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Best Credit Cards for Groceries in Canada for January 2023

The best grocery credit cards in Canada put money back in your wallet when you shop at a grocery store.

Food purchases are essential for everyday living, and the average Canadian spends a significant chunk of their income on buying food and drink.

With the right mix of cash back apps, credit cards, and loyalty programs, you can put a little dent in your monthly spending.

The best credit cards for groceries on this list offer cash back or rewards points you can redeem towards travel purchases or to pay down your statement balance.

Several are also featured on our list of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.

Best Groceries Credit Cards in Canada

If you are in the market for a top-rated grocery credit card, start with this list:

Neo Everyday Essentials Card

Rewards and Perks: Earn up to 5% real cash back on purchases, 1.5x more cash back at Walmart and Costco, 1.5x more cash back when you buy gas at select gas stations, access to discounts at gas station chains like Husky, Irving Oil, and Chevron, access to life insurance protection for credit card balance.

Welcome offer: 15% cashback on your first purchases, plus a $25 welcome bonus.

Interest rates: 19.99% – 26.99% for purchases.

Annual fee: $8.99 monthly subscription (cancel anytime)

Credit score required: Poor or bad credit score.

Best No Fee Credit Card For Groceries

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

This credit card has a low-income requirement of $12,000 and is one of the best for earning cash back on grocery purchases.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has no ridiculous annual fees, and you earn a base 2% cash back on two categories of spending of your choice.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rewards: Earn up to 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories and 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 15% cash back on up to $1,000 in spending in the first 2 months ($150 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

The 2% categories you can choose include grocery, gas, restaurants, recurring bill payments, public transportation, hotel, drugstore, home improvement, furniture, and entertainment.

If you deposit your cash back earnings into a free Tangerine Savings account, you earn 2% cash back on a third bonus category.

All other purchases earn rewards at a 0.5% rate.

The great thing about this card is that you can earn unlimited cash back at these rates and can cash out every month. You can also use it for 2% back at Walmart Supercentres.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Grocery rewards: Up to 2% cash back
  • Perks: 1.95% balance transfer for six months; extended warranty and purchase protection.

If your personal annual income is $60,000 or higher, you can opt for the premium version of this card, Tangerine World Mastercard.

It offers additional perks, including free global Wi-Fi, rental car insurance, mobile device insurance, and up to 2% cash back on groceries.

It also has no annual fees!

Best Grocery Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

The two premium credit cards below offer exceptional rewards points on grocery purchases, and you can redeem these points for travel, gift cards, a statement credit, and more.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Scotiabank Gold American Express

Rewards: Earn 5x Scene+ points/$1 on restaurants, food delivery, and grocery (up to 6x at some stores); 3x points/$1 in gas & travel; 1x points/$1 everything else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 45,000 points ($450 value).

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $120

The Scotiabank Gold American Express is one of the best travel rewards cards in Canada. It is also great for grocery spending.

This card offers 5 Scene+ points for every dollar spent on groceries (or 6x points at Sobeys, Safeway, Freshco, and a few others), restaurants, food delivery, and drinks. This 5% reward rate also applies to entertainment purchases.

It offers 3 points per dollar when you purchase gas or take public transportation and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.

New cardholders get 25,000 bonus points after spending at least $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus an extra 20,000 points when they spend $7,500 in the first year. These welcome bonuses alone are valued at $450.

Add its comprehensive travel assurance coverage and premium perks, and this card is definitely worth checking out.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Grocery rewards: Up to 6% earn rate
  • Perks: 8 types of travel insurance, discounted Priority Pass membership, Amex Perks, no foreign transaction fees

The Scotiabank Gold AMEX card is easy to qualify for and has a $12,000 minimum income requirement.

One downside of this card is that American Express cards are not accepted everywhere.

American Express Cobalt Card

American Express Cobalt Card

Rewards: Earn 5x pts per $1 spent on food & drinks; 3x pts on streaming subscriptions; 2x pts on travel; 1x pts everywhere else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 30,000 bonus points in the first year.

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $155.88

The American Express Cobalt Card is easily one of the best credit cards in Canada.

You earn 5 points for every dollar spent on groceries, restaurants, bars, and food delivery purchases. For spending on streaming subscriptions, you get 3 points per dollar; for travel and transit, you earn 2 points per dollar; and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

New cardholders get 2,500 each month they spend at least $500 for a total of 30,000 points ($300 value) in the first year.

These bonus points are valued at $300 at a minimum when used for travel rewards.

The AMEX Cobalt also provides comprehensive travel insurance (7 types), American Express Invites, and more.

  • Annual fee: $155.88 ($12.99 paid monthly)
  • Grocery rewards: 5% earn rate comprehensive
  • Perks: Comprehensive travel and shopping insurance coverage

A downside of this card is the $30,000 annual limit on purchases earning at the 5% rate.

Best Cash Back Credit Card For Groceries

I personally prefer real cash back to points simply because it is easier to spend and redeem loyalty rewards that way.

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite Card

Rewards: Earn 4% cashback on groceries & recurring bills; 2% cashback on gas & daily transit; 1% cashback on everything else.

Welcome offer: Earn 10% cashback in the first 3 months on up to $2,000 spent ($200 value).

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $120

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers some of the best cash back earn rates on grocery purchases.

You earn 4% cash back on grocery store purchases, recurring bill payments, and subscriptions such as meal kits, music streaming, and more.

For gas and daily transportation, the earn rate is 2% cash back, and all other purchases earn at a 1% rate. The first year’s fees are also waived.

In addition to cash back, this card comes with comprehensive travel insurance coverage, new mobile device insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.

While there is a $25,000 annual cap on purchases that earn at the 2% and 4% rates, the average spender is unlikely to exceed them.

  • Annual fee: $120; waived in the first year
  • Grocery rewards: 4% cash back (10% bonus cash back for a limited time)
  • Perks: Comprehensive travel insurance coverage; Visa Infinite Perks

One downside of this card is that you need a personal income of at least $60,000 to qualify.

Best Subscription Credit Card for Groceries and Gas

Neo Everyday Essentials Card

Neo Everyday Essentials Card

Rewards and Perks: Earn up to 5% real cash back on purchases, 1.5x more cash back at Walmart and Costco, 1.5x more cash back when you buy gas at select gas stations, access to discounts at gas station chains like Husky, Irving Oil, and Chevron, access to life insurance protection for credit card balance.

Welcome offer: 15% cashback on your first purchases, plus a $25 welcome bonus.

Interest rates: 19.99% – 26.99% for purchases.

Annual fee: $8.99 monthly subscription (cancel anytime)

Credit score required: Poor or bad credit score.

Spice up your Neo Card™ by subscribing to the optional Everyday Essentials perks bundle at $8.99 monthly.

The Everyday Essential perk unlocks over $170 in annual value, converts the Neo Card™ into one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada, and offers:

  • 1.5x more cash back at popular wholesale merchants like Walmart and Costco, as well as specialty and liquor stores
  • 1.5x more cash back when you purchase gas at participating gas stations across Canada
  • Exclusive access to discounts at gas station chains like Husky, Irving Oil, and Chevron
  • Access to life insurance protection that covers your credit card balance

These benefits are, in addition, to an average of 5% cashback rewards available at over 10,000 Neo partners when you pay with your card.

Overall, Everyday Essentials perks are valued at up to $30 monthly, easily covering the subscription cost.

If you are concerned about your credit score and still want to earn cashback, you can apply for the Neo Secured Card that offers guaranteed approval with:

  • No annual fees
  • No hard credit check
  • Flexible limits so you can increase your credit limit whenever you need

You can also customize your secured card to offer the same upgraded perks and unlock boosted cash back, exclusive offers, insurance coverage, and more!

Note that the Neo Card™ lacks insurance benefits. These are available when you subscribe to Premium Access or some of the other perks.

Best Store Credit Card for Grocery Rewards

If you shop at Loblaws grocery stores, including Superstore, No Frills, Wholesale Club, Extra Foods, and others, you can use a PC Financial Mastercard to rack up PC Optimum points.

These points can easily be redeemed in-store and online to pay for your purchases at participating stores.

Three cards are offered under the PC Financial brand:

PC Financial Mastercard

Rewards: 25 points/$1 at Shoppers Drug Mart, 10 points/$1 at Loblaw-banner grocery stores; 30 points/litre of gas at Esso/Mobil, etc.

Welcome offer: N/A.

Interest rates: 20.97% on purchases; 22.97% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Of the three options, the PC Financial World Elite has the best earn rate at 45 PC Optimum points per dollar (4.5%) when you shop at Shoppers Drug Mart and 30 points per dollar (3%) in Loblaw grocery stores.

This card also earns accelerated rewards on gas purchases at Esso-Mobil and on travel at PC Travel.

For all other purchases, you earn 10 PC Optimum points per dollar.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Grocery rewards: 3%
  • Perks: Travel emergency medical and car rental insurance; purchase protection, extended warranty, and 24/7 concierge.

To apply for the PC World Elite, you need a minimum personal income of $80,000 per year.

Best Credit Card for Shoppers at Costco

Since Costco only accepts Mastercard credit cards, the best cash back credit card for shopping there is one with a base high earn rate for purchases in general.

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

If you are looking for a no-fee card that offers cash back rewards on both CAD and USD spending, the Rogers World Elite Mastercard performs well.

While its cash back rates were recently dialled back, you still earn 1.50% unlimited cash back on all purchases made in Canadian dollars. For U.S. dollar spending, the earn rate is 3%.

The Rogers World Elite also offers travel insurance benefits, including rental car, emergency medical, trip interruption and cancellation insurance.

In addition, it provides several benefits you typically only find with premium cards that have a fee, such as free global Wi-Fi hotspots, complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences, and more.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Grocery rewards: 1.5% earn rate
  • Perks: Comprehensive travel benefits, free Boingo Wi-Fi

A downside of this card is that you need a personal income of $80,000 to qualify. Also, you must spend at least $15,000 each year to maintain your eligibility.

For Costco shopping, you can also use The CIBC Costco Mastercard.

Notable Mentions

BMO eClipse Visa Infinite Card

The BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite credit card is one of Canada’s best grocery credit cards.

You can earn five points for every dollar you spend on groceries, adding up to many points over a year. It also provides the same high earnings rate on transit, dining and gas, but there is a limit of $50,000 per year on all of these categories.

You can earn one point for every dollar you spend on everything else.

Extra features include travel insurance, mobile device insurance and car rental collision/loss insurance coverage.

The annual fee is $120. There is a $60,000 minimum personal income requirement or a $100,000 minimum household income requirement.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Grocery rewards: 5 BMO Points per $1 spent (maximum spending limit applies)
  • Perks: Travel insurance, mobile device insurance and car rental collision/loss insurance coverage. Add authorized users to earn 10% more points. $50 annual lifestyle credit. Various Visa Infinite benefits.

CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite is one of Canada’s best cash back grocery cards. Using this card, you can earn 4% on your grocery purchases and 4% on gas up to $80,000 per year on purchases.

You can also earn 2% cash back on transportation, dining and recurring bills. Again, the limit on purchases is $80,000 per year. You can earn 1% cash back on your other purchases with no limit.

One great thing about the card is that you can redeem your cash back anytime. Travel insurance coverage is included as an additional perk.

There is an annual fee of $120 and a minimum personal income requirement of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Grocery rewards: 4% cash back (up to $80,000 annual limit on purchases)
  • Perks: Travel insurance and mobile device insurance coverage. Various benefits with Visa Infinite. Up to 25% off car rentals.

Methodology:

We have used several factors to determine the best grocery credit cards in Canada. These include the potential to earn rewards and cash back, the limits on any rewards, welcome bonuses and other features like interest rates, annual fees and application requirements.

Best Credit Cards For Grocery Purchases in Canada

Credit CardGrocery Earn RateAnnual Fee
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card2% cash back (15% bonus offer for a limited time)$0
American Express Cobalt CardUp to 6 points per $1 (6%)$120
Scotiabank Gold American Express5 points per $1 (5%)$120
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite4% cash back (10% promo rate for 3 months)$120
Neo Everyday Essentials Card1.5x more cash back at Walmart and Costco$8.99/month
Rogers World Elite Mastercard1.5% cash back$0
PC Financial World Elite Card30 PC Optimum points per $1 (3%)$0
BMO eClipse Visa Infinite Card5 BMO Points per $1 spent$120
CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite4% cash back$120

What Is a Grocery Credit Card?

With grocery costs rocketing, you may be looking for a way to save money on your weekly shopping. A grocery credit card is one way to do that.

Grocery credit cards in Canada are simply credit cards that provide cash back or reward points for your grocery purchases. This way, you can get something back when you spend on groceries.

With good rewards and some cards offering low or no annual fees, you could save hundreds of dollars on your groceries each by using one of these credit cards.

How to Choose a Grocery Credit Card

Look for the best rewards when you are choosing a grocery credit card. For example, choose a cash back credit card if you want to earn cash back. If you want a particular reward scheme, look for a card that offers that.

Aim to choose the card with the best rate where you can earn the most cash back or rewards.

But if the cash back you earn is offset by a high annual fee, you may want to get a different card. A lower cash back rate with no annual fee could be better.

Choose a card that provides you with rewards based on where you shop. If you shop at Sobeys, for example, it makes sense to get a card that you can use for your weekly shopping and earn rewards while you do.

Don’t forget to look at the card’s more general features, including the APR, fees and additional perks.

Consider getting more than one card. This way, you can use different cards based on where you shop to earn more rewards.

How to Apply for a Grocery Credit Card

Once you have chosen your preferred card, applying is easy. But first, check the requirements.

There is usually an age and residential status requirement. Minimum personal or family income requirements may also be in place; sometimes, these can be high.

Most card issuers will only approve your application if you have a good credit score. If your credit score is not good, consider applying for a secured credit card instead and use this to improve your credit score.

You can then apply via the website. You may also be able to apply over the phone or in person. If you apply online, your application may be accepted or rejected almost immediately.

Once you have been approved, simply wait for your card to be delivered and start using it.

Will Buying Groceries with a Credit Card Build Credit?

Buying groceries with your credit card will help build credit, just as with any other type of purchase. As long as you make your monthly payments on time, this can help to improve your credit score.

Not only that, but it is convenient. You also get the added benefit of earning points or cash back for using your credit card.

Who Should Apply for a Grocery Credit Card?

Most people spend a significant amount of money on groceries each year, so a grocery credit card can be a good idea for almost anyone.

If you regularly shop at a certain grocery store, a credit card that rewards you for your grocery purchases makes sense. The best cards are only suitable for people with good credit scores.

How to Save Money on Groceries

Credit cards for groceries are a good starting point when saving money on your grocery purchases. But there are other ways to save money.

  • Use cash back apps like Rakuten to make extra money on your purchases.
  • Clip coupons to use in your favourite grocery stores for instant discounts.
  • Always compare prices and shop where you can make savings on your groceries.
  • Join the supermarket’s loyalty program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Walmart considered grocery for credit cards?

Not always. You may classify it as a grocery store, but not all credit cards recognize it. So while you can use credit cards here, you should check whether your credit card provides rewards for grocery purchases.

Is Costco considered a grocery store for credit card cash back rewards?

Credit cards do not usually recognize Costco as a grocery store for their reward programs. Also, be aware that Costco only accepts Mastercard and not Visa.

What is the best credit card for grocery purchases in Canada?

There are several excellent credit cards for grocery purchases in Canada, and the best depends on your requirements. In our opinion, the American Express Cobalt Card and the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card are the best.

What grocery stores accept American Express in Canada?

Several major grocery stores accept American Express in Canada. These include Sobeys, Safeway, Metro, 88 Supermarket, Farm Boy, Instacart, Whole Foods and more.

Does buying food with a credit card hurt your credit?

No, buying food using a credit card will not hurt your credit. However, you must make sure you make your monthly payments on time, just like any other purchase type.

What credit cards are accepted at No Frills?

No Frills used to only accept Mastercard at its stores. However, it now accepts Visa too.

Best Credit Offers in January 2023

Earn up to 5% cash back at over 10,000 retail locations ($25 Bonus)

Get a $25 bonus when you are approved for the Card.

No annual account fees.

Earn up to 5% unlimited cash back at 10,000+ participating stores.

Guaranteed instant approval credit card.

Get up to 5% cashback and grow your savings ($20 bonus)

Best free prepaid reloadable Mastercard plus a $20 welcome bonus.

Free budgeting app with automatic savings features.

Increase your credit score with optional credit building add-on.

Earn up to 2.00% interest on your entire balance.*

Get one of the no-fee cash back credit cards in Canada ($150 bonus)

Earn 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 spending categories.

Get a $150 welcome bonus after spending $1,000 in the first two months.

1.95% low-rate balance transfer, airport lounge access, and insurance benefits.

No annual fees to use the card and cashback is paid out monthly.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

5 thoughts on “Best Credit Cards for Groceries in Canada for January 2023”

  1. Gravatar for H

    BMO cash back offers a 3% cash back at no fee.

  2. Gravatar for tony newman

    How does the system know how much of your Walmart or Costco shopping bill falls into the ‘groceries’ and ‘pharmaceuticals’ categories and what does not? Or are Walmart and Costco purchases not valid for cash back?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Tony: It depends on which card you are using. Some cards explicitly exclude Costco from grocery purchases. The MCC codes usually stipulate which type of store falls under each category and subcategories.

  3. Gravatar for tony newman

    Would car purchase and car servicing come under ‘transportation’ – or is there a sleazy get-out clause neutralizing this natural assumption on the part of the honest but gullible?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Tony: I doubt it. Transportation usually refers to public transit. Or, in some cases, gas purchases.

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