Best credit cards for restaurants gas quality comparison

According to a recent survey about lunch spending by Visa, Americans eat lunch out an average of almost two times per week and spend $10 per meal. That makes an average of $18 a week, which is a total of $936 per year – just on lunch spending!

It is interesting to note that according to this survey, men are more likely to eat lunch out, and they outspend women by 44% per week. Women spend an average of a bit under $15 per week, and men spend an average of $21. Then there is another part of the population, 1% that spend more than $50 per lunch – which is close to $5,000 per year. On the flip side, 30% of the people interviewed stated that they never ate lunch out.

Simple choices such as the frequency that you eat out, or the amount you spend per meal will end up having a large impact on your finances. Easy ways to save money include: using coupons, choosing a less expensive restaurant, or using a cash back or rewards credit card. Or of course, you could just bring your lunch along!

According to Visa’s survey, those who made less than $25k per year spent more per meal than those who earned over $50k! If you fall into this category of people who certainly enjoy the guilty pleasure of eating out regularly, don’t fret! As a fellow foodie I’ll help you choose the right credit card for restaurants so that you can earn rewards on your food expenses!

Other credit cards let you use your points to pay for meals at certain restaurants or fast food outlets. For example the Membership Rewards ® program from American Express has a deal with McDonald’s which lets you use your eligible Membership Rewards ® credit card to pay for your McDonald’s meal right at the counter.

Other cards give you special privileges at select restaurants like guaranteed tables or discounts on your total bill. For example, American Express holds table reservations for Platinum Card ® members at many fine restaurants with the #AmexPlatinum Dining Program. So if you have an eligible Platinum card from Amex, you can get a table at a long list of restaurants at a first come, first served basis.

Some credit cards let you earn cash back in categories that change every quarter. These categories often include restaurants during one quarter. The cash back which you earn during this quarter may be much higher than what you get with cards that let you save throughout the year.

When choosing a restaurant card, it’s important to understand how restaurants are categorized. The exact locations that fall into the restaurant category will depend on whether you use a Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card. These payment networks have different criteria for which merchants are considered restaurants.

Visa has separate categories for restaurants, fast food outlets, and drinking places (bars, soda fountains). So unless the cash back categories on your Visa card specifically include restaurants and fast food outlets, you may only earn cash back at restaurants (or fast food outlets if that is the cash back category).

If the restaurant or fast food joint is part of a hotel, supermarket, gas station or other establishment, you may not earn cash back or points for your purchases when you pay using your restaurant credit card. That’s because the restaurant may fall under the category of the gas station or supermarket that hosts it.

If you have a favorite restaurant that belongs to a gas station, hotel, supermarket or warehouse club, then ask the restaurant staff how the place is classified. If it falls under the hotel, gas station or supermarket categories, then it might be better to get a hotel credit card, gas credit card or supermarket credit card.

Many superstores and warehouse clubs issue their own credit cards, and these could help you earn rewards on your purchases at in-store restaurants at these locations. Or you could use a flexible cash back or rewards credit card that lets you earn rewards on all your purchases, including restaurants.

Our mission at GET.com is to provide you with a clear summary of a card’s performance compared to other cards on the market. Restaurant cards are rated based on how much they reward you for your restaurant dining (how many points or how much cash back you can earn on dining purchases).