November 28, 2023

Can you get Cash Back at a Grocery Store using a Credit Card?

Learn everything you need about getting cash back using a credit card. We cover the basics of how cashback works, it’s pros and cons, and some essential tips for managing your finances wisely.


Suppose you are at a grocery store. You have gathered everything you need in your shopping cart. As you are moving towards the payment aisle, you realize you have no cash on you. Going to an ATM is not an option since there are none nearby. The next most convenient option is to use a credit card to pay against your shopping bill. 

Cash back is considered to be the most popular feature of credit cards. According to Bankrate, 41 percent of U.S. adults say that cash back is the best credit card feature. They prefer it more than any other credit card feature, such as travel rewards, lower interest rates, wide acceptance, etc. Continue reading this blog post to discover the ins and outs of getting cash back at a grocery store using your credit cards.

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What is Cash Back?

Cash Back refers to a specific credit card benefit wherein a percentage of payments made using the credit card is paid back to the credit card holder. These cash back rewards serve as an incentive to encourage cardholders to use the credit card more frequently for their purchases. These cash back rewards are actual cash that can be used for your credit card bill or can be used to make more purchases. A typical credit card cash back typically ranges from 0.25 percent to 5 percent of the eligible spending. Here are the three common types of credit card cash back that you might come across:

  1. Flat rate cash back: This type of cash back does not depend on the spending type. You will be receiving cash back on all your spending. 
  2. Tiered rate cash back: This type of cash back depends on the total annual spending. For instance, A credit card company might offer 1 percent cash back if your total annual spending is under $7,000 and a 3 percent cash back rate if your total annual spending is above $7,000. 
  3. Different rate cash back: This type of cash back has varying rates that depend on the type of spending. For instance, you might get 1 percent cash back if you use your credit card in a grocery store, while spending it in a restaurant might get you 2 percent cash back. 

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How does Cash Back work?

You might wonder how credit card companies make money after offering you cash back rewards. It might appear that credit card issuers are losing money on cash back transactions, but it is far from the truth.

In all credit card transactions, the issuer charges a fixed transaction fee from the merchants. In a typical cash back transaction, the credit card issuer shares a portion of this transaction fee with the customers. You need to note that not all credit card transactions earn you a cash back, but all credit card transactions levy a transaction fee from the merchant. Moreover, credit card companies also make huge earnings from late payments, high outstanding credit card balances, etc. Also, there is an annual fee associated with credit cards, which acts as an additional revenue stream for credit card companies. 

For example, Suppose you sign up for a credit card that offers 1% cash back on all grocery purchases. Assume that the transaction fee charged by the credit card issuers to the grocery merchant is about 2%. Now if you spend about $10,000 in groceries in a year, you will receive a cash back of $100 from the credit card issuer. The bank will generate a revenue of $200 from transaction fees. The credit card company will still be left with $100 after paying the cash back rewards. 

Wondering when to pay your credit card bills? Read more about it here: ‘The best day to pay your credit cards’

Turn your shopping expense into a money-making opportunity”. Sign up with Bright Money and discover the best cash back deals.

Process of Redeeming Cash Back

Now that you understand how the cash back transactions work, let us know how you can redeem your cash back rewards. When you make an eligible purchase, the credit card company stores the associated cash back in your account. You need to redeem these cash back rewards to use it. 

There are various ways in which you can redeem your cash back rewards. Some credit card companies allow cardholders to deposit the value of cash back directly to their linked bank account. Some credit card issuers let you use cash back to settle your credit card bills partially. Other ways of redeeming cash back include gift cards, online shopping, etc.

Read more about: ‘How to be a smart credit card user

Pros and Cons of Getting Cash Back

Below are the pros and cons of getting cash back using a credit card:


  1. You get a portion of your spending back into your account.
  2. Credit card companies often have special promotional cash back offers and sign-up bonuses for new credit card holders.
  3. The convenience of using a credit card to pay for your bills is unmatched when it comes to payment via cash, checkbook, etc.


  1. The cash back might not be reflected in your account on time, making managing your finances difficult.
  2. Cash back credit cards often levy high annual percentage rates (APR) as compared to credit cards without cash back programs.
  3. There might be a limit on how much you can earn via the cash back program.

Tips and tricks for optimizing credit card usage

Here are some tips for optimal usage of your credit card: 

1. Choose the right credit card: The cash back promotions differ from one credit card company to another. Some credit card issuers might offer higher promotions on grocery store purchases whereas others might offer better deals for online marketplace purchases. You need to figure out which credit card works best for you. 

Read more about ‘How to choose the right credit card for you

2. Manage your spending judiciously: Getting cash back on your credit card purchase might tempt you to spend more than usual. This might lead to excessive spending and, ultimately bad debt. Hence, you should make sure that you stick to your financial budget and manage your spending judiciously.

Read more about ‘Good Debt vs Bad Debt: Whats the difference

3. Avoid common pitfalls: Common credit card pitfalls, such as late payments, high outstanding balances, etc, can result in unnecessary fees and potentially cancel out the cash back accumulated over some time. 

4. Read the fine print: The terms and conditions vary from one credit card issuer to another. You need to make sure that you read the fine print of the terms and conditions to learn about the ins and outs of a particular credit card.

5. Utilize cash back promotions: Most credit card companies periodically change their cash back rewards structure. Keep yourself up to date with these cash back promotions and reward structures to boost your cash back earnings.

6. Cash back sites and apps: You can maximize your cash back earnings even further by linking your credit card with a cash back application or website. These tools enable you to earn cash back on all eligible purchases on their website. Some common cash back applications and websites are Rakuten, Dosh, Ibotta, etc.

"Your credit card can do more for you!” Sign up with Bright Money now to unlock the world of cash back rewards.


Every dollar counts when it comes to personal finance. The cash back program credit card companies offer attracts many people in the United States. The convenience of paying your grocery bill via credit card is unmatched compared to other payment modes such as cash, checkbooks, etc. Cash back can be understood as a rewards program wherein you can earn a portion of your credit card spending. However, it is paramount that you stick to your budget and do not spend more than you can afford. Credit card companies often levy high interest rates in case of late payments and high outstanding balances. 


1. Will I get cash back at all grocery stores using my credit card?

Getting cash back at a grocery store depends on the policies of both the credit card issuer and the specific grocery store. Contact your credit card lender to learn more about the stores where you can avail cash back offers.

2. Are there any fees associated with getting cash back at a grocery store?

Generally, no fees are associated with getting cash back at a store using a credit card.

3. Does getting cash back at a grocery store impact my credit score?

No, getting cash back at a grocery store using your credit card doesn't directly impact your credit score. 


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