While inflation has put a lot of pressure on household budgets, food and energy costs—including gasoline and fuel—tend to be more volatile than other expenses. Most of my friends have children, so groceries constitute a significant pain point in their budgets.

For that, I recommend the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Terms apply, see rates & fees) for its rich rewards rates. You’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit on Amazon.com at checkout.

The main catch is that the U.S. supermarket category doesn’t include popular retailers like Walmart and Target or wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club. Additionally, the rewards rate is capped at $6,000 in annual spending. But even if you spend more than that, you’d earn $360 in rewards by maxing out the spending cap.

While the card charges a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95, the bonus rewards on eligible grocery spending are enough to cover that nearly fourfold.

And that’s not even mentioning the card’s other features, including a decent welcome bonus and a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers requested within the first 60 days of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 19.24%-29.99% variable. A balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, applies. The card also offers up to $84 in monthly statement credits each year when you use your card to pay for an eligible Disney Bundle subscription (enrollment required).

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Last Update: June 28, 2024