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Best credit cards for restaurants in 2022

Racking up cash back and rewards at restaurants has never been easier – no matter your credit

Summary

Is eating out part of your everyday routine? Score cash back or rewards points by paying with the right card at restaurants.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

In this world of Instagrammable dishes and celebrity chefs, food has long passed the point of simple sustenance and morphed into a full-blown event. If you count yourself among the nouveau gourmands dining out every weekend, why not get a return on your investment?

Read on to find the best rewards credit cards on the market if you love earning rewards while you’re eating out – regardless of your credit profile.

American Express® Gold Card: Best premium card for dining

Why we picked it: The American Express® Gold Card kicks off our recommendations for restaurants because it’s the card that gives you the most points of any card on the market when you dine at restaurants or shop at U.S. supermarkets.

At 4 points per dollar, it’s hard to find another card that competes when it comes to racking up rewards while you’re eating. As if to underline the point, there’s also a $120 dining credit – up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required).

Bonus points and credits on travel give this card a healthy travel and dining combo, making it extremely attractive to those who want to live out their globe-trotting dreams.

The annual fee is $250, but the annual travel and dining credits largely eclipse that by themselves.

Here’s a closer look at the card’s benefits:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in eligible purchases in the first six months of card membership
  • 4 points per dollar when you dine at restaurants plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in annual purchases, then 1 point per dollar
  • 3 points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or through AmexTravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit
  • Hotel Collection Benefits, up to $100 on qualifying activities, terms and limitations apply
  • $120 in Uber Cash each year, which can be used for U.S. Uber rides, Uber Eats delivery and more (up to $10 in Uber Cash per month); must add the Gold Card to the Uber app to receive Uber Cash benefit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply

Pros

  • Lots of partners for points transfers
  • Up to five authorized users for no added annual fee
  • Possible to earn high rewards

Cons

  • Limited situations in which to carry a balance
  • No lounge benefits

Who should apply: If you spend big on food and travel and don’t want to pay a steep annual fee, this could be a great card for you.

Who should skip: If you want a spectacular intro offer, you might want to consider other cards.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card: Best for intro offer

Why we picked it: If you’re looking for a card that gives you rewards for dining with no annual fee, try the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card, which earns 4 points per dollar on dining and takeout (including food delivery services) and 2 points per dollar on grocery stores. Some examples of eligible delivery services include Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates.

Here’s a closer look at the card’s benefits:

  • 4 points per dollar on dining and takeout, including food delivery services
  • 2 points per dollar on gas stations, grocery stores (including grocery delivery and meal kit delivery) and streaming services
  • 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers (then 17.24% to 26.24% variable)
  • 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 90 days
  • $15 credit for annual streaming service purchases
  • No annual fee

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Bonus offer
  • 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers (17.24% to 26.24% variable APR thereafter)

Cons

  • Must have good to excellent credit to qualify
  • $25 minimum cash redemption
  • Rewards expire if card isn’t used in 12+ months

Who should apply: If you’re searching for a card with no annual fee that provides great rewards on dining and takeout, the Altitude Go Card might fit the bill.

Who should skip: If you like to put all of your purchases on one card, you might want to take a look at some flat-rate rewards options.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card*: Best for earning rewards on dining

Why we picked it: While the intro bonus for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is more modest than the premium cards listed here, it includes one of the largest cash back rates on any card for dining and entertainment. It also offers a great cash back bonus on tickets from Vivid Seats and a decent cash back bonus on grocery store purchases. However, the $95 annual fee may still turn some cardholders off.

Take a closer look at the benefits Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card offers:

  • $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months
  • 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
  • 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services, including Hulu, Disney+ and Netflix
  • 3% cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Redeem cash back for any amount; rewards don’t expire for the life of the account
  • No foreign transaction fees

Pros

  • No expiration on rewards
  • No limits on cash back
  • Redeem any amount cash back at any time

Cons

  • Annual fee of $95
  • Rewards not redeemable for merchandise or airline travel

Who should apply: If you’re a big spender on dining and entertainment and you want cash back instead of points or miles, you’ll probably want to apply for this card.

Who should skip: If you really don’t want to pay an annual fee, you should probably choose another option.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: Best for flexible spending

Why we picked it: The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is making waves. It offers a relatively unique earning scheme: Rather than pigeonhole users into a particular bonus category, cardholders earn 5% cash back in whichever eligible category they spend the most on each billing cycle (up to $500 spent, then 1%). This essentially creates a rewards rate that automatically adjusts to your spending, ensuring you earn a competitive rate of cash back no matter what your focus is on any month.

Here’s a quick look at the details of the Citi Custom Cash:

  • 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)
  • 15-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR)
  • No annual fee

As you’ve probably realized, one of the eligible 5% back categories is restaurants (excluding third-party dining services). Others include gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. With the rewards rate changing as your spending does, you could rack up cash back on dining out one month and then switch to groceries in the next.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Competitive sign-up bonus
  • Introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases

Cons

  • Rewards limited to a single bonus category each billing cycle
  • Must have good to excellent credit score

Who should apply: The Citi Custom Cash card is a good fit for those who spend consistently in one of the card’s bonus categories.

Who should skip: The 0% intro APR for 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers (16.24% to 26.24% variable APR thereafter) is a plus for a no-annual-fee cash back card, but keep in mind you’ll pay a high balance transfer fee of 5% ($5 minimum) and the balance transfer period is shorter than those offered by dedicated balance transfer cards. If you really want to do a balance transfer you should probably look elsewhere.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining with no annual fee

Why we picked it: The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card requires you to have at least good credit to apply, gives an unlimited 3% cash back rate on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery store purchases and has no annual fee.

The intro bonus is pretty modest, but if you’re worried about fees more than you care about your rewards rate, this is the card for the conservative cash back collector.

Here’s a snapshot of all the benefits SavorOne has to offer:

  • $200 one-time bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months
  • 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Target and Walmart)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No rewards expiration for the life of the account
  • Redeem cash back at any amount, any time

Cons

  • Rewards not redeemable for airline travel or gift cards
  • Must have good to excellent credit to qualify

Who should apply: Those looking for a decent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and those who want cash back instead of points or miles rewards should consider this card.

Who should skip: If keeping track of bonus opportunities doesn’t appeal to you, another card might suit you better.

Comparing the best credit cards for dining

CardRewards rateAnnual fee
American Express® Gold Card
  • 4 points per dollar on restaurants plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in annual purchases, then 1 point per dollar)
  • 3 points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or through Amextravel.com
$250
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card*
  • 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
  • 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
  • 3% cash back at grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
$95
U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card
  • 4 points per dollar on dining and takeout, including food delivery services
  • 2 points per dollar on gas stations, grocery stores (including grocery delivery and meal kit delivery) and streaming services
  • 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases
$0
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
  • 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
$0
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
  • 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
$0

How to choose a card for restaurants

Choosing one card can be very difficult given the number of choices out there. In general, these are the things you should look for in a card you plan to use for restaurants:

  • Extra cash back, points or miles for ordering from and dining out at all kinds of restaurants
  • Low to no annual fee
  • Good intro bonus
  • 0% intro APR offer
  • One for which you’re likely to be approved

Bottom line

If dining, grocery store shopping and entertainment are your major spending categories, it makes sense to get a card that optimizes those spends. When you’re searching for the right card, make sure you find one that checks the most boxes on your “want” list – and one for which you’re likely to get approved. Whichever card you choose, don’t forget to use it for all of your dining, watch for limited-time offers, redeem your rewards strategically and always try to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

*All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
18.76%
Student
19.53%
Airline
18.58%
Business
17.05%
Cash Back
18.68%

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