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With the country still in the midst of a pandemic, people are relying on food delivery services more than ever. Services like Seamless, Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats allow folks to order from their favorite restaurants but have the food delivered to their door instead of venturing outside.
But which credit card should you use when you order food for delivery? We’ve rounded up the best credit cards for food delivery services, while paying close attention to cards that also include strong earnings for dine-in options, so that regardless of whether you’re eating in or dining out, you’ll have the best of both worlds.
Chase Freedom Flex: Best for delivery and dining
American Express® Gold Card: Best for Seamless and Grubhub
Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for DoorDash
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best cheaper alternative for DoorDash
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for Uber Eats
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and groceries
American Express® Green Card: Best for flexible travel rewards
Why did we select these cards as our best credit cards for food delivery? Dive into the details of each card with us, and see how they stack up.
The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex is a new credit card that earns 3% cash back on all dining purchases, including eligible food delivery services. That means you’ll earn 3% cash back when you order food for delivery as well as when you go out to eat.
But dining isn’t the only bonus category on the Freedom Flex card. You’ll also earn 3% cash back at drugstores, 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 5% cash back on a set of categories that rotate every three months, up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter.
Plus, if you’ve lost income this year and you need help making ends meet, the Chase Freedom Flex offers 0% interest on all purchases for the first 15 months you have the card (then a variable 14.99% to 23.74% afterward). That introductory offer enables you to make here-and-now purchases and pay them off over a longer period of time, saving big bucks on interest.
The cherry on top is that the Freedom Flex currently comes with a very sweet sign-up bonus. Now through January 13, you’ll earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months after you open the account, plus new card holders earn 5% cash back on grocery purchases (not including Target and Walmart) for the first 12 months you have the card, up to $12,000 in combined purchases.
Oh, and did we mention there’s no annual fee on the Freedom Flex card? (There isn’t.)
Amex redesigned its Amex Gold card in 2019 to cater to both eating in and dining out, offering 4 points for every dollar you spend at supermarkets in the United States up to $25,000 per year (1x thereafter), and an unlimited 4 points per dollar at eateries worldwide. Most food delivery services will code as “restaurants” on the Amex Gold card, meaning you’ll earn 4 points per dollar for those purchases.
You’ll also enjoy up to $120 in annual dining credits — which are broken up into $10 statement credits each month — when you pay with the Amex Gold at food delivery services Grubhub and Seamless, along with purchases at The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations.
Amex recently also added a few new perks to the Amex Gold, including a complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership for up to 12 months when card members enroll by December 31, 2021. And starting in early 2021, you’ll also get up to $10 each month in Uber Cash with the Amex Gold, which can be used either for Uber rides or for Uber Eats orders.
The Amex Gold’s current 60,000-point welcome bonus — available after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first three months of card membership — is the highest we’ve ever seen on the card. Those Amex Membership Rewards points are worth at least $600 when you redeem them via Amex Travel for airfare, and you can potentially get even more value than that with Amex’s transfer partners.
Read CNN Underscored’s review of the American Express Gold card.
Learn more and apply for the American Express Gold Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an elite credit card for those who spend money primarily on dining and travel. It earns 3 points per dollar on all forms of dining globally, but it also provides up to $60 in annual DoorDash credits this year.
This credit is incredibly easy to use — just charge your DoorDash order to your Sapphire Reserve, and you’ll get a statement credit offsetting the charge, up to $60 this year alone. You also don’t have to use the entire $60 in one fell swoop -— you can use it across several separate orders over time.
But before you place that DoorDash order, make sure you also take advantage of another Chase Sapphire Reserve perk — up to two years of free DashPass membership. DashPass is a program that offers free delivery from eligible DoorDash restaurants, and you can get it at no cost just by adding your Sapphire Reserve as the default payment method in the DoorDash app, and then activating your DashPass membership.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an expensive card, but it somewhat softens the blow of its $550 annual fee with a $300 annual travel credit that covers any travel at all — parking lots, garages, and ride-sharing included — charged to the card. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that earns the same type of points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (below) is worth considering instead.
The less-expensive version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2 points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases, 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides and a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account — all for a reasonable $95 annual fee.
Another key benefit? Discounts on DoorDash food delivery orders via a complimentary DashPass membership, valid through at least Dec. 31, 2021, and a comprehensive suite of purchase and travel protections. Plus most food delivery purchases code as “dining” on the Sapphire Preferred, so you’ll earn double points when you have food delivered.
The points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be redeemed for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal or by using the card’s “Pay Yourself Back” tool at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, so you’re guaranteed at least $750 in travel right off the bat from the sign-up bonus, and potentially much more if you take some time and effort to maximize Chase’s 13 airline and hotel partners.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer the same luxury travel perks — like airline lounge access and travel credits — as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, the $95 annual fee is significantly lower, and possibly a better choice right now given the current restrictions on travel.
Read CNN Underscored’s review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
If your preferred food delivery service is Uber Eats, the Amex Platinum is the card for you. It comes with up to $200 in annual Uber Cash credits — which are spread across all 12 months of the year at $15 a pop, plus an extra $20 in December — and you can use those credits on Uber Eats orders as well as Uber trips. Also, like the Amex Gold, you’ll get up to 12 months of an Eats Pass membership with the Amex Platinum, as long as you enroll by December 31, 2021.
Because the Amex Platinum is an ultra-luxury travel card, that’s actually just the start of its benefits. You’ll also get up to $200 in airline fee credits, up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits, access to the American Express Centurion Lounges, access to Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), access to Priority Pass lounges around the world (though not restaurants), Gold elite status at Marriott and Hilton and up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
But let’s be frank: The Amex Platinum isn’t a cheap credit card. At $550 a year, you’ll need to be able to take advantage of all its perks to make it worth the investment, and that’s not easy to do right now with travel at an ebb due to the pandemic. So you’ll need to consider this card an investment in the future when travel resumes more broadly, hopefully later this year.
However, in the meantime, it helps that you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Amex Platinum within the first three months after opening the account. That’s easily enough to get you a pair of round-trip airline tickets anywhere in the country once planes get back into the air everywhere.
The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card costs $95 per year, but it earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, and given that food delivery services typically code as “dining,” that’s an exceptional return.
There’s also 2% cash back at grocery stores on the Capital One Savor and 1% on all other purchases. If you order groceries directly from the grocery store for delivery, you should earn the 2% cash back, though grocery delivery services themselves such as Amazon Fresh may code differently and not earn bonus cash back.
Keep in mind that if you’re getting a new credit card, if you sign up for the Chase Freedom Flex by January 13, it offers a higher 5% cash back on groceries for the first year you have the card, up to $12,000 in purchases, and it has no annual fee. So while the Capital One Savor is better for groceries on an ongoing basis, the Freedom Flex earns more in year one.
With the Capital One Savor, you’ll also earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the card includes perks such as extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance and complimentary concierge service.
If you’re willing to pay an annual fee to earn a bit more in cash back on your food delivery purchases, the Capital One Savor card could make sense.
The biggest advantage of the Amex Green card is its terrific earning rate of 3 points for every dollar you spend on dining and travel. Travel includes not only the usual flights, hotels and car rentals, but also ride-sharing, taxis, subways, buses, tolls and even parking, while dining covers food delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub and others.
The Amex Green’s 45,000-point welcome bonus — available after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership — is decent for a card at this price point, as those points are worth at least $450 when redeemed for airfare via Amex Travel, and potentially even more when transferred to Amex’s airline and hotel partners.
Amex’s Membership Rewards points are very valuable if you know how to research airline and hotel award space, and can have a flexible travel strategy to maximize them. American Express has 21 airline and hotel transfer partners, which open up incredible redemption possibilities for those willing to put in the time and effort. It’s one of the more lucrative point currencies for advanced points and miles experts.
At $150 a year, the Amex Green is more expensive than the average $95 mid-tier credit card. But if you can take advantage of its bonus categories and perks, it’s not too hard to make up the difference in additional value.
Read CNN Underscored’s review of the American Express Green card.
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