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Best credit cards for groceries in Canada

ViDI Studio / Shutterstock

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Updated: February 28, 2024

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

If you feel like a major portion of your budget is allocated toward groceries each month, you’re not alone: a Money.ca study confirms that food prices are continuing to rise and a majority of Canadians believe that rising food prices are outpacing their income.

But there are a number of effective strategies for grocery shopping that can reduce the bite that food takes out of your budget. The fastest change, and the one that is probably least disruptive to your current lifestyle, is to switch to a credit card that rewards you for your lengthy grocery bills.

Best credit cards for groceries

Best grocery credit cards Best for Get started
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* Best no annual fee card Apply now
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Best for maximizing cash back Apply now
PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard® Best no annual fee rewards card Apply now
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® Best for maximizing rewards Apply now
Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® Best for Costco Apply now
American Express Cobalt® Card Best for food delivery Apply now
@moneydotca Uncovering the Secrets: Are Credit Card Points Truly Rewarding or Just a Scam? A #creditcardpoints #personalfinance #fyp #tiktokfinance #creditcard #money ♬ this feeling - Øneheart

Best no annual fee grocery credit card

BMO CashBack Mastercard

3% Cardholders earn 3% (up to a monthly max of $500) cash back on groceries

1% Cardholders can earn 1% (up to $500 per month) on any recurring bill payments and 0.5% (no monthly max) on all other eligible purchases

0.5% Cardholders can earn 0.5% (no monthly max) on all other eligible purchases

$0 Annual Fee

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR

Fair Recommended Credit Score

$15,000 Required Annual Personal Income

Welcome Offer Ends May 31, 2024

Get 5% cash back in your first 3 months and 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months

Learn more

Offer overview:

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* offers a very high 3% regular cashback rate on groceries*, which is quite impressive given that the card has no annual fee. For cards with no annual fee, it offers the highest cash back rate on groceries in Canada. As a Mastercard it’s also one of the best credit cards for Walmart Supercentres (which Mastercard categorizes as a grocer) but its relatively low ‘all purchases’ earn rate of 0.5%* makes it less ideal for stores that Mastercard does not categorize as grocers, like Costco.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome bonus: Get up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months, plus a $50 cash back bonus (when you spend $6,000) in your first year – that’s up to $175 cash back in your first year!*
  • Grocery cashback rate: 3% cash back on groceries after the first 3 months (up to $500 spent per billing cycle)*
  • Other cashback rates: 1% cash back on recurring bills after the first 3 months (up to $500 spent per billing cycle); 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases*
  • Additional features: 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months, 2% fee applies to balance amounts transferred*

Our take:

There are other cards that earn more than a 3% return on groceries (see below), but they come with annual fees of $100+. If you won’t spend enough throughout the year to earn back the annual fee through cash back, or if you don’t meet the other cards’ higher income requirements, the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* is a great option to pull out whenever you’re at the checkout counter.

*Terms and conditions apply

Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of January 4, 2023.

Best for maximizing cash back on groceries

Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

4% For every $1 you spend on grocery store purchases, recurring bill payments and subscription purchases

2% For every $1 you spend on gas and daily transit purchases

1% Cash back on all other purchases with no cash back limit

$120 Annual Fee $50 per supplementary card

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR

22.99% Balance Transfer Rate

2.50% Foreign Transaction Fee

Excellent Recommended Credit Score

$60,000 Required Annual Personal Income

$100,000 Required Annual Household Income

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.

Learn more

Offer overview:

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers one of the best earn rates for groceries in Canada: a whopping 4%. This rate for groceries is accompanied by other accelerated rates of 4% for recurring bill payments, 2% for gas and daily transit, and 1% on everything else. The emphasis on rewarding your day-to-day spending will allow you to accrue cash back at a much faster rate than other Canadian credit cards. Keep in mind, however, that there are annual spending caps: Once you hit $25,000 in spending on groceries and recurring bills, the usual 4% rate will drop to 1% until the new year starts. The same applies to the 2% rate for gas and transit spend.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $120 (waived in first year)
  • Welcome offer: Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases).¹ No annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards.¹ 
  • Grocery cash back rate: 4%
  • Other cash back rates: 4% on recurring bills and subscription purchases.; 2% on gas and daily transit; 1% on everything else
  • Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on balance transfers and cash advances.

Our take:

Earning 4% as a non-promo rate on groceries is a huge benefit. The spending cap is a bit of a bummer, but even large families are unlikely to reach $25,000 in annual spending on groceries and recurring bills combined.

Best no annual fee grocery rewards credit card

PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

45 points * 45 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix

30 points At least 30 points per litre of gas purchased at Esso™ or Mobil™ stations

30 points At least 30 points per $1 spent on PC Travel services

30 points 30 points per $1 spent at Loblaw Banner Grocery Stores (includes Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-Mart, Independent Grocers, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore, Fortinos, etc.)

$0 Annual Fee

21.99% Purchase APR

22.97% Cash Advance APR

21.99% Balance Transfer Rate

Fair Recommended Credit Score

$80,000 Required Annual Personal Income

Welcome Offer

Earn 30 points per $1 spent at PC grocery stores

Learn more

Offer overview:

The PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard® is a great credit card for those who shop frequently at Loblaw banner grocery stores, which make up one of the largest grocery store networks in Canada and include Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, and other participating stores where President’s Choice® products are sold. Buying groceries in Loblaw banner stores with the PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard® will earn 30 points per $1 spent, which works out to a 3% rate of return (10,000 PC Optimum™ points are worth $10 in rewards). These points earned per $1 are in addition to the extra points you may earn via the PC Optimum™ points weekly personalized offers and in-store offers.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: None
  • Points earned on groceries: 30 points per $1 spent at participating stores where President’s Choice® products are sold.
  • Points earned elsewhere: Up to 45 points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart; 30 points per litre at EssoTM/MobilTM locations in Canada and 30 points per $1 on PC® travel services; 10 points per $1 everywhere else
  • Insurance: Travel medical insurance for those under age 65 and car rental insurance
  • Additional features: For new accounts transferred balances get 0.97% interest for six months (22.97% after six months)

Our take:

This is a great option for those who: 1. Do the majority of their grocery shopping at Loblaw banner stores; 2: Are averse to paying an annual fee for their credit card; and 3: Meet this card’s income requirements. But keep in mind that there are other credit cards outside the PC Optimum program that earn higher levels of cash back or rewards, provided you spend enough on groceries each year to make up for their annual fee. We recommend looking at the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card and the American Express Cobalt® Card for those who spend at least $3,000-$3,500 on groceries annually and who regularly shop outside Loblaw banner stores.

Best credit card for maximizing rewards on groceries

MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

30,000 MBNA offers up to a 30,000-point welcome bonus

5 You get five points‡ per dollar spent on groceries, restaurants, digital media, memberships, and household utilities

1 All other purchases outside those categories earn one point per $1 spent.

$120 Annual Fee

19.99% Purchase APR

24.99% Cash Advance APR

22.99% Balance Transfer Rate

Good Recommended Credit Score

$80,000 Required Annual Personal Income

$150,000 Required Annual Household Income

Welcome Offer

Earn up to 30,000 bonus MBNA Rewards Points†† for cash back, gift cards and more.

Learn more

Offer overview:

The MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® earns 5 points per $1 spent on not only groceries, but also on restaurants, digital media, memberships, and household utilities. That earn rate is valid through $50,000 in annual spending for all those categories combined, which is quite a high limit, even for large families. After reaching $50K in annual spending the rate drops to 1 point per $1 spent until the new year starts.

When it comes time to redeem those rewards, travel redemptions get the most value, at 100 points for $1. But the redemption rate for cash is also quite respectable, at 120 points per $1—that flexibility is very useful.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Points earned on groceries: 5 points per $1 spent (also applies to spending on restaurants, digital media, memberships, and household utilities)
  • Base earn rate: 1 point per $1 spent
  • Welcome bonus: Earn up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards Points††—20,000 points†† when you make at least $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of card membership plus an additional 10,000 points†† when you enroll in paperless e-statements in the first 90 days of card membership. You also earn Birthday Bonus Points of 10% of your total accumulated points in the last 12 months (up to a maximum of 15,000 points annually)
  • Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases; 22.99% on balance transfers; and 24.99% on cash advances

Our take:

Compared to rewards cards, most cash back cards typically have slightly lower earn rates on groceries and lower annual spending limits as well. So if you like to travel, it might be worthwhile to go with a travel rewards card like the MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®, which pumps out rewards points for your grocery trips and has a crazy-high annual limit for earning at its 5 pointsper $1 rate. Seriously, even a family with 10 kids is unlikely to pass $50K a year in grocery and restaurant bills, but if you somehow manage to reach that limit with this card you’ll at least have enough points to fly the entire clan to Canada’s Wonderland.

††, , , ***, ††††, Terms and Conditions apply.

Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the issuer of this credit card. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®MBNA and other-trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Best credit card for Costco groceries

Rogers World Elite Mastercard

3% Earn 3% unlimited cash back on purchases made in U.S. dollars.

1.5% Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything else.

$0 Annual Fee To maintain eligibility, you must spend at least $15,000/year.

19.99% Purchase APR Increasing to 20.99% April 2024

22.99% Cash Advance APR

22.99% Balance Transfer Rate

Excellent Recommended Credit Score

$80,000 Required Annual Personal Income

$150,000 Required Annual Household Income

Welcome Offer

$25 Welcome Bonus in cash back rewards upon first card purchase within 3 months of receiving your card2

Learn more

Offer overview:

Costco in Canada accepts Mastercard only; no Visa or Amex. Unfortunately Mastercard does not categorize Costco as a grocery store, so Mastercards with particularly high earn rates for groceries aren’t advantageous for Costo junkies. The most remunerative cards for Costco are instead Mastercards with high ‘base’ earn rates, i.e. high earn rates on all eligible spending regardless of its purchase category. Although Costco does have its own CIBC Mastercard, it is, bafflingly enough, not a great card for saving at Costco: Its base earn rate is a disappointingly low 0.5–1%, and it does not offer a special cashback rate for Costco purchases. In our estimation the best card for saving at Costco is instead the Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®, because it earns 1.5% cash back rewards on all eligible purchases in Canadian dollars and has no annual fee.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular cashback rewards: 1.5%
  • USD cashback rewards: 3%
  • Additional features: Free LoungeKey airport lounge membership; global Wi-Fi access; some travel insurance

Our take:

We recommend the card to anyone who makes a substantial amount of purchases at Costco, and particularly to those who also travel with some frequency to the United States. With the card’s 3% cashback rewards on purchases in USD, a trip to Costco in the US will effectively earn 0.5% cash back after factoring out the 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

Best credit card for food delivery (when you run out of groceries)

Amex Cobalt

5x the points on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery. Spend cap applies.

3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada

2x the points on eligible ride shares, transit & gas in Canada

1x additional point on eligible hotel and car rental bookings via American Express Travel Online

1x point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else

$100 USD up to $100 USD hotel credit to use on amenities when charged to the room for a stay of 2 or more consecutive nights through The Hotel Collection from American Express Travel

$155.88 Annual Fee 12.99/mo

20.99% Purchase APR

21.99% Cash Advance APR

21.99% Balance Transfer Rate

2.50% Foreign Transaction Fee

Fair Recommended Credit Score

$0 Required Annual Personal Income

$0 Required Annual Household Income

Welcome Offer

Earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards points

Learn more

Offer overview:

The American Express Cobalt® Card has emerged as one of the most lucrative credit cards during the coronavirus pandemic due to its rewards structure, earning five Amex Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent on businesses that deliver food and groceries as their primary service.

This delivery earning hack can also be used to circumvent the usual limitations in using Amex at some grocery stores in person; for instance, you can earn five points per $1 when using Instacart to deliver groceries from Loblaws banner stores, though an Amex won’t be accepted at a Loblaws counter itself. The five points per $1 rate also applies to eligible stand-alone grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bars.

Key features:

  • Annual fee: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
  • Food earn rates: 5 points per $1 spent on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery. Spend cap applies. (up to $30K in annual spending)
  • Other accelerated earn rates: 3 points per $1 spent on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada; 2 points per $1 spent on eligible ride shares, transit & gas in Canada, such as flights, rail transit, hotels, etc. and local commuter transit like the subway, taxis, ridesharing services, and more; plus, earn 1 additional point on eligible hotel and car rental bookings via American Express Travel Online
  • Base earn rate: 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: Earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply).

Our take:

Amex credit cards historically haven’t been the best option for saving on groceries, as their acceptance rate has been lower than Mastercard and Visa. But that’s gradually changing, and you might be surprised by which stores accept Amex today. We recommend the American Express Cobalt® Card particularly to those who regularly utilize delivery service companies to meet their food needs.

Comparing the best credit cards for groceries in Canada

Card 
Annual fee
Welcome bonus 
Regular earn rate on groceries
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*
$0 
Get up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months*, plus a $50 cash back bonus (when you spend $6,000) in your first year. 
3%
Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card
$120 
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases).¹ No annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards.¹ 
4%
PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®
None
N/A 
30 points per $1 in Loblaw banner stores (3% earn rate)
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®
$120 
Earn up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards Points (conditions apply) 
5 points per $1 spent
Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®
$0 
$25 in cash back rewards after making first card purchase within 3 months of receiving card 
1.5%
American Express Cobalt® Card
$155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee) 
Earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply) 
5 points per $1 spent

FAQs

  • Can you use a credit card to buy groceries?

    +

    Yes. Most Canadian grocers will accept Visa or Mastercard credit cards. Not all will accept Amex credit cards, but Amex’s acceptance rate has improved in recent years.

  • Is Costco considered a grocery store by credit cards?

    +

    Costco in Canada only accepts Mastercard, which unfortunately does not categorize Costco as a grocery store. To maximize cash back at Costco, it’s best to use a Mastercard with a high earn rate on all spending, regardless of its category.

About our author

Money.ca
Money.ca, Money.ca Editorial Team

The Money.ca Editorial Team is a group of passionate financial experts, seasoned journalists, and content creators who are deeply committed to providing unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial information. With years of combined industry experience, our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest journalistic standards and delivering informative and engaging content. From personal finance and investing to retirement planning and business finance, we cover a broad range of topics to suit the financial needs of our diverse readership. You can trust the Money.ca Editorial Team to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make wise financial decisions.

These articles do not include bylines, as they are intended to provide information about the company or have been written by an internal team at Money.ca, rather than stories by individual writers or contributors. Bylines are used for all other articles.

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