The best credit cards for restaurants offer elevated rewards on dining-related purchases. Some cards, however, go beyond that basic perk, though, offering rewards on both eating out and ordering in, doling out statement credits for dining purchases, or providing access to special dining experiences. 

If you’re looking for a credit card that will make eating out more rewarding, these credit cards are some of the best on the market. Here’s what to know about the different options and other relevant questions. 

The best credit cards for restaurants of 2019

There are several different restaurant credit cards out there, and not all are created equal. Some offer bonus rewards on other categories, and some come with more perks and higher annual fees than others. As you try to decide which restaurant credit card is best for you, compare the full details of each instead of just the rewards rate. 

None of our top picks for the best restaurant credit cards are the best for everyone. Know what you want in a card first, and then pick the right one for you:

What to look for in credit cards for restaurants

The most important features to look for when choose credit cards for restaurants include the rewards rate on dining-related purchases, what’s included in that rewards category — whether it’s restaurants only or if food delivery services are also included — and other dining perks. You’ll also want to consider each card’s annual fee. 

Because there’s no single best credit card out there, it’s up to you to decide what’s most important to you. Here are the main features of each of the top restaurant credit cards in one place.

Rewards rates

As a standard, a restaurant credit card is considered good if it offers a 3% rewards rate or higher on dining-related purchases. Over the past few years, more and more credit cards have offered these rates on an ongoing basis, making it easier to find a good rate. 

But now it’s not just the rate you want to look at, but also what’s included in the dining category. The Uber Visa Card, for instance, includes UberEATS purchases in its 4% bonus category. Meanwhile, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card includes both eating out and ordering in.

Other cards, however, may limit bonus rewards to eating out at a restaurant. Depending on what your dining habits are, it’s important to know what will earn higher rewards with your credit card and what won’t.

Finally, remember that points and miles may have different values than cash back. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for instance, your points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase. So, earning 3X points per dollar on dining effectively gives you a 4.5% rewards rate, beating out most restaurant credit cards.

As you consider different rewards rates, dig a little deeper with points and miles programs to find out how much each one is actually worth.

Other dining perks

Racking up rewards on dining purchases is nice, but some of the best restaurant credit cards also provide other dining-related perks that can add even more value.

With the Capital One® Savor® Card, for instance, you’ll get a free Postmates Unlimited membership, which comes with no delivery fees on orders over $15 and no blitz pricing, through December 2019. 

And with the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll get $10 in dining credits each month, which you can use at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. That’s up to $120 per year that, along with the card’s $100 annual airline credit, make its $250 annual fee easier to stomach.

Annual fees

A card with a higher annual fee may require that you spend more to make up for it, but it may also offer more valuable perks that make it easy to break even. On the flip side, a card with no annual fee won’t make you wonder if you’re getting enough value to make up for a yearly cost, but it may not provide as much overall value as annual-fee cards.

As you consider each card, consider the total net value you can get from each card to determine which one is best for you.

What is the best credit card for restaurants of 2019?

There’s no single best credit card for restaurants out there for everyone, so it’s important to know what you want in a dining credit card. Think about each of the above features, as well as your dining habits, to find the one that best fits your needs. 

In some cases, it may be worth having more than one credit card that offers bonus rewards on dining. For example, you may want the Chase Sapphire Reserve® for its travel perks, but want to rack up Membership Rewards points on dining with the American Express® Gold Card to diversify your rewards.

Whatever you do, take the time to research all of your options to find the best card and strategy for you.

Who has the best restaurant rewards credit card?

For the most part, no credit card issuer has a corner on the best restaurant credit cards. Of our top picks, Capital One and Chase have a couple of cards on the list, but you’ll also find cards from American Express, Barclays, Synchrony Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

In general, getting the right credit card for you isn’t so much about the card’s issuer as it is the card itself. If you bank with Capital One, for instance, it can be convenient to have one of the Savor cards to keep everything under one roof. But if you think you can get more value from a restaurant credit card offered by one of the other banks on our list, go for that one.

What is the best restaurant cash-back credit card?

Because the value of cash back is more straightforward than points or miles, it’s easier to compare rewards rates on a cash-back credit card than on a travel credit card.

That said, it’s still difficult to pinpoint one restaurant cash-back credit card as the best. Again,  what is so-called best depends on the full package. The Uber Visa Card and the Capital One® Savor® Card tie for the best rewards rate of the cash-back credit cards we’ve listed, but they’re very different in other aspects, including their annual fees, other benefits, and what they consider to be dining.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Assess each card based on the full package instead of just the rewards rate. That’s how you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

What are the best credit cards for restaurants and gas?

Most of the cards we’ve listed here don’t offer high rewards rates on both dining and gas purchases. So if that combination is what you’re looking for, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card may be your best bet, offering 3X points on dining and gas, among other things.

And if you want to earn more on gas than dining, consider the Costco Anywhere Visa®, which offers 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas each year, 3% back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% back at Costco and Costco.com, and 1% back on everything else.

What are the best credit cards for restaurants and bars?

In general, most credit card issuers include both restaurants and bars in their definition of dining, so you don’t need to worry about getting bonus rewards at one and not the other. As a result, you can pick the right restaurant credit card for you based on the other factors we’ve discussed so far.

The bottom line

There are plenty of restaurant credit cards that offer incredible rewards and perks, and you can’t go wrong with most of them. Regardless of which one you choose, here’s a quick tip on how to maximize your rewards: when you go out with friends, offer to pay the bill and have them pay you back via Venmo or another peer-to-peer payment service. 

It may not be a great option with friends who might be slow to pay you back, but it can be a great way to earn more rewards without actually spending more than your fair share.

More details on restaurant credit cards

Here are some more details on some of our favorite restaurant credit cards for 2019:

Capital One Savor

Capital One Savor

Capital One® Savor® Card

Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $95

APR16.74% - 25.74% variable APR.

Bonus: $500

Rewards rates: Earn 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back everywhere else.

Dining perks: Get a Postmates Unlimited membership covered through December 2019, plus access to premier culinary experiences.

Pro/strength: The card’s sign-up bonus covers the annual fee for a few years, giving you time to decide whether it’s the best fit for you. 

Con/weakness: The Postmates Unlimited membership benefit is running out soon. While the card may replace it with a different promotion, it’s not guaranteed.

SavorOne℠ Rewards from Capital One®

SavorOne℠ Rewards from
Capital One®

Capital One® SavorOne® Card

Annual fee: $0

APR0% for 15 months, then 16.24% to 26.24%

Bonus: $150

Rewards rates: Earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back everywhere else.

Dining perks: Get access to premier culinary experiences.

Pro/strength: The card’s lack of an annual fee makes it a decent alternative to its sister card, the Capital One® Savor® Card.

Con/weakness: Its rewards rate isn’t the best among restaurant credit cards with no annual fee.

Uber credit card

Uber Visa Card

Uber Visa Card

Annual fee: $0

APR17.24%, 22.99% or 25.99%

Bonus: $100

Rewards rates: 4% cash back on dining (including UberEATS), 3% back on hotels and airfare, 2% back on online purchases (including Uber), and 1% back everywhere else

Dining perks: UberEATS is included in the card’s definition of dining, making it possible to earn bonus rewards while eating out or ordering in.

Pro/strength: The card also offers a $50 offer on streaming services, cell phone protection and other perks on everyday needs.

Con/weakness: Its sign-up bonus is low compared to many of our favorite restaurant credit cards.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee: $0

APR0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then 16.24% to 25.74%

Bonus: $150

Rewards rates: 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose (which includes fast food in 2019), 2% back at grocery stores, gas stations or restaurants, and 1% elsewhere.

Dining perks: None.

Pro/strength: The card offers a high rewards rate on more than just fast food purchases, and you can change up your 5% bonus categories every few months.

Con/weakness: Fast food is the only dining-related category that you can earn 5% back on in 2019.

Marvel Mastercard

Marvel Mastercard

Marvel Mastercard®

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 16.99% to 26.99% variable.

Bonus: Receive a $25 statement credit after you make your first purchase.

Rewards rates: 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, online at Marvel.com and at Marvel’s Official Merchandise Booths, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Dining perks: None.

Pro/strength: The card offers a lot of perks, including discounts and special offers, for Marvel fans.

Con/weakness: Non-Marvel fans won’t get much out of the card beyond 3% back on dining and entertainment.

American Express® Gold Card

Amex Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee: $250

APRPrime Rate plus 14.99%

Bonus: 35,000 points

Rewards rates: 4X points on dining worldwide, 4X points on the first $25,000 spent annually at U.S. supermarkets, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, and 1X points on everything else.

Dining perks: You’ll get up to $10 per month in statement credits that you can use at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

Pro/strength: The card’s annual fee is high, but its $220 worth of annual credits alone reduces its effective yearly cost to just $30. Add in the high rewards rates and other perks, and it makes a lot of sense.

Con/weakness: It requires you to pay your balance in full each month and the $250 annual fee may still be too steep for some.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee: $450

APR19.24% to 26.24%

Bonus: 50,000 points

Rewards rates: Earn 3X points on travel and dining worldwide, plus 1X points on everything else.

Dining perks: None.

Pro/strength: The card offers a suite of elite travel perks, including a $300 annual travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access, an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, complimentary rental car privileges, and more. Plus, points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase.

Con/weakness: The card’s high annual fee may be too much for some credit card users.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $95

APR17.99% to 24.99%

Bonus: 50,000 points

Rewards rates: Earn 2X points on travel and dining and 1X points on everything else.

Dining perks: None.

Pro/strength: The card doesn’t offer elite travel perks like its sister card, but rewards are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase, and you can also transfer them to airline and hotel partners for potentially more value.

Con/weakness: Despite a lot of redemption flexibility, its rewards rates aren’t as generous as some of the other cards on our list. 

Wells Fargo Propel

Wells Fargo Propel

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Annual fee: $0

APR0% for 12 months, then 14.74% to 27.24%

Bonus: 30,000 points

Rewards rates: Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in, gas, rideshares, and transit, flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals, and popular streaming services. All other purchase will net you 1X points.

Dining perks: None.

Pro/strength: The card will give you 1 cent per point on both travel and cash-back redemptions. Most travel credit cards give you less for cash back redemptions, limiting your flexibility.

Con/weakness: The card doesn’t provide a lot of dining or travel-related perks.