We've analyzed the credit cards available in the UK, in order to find cards for saving money on your grocery shopping. The following cards offer rewards according to different criteria—perhaps you want a card that pays you great rewards when you dine out also, or a card that doesn't charge a fee. Picking the best card for you depends on your individual situation.
- Grocery Credit Cards
- Summary of 2022's Grocery Credit Cards
- How Grocery Credit Cards Compare
Grocery Credit Cards
After analyzing the grocery credit cards in the marketplace, we found that the following cards offer the rewards in their respective categories. We based our calculations on average UK household charges of around £1,800 a month, and incorporated all relevant annual fees, rewards rates, bonuses and perks. Actual results may vary depending on how you use a card. Finding the best card for you will depend on your personal needs and spending patterns, and may also depend on where you like to shop! Those wanting to shop for groceries using an app for convenience can read about our study on the most popular grocery delivery apps.
Overall Grocery Credit Card: Nectar Credit Card
With the Nectar Credit Card, cardholders earn around 1% rewards on ALL spending, wherever American Express is accepted. The welcome bonus of 20,000 Nectar points (earned when you spend £2,000 in the first three months) is worth £100. While not technically a grocery card as its not co-branded with a grocery chain, the rewards you earn are Nectar points, the same rewards program used by Sainsbury's. One other notable feature of this card is that you get flexibility to shop at different grocery chains. You'll earn the same 1% rewards rate on all shops, regardless of brand. While you are not limited in how you earn points, you can only redeem points at one grocery chain (Sainsbury's) or other Nectar partners. We estimate that cardholders can earn Nectar points worth over £500 in their first two years with the card, assuming an average UK household spending level (if you can use Amex where you typically spend—Amex isn't accepted everywhere).
- May be used at all grocery stores, not a particular brand
- Earn 1% on all purchases
- Rewards earned as Nectar points
- 20,000 point welcome bonus
- £25 annual fee (waived first year)
- 31% variable APR on purchases
- 37.8% APR (variable)
Sainsbury's Grocery Credit Card for Long-Term, In-Store Grocery Spending: Sainsbury's Nectar Credit Card
The Sainsbury's Nectar Card provides rewards around 1.5% for in-store Sainsbury's grocery shopping (when you use this credit card and swipe your Nectar card). Rewards at other retailers are significantly lower, approximately 0.1%, so the card is not as rewarding for other general spending. This 1.5% in-store rate comes from a 1% rewards rate on Sainsbury's spend from the credit card plus the 0.5% shoppers earn by swiping their Nectar card at the till through the Sainsbury's loyalty program. This translates to the average UK household earning rewards worth £65 a year, assuming they buy their groceries at Sainsbury's.
- Rewards earned as Nectar points
- 1.5% rewards rate on Sainsbury's purchases
- Lower-than-average rewards on non-Sainsbury's spend
- 8,000 point welcome bonus (varies from time to time)
- No annual fee
- 22.9% purchase APR (variable)
Waitrose Grocery Credit Card with No Fee: The John Lewis Waitrose Partnership Card
The John Lewis Waitrose Partnership Card is a free rewards card that rewards cardholders with 1.25% on spending at John Lewis or Waitrose, and 0.25% on other spending elsewhere. Rewards vouchers can be redeemed at either John Lewis or Waitrose. If used for all credit-card spending, the average UK cardholder would earn around £300 over the course of two years with this card. There is currently a welcome bonus: Receive a £30 voucher when you spend £250 in the first 90 days.—while not a particularly large bonus, keep in mind this is a free card.
- 1.25% at John Lewis and Waitrose, 0.25% elsewhere
- No annual fee
- Receive a £30 voucher when you spend £250 in the first 90 days.
- 27.9% on purchases (variable)
Summary of Grocery Credit Cards
Below is a summary of grocery rewards credit cards.
|Nectar Credit Card
|Earn 1% on all spending, plus a 20,000 point welcome bonus
|In-Store Groceries (long term)
|Sainsbury's Nectar Purchase
|Earn additional 1% (1.5% all in, including loyalty points) on Sainsbury's shopping. No fee.
|No Annual Fee
|The Partnership Card
|John Lewis/Waitrose Vouchers
|Earn 1% on John Lewis/Waitrose spending, 0.5% elsewhere. No fee.
You might be wondering why we haven't mentioned any Tesco credit cards here. That's because they are not as highly rewarding as the cards mentioned above. For example, using a Tesco credit card to buy groceries at Tesco, you'd earn 1 Clubcard point for every £4 you spend (in addition to the 4 Clubcard points you'd earn for every £4 spent in Tesco just for being a Clubcard member). That means that using a Tesco credit card only increases your rewards a small amount (bumping points from 4 to 5 per £4 spent). Assuming a value per Clubcard point of 1p, that's a 1.25% reward rate—but most of that is earned just for being a Clubcard member, not for having their credit card.
Instead, for example, using the Amex Nectar credit card (free in the first year) and swiping a Clubcard when shopping at Tesco would earn you 2% (1% from the Clubcard points and 1% from the Nectar card).