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Best credit cards for groceries in Canada - by grocery store

Hyder Owainati

What does your grocery run look like? Do you hop into a car to hunt for bargains at discount grocers, opt for convenience by shopping from the store located closest to home, or actively seek out premium outlets for their better food selection and brighter-lit aisles?

Regardless of how (and where) you choose to restock your fridge, you can save a considerable chunk of change on your grocery bill by using a rewards credit card that offers points or cash back. Since not all credit cards are accepted at every grocery, we’ve broken down our list of the best credit cards in Canada for groceries by store – so you can maximize your savings without having to compromise on where you shop.

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Best credit cards for groceries in Canada – by grocery store

  • Foodbasics, Longo’s, Mcewan, Metro, Pusateri’s, Rabba, Safeway, Sobeys, Whole Foods: American Express Cobalt and Scotiabank Gold American ExpressVIEW CARDS HERE
  • Frescho, Loblaws, Superstore: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and Meridian Visa InfiniteVIEW CARDS HERE
  • Costco: MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard, Rogers World Elite Mastercard, BMO World Elite Mastercard and MBNA Rewards Platinum PlusVIEW CARDS HERE
  • No Frills: PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, Tangerine Money-Back Card, and MBNA Rewards Platinum PlusVIEW CARDS HERE
  • Walmart Supercentres: Tangerine Money-Back Card, MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus, American Express Simply Cash PreferredVIEW CARDS HERE

 

Best travel credit cards for groceries

American Express Cobalt

The American Express Cobalt stacks up as one of the best credit cards in Canada for groceries for its strong points multiplier on food purchases. For every $1 you spend at the grocery store (as well as restaurants, bars and cafes), you’ll get 5 American Express Membership Points – which works out to a whopping 5% return on all your food bills. The points you earn on the American Express Cobalt are flexible and can be redeemed for travel on any airline with no date or seat restrictions.

The card also offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel, gas, taxis and rideshare services, 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada, and 1 point on all other purchases. Plus, as a new cardholder, you can receive 2,500 bonus points every month in your first year that you charge at least $500 on the card (up to 30,000 points). That's enough for $300 in statement credits redeemed towards purchases charged to your Card, or $225 in American Express® Prepaid Cards.

 

Card details

  • Annual fee: $155.88 (charged at $12.99 monthly)
  • Welcome Bonus of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points
  • Earn 5 points per dollar on grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and food delivery
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on gas, taxis, public transportation and travel (air, water, rail, or road transport, plus hotels)
  • Earn 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs
  • Income requirement: Any amount

Scotiabank Gold American Express

The Scotiabank Gold American Express earns cardholders 5 Scotia Rewards points per dollar on groceries and restaurants (5% when redeemed for travel) – mirroring the return of the American Express Cobalt. Unlike the Cobalt, however, the Scotiabank Gold American Express will also gives you 5 points per dollar on entertainment and 3 points for gas, rideshares, and some streaming services. Not to mention, it’ll charge no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside of Canada.

A caveat of both these abovementioned cards is that – as American Express Cards – they’re not as universally accepted at all grocery chains including most discount grocers and all Loblaw-owned stores. However, if you make your food runs at groceries where American Express is accepted, the Cobalt or Scotiabank Gold should be your top consideration.

 

Card details

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Welcome offer: 40,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel).  Plus, no annual fee in the first year.
  • Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per dollar on groceries, entertainment, and restaurants
  • Earn 3 points per dollar on gas, daily transit, and eligible streaming services
  • Get 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

Canada’s two best cash back credit cards for groceries – the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and the Meridian Visa Infinite – offer identical rewards on grocery purchases. You’ll earn 4% cash back at almost all grocery chains with either of these cards where Visa is accepted (which, by default, includes most of the grocery stores that accept American Express).

That’s where much of the similarities end however. While the Meridian Visa Infinite offers 4% on gas and 2% on recurring bills, the reverse is true for the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.

 

Card details

  • Annual fee: $120 (waived for first year)
  • Welcome offer: earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases). No annual fee in the first year, including on additional cards
  • Earn 4% cash back on groceries and recurring bills
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and transit
  • Get 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Emergency travel coverage and $1,000 in mobile device insurance

Best credit cards for Costco

Costco exclusively accepts Mastercard credit cards, which dwindles down your choice of plastic. Furthermore, Costco isn’t recognized as a grocery store by Mastercard, so you won’t earn any bonus points on your credit card (for example, if your card offers 2% back per dollar on groceries and 1% for all other purchases, you’ll earn 1% at Costco).

That said, there are still some notable credit cards you can use to save on Costco’s already lower prices.

MBNA Rewards World Elite

The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard offers a flat 1 points per dollar (equal to 1% in travel rewards) on every purchase – including those made at Costco.

To top it off, the card currently has a 30,000 point welcome offer. You’ll pocket 10,000 bonus points just by enrolling for e-statements and the remaining 20,000 points after you make $2 in purchases on the card all within the first 90 days of opening your account. The card does have an annual fee of $120 and an income requirement of $80,000 (or $150,000 as a household).

There’s one fact regarding the card’s points program that’s important to keep in mind. 1 MBNA points always equals to the equivalent of $0.01 (1%) when redeemed for travel rewards like flights.

 

Card details

  • $120 annual fee
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases until $50,000 is spent annually in the applicable category. 1 point‡ for every $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Receive 20,000 bonus points after you make at least $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening
  • Receive 10,000 bonus points once enrolled for e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Income requirement: $80,000

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

With the no fee MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus, you’ll earn  4 points for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days  , and 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in those categories thereafter – in both cases, these earn rates apply until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category. 1 point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

 

Card details

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 4 points for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases during the first 90 days, and 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in those categories thereafter – in both cases, these earn rates apply until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category. 1 point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Receive 5,000 bonus points after your first $500 in eligible purchase within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Receive 5,000 bonus points once enrolled for e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening

BMO Ascend World Elite® Mastercard®

One of the only cards on our list of the best travel credit cards in Canada that’s accepted at Costco, the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard will get you 5 BMO Rewards points per dollar on eligible travel purchases. This premium card also offers 3 points per dollar spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases as well as recurring bills. It also features numerous premium travel and insurance perks (such as complimentary access to airport lounges) as well as a strong welcome offer of up to 60,000 points as well as your first-year annual fee waived for both primary ($150) and first authorized ($50) cardholders.

 

Card details

  • $150 annual fee (waived for the first year)
  • Earn 5 BMO Rewards points per dollar on eligible travel purchases
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per dollar on eligible dining and entertainment purchases as well as recurring bills
  • Earn up to 60,000 points as well as your first-year annual fee waived for both primary ($150) and first authorized ($50) cardholders
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Find your perfect credit card in under 60 seconds - No SIN required

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself

    Answer some questions so we can personalize our recommendations - this won't impact your credit score

  2. Check your eligibility

    We confirm your eligibility with our partner, TransUnion. This will be a ‘soft credit check’ which you can see but lenders cannot

  3. Find your perfect matches

    We show you the cards you’re most likely to want and most likely to get

let's get started

Best grocery cards for No Frills

Similar to Costco, No Frills only accepts Mastercard. Unlike Costco, however, No Frills is categorized as a grocery store by Mastercard and is owned by Loblaws Companies Limited, which opens up more credit card options and opportunities to save.

 

PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®

With the no annual fee PC Financial World Elite, you’ll get 30 PC Optimum points for every dollar you spend at eligible Loblaw-owned grocery stores, including No Frills. 10,000 PC Optimum points equates to $10, which means you’ll get one of the highest returns on groceries available for a no fee card. The points you earn on this card can be conveniently redeemed at the checkout at Loblaw-owned groceries.

You can also earn 45 points for every dollar you spend at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per dollar on purchases at PC Travel and up to 30 points per litre when you gas up at any Esso/Mobil station.

There are some downsides, however: the card has a high-income requirement for a no fee card ($80,000 individual or $150,000 household) and you’ll only earn 10 points per dollar on other purchases (including groceries at stores not affiliated with the PC Optimum program).

 

Card details

  • Earn 45 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix
  • Earn 30 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at PC-branded grocery stores (Loblaws, No Frills, and more)
  • Earn at least 30 Optimum Points per litre at Esso/Mobil stations
  • Earn 30 Optimum Points per dollar at PC Travel
  • Earn 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Income requirement: $80,000

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

One of the most flexible no fee cards on the market, the Tangerine Money-Back Card offers 2% cash back in up to three categories of your choice (options includes groceries, gas, restaurants and more). There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn (so you’ll get 2% back on groceries no matter how much you spend) and the card will provide you with your cash back savings monthly instead of annually. The card’s only drawbacks are that it offers 0.5% cash back for non-category purchases and has no real side-perks.

 

Card details

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases in up to three categories of your choice, and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Income requirment: $12,000

 

Best grocery cards for Walmart Supercentres

Walmart accepts all cards, but in order for your purchases to go through as groceries (and in turn, earn you bonus points or cash back) you should:

  • Use your card specifically at one of the retailer’s larger Walmart Supercentres.
  • Use a Mastercard – it’s the only card company that categorizes Walmart Supercentres as a grocery. Visa and American Express view spending at Walmart as generic purchases (usually giving you a flat 1% return or less), even if you have groceries as a bonus category.

With those caveats in mind, we’ve listed out the best credit cards to use at Walmart below.

 

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases in up to three categories of your choice, and 0.5% cash back on everything else
  • Income requirment: $12,000

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 4 points per $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases during the first 90 days
  • After 90 days, get 2 points per $1 on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases ($5,000 annual cap on each category).
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Receive 5,000 bonus points after your first $500 in eligible purchase within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Receive 5,000 bonus points once enrolled for e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Mobile device insurance, purchase assurance and extended warranty benefits.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 10% cash back on eligible purchases for the first four months (up to $400 cash back)
  • Earn 2% cash back on all purchases after that, with no limit on how much you can earn

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