s no limit to the number of rewards you can earn. Miles can be redeemed for travel, cash, gift cards, brand-name merchandise, and more.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard- This miles rewards card will earn cardholders unlimited double miles on all purchases, every day. There are no caps to the number of miles you can earn and miles can easily be redeemed for statement credits.
Citi Double Cash -This is a new credit card on the market that wasn't around last holiday season. This card will only earn you 1% cash back on purchases, but you will earn another 1% cash back when you pay your card balance off. So, you basically earn 1% cash back twice, which is why this card made the list. Rewards can be redeemed in increments of $25 as statement credits, gift cards, or checks, or you can share them with friends.
BuyPower Card from Capital One® – For those who are working towards the purchase of a new vehicle, using this card for your holiday purchases will earn you 5% cash back on your first $5,000 in purchases each year, and then 2% thereafter. Your Earnings don’t expire and there’s also no limit to the number of Earnings you can redeem.
Keep in mind that you might save just as much if you purchased all of your dinner items at a warehouse or bulk superstore, but if you're going to use one of the above credit cards, you might as well use them where you can at least earn something in return.
*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.