Best Credit Cards To Use For Groceries And Gas

There’s no question that a good chunk of our budgets are spent on groceries and gas.  With the price of gasoline hovering above $1.30 per litre, and food costs rising, who isn’t looking for ways to save money on groceries and gas?

One way to combat food and fuel inflation is by using a rewards credit card.  Depending on the card, you’ll earn cash back or travel rewards, or you can redeem your points for free groceries and gas discounts at your favourite retailers.

Related: Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada

But some credit cards can earn you more than others, especially when it comes to spending on groceries and gas.  That’s because some credit cards use different point multipliers for each spending category.

Groceries and gas is one of the most competitive spending categories for earning rewards, so we took a look and compared the best credit cards to use for groceries and gas.

Best Credit Cards For Groceries And Gas

This chart compares the annual cash back rewards you can earn based on spending $600 a month on groceries and $200 a month on gas, versus spending $400 a month on groceries and $100 a month on gas.

Credit Card Groceries (per month) Gas (per month) Annual Rewards (cash value)
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite $600 $200 $384
$400 $100 $240
Scotiabank Gold American Express $600 $200 $384
$400 $100 $240
MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard $600 $200 $168
$400 $100 $120

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite gives you 4% cash back on grocery and gas purchases, tops among cash back credit cards in Canada.  You’ll earn 2% cash back on recurring bill payments and drug store purchases, and 1% cash back on all other spending.

This card comes with a $99 annual fee, so you’ll have to determine whether or not you spend enough on groceries and gas to offset the fee and still come out ahead.  If you spend $800 a month on groceries and gas, you’ll beat the no-fee Smart Cash card, but at $500 a month it’s not worth the cost.

Scotiabank Gold American Express

New to the rewards card scene is the Scotiabank Gold American Express card.  It stacks up well in a number of categories.  You’ll earn four Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, dining and entertainment.  Afterwards, you’ll get one Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Related: Why Cash Back Beats Travel Rewards

You’ll also get 20,000 bonus points with your first purchase.  This card also comes with a $99 annual fee, and like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite, you’ll need to spend more than $500 a month on groceries and gas to beat the no-fee cash back credit cards.

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard

That brings us to the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard, widely known as the best no-fee cash back credit card on the market.  With this card, you’ll get 5% back on your grocery and gas purchases for the first six months, and 2% back thereafter.

This category bonus is capped at $600 a month; afterwards you’ll get 1% back.  So if you spend more than $600 a month on groceries and gas, consider an annual fee rewards card with no cap (or a higher cap) on spending.

Final Thoughts

Using a rewards credit card for your everyday purchases is a good way to fight off inflation, but it’s important to know your spending patterns so you can figure out which credit card is right for you.

Related: Choose Your Rewards Card Carefully

If you have trouble finding one credit card to meet all your needs, consider carrying two or three cards.  That way, you can use the one that gives you the biggest return on each spending category.

For example, you can use the Smart Cash card for grocery and gas spending up to $600 a month, and then use the Capital One Aspire Travel card for all your other spending.

Or, use the Scotiabank Gold American Express card as your primary rewards credit card and then carry a no-fee back-up card like Capital One Aspire Cash to use at locations that don’t accept American Express.

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