Best Credit Cards for Restaurants and Dining for March 2022


Food is consistently one of the largest line items in our budgets. For some of us, that means spending a lot on groceries, but it also includes what we spend on restaurants, takeout and food delivery. Whether you’re feeling like a sit-down dinner at a restaurant or comfort food on the couch, there are credit cards that will reward you for spending money on, well, eating.

With so many dining rewards cards on the market, it can be tough to choose the right one. We’ve narrowed down the best credit cards for restaurants and dining, and we periodically update this list of partner offers.

Intro OfferIntro Offer: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

APR14.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Good/Excellent

Reward Rates

  • 4X points on dining, takeout, and restaurant delivery.
  • 2X points on streaming services.
  • 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations, and EV charging stations
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater

Balance Transfer APR14.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Foreign Transaction Fees N/A

  • 4X points on dining, takeout, and restaurant delivery.
  • 2X points on streaming services.
  • 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations, and EV charging stations
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Our Take

At one of the highest rewards rates for restaurants around, and with no annual fee, the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card is a great choice for most people’s restaurant and dining expenditure. You’ll earn 4x points on takeout, food delivery and dining. At a value of $0.01 per point, this means you’re receiving 4% back. Restaurant spending isn’t the card’s only bonus category — you’ll also earn 2x points on grocery store and grocery delivery purchases, as well as streaming services and gas station purchases. 

You can also score a welcome bonus of 20,000 points (worth $200) when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days of card ownership. This is a great way to cover some extra meals out.

Intro OfferEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 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.

Annual Fee$250

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Late Payment Fee Up to $40

Foreign Transaction Fees None

Penalty APR See Rates & Fees

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 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.

Our Take

Though there is a $250 annual fee with this card, if you spend a lot of money on dining, takeout and food in general, the outsize rewards will be worth it. The American Express Gold Card earns 4x points on your spending at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x) and 4x points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. The Points Guy values American Express points at 2 cents, meaning you effectively earn 8% back on restaurants.

The card also comes with up to $10 in Uber Cash each month to use for food delivery and “rideshare” in the U.S. (card must be added to the Uber app to receive this benefit), and up to $10 in monthly dining statement credits for Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Intro Offer$300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

APR15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
  • Earn 3% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

Annual Fee$95

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A

Balance Transfer Fee None for balances transferred at the Transfer APR.

Balance Transfer APR15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Late Payment Fee Up to $40

Foreign Transaction Fees None

Penalty APR None

  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
  • Earn 3% at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

Our Take

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card* is a top choice for date nights and other nights out on the town. That’s because this Capital One card has the unique pairing of 4% cash back on dining out and takeout, as well as entertainment and popular streaming services. So whether you’re having a date night out, romantic night in or day out with friends, you’ll get the same cash-back rewards. 

Additionally, you’ll get 8% cash back on any tickets you book through Vivid Seats (through January 2023). If you have a small budget for dining and entertainment and don’t want to pay the annual fee ($95) of this card, consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card*.

Intro OfferIntro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!

APR14.99% – 23.74% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • 1.5% on all other purchases

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Balance Transfer APR14.99% – 23.74% Variable

Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Penalty APR Up to 29.99%

  • Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • 1.5% on all other purchases

Our Take

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 3% cash back on dining, plus at least 1.5% cash back on any other purchases, making it the best pick if you want to maximize rewards for dining and everyday spending. The welcome bonus offers an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases for up to $20,000 of spending in the first year, so you can net a total of 4.5% cash back on dining for the relevant timeframe. Plus, there’s no annual fee. 

A unique offer with this card right now is the complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash. As long as you activate by March 31, 2022, you can enjoy unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees from thousands of restaurants for three months on qualifying food purchases. After that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next nine months.

Intro OfferN/A

APR12.99% – 26.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Limited/Fair/Good/Excellent

Reward Rates

  • Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Foreign Transaction Fees $0

  • Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away.

Our Take

If your credit is fair or limited, it may be difficult to qualify for one of our above picks. But all hope is not lost — while most credit cards for fair or limited credit do not offer any rewards systems, the Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa credit card, issued by WebBank, Member FDIC, does. There is no specific restaurant or dining category for rewards, but a blanket rewards rate of up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases has you covered. You earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, and then another 0.5% after 12 on-time monthly payments.

FAQs

How do you choose the right credit card for restaurants?

With so many excellent restaurant and dining credit cards on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. The fact is that many of the cards on our list offer comparable dining benefits, which means you may need to look a little closer at the rest of the terms and rewards.

Pay attention to whether there’s a limit on the dining rewards you can earn and see what combination of rewards and terms best fits your lifestyle and spending habits. Explore our other lists if you think you may be better off with one of the best credit cards for groceries, best credit cards for gas, best credit cards for travel, or overall best credit cards.

How do restaurant and dining cards work?

Restaurant and dining credit cards reward you for spending at certain food establishments. When you spend money at restaurants, on takeout or on food delivery (when applicable), you’ll earn an elevated rewards rate. Depending on the credit card company, you may be able to use your rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel, statement credits and other shopping. Some providers may offer a higher rewards rate on your points for certain redemption options.

As always, cash-back points are only worthwhile if you don’t overspend and pay off your balance in full each month. Otherwise, the interest and penalty fees you may accrue will offset your cash-back earnings and may end up costing you.

Can you earn rewards at bars with restaurant and dining cards?

Each credit card comes with different rules about what you can and cannot earn elevated rewards for. For example, some issuers only offer elevated rewards on money spent at actual restaurants, while others include takeout and delivery. Although bars are typically classified as restaurants, there may be a few instances where they are not.

Also, some cards may allow you to earn points at bars if they are also dining establishments, while others may allow elevated rewards at all establishments regardless of whether they serve food.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash-back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles — with the understanding that everyone’s financial situation is different — and the designated function of a card. 

For cash-back credit cards, for example, key factors include the annual fee, the “welcome bonus” and the cash-back rate (or rates, if they differ by spending category). For rewards and miles cards, we calculate and weigh the net monetary value of a card’s respective perks. And with balance transfer credit cards, we analyze specs such as the duration of the introductory 0% APR period and the balance transfer fee, while acknowledging secondary factors such as the standard APR and the length of time you have to make a balance transfer after you open the account.

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

*All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.



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