Best Credit Cards for Dining and Restaurants of September 2021

To compare restaurant credit cards, start with each card’s rewards rate at restaurants and annual fee. These two factors often determine which card provides more value.

If two cards are similar, but one earns 3% back on dining and the other earns 4% back, the second card is obviously a better choice. It gets tougher if the cards have different annual fees. That’s when you’ll need to do some math. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to figure out which is the better deal.

Let’s say the first card has no annual fee, but the second costs $95 per year. In this case, you’d multiply $95 by 100 because that second card earns 1% more on dining. The answer is $9,500. That’s how much you’d need to spend on dining per year to break even on the second card’s higher annual fee. If you spend more than $9,500, you should pay the fee for the card that earns more back. If you spend less, the no-annual-fee card is better for you.

There are times when you need to think about other factors. Some restaurant cards may have other benefits you like. In that case, you’d need to decide how much those benefits are worth to you. But when you’re deciding among the best credit card offers, the method above frequently does the trick.

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