Canada’s best credit cards for grocery purchases 2022

For those who want to turn their grocery purchases into world travel, the American Express Cobalt is here to help. There are a few standout elements of this card, starting with the unique payment structure that bills the annual fee in monthly installments of $12.99. Next is the welcome bonus, encouraging new cardholders to spend by rewarding 2,500 points when you make $500 in purchases each month for the first year. If you hit that target every month, you’ll have a cool 30,000 points accumulated by the end of the year. The earn rate on groceries as well as dining out and food delivery services is a very competitive 5 points per $1 (to a maximum spend of $30,000; thereafter, the earn is 1 point per $1); plus you get 2 points per $1 on transportation. Everything else earns at a rate of 1 point per $1.

Because this is a travel-based card, it should come as no surprise that there are some sweet perks geared toward frequent flyers and drivers, like emergency medical coverage and car rental theft and damage coverage. Cardholders are also eligible for a credit on amenities at participating hotels.

It does bear mentioning that because this is an American Express card, it is not accepted at every store—but if you’re a shopper at Food Basics, Longo’s, McEwan, Metro, Pusateri’s, Rabba, Safeway, Sobeys or Whole Foods, you ‘re golden. Loblaw banner stores, including No-Frills, do not accept Amex.

  • Annual fee: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly)
  • interest rate: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 21.99%
  • Earn rate on groceries: 5 points per $1
  • Rewards on other purchases: 5 points per $1 on dining, food delivery and bars; 2 points per $1 on transportation including taxis, public transit and rideshares; and 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: In the first year, you can earn 2,500 points when you spend $500 per month on eligible purchases—earning you up to 30,000 points. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
  • Additional perks: Emergency travel medical coverage, travel accident, flight and baggage delay, hotel or motel burglary and lost or stolen baggage insurance; car rental theft and damage protection; hotel credit up to $100 USD on amenities like spa or dining at participating hotels; Amex Invites and Front-of-the-Line Access
  • Income required: None specified

Honorable mention: Scotiabank Gold American Express*

Scotiabank Gold American Express

Want to earn points toward next year’s vacation while you cover this week’s grocery haul? Here’s how it works: For every point you earn, you get $0.01 redeemable toward travel, which is easy to figure out and calculate. Just think of it like a cash-back credit card with 1% earn rate toward travel savings. Plus, the welcome offer is pretty sweet. Earn up to 45,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points your first year, too—that’s about $450 towards your next trip.

While we’re comparing the two, it’s worth noting that the American Express Cobalt has an edge on the Scotiabank Gold American Express card since the former lets you get 15% to 75% more value out of your points through Amex’s fixed points travel chart or by transferring points to hotel loyalty programs. Neither are available with the Scotiabank Gold. That said, the Scotiabank Gold American Express is still a great card. Plus, the Scotiabank Gold American Express has some great perks that the Cobalt doesn’t, like no foreign transaction fees and additional points on entertainment and streaming services.

  • Annual fee: $120
  • interest rate: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99%
  • Earn rate on groceries: 5 points per $1 on groceries
  • Rewards on other purchases: 5 points per $1 on dining and entertainment purchases; 3 points per $1 on gas, transit and rideshare charges, as well as streaming services; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: You can earn a total of 40,000 bonus Scene+ points ($400 value). First, you’ll earn 20,000 by spending $1,000 on everyday purchases in your first 3 months then earn another 20,000 points when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday purchases in your first year. Must apply by October 31, 2022.
  • Additional perks: As an Amex cardholder, you get access to its Front of the Line Presale & Reserved program, including invites for entertainment ticket pre-sales and advanced movie screenings and more.
  • Income required: $12.000

Frequently asked questions about grocery credit cards in Canada

Which grocery stores accept AMEX in Canada?

As we noted above, the American Express Cobalt and Scotiabank Gold American Express offer the most bonus points on this credit card list, but they just aren’t as widely accepted at all grocery stores as we’d like, like No Frills and Costco. That said, here are the major grocery stores that both accept American Express and let you earn bonus points for grocery purchases. Note: It’s possible that some franchise locations don’t participate in bonus offers.

  • 88 supermarket
  • Bownesian Grocer
  • farm boy
  • Federated Co-op
  • Longo’s
  • Meter
  • Safeway
  • Sobey’s
  • rabba
  • Pusateri’s Fine Foods
  • Whole Foods
  • instacart

Is Walmart a grocery store when it comes to credit cards?

Walmart may be synonymous with groceries for you, but not all credit cards recognize Walmart as a “grocery store.” While American Express and Visa are accepted at Walmart, neither credit card company categorizes Walmart on their merchant code system as a grocery store. For instance, while the TD CashBack Visa Infinite earns 3% cash back on groceries, it earns just the base 1% cash back rate at Walmart.

If you are a Walmart Supercentre frequent shopper, know that Mastercard does, however, recognize several Walmart Supercentre locations for grocery purchases, but not all. You will have to check with Mastercard to find out if the Walmart Supercentre near you qualifies. The best credit cards to use for groceries at Walmart Supercentres include the BMO CashBack Mastercard and Tangerine MoneyBack Card.

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