If groceries are a big part of your credit card spend, it might make sense for you to choose a credit card that gives you the maximum rewards for shopping at the supermarket.
With families racking-up grocery bills in excess of $200 a week ($10,400 a year), getting something back for your loyalty, can add-up big. Canadian grocery stores now offer a roster of super competitive credit cards to compete for consumer spend and wallet-share.
With no annual fee, hefty sign-up bonuses and double dipping opportunities, now is the time to take advantage of some super deals to save even more at the store!
Grocery Credit Card Rankings
|Annual Credit Card Rewards on $200 weekly grocery spend||Annual Base Rate Loyalty Card Rewards on $200 weekly grocery spend||Total Rewards Earned on Grocery Store Spend|
|Sobeys / AIR MILES||$156.00||$78.00||$234.00|
|IGA / AIR MILES||$156.00||$78.00||$234.00|
|PC Financial World MC||$208.00||$0||$208.00|
|RBC Cash Back MC||$164.00||$0||$164.00|
|PC Financial MC||$104.00||$0||$104.00|
|Costco Capital One MC||$89.00||$0||$89.00|
|Overwaitea / More Rewards MC||$62.40||$20.80||$83.20|
Best Grocery Credit Card
Based on the above, we can clearly see that the BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard and the BMO IGA AIR MILES MasterCard (same company, different geographies), offer the most value per dollar spent for grocery purchases – and that doesn’t include the sign-up bonuses.
The Sobeys and IGA credit cards offer 2 AIR MILES per $20 spent in store. However, if you double dip by using the AIR MILES collector card in addition to your credit card, you’ll get an additional 1 AIR MILES reward per $20 spent for a total earn rate of 2.25%. That’s a tremendous earn rate for a no-fee card.
In addition to a robust earn rate, the Sobeys and IGA cards also offer a 500 AIR MILES sign-up bonus (worth $40 at check-out) and 3X the miles for the first 3 months – again, unusual to see such a high sign-up bonus and promotion for a no-fee card.
The other nice feature of the BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard is that you can redeem miles for both cash discounts on your grocery bill, or for any other AIR MILES redemption opportunity including travel, merchandise, and gift cards. Please note, you’ll get the most value for AIR MILES when redeeming for travel, at approximately $.15 per AIR MILES reward as opposed to cash or catalogue merchandise, where you’ll typically get $.10 per AIR MILES reward.
As an added bonus, you’ll also earn 1.25X AIR MILES at all participating Shell gas stations in Canada.
While the PC Financial World MasterCard has a strong earn rate, it’s main drawback is that it requires a minimum household income of $100,000. The PC Financial World alternative is the PC Financial MasterCard, which earns nearly $130 less per year on grocery spend than the Sobeys and IGA MasterCards.
Cash Back Credit Cards With Grocery Bonus
One thing you will notice, is that we also included some cash back credit cards that have grocery store bonus categories. Cash back cards are extremely popular in Canada, because they’re simple to understand and reward cardholders on everyday spend in categories like grocery and gas.
One of the big advantages of cash back credit cards with a grocery store bonus category is that you can use your card at any grocery store. The disadvantage, however, is that both the MBNA SmartCash and RBC Cash Back cards featured above, have caps on the amount of cash back you can earn from grocery stores. Ideal for folks spending $400 or less per month on groceries, not great if you spend more. You can see their respective cash back earnings on annual basis in the chart above, for $800 per month in grocery spend.
We did not include annual fee based credit cards in our analysis, that said, there are a plethora of annual fee based cash back and travel cards that offer strong bonus earn rates for grocery store spend. However, most come with an annual fee of $99 or more and require minimum personal incomes of $60,000 or household incomes of $120,000.
Best Grocery Credit Card Promotional Offer
The best short term promotional offer for cash back at grocery stores is still the no fee Simply Cash Card from American Express, which provides 5% cash back, on grocery spend per month for the first 6 months. That’s $240 cash back in the first 6 months! However, it’s not the best long term solution, once your 6 months are up, when the earn rate goes back to 1.25%, still great value – but there are better options.
Without a doubt, the grocery credit card that offers the most rewards per dollar spent, is the Sobeys and IGA MasterCard. With no annual fee, a 400 AIR MILES reward sign-up bonus and the opportunity to earn 3 AIR MILES per $20 spent (2 from the credit card & 1 from the AIR MILES collector card), the program offers the best value in Canada at grocery stores.
With no annual fee and a strong rewards value proposition, it’s a no brainer for Sobeys and IGA shoppers. If nothing else, you’ll get $40 in free groceries as a welcome bonus!