This post contains links to products from our advertisers, and we may be compensated when you click on these links. Our recommendations and advice are ours alone, and have not been reviewed by any issuers listed. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.
The best credit cards for dining and restaurants of September 2021:
The best credit card for your restaurant spending depends on the types of rewards you like to earn and if you’ll use the card for other purchases. Some cards offer a high earning rate on dining but might not be a good fit for your other spending, while others come with a decent rate of return at restaurants and additional everyday spending categories.
If you’re planning to apply for a new credit card to use on restaurant spending, you should also consider the welcome bonus — some cards currently come with record-high offers — as well as the annual fee, benefits, and redemption options.
60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening
Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
Underwhelming welcome bonus
Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
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 at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and 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 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
$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.
Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
4x points at restaurants and on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year at US supermarkets per year (then 1x)
3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
1 point per dollar on most other purchases
The Amex Gold Card has a $250 annual fee (See Rates), but two benefits can help you offset most of the yearly cost. You’ll receive up to $120 per calendar year (up to $10 per month) in Uber Cash credits you can use toward eligible US Uber rides or Uber Eats purchases (the Gold Card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit).
In addition, cardholders get up to $120 in annual dining credits** (up to $10 per month) with participating food delivery services and restaurants. These include purchases with Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. Here’s our Amex Gold card review for all the details.
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
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
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 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. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 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, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
With Pay Yourself Back(SM), 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 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass(TM) Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 5x total Chase Ultimate Rewards points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (after earning the $300 travel credit) and 3x points on other travel and dining. It’s currently offering 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Cardholders receive up to $60 in statement credits toward DoorDash purchases in 2021, along with a complimentary year of DashPass membership, which waives delivery fees and offers lower service fees on orders of $12 or more (activation required by December 31, 2021).
High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
Strong travel coverage
Doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
With Pay Yourself Back(SM), your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
If you want to earn Ultimate Rewards points but you don’t want to pay the hefty annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great alternative. It also offers a free year of DashPass membership with DoorDash, and it earns 3x points on dining.
Right now, it’s offering a record-high welcome bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Your points 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 Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great pick for maximizing your restaurant spending if you prefer earning cash back to travel rewards. You’ll earn 4% back on all dining purchases, entertainment, and eligible streaming services, 3% back on groceries, and 1% back on everything else with no caps.
Both cards earn bonus rewards in a variety of categories, including dining. You’ll earn 3% back (3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) at restaurants and drugstores, and 5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Strong sign-up bonus
Generous bonus categories
Doesn’t offer much in the way of statement credits or other perks
Citi ThankYou Rewards may not be as convenient as other points for US-based travelers
Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
The Citi Premier® Card flies under the radar as a credit card for restaurant spending, but if you’re looking for an all-purpose card that earns bonus rewards in lots of categories — including dining — it’s an excellent pick. Even better, the card is currently offering an all-time-high bonus of 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
$200 in cash back, fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
0% intro APR for 15 months
Flexibility to customize rewards by earning 5x points on up to $500 per billing cycle in your top spending category (from a list)
Generous welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card
No rotating bonus categories to sign up for or track
Earn valuable Citi ThankYou points which you can redeem for cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more
Only earns 1% back outside of $500 in top spending category each billing cycle
Foreign transaction fee of 3%
Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
No Annual Fee
Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is the newest offering from Citi, and it’s unique in that cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $500 in purchases in the eligible category they spend the most in each billing cycle (then 1%), and 1% on all other purchases.
Restaurants are one of the eligible categories — along with gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment. If dining out and ordering in are big expenses for you, using the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card for your purchases could earn you up to $25 in bonus cash back per month ($500 x 5% back).
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is also offering a welcome bonus of $200 in cash back, fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. For a card with a $0 annual fee, this is a good deal. Just remember it only earns 1% back outside of your highest spending category each month, so other cards — like the Citi Premier® Card — may be a better fit if you want to earn more rewards in multiple categories.
Strong 3% cash back earning in popular everyday spending categories for students like dining, entertainment, eligible streaming services, and grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®)
No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
You can be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months
No welcome bonus
High APR (26.99% Variable) if you need to carry a balance
Whether you’re at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023
Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
$0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
Set up Autopay for your account and your payments will be made automatically every month
It doesn’t currently offer a welcome bonus, but unlike some student credit cards, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with a decent range of benefits, including price protection***, extended warranty***, car rental coverage***, and complimentary concierge services. As with other Capital One cards, you’ll automatically be considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months from account opening.
Featured credit cards from our partners
3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months
$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening