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Best credit card rewards for restaurants

RewardsCreditCards.org ∙ The Best Points & Mileage Credit Cards

best credit cards for dining out

Restaurant rewards are the less talked about type of credit card reward points, however, every dining experience is a fantastic opportunity to maximize those reward points. If you find yourself at restaurants more than once a week, you may ask yourself what are the best credit cards for dining out? Here, we will take a closer look at the best credit cards for dining out.

The Best Credit Cards for Dining Out

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Sapphire Preferred Card from Chase offers double reward points for restaurant and travel purchases. As one of the best credit cards for dining out, Chase makes it easy to build up reward points when eating out. You get 40,000 points after spending just $4,000 in the first three months after sign-up. You also get a 20% discount on any flights when booking through their website. You could event transfer your existing points to any of their partners at no cost. There is no annual fee for this card the first year, however, it jumps to the standard $95 after that. Still, it’s those double reward points at restaurants that make the Chase Sapphire card one of the best credit cards for dining out.

The Discover It line of credit cards offer some of the best rewards available today, which also means they offer some of the best credit cards for dining out. Each quarter, cardholders get 2% cash back on all restaurant and gas purchases, up to $1,000 as well as 1% cashback on everything else. Additionally, all of the cashback rewards you earn are doubled at the end of the first year, and with zero APR during the first year, the Discover It Chrome Card is one of the best credit cards for dining out. After that, expect to pay a variable 11% to 23% APR, however, there are no late fees, no over-limit fees and no foreign transaction fees.

This is one of the best credit cards for dining out as well as travel. With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you will receive 2 travel miles for every dollar spent at restaurants as well as seasonal categories. This bonus has no cap and cardholders can keep earning miles for every purchase made. After sign-up, cardholders also get 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Best of all, there are absolutely no blackout dates and no annual fee for the first year, which jumps to a meager $59 after the first 12 months. This is one of the best credit cards for dining out if you love to dine out and travel frequently.


High Paying Travel Rewards Card For Those With Good Credit

Now, if you’re lucky enough to have good credit, you’re spoilt for choice with the cards you can choose. If you’re someone who travels reasonably frequently, then it might be a good idea to check out these high paying travel reward cards. You need to benefit from the fact that you travel often, and these cards allow you to do that. They all offer attractive bonuses and benefits that make them amazing value for you to use.

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Travel Favourite: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

This card is perfect if you’re going to be traveling abroad on a regular basis. It’s a great looking card for a start, and it’s packed full of value. You benefit from things like the double points on travel that it offers you. And there are offers for restaurants and one point per dollar spent on purchases. It’s also possible to earn a staggering 50,000 bonus points! You can achieve this by making sure you spend $4,000 in the first three months. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the card is one of the most secure on the market. This is a must-have choice for the seasoned or novice traveler.

Best Fixed-Value Travel Credit Card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

One of the best things about this card is that you get to earn what’s known as travel credit. You can accrue one cent per point for any type of travel you choose. Once you reach 40,000 points, you’ll be able to book any type of travel worth up to $400. The card has become really popular among customers because you can use points to book flights and accommodation. You’re not tied to a specific chain or company, and you can even book through discount travel sites. On the flip side, it’s probably not worth redeeming points for gift cards and merchandise since you only get half a cent per point.

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Cards:

The Discover it Miles is one of the best credit cards on the market for travelers these days. You can earn big rewards with minimal hassle, including unlimited 1.5 miles on every dollar you spend. There’s no annual fee, and you can fly any airline at any time of the year. There are other perks as well such as a $30 annual credit for in-flight Wi-Fi to make the whole process more convenient. You will also benefit from US-based customer service. Think about how annoying it is when you phone up with queries, and you have to speak to someone who can’t really understand you, and vice versa. Well, with this card you don’t have to deal with that problem again!

BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card

This is one of the newer cards on the market, and it is a really strong choice as it has no annual fee. It offers significant long-term value which is something that a lot of people often overlook. The bonus offer is slightly lower than other cards at around 20,000, and this tends to put a lot of people off. However, you should understand that the 1.5 points per dollar are very attractive, and make this a wonderful choice as a rewards card.

Best Airline Credit Card: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

If you’re a frequent flyer, this is definitely the card for you. You can earn points that you can redeem for flights, and pick from an array of destinations. You’ll also benefit from free checked bags which can save you hundreds of dollars. And, the great thing is that Southwest Airlines offer frequent sales which allow you to make the most of your card. If you want to really make the most of offers and advantages, you should combine this card. Using it with the earlier mentioned Sapphire Preferred Card. These two together make a formidable team for any flyer to have on their person.

Best Hotel Credit Card: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card From American Express

Spending a lot of time in hotels isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But, you can benefit from it by making the most of Starwood’s Preferred Guest Credit Card. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on most of the purchases you make. But, and here’s the real benefit, you’ll get 3-5 points per dollar when you buy anything at a Starwood property. And you’ll also have the opportunity to convert your Starpoints to airline miles as well!


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Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

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There are three types of rewards credit card available in the market.

Get the best reward credit card offers of your choice to enjoy the benefits today!

Best credit card rewards for restaurantsThe issuer may STOP the card offers and promotions without notice. Grab the card of your choice while it lasts.

For detailed card information or to apply, click on the link next to the card of your choice and a new window will be opened for you.

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

A Simmons Bank VisaВ® Platinum Rewards credit card gives you more than just an emergency expense tool. Take advantage of these features: Global Acceptance, Travel Rewards, Travel Insurance, Car Rental Loss/Damage Waiver and Emergency Cash and Credit Card Replacement.

  • Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved
  • Low 10.25% variable standard purchase APR and platinum benefits
  • No balance transfer fee for balances transferred in response to this online offer
  • Travel Rewards - cardholders who enroll in the program receive one point per net dollar spent
  • Choose any U.S. based airline or ticket class. No blackout dates or seating restrictions
  • Other travel related options are hotels, cruises, vacation packages, car rental, and restaurants
  • No Annual Fee

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases and double cash back at the NASCAR.com Superstore. Terms apply.
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  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Get free access to your credit score online

Note: Good/Excellent Credit Required!

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

  • Get the credit card that rewards you and fits your lifestyle. Features of this card include 1% cash back on eligible purchases, free online access to your credit score, and Zero Fraud Liability. Terms apply.
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With the recent financial crisis and economy climate causing havocs and losses to the credit card issuers, it is inevitable for the rewards credit card to be affected.

It is common for a rewards credit card to have a higher interest rate than a regular card.

The rewards scheme always comes with a set of rules and exceptions. It is important to read this terms and conditions before you apply for the credit card.

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

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best credit card rewards for restaurants

The Citi Forward card currently offers 5X Citi ThankYou points per dollar on restaurants, music, movies, and books. As of June 4th 2016, though, the bonus will go down to 2X points per dollar in those categories. I had previously used my Forward card as my single go-to card for restaurants, Amazon.com purchases (which qualify as bookstore purchases), and movie theaters. Now, starting June 4th, those of us who previously relied on the Forward card will need a new approach…

Best credit cards for restaurants

As Travel With Grant pointed out recently, the best cards to use at restaurants are cards with 5X rotating categories during the quarters in which they offer restaurants as a bonus category. This year, that means that one should use the Discover It card at restaurants April through June:

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

And, use the Chase Freedom card July through September:

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Of course, keep in mind that both cards are limited to $1500 in bonus spend per quarter. If you have extra 5X spend available, you can always buy gift cards from your favorite restaurants during the bonus periods in order to extend your 5X earnings.

Note that if you are in your first year of Discover It card membership, you should qualify for double cash back. That means that you will ultimately earn 10% at restaurants through the end of June this year!

When 5X bonus categories are not available, you’ll need a backup card for restaurants. My Best Category Bonuses page shows that its possible to earn 5% cash back with the US Bank Cash+ card, but only at fast food restaurants. Personally, I hardly ever eat fast food, so this card isn’t a great option. The next best options are a large selection of cards offering 3% cash back.

If you prefer miles & points, some cards to consider include:

  • Amex Hilton Honors Surpass: 6X Hilton points (but Hilton points aren’t worth a lot, so I value 6X Hilton points at only 2.7% cash back)
  • Amex Premier Rewards Gold: 2X Membership Rewards
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire, or Ink Cash: 2X Ultimate Rewards
  • Citi Forward, Preferred, Premier, Prestige: 2X ThankYou points

It’s a tough decision! Forgoing 3% cash back for 2X Chase or Citi points, is like buying those points for 1.5 cents each. Personally, I don’t want to pay that much per point, so I’d rather go with a 3% option. On the other hand, the difference in value between a 3% cash back card and a 2X transferable points card is negligible. it’s not worth adding a new card to my wallet if I don’t need to. If I happen to have a card in my wallet that offers 3% cash back, then I’ll use it. Otherwise, I’ll happily get 2X Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards or ThankYou points depending upon which card I have with me.

Of the cards I actually have, my 3% options include the Discover It Miles card which gives me 3% cash back for all purchases for the first year of card membership, and the elusive CNB Crystal Visa Infinite card (details here). The CNB card doesn’t really offer 3% cash back, but it does offer 3X points, and points are worth slightly more than 1 cent each when used for airfare. Both of these 3X cards are good options.

Best credit cards for Amazon.com

Amazon.com is significantly different from restaurants. With Amazon, gift cards are readily available from many vendors so it’s really easy to get 5X or better rewards for Amazon.com purchases. Simply buy Amazon.com gift cards whenever there’s a 5X (or better) deal available, then apply the gift card to your account. From then on, your Amazon.com purchases will automatically use your gift card balance. And, now that Amazon.com lets you pay for 3rd party gift cards with your gift card credit, this makes more sense than ever before.

The best deals for Amazon.com gift cards tend to be with Amex Offers (See: Complete guide to Amex Offers). Sometimes offers are available directly with Amazon.com, such as the Spend $60, Get $15 offer from last year:

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

When this one was available, I added the offer to each of my eligible Amex cards and then proceeded to buy a bunch of $60 e-gift cards from Amazon. Since each $60 purchase resulted in $15 back, I effectively bought Amazon gift card credit for 25% off!

Another option is to use Amex Offers indirectly with Amazon. Often there are offers for stores that sell Amazon gift cards. Examples include Staples, Lowes, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. In these cases, simply enroll your eligible Amex cards with the offer, and then take your Amex cards to the given store to buy gift cards of your choice.

When Amex Offers aren’t available, there are many other good options. For example, use a card with rotating 5X categories when they offer a bonus at Amazon.com. Discover It is a particularly good choice when you are enrolled in the Double Cash Back for a Year promotion. Discover It has Amazon.com as a bonus option for the entire second half of the year:

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

Or, use any card with a good category bonus at stores that sell Amazon.com gift cards. For example, this quarter you can buy gift cards at grocery stores and pay with your Freedom card for 5X rewards. It is also very likely that Amazon.com will be included in the Freedom card’s 4th quarter Holiday Shopping bonus.

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

You can also use a Chase Ink card to buy gift cards at an office supply store for 5X rewards. There are many variations on this trick. See Best Category Bonuses for ideas.

Best credit cards for Movie Theaters

Personally, I don’t spend enough at movie theaters to worry about which card I should use, but I will have to pick something.

One option is earn bonus points by buying movie theater gift cards at grocery stores, office supply stores, or even at Amazon.com:

Best credit card rewards for restaurants

I’ll be honest, though. In my case, chances are slim that I’ll bother with gift cards. Instead, I’ll use my Discover It card this quarter for it’s 5X rewards, and then I’ll use my Discover It Miles card for 3% cash back until it turns into a 1.5% chicken about 6 months from now. After that, I’ll be back to the Forward card, or one of my other Citi ThankYou cards, for 2X rewards.

For dining, a great option is to pay with Discover It and Chase Freedom when they offer 5X category bonuses. At other times, go with either a 3% cash back card, if you have one, or pay with any of the transferable points program cards that offer 2X for dining: Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire, Chase Ink Cash, Citi Forward, Citi Preferred, Citi Premier, or Citi Prestige.


The Best Restaurant Credit Cards Offering Cash Back and Rewards

Published 11/3/07 (Modified 3/11/14)

Updated List Of The Best Restaurant Credit Card Offers For Eating And Dining Out

Best credit card rewards for restaurantsI wish I could be like a green garden plant and photosynthesize my food instead of having to buy it. I spend so much money eating out it's sad. I eat lunch at work and usually spend up to $8 for a sandwich. Dinner usually involves whatever I pick up on the way home and it's frequently $10 or more. Food in downtown Washington D.C. where I work can definitely get very expensive.

Luckily there are certain credit cards I can use to soften the financial blow by getting cash back or reward points for eating out. Most reward cards only give a measly 1% cash back, and many of the ones that offer a higher percentage back only offer it for purchases at fast food/takeout places. But there are a select few reward cards that offer a very impressive 3%-5% back for all restaurants, including fast food and even coffee shops! If you're a student who eats out often, a young professional who dines out most of the time, or even a family minded foodie who enjoys fancy restaurants, you might benefit from having a utility credit card in your pocket that will allow you to earn rebate rewards and cash back discounts for such meal expenses.

Here is one of the more popular cashback credit cards for eating and dining out:

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express - This card is brought to you by Costco and is meant for Costco warehouse club members. This card offers you 3 percent cash back on gasoline at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1 percent; 2 percent cash back at US restaurants; 2 percent cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco; 1 percent cash back on other purchases, including at Costco. Terms and limitations apply. The card comes with no annual fee if you have a paid Costco membership. Cash back is awarded annually in the form of an in-store coupon redeemable for cash or merchandise at any U.S. Costco warehouse. Terms and restrictions apply.

This entry was posted on 11/3/07 (Modified on 3/11/14) and is filed under Credit Cards , Deals and Offers , Shopping , Tech . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response.

5 Responses to “The Best Restaurant Credit Cards Offering Cash Back and Rewards”

I don't see how the 5 points per dollar on the Citi MTVu card translate to 5% cash back. Can anyone explain?

I checked out their Thank You program and the amount of points necessary to get cash back or a statement credit translates to about 3% for restaurant purchases. I'm assuming that things have changed since this was first posted.

Another restaurant credit card option for dining out - Chase BP Visa Rewards Card - Earn 4% rebates on all eligible dining and travel, including airline, car rental, and lodging. Restaurants are considered dining for rebate purchases, but fast food establishments are not. There is currently a 2 month promotional offer of 10% rebates at all BP gas locations and 5% thereafter, and 2% rebates for all other purchases for the first 60 days, and 1% thereafter.

Rewardsnework.com gives additional cashback to a large list of restaurants. You register your CC with them and when you use it at one of the restaurants in the network you get the additional cashback.

Rewards Network does not have a "large" list of restaurants--not incredibly desirable ones, anyway. Typically they are restaurants hurting for business.

I use a Costco Amex and Chase Professional card for eating out--both get 3%. I also use a Discover card when they have a 5% cashback promotion for restaurants (as they do this calendar quarter). None of these cards make a distinction between fine-dining, quick service or fast-food restaurants--all get the full rebate.

The Citi Foward Card from Citibank is exactly what I needed! The Citi mtvu card was great for restaurants and dining out cashback rewards, but it was only available for students. frustratingly for those of us who aren't students and can't qualify. But the Citi Forward credit card has almost all of the same identical credit rewards for purchases - 5% for restaurants, books, movies, and 1% for everything else. In fact I think it's virtually the same identical card. not sure where the differences lie. It does have have a free $100 sign up bonus. that's the only difference I could find after reading the terms and conditions. - Citi Foward Card fan