For quite a few credit card users, using a credit card is more than a payment tool, it’s a payment source that earns rewards for later use.  Rewards hungry credit card users can choose from a plethora of rewards programs in today’s credit card marketplace.  One very select, but highly prized, rewards category covers points earned for spending on restaurants and dining.

Credit card issuers have become very savvy at marketing to the active spender in the dining and entertainment categories.  Some credit card companies have very specific rewards offerings while others have a broader rewards earning platform.  Comparing the various top offers in the restaurant rewards segment allows new credit card shoppers to select the best rewards program for their budget and spending lifestyle.

The top cards for dining and restaurant rewards includes five credit cards.  All five credit cards offer a 3% rewards rate for purchases in the dining and restaurant category.  Four of the five card offer a signing bonus for new card holders.  Three of the cards offer and o% introductory rates two for purchases and one for balance transfers.  All but one of the cards have no annual fee.

Please note, credit for dining and restaurant purchases are determined by the merchant category codes.  Merchants determine the merchant category code used to identify transactions, which could impact the amount of cash back a credit card holder earns.

AARP® Credit Card from Chase

Card Summary:

3% cash back rewards at restaurants
$200.00 signing bonus for spending $500.00 in 3 months
0% intro rate for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
No annual fee

The AARP® Credit Card from Chase offers 3% cash back rewards at restaurants.  Earning rewards is unlimited, no rewards cap, on all restaurant purchase transactions.  Restaurant purchases includes traditional dining out as well as fast food take out.

The card also offers 3% cash back rewards at gas stations and 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases.

The card also currently offering a new signing bonus.  New card holders can earn a $200.00 cash back bonus after spending just $500.00 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

While this Chase credit card is branded as an AARP affiliated card, card applicants and card holders do not have to be AARP members.

In addition to the signing bonus, the AARP card has a 0% introductory rate on new purchases for the first 12 billing cycles that the account is open as well as 0% introductory rate on credit card balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles that the account is open.

After the introductory rate expires, the credit card rate is 17.24% to 23.99%, based on the applicant’s creditworthiness.  The APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

The card has no annual fee.

Capital One® Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card
(Also known as the World Elite MasterCard®)

Card Summary:

3% cash back rewards at restaurants
$100.00 signing bonus for spending $500.00 in 3 months
No annual fee

The Capital One® Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card is another card geared towards diners with a signing bonus.  The Dining Rewards Credit Card gives account holders 3% cash back on dining transactions, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases.  There are no caps on the dollar amount of purchases and no caps on the amount of rewards that can be earned.

The current signing bonus for this card is $100.00 for new card holders that spend $500.00 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

There are no introductory rates on purchases and balance transfer.  The current rates offers are 15.49%, 20.49% or 24.49%, based on the applicant’s creditworthiness.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Card Summary:

3% cash back rewards at restaurants
0% intro rate for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
No annual fee

This relatively new credit card promoted by Citi is marketed to consumers to earn Costco cash rewards but the card also has generous dining rewards program.  With this credit card, card holders can earn 3% cash back on restaurant (including cafes, bars, lounges and fast food restaurants) and eligible travel purchases worldwide, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, cruise lines and Costco Travel.

The card also offers 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com and 1% cash back on all other purchases, including the non–qualifying purchases listed above.

Currently, card holders can get a 0% introductory credit card rate on purchases for 7 months.  After the introductory rate period expires, the credit card APR is a variable, 16.24%. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate

There is no annual fee, there is also no sign-up bonus for this card.

PNC Cash Rewards℠ Visa® Credit Card

Card Summary:

3% cash back rewards at restaurants
$200.00 signing bonus for spending $500.00 in 3 months
0% intro rate for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
No annual fee

The PNC Cash Rewards℠ Visa® Credit Card is yet another dining rewards card that allows card holders to earn 3% reward points on dining.  The card also has a signing bonus in place. New card holders can receive a $100.00 bonus after making $1,000.00 or more in purchases during the first 3 billing cycles following account opening.  This offer is valid through August 31, 2017.

Customers interested in Introductory 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles following account opening when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening.  After the introductory rate expires the rate is 13.99% to 23.99% based on creditworthiness, the same rate applies to purchase transactions.  These APRs will vary with the market based on the prime rate.

This card has no annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Card Summary:

3% cash back rewards at restaurants
$200.00 signing bonus for spending $500.00 in 3 months
0% intro rate for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
No annual fee

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a 3% rewards program for travel and dining and has one of the most lucrative sign up bonuses for big spenders.  But, there are two caveats.  The sign up bonus requires $4,000.00 in purchase transactions in the first 3 months from account opening.  Of course, the bonus rewards customers with 50,000 bonus points.  The second caveat, the annual fee for this card is $450.00.

The credit card rate is 16.99% to 23.99%, based on the applicant’s creditworthiness.  These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Credit card terms current as of August 3rd, 2017.  Rates, terms, and card offers subject to change.  Review the credit card agreements for current terms and conditions.

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