Dining out is an American pastime and takes a bunch chunk out of most families’ budgets. In fact, the average household spends almost $2,400 annually. This creates a big opportunity for people to maximize their rewards with this bonus category. These are the best credit cards for dining based on different spending profiles.
Best credit cards for dining
When comparing the best credit cards for dining, you want to factor in the card’s welcome bonus, earnings rate, type of rewards, annual fee, and other benefits.
We ignore credit card interest rates in our reviews because, if you’re carrying debt, you should be focused on paying off your debt with a low-interest rate offer instead of earning rewards.
Best for cash back: Capital One SavorOne
While the Capital One Savor Card offers 4% cash back on dining, it also has a $95 annual fee. For most people, the Capital One SavorOne Card is the better choice with 3% cash back on dining, groceries, and entertainment with no annual fee. With the average household spending another $400 per month on groceries, the cash back adds up quickly.
Best cash back for big spenders: Capital One Savor Card
If you spend over $800 per month on dining and entertainment, the Capital One Savor Card offers the best cash back rewards around. You’ll earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, plus it also gives 3% at supermarkets.
Best for airline miles: Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
One of the best credit cards for dining to earn airline miles is the Citi AAdvantage Platinum credit card. With it, you’ll earn an unlimited 2x miles for every dollar you spend on dining, gas, and American Airlines purchases. Cardholders also receive their first checked bag free, priority boarding, and a 25% discount on in-flight food and drinks.
Best for hotel points: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
If you want to earn hotel points when dining out, it’s hard to beat the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card. It earns unlimited 6x points for every dollar you spend at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. You’ll receive a free weekend night after making $15,000 purchases each year. Plus, you’ll get Hilton Honors Diamond elite status when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year.
Best for renters: Bilt Mastercard
People who rent where they live have a unique opportunity to earn bunches of points with the Bilt Mastercard. It earns 3x points on dining, 2x on travel, and 1x on rent payments (up to $50k per year) with no annual fee. Bilt is the only program that allows renters to pay their landlord without transaction or “convenience fees.”
Points can be redeemed for flights, monthly rent, down payment on a house, and more. They also transfer 1:1 to nine airlines and two hotel loyalty programs. And they’re the only program that transfers to both American Airlines and United Airlines. Apply now using my referral link.
Best for flexible points: American Express Gold Card
You’ll earn an unlimited 4x points for every dollar you spend on dining anywhere in the world with the American Express Gold Card. Plus, it also gives 4x points on the first $25,000 you spend at U.S. grocery stores. Foodies will also love the $10 per month in dining credits and $10 per month in Uber Cash. The dining credits can be used at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations.
Best for exclusive dining experiences: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Earn up to 10x points when you dine with Chase Dining when you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to pay. Chase Dining acts like a premium version of OpenTable, offering reservations, exclusive dining experiences, and premium food delivery options. The Sapphire Reserve Card also earns 3x points on dining and travel charges anywhere in the world.
Best for big deposit balances: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card earns up to 3% on the category of your choice each quarter. You can choose between dining, gas, online shopping, travel, drugstores, or home improvement. Plus, you’ll earn up to 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. The bonus cash back for the 2% and 3% cash back categories is available on the first $2,500 you spend each quarter. Everything else earns 1% cash back. People with larger deposit balances can qualify for 25% to 75% extra cash back with Bank of American Preferred Rewards, which brings the dining cash back up to a potential of 5.25% cash back.
Best for rotating categories: Citi Custom Cash Card
You’ll earn 5% cash back on your highest eligible category each billing cycle with the Citi Custom Cash Card. Eligible categories include dining, gas, groceries, drugstores, home improvement, and select travel, transit, and streaming services. When you max out the $500 monthly limit, you can earn $300 cash back each year on your restaurant, fast food, and other dining purchases.
Best for 0% APR intro offers: Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card earns an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase that you make, including when dining out, ordering takeout, or getting food delivered. You’ll receive 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you make payments to reduce your balance.
The best credit cards for dining that offer 0% APR promotions have a long repayment period with no interest. New cardholders of the Citi Double Cash Card enjoy a 0% APR balance transfer offer for 18 months. Simply complete the transfer within four months of opening your account and pay a 3% fee on the balance transferred.
Double dip with extra rewards on any credit card
In addition to using a credit card that earns bonus miles, points, or cash back at your favorite restaurants, there are other ways to earn even more rewards. When you register your credit cards with these programs, you’ll be able to double-dip on the rewards at participating restaurants.
These programs below work whether you apply for one of the best credit cards for dining listed above or if you use one of your existing credit cards or debit cards to pay for your meals.
Dosh app – cash back
With the Dosh cash back app, you’ll earn 3% to 10% cash back at participating restaurants. Simply register your credit cards once, then you’ll receive cash back every time you make a purchase at one of the restaurants within the network. Dosh also offers cash back on travel reservations and retail purchases made in the app. Thanks for using my Dosh referral link to sign up.
Rewards Network – miles, points, or cash back
The Rewards Network awards miles, points, or cash back when you register your card with one of the participating programs. Programs include:
- Neighborhood Nosh – up to 10% cash back
- Rakuten – up to 5% cash back (can convert cash back into Amex Membership Rewards points)
- Alaska Mileage Plan
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Delta SkyMiles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- Spirit Airlines
- United MileagePlus
Bumped – stock rewards
The Bumped app offers stock rewards when shopping at participating merchants. Once you register, you’ll choose which merchants you want to earn stock rewards for each category that Bumped offers. Thanks for using my Bumped referral link to sign up.
The bottom line
Dining out is one of the biggest monthly spending categories for most families. This presents a huge opportunity to earn bonus miles, points, and cash back when you use the right credit card. And registering your credit cards with other programs allows you to earn bonus rewards at participating restaurants.
The best credit card for dining depends on what type of rewards you want, how much you spend, and if you’re comfortable paying an annual fee. What do you think the best credit cards for dining are?