Author Topic: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries  (Read 10617 times)

greenmimama

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Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:52:51 PM »
This is such new territory for me, since I have avoided CCs for my whole life. I just recently got a Chase Saphire and we are putting that one to good use to get some great free flights out of it. But it only gives 1 point per dollar on gas or groceries, I have 2 more offers that came in the mail, but wanted to know what you guys used to get the most back on those 2 categories.

Yes I will pay them back every month.

NathanDrake

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 01:14:13 PM »
American Express Blue Cash (no fee, 3% groceries, 2% gas up to $6000) annually and / or Blue Cash Preferred ($75 annual fee, 6% groceries, 3% gas up to $6000 anuually)

I just pay the fee and go with the preferred, based upon how much I spend at the grocery store. One other benefit is that many grocery stores have gift cards, so pick up a gift card from a grocery store and you have 6% cash back to use at another store.

greenmimama

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 01:42:04 PM »
American Express Blue Cash (no fee, 3% groceries, 2% gas up to $6000) annually and / or Blue Cash Preferred ($75 annual fee, 6% groceries, 3% gas up to $6000 anuually)

I just pay the fee and go with the preferred, based upon how much I spend at the grocery store. One other benefit is that many grocery stores have gift cards, so pick up a gift card from a grocery store and you have 6% cash back to use at another store.

I like that thank you. So anything I buy at Meijer than would be assumed to be groceries? That could work out well.

NathanDrake

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 02:13:43 PM »
If you could find one of their gift cards at a grocery store, then yes.

Another Reader

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 06:42:00 PM »
BankAmericard Cash Rewards is 2 percent at grocery stores and 3 percent at gas stations.  There is a limit of $1,500 per quarter combined.  If you look around, there's probably a $100 bonus for signing up.  Whether a purchase at a store is considered as groceries depends on the merchant code.  Both Sprouts and Trader Joes appear to be classed as grocery stores per the statements.  If Meijer is a grocery chain, purchases would likely be counted as such.

greenmimama

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 06:55:38 PM »
Yes, Meijer is a grocery store, but also sells pretty much everything else. That would be really great if that is true.

sheepstache

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 07:32:18 PM »
Good question.  You'll want to do a back-of-the-envelope calculation of what you spend in an average month and year on these categories.  As NathanDrake points out that's what decides which AmEx card to go with.

Personally I use the Sallie Mae mastercard from Barclays.  No fee.  5% back on grociers up to $250 each month.  5% back on gas up to $250.  5% back on books up to $750 each month.  1% back on everything else.

So far in my experience Target and Walmart both get 5% if they're one of the locations with a grocery section.  Everything I order off Amazon gets 5%.

This works for me because I spend well under $250 on groceries which is also why the Blue Cash Preferred Amex doesn't make sense for me, so this is a better deal than the free Amex.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2014, 08:07:16 AM »
Good question.  You'll want to do a back-of-the-envelope calculation of what you spend in an average month and year on these categories.  As NathanDrake points out that's what decides which AmEx card to go with.

Personally I use the Sallie Mae mastercard from Barclays.  No fee.  5% back on grociers up to $250 each month.  5% back on gas up to $250.  5% back on books up to $750 each month.  1% back on everything else.

So far in my experience Target and Walmart both get 5% if they're one of the locations with a grocery section.  Everything I order off Amazon gets 5%.

This works for me because I spend well under $250 on groceries which is also why the Blue Cash Preferred Amex doesn't make sense for me, so this is a better deal than the free Amex.

Everything ordered off of Amazon is considered "books"?

PloddingInsight

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 08:24:38 AM »
As far as I can tell, the best cash back on "everything" ie not just groceries and gas, is the capital one quicksilver card, which gives 1.5%.  So my system is like this:

Groceries:  American Express Blue Cash:  3%
Gas:  Bank of America Cash Rewards: 3%
Department Stores:  American Express Blue Cash: 2%
Everything Else:  Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5%

greenmimama

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 08:25:45 AM »
Good question.  You'll want to do a back-of-the-envelope calculation of what you spend in an average month and year on these categories.  As NathanDrake points out that's what decides which AmEx card to go with.

Personally I use the Sallie Mae mastercard from Barclays.  No fee.  5% back on grociers up to $250 each month.  5% back on gas up to $250.  5% back on books up to $750 each month.  1% back on everything else.

So far in my experience Target and Walmart both get 5% if they're one of the locations with a grocery section.  Everything I order off Amazon gets 5%.

This works for me because I spend well under $250 on groceries which is also why the Blue Cash Preferred Amex doesn't make sense for me, so this is a better deal than the free Amex.

We are a family of 5 so we go over the $250 in groceries pretty easily, but thank you for more details, I do use amazon often too, I buy some groceries off of their too, handy!

shotgunwilly

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 08:32:13 AM »
As far as I can tell, the best cash back on "everything" ie not just groceries and gas, is the capital one quicksilver card, which gives 1.5%.  So my system is like this:

Groceries:  American Express Blue Cash:  3%
Gas:  Bank of America Cash Rewards: 3%
Department Stores:  American Express Blue Cash: 2%
Everything Else:  Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5%

I use my barclay World Arrival card for "everything" purchases as it gives me 2.2%.  You have to use it for travel expenses, but I eventually have a plane ticket, or hotel room, or cabin rental that I need to purchase which I use these rewards for.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 09:25:41 AM »
As far as I can tell, the best cash back on "everything" ie not just groceries and gas, is the capital one quicksilver card, which gives 1.5%.  So my system is like this:

Groceries:  American Express Blue Cash:  3%
Gas:  Bank of America Cash Rewards: 3%
Department Stores:  American Express Blue Cash: 2%
Everything Else:  Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5%

Barclay's Arrival Plus will give you 2.222%. Fidelity AMEX will give you 2%- both of these could help you up your everything else game.

Also, Bank of America gives a 10% bonus on rewards if you transfer the cash to a BOA checking account, making it a 3.3% back card on gas and a 2.2% grocery card. As part of the new Preferred Rewards, BOA will give you an even bigger reward if you have a large balance in a checking account or Merrill Lynch account. At the highest level ($100,000+) they'll give a 75% bonus- meaning you'll get 3.5% on groceries and 5.25% on gas with the Bank Americard. If you have the Travel Rewards card you'll get 2.625% back on everything. Considering the Merrill Lynch account can be invested in Vanguard index fund ETFs with free trades it's a really good deal if you're a Mustachian with a decent stache.

sheepstache

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 10:09:08 AM »
Everything ordered off of Amazon is considered "books"?

That's what I would assume but they don't tell you which category (and since I don't max any out I can't figure it out based on adding stuff up).  I just know I got 5% back on shoe polish.

We are a family of 5 so we go over the $250 in groceries pretty easily, but thank you for more details, I do use amazon often too, I buy some groceries off of their too, handy!

Oh boy, yeah, I guess that would probably be too low for you then.  After posting I messed around and found there's a range between 3k and somewhere under 4K where the best solution is to use Sallie Mae for the first $250 and then the free Amex for the rest.  But that's assuming you're maxing out exactly with the Sallie Mae, the real range would be even smaller.  Around 4k and above the Amex-with-fee is the better deal, even after you subtract the fee.

$_gone_amok

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 03:31:05 PM »
American Express Blue Cash (no fee, 3% groceries, 2% gas up to $6000) annually and / or Blue Cash Preferred ($75 annual fee, 6% groceries, 3% gas up to $6000 anuually)

I just pay the fee and go with the preferred, based upon how much I spend at the grocery store. One other benefit is that many grocery stores have gift cards, so pick up a gift card from a grocery store and you have 6% cash back to use at another store.

The AMEX blue card has 5% groceries and gas cash back.

sheepstache

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 03:52:05 PM »

Another Reader

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 04:55:46 PM »
Thanks for the heads up on the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card and the preferred rewards program.  Might as well bump up the property e-fund that's at that bank to benefit.  The bank may not pay you any interest of note on the checking, but the rewards can add up.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2014, 01:39:38 AM »
Here's another vote for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred
There is a ~$75 annual fee, waived first year I think
6% back on up-to $6000 in groceries, that's good for up to $360 cash back and pays for the annual fee
It's also 3% back on gas
1% back on everything else so it's a decent everyday card.

In practice you can always max out the grocery cash-back buying visa/MC giftcards at the grocery store and then cashing them out. Combine that with the right Safeway promotions on giftcards and you can come out even more ahead.

It used to be 6% back on unlimited groceries, but they put in a cap possibly because of people with "grocery" spending like mine :)

Shameless plug: If anyone is interested, PM me and I think I can generate a referral email good for $150 back after $1000 in purchases.

mariarose

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2014, 09:34:54 PM »

Personally I use the Sallie Mae mastercard from Barclays.  No fee.  5% back on grociers up to $250 each month.  5% back on gas up to $250.  5% back on books up to $750 each month.  1% back on everything else.

So far in my experience Target and Walmart both get 5% if they're one of the locations with a grocery section.  Everything I order off Amazon gets 5%.


Thank you for this notice.  I just now opened an acct there for just this use.  I don't go over $250 for any of those categories, and I don't care for AMEX.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2014, 09:48:25 PM »
Everything ordered off of Amazon is considered "books"?


I have a Citi card with a 5% bonus on bookstores. Basically every purchase on Amazon gets categorized as a bookstore, even a TV! I've had a few products show up as something else- digital music downloads show as record store purchases, but this also gets 5%.

milesdividendmd

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2014, 10:25:09 PM »
If you dont want to hassle the blue cash preferred is best for groceries.  The Wells fargo is great with unlimited 5% cash back on gas, drugstores, and groceries for 6 months..

If you want to manufacture some serious spending, the best option is the "old" Amex blue cash card.  5% gas, drug stores, and groceries.  No fee.  No cap.

The catch is that you have to put $6500 on it each year before the 5% kicks in.

Here is a (non affiliated) link.

http://freequentflyerbook.com/blog/2014/1/3/5-cash-back-is-back-for-now

And here is a nice link for future category bonus questions.  (Also unrelated to my site.)

http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/11/09/best-category-bonuses/

Enjoy!


stlbrah

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2014, 10:50:33 PM »
I get 6% on groceries and 3% on gas with Amex blue preferred

However, currently getting 5% on gas with discover for the summer, but I only fill up twice a month tops

cbender49

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2014, 11:25:53 AM »
There are some good responses here, but keep an weary eye on the cards with an annual fee.

Assuming the Barclay Arrival card, which offers 2% back toward future purchases, and then a 10% rebate on redemption (redeem 10,000 points for a $100 car rental and receive 1,000 points right back in your account for future use): This card carries and annual fee of $89 starting year two. From that point forward you need to spend an incremental $4,450 per year simply to justify that fee over using a card like the Fidelity AMEX which gives a flat 2% cash back with no fee.

Of course you could just open the Barclay card for a year, use the points, then dump it like I did. The $400 signup bonus also outweighs some of this but just food for thought.

I would naturally suggest the Fidelity AMEX (2% on everything, no fee, no cap) over the Cap1 Quicksilver (1.5% on everything, no fee, no cap) but to each their own.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2014, 11:50:45 AM »
I also have the Sallie Mae card sheepstache mentioned above. We get a fair percentage of our groceries from Costco (that only accepts AmEx), and our non-Costco grocery expenditures never even get close to $250/month.

I can confirm the 5% back at Amazon with that card (up to $750/month). Amazon has coded all of their credit card transactions as a "bookstore" ever since they opened. They only sold books at that time, but have obviously expanded a bit since then.

Dr. A

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Re: Credit card for the best % on gas and groceries
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2014, 12:15:36 PM »
BankAmericard Cash Rewards is 2 percent at grocery stores and 3 percent at gas stations.  There is a limit of $1,500 per quarter combined.  If you look around, there's probably a $100 bonus for signing up.  Whether a purchase at a store is considered as groceries depends on the merchant code.  Both Sprouts and Trader Joes appear to be classed as grocery stores per the statements.  If Meijer is a grocery chain, purchases would likely be counted as such.

I grabbed this one a year ago with $100 bonus. They also gave me 0% for more than a year (14 months maybe, it's just about to expire). So I put everything on it and invested the float until the 0% rate expires.