If you prefer takeout to cooking your own meals, there are credit cards that can help ensure you earn plenty of points or cash back.
Credit cards for foodies are a more recent trend, with more rewards programs and additional card benefits catering to both dining in and eating out. These days, restaurant and grocery bonus categories are becoming commonplace, enabling cardholders to rack up a few extra points or cash back on those purchases.
But what about those who prefer to order delivery? If you like to take advantage of popular food delivery services like DoorDash or Uber Eats or simplify cooking with a meal kit subscription, there are plenty of credit card rewards and benefits you can leverage to save a little money. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best credit card for food delivery or meal kit subscription to add to your wallet, so read on to see our favorites.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for DoorDash
Why we picked it: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® remains a top travel credit card for many reasons but many new cardholders don’t know about its excellent DoorDash benefits. You get a complimentary DashPass (no delivery fees over a minimum subtotal and get 10% off your orders), until Dec. 31, 2024, or at least one year from your activation date.
If you want to activate it at the last possible date, you could activate your DashPass on Dec. 31, 2024, and it would remain active until the end of 2025. However, if you activate it now, you can enjoy the DashPass benefit for the rest of 2022, 2023 and 2024. The Sapphire Reserve also gives you a $5 DoorDash credit every month (when you use the app) through December 2024.
- 3X points on general travel and restaurants
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass Select membership (access 1,300+ lounges worldwide)
- 50% more value per point when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- $550 annual fee
- Lower rewards value for merchandise
Who should apply: Dedicated DoorDash customers who order every day or every week should definitely apply. This is also a top card for frequent travelers who love lounge access and delivery food.
Who should skip: If that high annual fee seems impractical now, you should skip this card. This choice would also be difficult to justify for cardholders who travel once every few years.
The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for Uber Eats
Why we picked it: The Platinum Card® from American Express is difficult to maximize unless you make use of most of its statement credits. One is good for fans of Uber – you’ll get up to $200 Uber Cash credit (only for U.S. rideshares and Uber Eats). Every month, you receive up to $15 in Uber credits, and an extra $20 in December.
Other statement credits include $240 for digital entertainment, up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and up to a $300 Equinox credit. The card is also particularly famous for its widespread access to airport lounges at more than 1,000 locations internationally.
- 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
- 100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in first six months
- Flexible redemption options
- Points transferrable to Amex travel partners
- $695 annual fee
- Some statement credits difficult to maximize
Who should apply: Big fans of Uber (both riding and ordering food) will like the Amex Platinum card. It’s also good for frequent flyers who spend a lot of time in the airport.
Who should skip: If you don’t fly or stay in hotels more than once a year, this card won’t be worth it. If you order delivery food but only occasionally (say, a few times a year) you should also skip this one.
American Express Gold Card: Best for multiple delivery services
Why we picked it: Rather than focusing on one specific delivery service, the American Express® Gold Card provides rewards for nearly all of them with its 4X points on restaurants worldwide, including delivery and takeout in the U.S. Like the Amex Platinum, the Amex Gold gives you up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month) for both Uber Eats or rideshares in the U.S.
The Amex Gold also comes with up to a $120 dining credit per year. The credit, which gives you $10 a month, is applicable to to delivery services like Grubhub, Seamless and Goldbelly purchases (among other participating partners). All these rewards in restaurant and food categories are what make the Amex Gold one of the best credit cards for dining.
- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year)
- 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first six months
- Up to a $100 hotel credit for qualifying activities through The Hotel Collection
- Points transferrable to Amex transfer partners
- $250 annual fee
Who should apply: Unless you’re totally devoted to Uber Eats or DoorDash, this is a great card for those looking for various credits and perks for all kinds of delivery services. It’s also a starter card if you want to break into the Membership Rewards program. If you like to cook but get your groceries delivered via Instacart, you’ll still earn 4X points, since Instacart qualifies for the U.S. supermarkets category.
Who should skip: Of course, people who don’t order delivery or groceries often don’t need this card. Occasional travelers will also find many of its benefits unnecessary.
Instacart Mastercard: Best for Instacart
Why we picked it: If you’re already paying a premium for the convenience of Instacart grocery deliveries, the new Instacart Mastercard® from Chase could be a no-brainer. It stands out as not only a great fit for Instacart fans, but also a solid everyday rewards option in other categories, thanks to its generous rewards rate on an array of popular purchases.
Along with 5 percent cash back on Instacart app and Instacart.com purchases — perhaps enough to offset the typical Instacart markup — it also earns 5 percent cash back on travel through Chase and 2 percent cash back on restaurant, gas station and select streaming service purchases. That’s terrific variety for a no-annual-fee rewards card. This flexibility also extends to its redemption options, since you can use your points for cash back, travel and more without sacrificing point value
- First 10,000 people who get the card before Aug. 4, 2022, get a $200 Instacart credit and a free year of Instacart+ as welcome bonus, plus $100 Instacart credit and free year of Instacart+
- Solid travel and shopping perks like lost luggage reimbursement, purchase protection and extended warranty protection
- Rewards redemption flexible — includes cash back, travel and more
- Some rewards’ value canceled out by fees and pricing markups
- Rewards rates outside of Instacart purchases matched by best flat-rate cash back cards
Who should apply: Frequent Instacart users have nothing to lose in applying for the Instacart Mastercard. At worst, the rewards you’ll earn on Instacart purchases will help offset some of the service’s fees. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a single card that earns rewards in multiple everyday categories, this is a solid option, thanks to its broad category coverage and redemption flexibility.
Who should skip: Cardholders who don’t mind doing their own grocery shopping should skip this one since there are other cards that offer comparable rewards rates on groceries and other spending categories. These may be more lucrative overall considering Instacart’s fees, tipping and other potential convenience costs.
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express: Best for Home Chef fans
Why we picked it: Consistently one of the best cards for grocery shopping, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express gives 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent). That’s one of the highest cash back rates on groceries in the industry. Home Chef fans may already be asking — how does that give me rewards on Home Chef? Because Kroger Co. acquired Home Chef, Home Chef meal kits are now available in select Kroger stores.
Outside of the meal kit purchases, you’ll also earn 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions (perfect for watching your favorite show while eating your Home Chef meal), 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit and 1 percent cash back on general purchases.
- $350 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in first six months (Terms apply)
- Early access to entertainment
- Purchase protection
- $95 annual fee
- $6,000 spending limit on U.S. supermarkets
Who should apply: Big Kroger and Home Chef fans should get this card for its incredible cash back rate. It shines best for those who tend to spend time at home – perhaps getting groceries, then cooking at home and streaming shows during dinner.
Who should skip: Those who cannot get enough of delivery food (the options are endless) should avoid this card. If you prefer independent meal kit subscriptions (like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron), you should also skip.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card: Best for meal kit subscriptions
Why we picked it: The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card stands out as a flexible earning card with its 3 percent cash back on category of choice. You may choose among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings. You’ll also get 2 percent cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases. It’s important to note that the 2 percent and 3 percent categories have a combined spend limit of $2,500 per quarter.
Depending on the kind of consumer you are, this card could really come in handy. Let’s say you mainly subscribe to Hello Fresh and aren’t a big fan of food delivery. You can apply for this card and charge only your meal kit subscription, which likely qualifies as online shopping. It’s good to get a card with no annual fee so you don’t feel the need to maximize it in other ways.
- $200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
- No annual fee
- Possible to earn 25 percent to 75 percent more cash back with the Preferred Rewards program
- $2,500 combined spend limit on 2 percent and 3 percent categories per quarter
- Limited redemption options
Who should apply: If you like getting both delivery food (or groceries) and meal kit subscriptions, the Bank of America Customized Cash Reward credit card and its flexibility will suit you perfectly. Those who have a checking or savings account with Bank of America will be able maximize this card, too.
Who should skip: Brand loyalists of big delivery services like DoorDash or Uber Eats may not need this option’s flexibility.
Comparing cards for food delivery and meal kit subscriptions
Which card is best for DoorDash? Which card is best for Home Chef? Anyone who’s having trouble keeping track of each card and its benefits can check out the following table when comparing each option:
|Card||Rewards||Annual fee||Delivery service|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||$695|
|American Express® Gold Card||$250|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||$95|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card||$0|
How to choose a food delivery card
When you’re looking for the best credit card for food delivery or meal kit subscriptions, it all comes down to which brands you’re most loyal to and make purchases with the most. From there, you can decide on which card suits you best:
- Merchant category codes: Delivery services and meal kit subscriptions are tricky because sometimes it’s difficult to determine which category they fall under, which is classified by the business’ merchant category code. DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats usually qualify under restaurants or dining. However, meal kit subscriptions are a mixed bag. They could be considered grocery stores (like the Home Chef kits at Kroger stores) or online shopping. It really depends on how the credit card issuer classifies them.
- Rewards or perks: Some cards offer hefty rewards on delivery services. Others offer special perks or credits that basically pay you to spend with a specific delivery service, like the up-to-$200 Uber credit the Amex Platinum offers. Determine whether you value credits or rewards more when picking out a card.
- Flexibility or brand loyalty: DoorDash enthusiasts will find it difficult to say no to the free DashPass the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers. However, if you have no special loyalty to any delivery service or meal kit subscription, perhaps a card that offers more flexibility will better suit you, like the Amex Gold or the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards.
Ordering food can be expensive, but using the right rewards card can help you alleviate some of that cost by racking up points or cash back. With some cards, you might even get a few extras that cover your next couple of meals or a free membership that adds more perks to your purchases.