Best Credit Cards For Dining and Restaurants in 2024

Credit Cards For Restaurants in May 2024

It’s always appealing to go out with friends or colleagues dining with food cooked by someone else. But it can also create a dent in your pocket. Sadly, only a few have a special card for this occasion. Hence, they incur extra charges by using their regular cards.

But there are various ways to cut these costs. And using the right credit card is one of them. With the right card, you get access to better features and save more every year. Hence, this guide will help you choose the best credit card for restaurants. Additionally, if you ever find yourself in a financial pinch, knowing what app can I borrow money from instantly? can be incredibly useful.

Credit Cards For Dining and Restaurants: 7 Best Offers

Americans habitually dig into each card’s features, fees, perks, and drawbacks. But it takes time to gather information about every option in the market. So, we have done the difficult task for you by compiling a list of the best dining card offers.

These are the best credit cards for dining that offer the lowest annual fees, offer the highest cash backs, and add various other perks to their cards. Evaluate each option and choose the best one for your demands.

1. Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card
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4.2
Chase Freedom Flex
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR20.49%–29.24%
  • Credit Score690-850
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for: Cashback, Students

Chase Freedom Flex is one of the most effective options you can go for there. Not only because it requires zero maintenance fees for restaurant payments. But because there are many bonus categories to get. It’s ideal for optimizers and especially recommended for students. When it comes to value-packed offers for restaurants and food purchases, Chase Freedom Flex is the best option in the market.

Annual Fee is $0

Intro Offer: Gives a $200 bonus to users who reach a net purchase of $500 on their account in their first three months after signing up.

Rewards Rate: Get a cash-back reward of up to 5% when you spend up to $1,500 in one quarter of the year. 5% cash back when you book a flight with the rewards program. 3% on purchases made at drugstores, takeout, and deliveries. Get 1% off on other purchases.

Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  1. Huge welcome bonus
  2. Extensive rewards
  3. Zero annual fees.

Cons

  1. Rewards are difficult to redeem
  2. Fees imposed on foreign transactions.

2. American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card
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4.0
American Express® Gold Card
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Regular APR21.24%-29.24%
  • Credit Score690-850
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for Travel rewards

American Express® Gold Card is a great recommendation for anyone that spends heavily on dining. It gives a loyalty reward when you spend on your meals. The reward system is complicated but flexible. Many are wary of its high annual fee, though. But it offers 4 points on every dollar spent (up to $25,000 annually).

Annual Fee is $250

Intro Offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards points. Note: you must have a net spending of $4,000 in your first 180 days or 6 months of registering.

Rewards Rate: 4 Membership Rewards points on every dollar you spend for dining, restaurants and U.S supermarkets. 3 points for AMEX and 1 dollar for every other purchase. $10 dining credits are awarded monthly.

Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  1. Numerous bonuses
  2. Easy reward redemptions
  3. Members loyalty program
  4. Supports transfer partners.

Cons

  1. Costly annual fee
  2. Rewards difficult to redeem.

3. Wells Fargo Autograph Card

Wells Fargo Autograph
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PayDaySay rating

4.3
Wells Fargo Autograph Card
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR20.24%-29.99%
  • Credit Score690-850
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for: Restaurants, Travel Rewards

Here’s the best card if you hate making annual fee payments but are passionate about getting travel credits. It is perhaps the best credit card for dining. It gives you interesting bonuses on different purchases you make. It has zero hidden fees or complex reward redemption processes.

The card is best for travelers who spend a lot dining. But you won’t get the transfer partner perks from high-maintenance cards. You need to check out the free checked bags add-on too.

Annual Fee is $0

Intro Offer: Get 30,000 points for spending up to $1,500 in your first 3 months. This is worth $300.

Rewards Rate: Get 3 points every time you spend a dollar on Dining, Gas, Restaurants, Travel, etc. Other purchases give a point for every spent dollar.

Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  1. Zero annual fees
  2. Various bonuses
  3. Unlimited rewards
  4. Insurance on your cell phone.

Cons

  1. No luxury rewards or anniversary offers
  2. High credit score requirement.

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
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PayDaySay rating

4.3
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR18.99% to 25.99%
  • Credit Score690-850
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for: Cashback, Restaurants

Cash Sapphire Preferred® is a cost-effective card. It has a high annual fee, complemented by its high rewards. The card also charges a variable APR of 18.99%-25.99% and a Cash Advance APR of 27.99%. In addition, as a member, you get zero charges on any transaction you make abroad. But you must have a high credit score to get approved.

Annual Fee is $95

Intro Offer: 60,000 bonus reward points for meeting a net purchase. So, users get this bonus when they spend up to $4,000 in their first 3 months of signing up. This can yield up to $750 when claimed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Rewards Rate: 1 to 5x cash back rewards on different types of purchases.

Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  1. Huge bonus offers
  2. Foreign transaction fees are absent
  3. High cashback rates
  4. Flexible reward program.

Cons

  1. Costly annual fee
  2. High-interest rate.

5. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. BANK CASH+® VISA SIGNATURE® CARD
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PayDaySay rating

4.3
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR19.49%-29.74%
  • Credit Score650-890
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for Cashback, Restaurants

This is another contender for the highest cashback rewards. It allows you to decide when you’d like to receive your rewards. So, you can get up to 5% cash back in two of the year’s four quarters. There is no maintenance fee, so you can save costs. New users get a warm welcome with the intro bonuses too.

Annual Fee: $0

Intro Offer: Has a $200 bonus when you spend up to $1,000 in the first 4 months of registration. Note that it only applies to eligible purchases.

Rewards Rate: Get 5% cash back on your net purchases when you spend up to $2,000. But you can only earn this bonus in any 2 quarters of the year you choose. 2% cash back on everyday purchases. 5% on prepaid hotel and travel reservations that you make in the Chase Reward Center. 1% on others.

Credit Score: 650-890

Pros

  1. No annual fee
  2. Multiple bonuses
  3. High cash back reward offers.

Cons

  1. Rewards are difficult to redeem.

6. Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card

Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card
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PayDaySay rating

4.0
Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR21.74%–28.74% variable
  • Credit Score650-890
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for Travel, Cashback, Restaurants

Chase Aeroplan® offers a hassle-free travel card experience. It’s one of the top credit cards for dining, earning points and getting access to benefits. Traveling and spending abroad will not incur extra charges. And you don’t have to be a regular customer to redeem all the rewards here.

Annual Fee: $95

Intro Offer: 70,000 points when you have a net you spend of $3,000. But this must also be between your first 3 months of signing up.

Rewards Rate: 3x points on every dollar spent on Air Canada, dining, groceries, food deliveries, etc., and 1x points on all other purchases. 500 points when you spend up to $2,000 in a month.

Credit Score: 650-890

Pros

  1. No foreign transaction fees
  2. Up to 8 travel partners for cardholders
  3. High cashback rates
  4. Flexible bonus rewards.

Cons

  1. No Intro APR
  2. High annual fee.

7. Citi Custom Cash Card

CITI CUSTOM CASH® CARD
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PayDaySay rating

4.3
Citi Custom Cash Card
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Regular APR19.24%-29.24%
  • Credit Score690-850
  • Loan TermsTill payday

Best for Cashback

Citi Custom Cash? is one of the best dining credit cards. It makes a good fit for anyone looking for high cashback as well. There are no maintenance fees here, and the bonuses are the best. You’ll also get an introductory APR offer. So, there will be 0% APR on all your purchases. This offer lasts for the first 15 months. However, you don’t get free foreign transactions. So, you’re charged 3% on international payments.

Annual Fee: $0

Intro Offer: 20,000 Thank you Points for spending $1,500 or more in your first 6 months. This bonus is equivalent to $200 cash back.

Rewards Rate: 5% cash back when you spend up to $500 on eligible purchases. 1% on every other purchase.

Credit Score: 690-850

Pros

  1. Zero annual fees
  2. High cashback rate
  3. Introductory 0% APR.

Cons

  1. Limited bonus offers
  2. Charges foreign transaction fees.

Let’s Compare All These Credit Card Offers

Credit Card Best For Annual Fee Rewards Rate Credit Score
Chase Freedom Flex Cashback, Students $0 Get a cash-back reward of up to 5% when you spend up to $1,500 in one quarter of the year. 5% cash back when you book a flight with the rewards program. 3% on purchases made at drugstores, takeout, and deliveries. Get 1% on other purchases 690-850
American Express® Gold Card Travel rewards $250 4 Membership Rewards points for dining, restaurants, and U.S supermarkets per dollar spent. 3 points for AMEX and 1 dollar for every other purchase. $10 dining credits are awarded monthly 690-850
Wells Fargo Autograph? Card Dining, Travel Rewards $0 Get 3 points every time you spend a dollar on Dining, Gas, Restaurants, Travel, etc. Other purchases give a point for every spent dollar 690-850
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Cashback $95 1 to 5x cash back rewards on different types of purchases 690-850
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card Cashback $0 Get 5% cash back on your net purchases when you spend up to $2,000. But you can only earn this bonus in any 2 quarters of the year you choose. 2% cash back on everyday purchases. 5% on prepaid hotel and travel reservations that you make in the Chase Reward Center. 1% on others 690-850
Chase Aeroplan®  Travel, Cashback $95 3x points on every dollar spent on Air Canada, dining, groceries, food deliveries, etc., and 1x points on all other purchases. 500 points when you spend up to $2,000 in a month 690-850
Citi Custom Cash Card Cashback $0 5% cash back when you spend up to $500 on eligible purchases. 1% on every other purchase 690-850

How to Make The Most of Dining Credit Cards

If you’re an average American and spend up to $4,000 yearly. Then it’s a fantastic decision to use the best dining credit card. Some of the best dining card options give different rewards. For example, many of them can give $100+ annual rewards.

However, only some benefit from all the dining perks. So many users still need to know the basic steps to claim these rewards. Hence, below are tips you can follow to maximize the use of your restaurant card.

Use Your Credit Card On The Right Time

The best way to use a credit card is to have multiple options for different occasions. This way, you can keep track of your spending. For example, you’ll easily track how much you’ve spent on your travel card for a month or year. So, to maximize your cards, you should keep your dining credit card strictly for sorting meal bills.

The overall benefit is that it allows you to qualify for reward programs.

As a result, you can monitor your meal expenditures easily. Of course, you can use each best dining credit card for all purchases. But it’s more strategic to split your payments across two or more reward cards.

Watch For Credit Card Promotions

When choosing the best card to make payment for your meals, rewards, and fees are a top priority. But you should also watch out for ongoing promotions. Some of these issuers offer exclusive deals and promotions at different times of the year. For example, you could get rewards when you share your card with a partner.

Chase has early ticket access to cardholders for Food Lab Remixed program. Its Sapphire cardholders get access to the Private Dining Series as well. American Express sometimes gives dining perks too. So, Amex cardholders get exclusive deals at food festivals like EEEEEATSCON. It would be best if you always kept an eye out for all these promotions. You can sign up for email updates or frequently check the website.

Redeem Your Rewards Wisely

Always opt for cards with flexible reward programs. With flexible programs, you still have to understand the blueprint of its redemption. There are many cards with rewards on paper and difficult to redeem. So, always take the time to read the rewards redemption guide.

For example, if you must spend up to $25,000 a year to redeem your rewards.

But you know you only spend up to that amount, it’s better to opt for another offer. Otherwise, if your card accumulates rewards instead, learn how it works too. That way, you’ll know the best value of rewards you get and how to redeem them.

Don’t Charge More Than You Can Pay Off

Once you’ve chosen a suitable issuer for your credit card. You should pay attention to hidden fees. Some cards have high hidden costs that make them difficult to maintain. You should avoid extra charges on your cards if you truly want to enjoy using them. And the best way to do this is by keeping your tabs clean at the end of every month.

Having outstanding payments on your account attracts extra charges. It increases the amount you have to pay off the following month. Thereby leading to additional costs and expenses on your card. So, if you can, pay off your balance every month. Otherwise, reduce the amount you spend monthly to fit your repayment capacity.

How Can I Earn More Rewards on Dining With Credit Cards?

As someone who spends heavily on food, you can get many opportunities with your credit card. Savvy cardholders know how important dining rewards add up to maximizing their funds. One of the go-to ways you can get the best restaurant credit card features is to sign up for the welcome bonus.

In addition, most of these cards give intro bonuses that you can grab when you register. You can subscribe to the email newsletter of the card issuer too. That way, you always stay afloat with any newly introduced reward program.

Some users also suggest picking up a group tab too. So you earn more rewards and save your group in the process, especially if you get reimbursements. Another great option is linking your dining account to multiple cards. Or keeping track of statement credits and waivers on delivery apps.

Conclusion

Choosing a functional credit card is the first step to alleviating financial stress. Sorting these cards based on their purposes can also help you better manage your funds. So, a good dining credit card will help bolster your financial life. So when choosing one, it’s advisable to pay attention to tiny details.

So, ensure you check this list for cards with the lowest fees, highest reward value and great customer support service. Since you’ll probably use them frequently, consider their everyday usability, welcome bonuses and loyalty programs. With all these in check, you’re on the right track to selecting the ideal card for your restaurant purchases.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are many credit cards for restaurants and eating out that have high cashback rates. While they might have high reward rates, you should watch out for their fees and other features. Some of the best card options are:

  • Citi Custom Cash Card
  • Wells Fargo Autograph Card
  • American Express® Gold Card
  • Chase Freedom Flex
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Yes, in most cases, a bar payment is best classified as a dining payment for credit cards. It depends on the bar registration, though. So if a bar is categorized as a restaurant under the MCC, you can treat it as one.

Visa and MasterCard remain the two most widely accepted cards. These two are accepted almost everywhere in the world. In addition, American Express, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Chase are also accepted across America.

A credit card for dining usually has nothing to do with what the merchant sells. Instead, it all depends on what they are classified as. So if they fall under the dining or restaurant category, your purchase with count as one. So coffee shops, bars, hotels, and supermarkets can all count as dining-related payments.

Most flat-rate cards give you similar cashback rates on various types of purchases you make. There are two best card options you can use for your dining purchases. These are Chase Sapphire Reserve® and American Express® Gold Card.

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