Most products on this page are from partners who may compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how they appear on the page. However, opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

Not all available financial products and offers from all financial institutions have been reviewed by this website.

Everyone has to eat. Whether you are going to a favorite restaurant, hitting up the drive-thru or enjoying a home-cooked meal, there is a cost involved somewhere along the way. To help you get the best rewards for every dollar spent, we’ve compiled credit cards that offer the best restaurant and dining rewards.

Best Dining and Restaurant Credit Cards

Card Dining Benefit Best For Annual Fee Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

3x points on dining

Free DashPass for 1 year

Best for strong travel rewards

$95

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

3x points on dining

Best for cash-back rewards

$0

Citi Custom Cash® Card

5% back at restaurants*

*Dining must be top spending category.
Up to first $500 spent per billing cycle. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou® Points. 

Best for 5% back

$0

Citi Premier® Card

3x ThankYou Points at restaurants

Best for rewards on everyday spending

$95

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

3% back on dining

Free DashPass for 3 months

Best for generous sign-up bonus

$0

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

3x points on dining

10x points on Chase Dining reservations

Free DashPass for 1 year

$5 monthly DoorDash credit

Best for luxury perks

$550

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR21.49% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Sign Up Bonus 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the gold standards for earning travel rewards. It has a generous sign-up bonus and you can earn points on travel and dining expenses. The card does have an annual fee, but you can continue earning points through bonus categories and an anniversary points boost.

Overview

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty flexible as it lets you transfer rewards points into miles or points several airlines and hotel programs. You can take advantage of strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Although the card might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers, it has a built-in upgrade path, so when it’s time to level up your travel rewards game, you won’t have to start from scratch.

Pros

  • Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners
  • Accelerated earnings on dining, travel & household purchases
  • Excellent travel and purchase protections
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Not ideal for the highest spenders
  • $95 annual fee

Why We Like It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is known as a popular travel credit card, but it is also among the best credit cards for dining due to its 3x points per dollar at restaurants, on takeout and with food delivery services. Its rewards go beyond food purchases though; you can also earn 3x points for eligible streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target or Walmart). The Sapphire Preferred even offers complimentary access to DashPass from DoorDash and Caviar, which allows members to unlock waived delivery fees and reduced service charges on eligible orders.

What makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred stand out is its valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, which allows you to transfer your points to major airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 point transfer. I once converted my Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios and snagged a fantastic deal. With just 40,000 Avios, I booked a round-trip flight from London to New York in economy class. Typically, this route requires 60,000 Avios or more, so by taking advantage of the transfer option, I managed to outsize the value of my points.

Restaurant and Dining Benefits

  • 3x points on dining, including eligible takeout purchases and food delivery services
  • Complimentary access to DashPass, a membership for both DoorDash and Caviar, which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

Best for: Strong travel rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is ideal for foodies who also love to travel. You'll enjoy elevated rewards on dining and a DashPash perk, plus travel benefits that come with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Welcome Bonus 20,000Points More Info

    Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card can easily become your go-to card as most American households spend a bulk of their budget on restaurants, gas and travel costs. Not to mention, you likely subscribe to a streaming service (or two) and pay a monthly cellphone bill, which can cost hundreds if you have a family plan. Simply put: With this card, you can earn points on all of these day-to-day expenses, all with no annual fee.

Overview

The Wells Fargo AutographSM Card offers an impressive 3x point rewards rate across six bonus categories: restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and cell phone plans, easily ranking it as one of the most robust earning cards out there.

Pros

  • Wide array of category bonuses: Unlimited 3x points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit and commuting, popular streaming services and phone plans
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Rewards are worth up to 1 cent each

Why We Like It

With an impressive unlimited 3x points per dollar on dining purchases, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is one of our top choices for earning cash back at restaurants. Their dining category includes everything from lunch at a McDonald's drive-thru to catering for a family gathering. You won't have to worry about an annual fee or a foreign currency conversion fee either.

Since rewards are unlimited, families with larger dining budgets could earn significant rewards. For instance, if a family spends an average of $500 dining out monthly, that comes out to 1,500 points in just that bonus category alone. Over the course of a year, that's 18,000 points ($180 redemption value), which can be redeemed for cash, statement credits, travel, gift cards or even purchases at select retailers.

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card's versatility also extends beyond dining. You can earn 3x points in essential everyday categories that matter most, including gas stations, electric charging stations, phone plans, popular streaming services, transit and travel purchases. With so many eligible categories, cardholders can easily rack up points with normal budgeted household spending. Plus, when you pair it with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, you can earn a flat-rate 2% back on all other purchases not covered by the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card, such as grocery stores.

Restaurant and Dining Benefits

  • Unlimited 3X points per dollar spent on dining purchases, takeout, catering, delivery and more, both domestically and internationally

Best for: Cash-back rewards

The Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card is a top choice for earning cash back on restaurant purchases, as well as a variety of popular spending categories.

Wells Fargo Autograph card on a wallet Related Article

Why the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card Is Better Than Most Cards in Your Wallet

Read More

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign-Up Bonus $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

The Citi Custom Cash® Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. It offers impressive cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to a monthly spend cap—no activation required.

Overview

If you want a card that doesn’t require constant category activation and monitoring to make sure you’re getting the highest cash back percentage, this is a great option. Whatever spending category that has the highest spend (up to $500) in one billing cycle gets 5% cash back. That’s up to $300 per year, and if you get the sign-up bonus you can get up to $500 in cash back your first year.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to maximize the 5% cash back reward and earn $300 per year
  • No annual fee
  • The cash back comes in the form of Citi ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for things like travel

Cons

  • 5% cash back tier is capped at $25 in earnings per month

Why We Like It

The Citi Custom Cash® Card, from our partner Citi, is a strong option for those looking for higher-than-average reward rates on dining rewards. You can earn a whopping 5% back on dining when that is your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to $500 spent. This feature is automatic and requires no enrollment or activation.

If you spend around $500 each month on dining, the 5% cash-back rate is hard to beat. Plus, if your dining budget is rather unpredictable every month, you can simply adjust your spending to change your 5% category to the card's many options, which include gas stations, grocery stores, popular streaming services and more.

For households that are keen to earn 5% back in more than one bonus category, partners can each open a separate credit card account. My wife and I each have our own, which allows us to maximize this benefit in two different spending categories. This approach makes the Citi Custom Cash Card a great choice for dining rewards and an ideal credit card for couples who want to optimize their cash-back strategy.

Restaurant and Dining Benefits

  • 5% cash back on your top bonus category each billing cycle, up to $500 spent, with 1% back thereafter on all eligible purchases—with dining included as a category

Best for: 5% cash-back rewards

The Citi Custom Cash is among the best for dining rewards if you want to consistently earn 5% back (up to $500 per billing cycle and when dining is your top spending category).

Citi Premier® Card

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Sign Up Bonus 60,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,080 (60,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

The Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for accelerated travel rewards but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. It’s easy to quickly rack up lots of points on this card. While you can redeem ThankYou points for gift cards, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights and hotels, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to travel partners.

Overview

This credit card offers its members a range of incentives, such as bonus points, gift cards and 1:1 point transfers with airline partners. One of the more unique features of the Citi Premier® Card from our partner Citi is that it offers 3x ThankPoints for every dollar spent at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and travel purchases. Plus, new cardholders can earn 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Perks

  • Earn 3x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on travel, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations
  • Annual $100 hotel savings benefit. Just book a hotel stay of $500 or more through thankyou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU to earn the discount.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Easily transfer your points to Citi's airline partners

Pros

  • High reward rate on common categories of consumer spending
  • Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points never expire

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No standout rewards category

Why We Like It

The Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi, is a top choice for a restaurant rewards credit card. It earns 3x ThankYou Points for each dollar spent on dining purchases, which includes cafes, bars, lounges and fast-food restaurants. There is a $95 annual fee though, and dining purchases exclude bakeries, caterers and restaurants located within larger businesses like hotels and stadiums, as well as third-party delivery services.

Still, it's the Citi Premier Card's travel rewards that set it apart. Unlike cash-back cards, it allows for point transfers to various domestic and international hotel and airline loyalty programs, including Wyndham Rewards, JetBlue TrueBlue and AeroMexico. I transferred my sign-up bonus and a year's worth of accumulated points to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles. Then, I booked free flights to Hawaii through Turkish Airlines' partner, United Airlines. It was well worth the annual fee (at least for a year).

Outside of restaurant rewards, you can also enjoy 3x points on purchases at supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels—all of which are common everyday spending categories.

Restaurant and Dining Benefits

  • 3x ThankYou Points for each $1 spent at restaurants

Best for: Rewards on everyday spending categories and transfer partners

The Citi Premier Card is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to earn elevated rewards on dining, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and air travel. But its standout feature is the ability to transfer points to multiple airline and hotel loyalty programs, especially if you frequently travel internationally.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign Up Bonus 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Travel portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more. If you make this your primary card for most purchases you can quickly rack up a lot of rewards.

Overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other cash-back cards. Second, you earn cash back in the form of points (Chase Ultimate Rewards) and when paired with another annual-fee earning Chase product, you can get even more value if you love to travel by transferring to partners.

That’s because while the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively. (Plus, the ability to transfer your points, too.)

Pros

  • No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
  • No annual fee
  • Generous travel and purchase protection benefits

Cons

  • Can't transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product

Why We Like It

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is not to be missed when considering a dining credit card with no annual fee. With a generous 3% cash-back on dining at restaurants, including takeout purchases and eligible delivery services, cardholders can effortlessly earn rewards on their culinary adventures.

In addition, its unique sign-up bonus of an extra 1.5% back on everything in the first year raises the dining rewards to 4.5%. For every purchase you make within the first year of your card membership—from dining to other expenses—you’ll earn an additional 1.5% back on the first $20,000 in combined purchases (up to $300 in value).

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card also offers a free three-month subscription to DashPass, which features unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on your DoorDash and Caviar orders. This is a boon for foodies who frequently enjoy ordering meals delivered to their doorstep.

Restaurant and Dining Benefits

  • 3% back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • Complimentary three months of DashPass, which works on qualifying DoorDash and Caviar orders. After that, you're automatically enrolled in DashPass at a 50% discount for the following nine months. Activate by December 31, 2024.

Best for: Generous sign-up bonus

With an extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year, Chase Freedom Unlimited arguably has the best sign-up bonus of any dining credit card with no annual fee. That’s a potential $300 bonus.

Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Sapphire Reserve Related Article

How to Use the Chase Trifecta to Maximize Your Ultimate Rewards Points

Read More

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR22.49% - 29.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Sign-Up Bonus 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

This card features an annual credit for travel purchases, which can offset the annual fee, plus bonus points when you sign up. You'll also get free access to tons of Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world, along with access to the upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge network.

Overview

If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months—that’s worth at least $900 in travel-related spending booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

Pros

  • An array of premium travel perks including access to Priority Pass lounges
  • Easy-to-use $300 travel credit that helps offset card's annual fee
  • Generous rewards rates for spending

Cons

  • High annual fee may be a deterrent for some
  • Perks are starting to get stale relative to newer competition

Why We Like It

People who enjoy indulging in fine dining experiences probably won't find a better option than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. With 3x points at restaurants and 10x points on Chase Dining reservations, this premium travel card lets you rack up rewards with little effort. Plus, exclusive access to Sapphire Reserve private dining experiences adds an extra touch of luxury that avid foodies will appreciate. And let's not forget the practical benefits, like a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access, a free DashPass membership and a $5 monthly DoorDash credit.

Cardholders also enjoy access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, where points are worth 50% more in value when redeemed on Chase travel portal bookings. But the real rewards potential lies in leveraging Chase's network of travel partners like Hyatt and United, where strategic point transfers can boost the value of each point beyond the base rate and fetch you even better deals.

However, if the thought of the hefty $550 annual fee gives you pause, consider my experience: I enjoyed the Chase Sapphire Reserve's perks for a year or two, but eventually decided to downgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred as it was a more budget-friendly option that fit my needs better.

Restaurant and Dining Benefits

  • 3x points on dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services and takeout purchases
  • 10x points on Chase Dining reservations and bookings with Ultimate Rewards
  • Complimentary access to DashPass, a membership encompassing both DoorDash and Caviar, valued at $120 for a full year
  • $5 in DoorDash credits each month, redeemed at checkout
  • Complimentary airport lounge access worldwide with your Priority Pass Select membership, including free food and drinks

Best for: Luxury perks

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is best for those who enjoy treating themselves to the finer things, whether that’s a romantic dinner at an upscale bistro or a glass of wine in a quiet airport lounge.

How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Restaurant and Dining Rewards

When selecting the best restaurant credit cards for your wallet, start by estimating your monthly and annual spending on food purchases. This initial step will help you determine which offers the most value based on your specific spending patterns, whether that involves dining out at restaurants, ordering delivery or enjoying at-home meals through online grocery purchases.

Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the right dining rewards card:

  • Rewards rate on dining: Choose cards that offer a high rewards rate on dining purchases at restaurants, including fast food restaurants and other eligible dining categories. This ensures maximum rewards for every dollar spent on dining experiences.
  • Annual fee: Evaluate whether the rewards rate and benefits justify the annual fee. The right card should offer valuable rewards that more than cover the annual fee, based on your dining spending.
  • Points vs. cash back vs. miles: Decide between earning points, cash back or miles. Points are versatile for travel or dining redemptions; cash back is straightforward and flexible; miles are ideal for frequent flyers looking to save on flights. Choose the currency that best fits your lifestyle.
  • Sign-up bonuses: Look for popular credit cards that offer generous sign-up bonuses that fit within your monthly spending habits. These bonuses can significantly enhance your rewards potential in the first year.
  • Dining credits: Cards that provide restaurant credits or discounts for food delivery services add extra value, especially for those who frequently enjoy dining out or ordering food delivery.
  • Complimentary memberships: Benefits such as complimentary memberships for food delivery platforms, free airport lounge access or exclusive dining experiences can significantly improve your dining card's value.
  • Eligible dining categories: Confirm whether your card's dining category covers a wide range of restaurant purchases, including fast food, catering and/or sports bars.
  • Foreign transaction fees: If you travel abroad often, opt for a restaurant credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
  • Additional benefits: Seek out dining cards that offer standout benefits beyond the restaurant category, such as bonus miles and points for popular streaming services or grocery store purchases. Some credit card issuers offer perks like culinary events, exclusive restaurant reservations or special dining experiences that can add a lot of value too.
paying with credit card online Related Article

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a New Credit Card & Comparing Offers

Read More

Should You Get a Dining Rewards Credit Card?

For people who enjoy eating out a lot, dining credit cards are ideal, as they turn each meal into a chance to earn rewards. Restaurant rewards credit cards are particularly well-suited for epicureans who find themselves regularly exploring new restaurants or returning to favorite spots.

However, if your spending on dining is minimal, a general rewards card might be a better fit and help you unlock greater value in areas where you spend more.

FAQs

  • Yes, most credit card issuers include fast-food purchases in the dining and restaurant category. However, sometimes fast-food purchases at entertainment venues, sport arenas and airports do not code as dining. In these cases, you’ll earn rewards either in the entertainment category or your card’s base rewards rate.

  • Starbucks is usually counted as a dining or restaurant purchase. However, it depends on how the individual merchant codes itself. So if you find that a particular Starbucks did not award you the correct amount of rewards, then it is most likely an issue with that specific Starbucks.

  • Yes. In most cases, credit card issuers will count purchases made in bars as a dining or restaurant expense. However, it will depend on the specific establishment’s merchant category code.

  • Most credit card issuers will code orders from food delivery apps like UberEats and Doordash as restaurants/dining.

RT

Ryan Tronier

Ryan Tronier is a personal finance expert and writer. His work has been published on NBC, ABC, USATODAY, The Mortgage Reports, Yahoo Finance, MSN, and more. Ryan is the former managing editor of the finance website Sapling, as well as the former personal finance editor at Slickdeals. Find him online at ryantronier.com.