Best Dining Rewards Credit Cards

September 28, 2015, Written By Jason Steele

LowCards is a Citi partner. View our full editorial disclaimer here.

From urban professionals to business travelers, some Americans can devote a significant amount of their income dining out. In many cases, we are simply too busy to purchase and prepare a meal, let alone clean up afterwards.

So if you are one of these frequent diners, it makes sense to use a credit card that offers additional rewards for eating out. The best cards for dining out will offer bonus rewards at restaurants, and sometimes access to special events featuring celebrity chefs.

Cardholders should also look closely at how their rewards can be used. For example, many credit cards offer reward points that can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points.

The top four dining rewards credit cards:

Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you dine out frequently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card will help you earn two points per dollar spent on all restaurant purchases. Cardholders also have access to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature Private Dinners, which profile featured chefs and often include an opening reception with hors d’oeuvres, tasting menus, and menu discussion with the chef and a sommelier. Cardholders can also earn two points per dollar spent on all travel purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Ultimate Rewards points earned on Chase Sapphire Preferred can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to 11 participating travel programs, including Southwest Rapid Rewards and Hyatt Gold Passport. This card is chip enabled, which allows for greater security and acceptance abroad. In addition, new applicants earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on new purchases, plus 5,000 more points when they add a authorized user that makes a purchase within the first three months. Travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards is discounted at 20% off, so a $500 flight needs only 40,000 points. This card has no foreign transaction fees and a $95 annual fee that is waived in the first year.

Citi ThankYou Preferred

Whether you are buying your morning coffee, having a romantic evening out, or hitting the clubs, you will earn two points per dollar spent with Citi ThankYou Preferred on dining out. Cardholders can also earn two points per dollar on all entertainment purchases. In addition, new cardholders earn 20,000 bonus points when they spend $1,500 in the first three months of their account, which can be used to buy merchandise or gift cards. Points do not expire and you can earn an unlimited amount of points. This card is chip technology enabled and has no annual fee.

Citi ThankYou Premier

The Citi ThankYou Premier card also allows cardholders to earn two points per dollar on dining out and entertainment. Like Citi ThankYou Preferred, dining out includes all restaurant purchases from bars to takeout. Cardholders have access to Citi Private Pass, which gives special access to tickets for dining experiences, concerts, theater performances and more. For example, a current opportunity is a complimentary cocktail party at David DeRossi’s East Village hot spot, Mother of Pearl, where cardholders can enjoy passed appetizers and exotic fruity drinks. Cardholders can also earn three points per dollar on travel, including gas, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. After spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening, new cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points, which can be redeemed for $500 in merchandise or gift cards, or $625 in airfare. When you book travel through the ThankYou Travel Center, your ThankYou points are worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals as compared to gift cards. ThankYou reward points can also be transferred to miles with 13 different airlines or the Hilton HHonors program. This card has EMV Chip Technology, no foreign transaction fees, and a $95 annual fee that is waived in the first year.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold is one of the top credit cards that you can take with you to your favorite restaurants. This card now gives customers the flexibility to earn two points per dollar spent at US restaurants, along with the 3-2-1 Accelerator program, which allows you to earn three points per dollar spent on airfare, two points per dollar spent at US supermarkets and gas stations, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. When new cardholders spend $2,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months, they can earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points which can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or frequent flyer miles. For frequent travelers, this card provides up to $100 in annual airline fee credits toward baggage fees, in-flight purchases, and more on a selected airline. In addition, you can get up to $75 in a hotel credit on qualifying charges when you use the Premier Rewards Gold card to book a stay of at least two consecutive nights. This card has no foreign transaction fees, and a $195 annual fee that is waived in the first year.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 28, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.