/The best credit cards to use at restaurants — whether you’re dining in, ordering takeout, or having your food delivered

The best credit cards to use at restaurants — whether you’re dining in, ordering takeout, or having your food delivered


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Eating out can add up, but the good news is that it’s easier than ever to earn bonus credit card rewards on your spending.

Dining rewards shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when picking a card; other factors like the welcome bonus, annual fee, and redemption options should also be on your priority list. But when two cards offer similar features, a better earnings potential on dining (or other bonus categories), can tip the scales.

With that in mind, here are the credit cards for maximizing your rewards on dining, whether you’re enjoying a meal out or ordering in through a service like GrubHub or Seamless.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Featured Reward

60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Annual Fee is $250.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
    • Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
    Cons
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus


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    The American Express® Gold Card offers the best blend of value and earnings potential for restaurant lovers. First of all, the 4x points that it earns on dining purchases is fantastic. But it’s the annual dining credit of up to $120 that puts the card over the top.

    After enrolling, cardholders can earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits each month when they pay with their card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

    Regular APR

    16.99%-23.99% Variable


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. From 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
    • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
    • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
    • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
    • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
    • Earn 3x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services
    Pros
    • Annual travel credit can effectively shave $300 off the annual fee if you use it
    • Strong travel insurance
    • Strong bonus rewards on travel and dining
    Cons
    • Very high annual fee
    • The new DoorDash statement credits may not be useful for everyone, which can make the recently increased annual fee harder to justify


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    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on dining out worldwide as well as travel (excluding the purchases that qualify for the $300 travel credit). Another recently added benefit for those who like to order in is a complimentary year of DashPass membership with the delivery service DoorDash — this membership waives delivery fees and offers lower service fees on orders of $12 or more. Even better, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders get up to $60 in statement credits with DoorDash in 2021.

    You’ll receive up to a $300 travel credit each year that can be used for reimbursement on hotel, airline, car rental, and other travel purchases as well — and as a limited-time COVID benefit, cardholders can apply the credit to gas and grocery purchases through June 30, 2021.

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® also gives cardholders the ability to transfer points to any Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partner, such as Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Hyatt, and others. When you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your points are worth 1.5 cents each (50% more) when you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or redeem through Pay Yourself Back (including toward dining purchases).

    This card does charge a $550 annual fee, but if you can take full advantage of its benefits and rewards, the Sapphire Reserve is worth every penny.

    Regular APR

    15.99%-22.99% Variable


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
    Pros
    • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
    • Strong travel coverage
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit or any other statement credit benefits


    Read Our Review

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    If you want to earn Chase points but you don’t want to pay the steep Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great alternative. It also offers a free year of DashPass membership with DoorDash, and it earns 2x points on all dining. 

    Points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth 1.25 cents apiece when you use them to book travel through the Chase portal or with Pay Yourself Back, or you can transfer them to airline and hotel partners to potentially get even more value. 

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a reasonable $95, so it’s a good pick if you want solid dining and travel perks but prefer a more modest annual fee.

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 24.99% variable APR

    Featured Reward

    Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) and 1% on all other purchases
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    • One-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
    Pros
    • High cash-back rate for dining and entertainment
    • No foreign transaction fees
    Cons
    • Many other cash-back cards don’t charge an annual fee (but at least this one’s waived for the first year)


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    If you prefer earning cash back to earning travel rewards, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a top pick for maximizing your restaurant spending. You’ll earn 4% back on all dining purchases, as well as on entertainment, with no cap.

    Based on the average American’s spending, you could earn $377 in cash back each year on dining and entertainment purchases alone if you pay with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. The card also earns 2% back on groceries, and 1% on everything else.

    Regular APR

    14.99% – 23.74%

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

    Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 billing cycles


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
    Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Generous bonus cash-back categories
    • Great welcome bonus
    Cons
    • Booking through Ultimate Rewards portal can restrict outside earning potential
    • Varying percentages and rotating calendar categories require extra attention
    • 3% foreign transaction fees

    The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns bonus cash back on a variety of categories, including dining. You’ll earn 3% back (3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on dining purchases, and there’s no annual fee.

    Regular APR

    14.99%–23.74% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
    Pros
    • Solid flat cash-back rate
    • You can combine cash-back rewards with Ultimate Rewards points if you have an eligible card
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Some other cards offer a higher rate of cash back on certain types of purchases


    Read Our Review

    Read Our Review
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    Like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® now earns 3% cash back on dining purchases, with no cap on how much you can earn. This card has no annual fee, either.

    If you’re not sure which of these two cards is a better fit for you, read our in-depth comparison of the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited.

    Out of all the cards on our list, the Citi Prestige® Card offers the highest rewards rate for dining out — 5 points per dollar. You’ll also earn 5x points on air travel and 3x points on hotels and cruise lines.

    While the bonus categories are great, it’s important to point out that this card does come with a hefty annual fee of $495 for the primary cardmember.

    You should probably only choose the Citi Prestige® Card if you can take full advantage of its numerous travel benefits, which include a $250 annual travel credit and Priority Pass airport lounge access. Note that through December 31, 2021, cardholders can apply the travel credit to purchases at restaurants (including takeout) and supermarkets, as well as the usual travel categories like airfare, hotels, rental cars, and more.

    For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

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