I spend at least $600 a month on groceries, so I stick with 2 credit cards to get the most cash back

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Grocery shopping 2
The author is not pictured. Extarz / Shutterstock.com
  • The author, Holly Johnson, has 26 credit cards, but she uses two main credit cards at the grocery store.
  • The best card to use in US supermarkets is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express since it offers 6% back on up to $US6,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1%).
  • The Chase Freedom is another good option for groceries, but mostly when grocery spending is one of the card’s 5% rotating quarterly bonus categories (up to quarterly max).

My husband and I have 26 credit cards between us and our businesses, which sounds like a lot. The reality, though, is that each card serves a different purpose, whether it comes with travel perks or free insurance products or it helps us earn valuable travel rewards points we use to see the world.

That’s why I use different cards at different times – for example, I might use one card to pay for airfare and an entirely different one to pay for dining out or Amazon purchases. It’s all about the rewards – or at least the benefits I can get in return. And why not utilise different credit cards that give you more for certain types of purchases?

Since my family spends at least $US600 per month on food at the grocery store, this is one of our biggest spending categories. So, of course, I’m careful about which credit card I use for grocery purchases each month.

Here are the main two cards I use at the supermarket, month after month:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

While the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express charges a $US95 annual fee that is not waived the first year, I happily pay this fee and renew it every 12 months. This card is an absolute game changer for families because it lets you earn 6% back on up to $US6,000 in spending at US supermarkets each year, then 1%.

And that’s in addition to the 3% you get back at US gas stations and the 1% return you receive on all other purchases. You also get 6% back on select US streaming subscriptions and 3% back on all transit.

The Blue Cash Preferred also comes with a $US250 statement credit after you spend $US1,000 within the first three months of account opening, although I earned this bonus long ago. Each year though, maxing out the supermarket category by spending at least $US500 per month nets me at least $US360 in cash back – much more than I would earn with a regular cash-back credit card.

Chase Freedom

Another card I use for groceries is the Chase Freedom, but I only use it when grocery spending is one of its bonus categories. Fortunately, that time is right now. For April, May, and June of this year, you get 5% back on up to $US1,500 spent each quarter you activate in categories that rotate each quarter, which just so happen to include grocery stores and home improvement stores.

The Chase Freedom offers a $US150 signup bonus after you spend $US500 within three months of account opening. Even better, the points you earn belong in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, meaning you can cash them in for gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, or travel. If you have a premier travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can pool your points in that account for superior travel redemptions and 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners.

If your goal is earning money back at grocery stores, either of the cards I use can work well. However, there are many other cash-back credit cards that offer strong rewards on grocery spending. Some to take a closer look at include the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, and the Capital One Savour Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Compare these cards and others to see which ones align with your spending, then go with the one that will help you earn more cash back over time.

Curious which credit cards I use the most and why? Here are some of my favourites: