What is a dining credit card and how does it work?

You have a list of restaurants to try that’s a mile long. When you plan a vacation, the first thing you do is research local delicacies. Let’s be honest, you actually planned the entire itinerary around restaurant reservations.

If any of that rings true, you might be curious about dining rewards credit cards. Dining cards are designed for people who want to earn cash back rewards for dining out. But there’s a lot more to dining credit cards than that. Find out more about how these cards work and how to decide if one is right for you.

Key takeaways

  • Dining rewards credit cards are typically a type of cash back card that lets cardholders earn rewards on dining out. 
  • Some dining rewards credit cards offer cash back rewards for other kinds of spending, like entertainment and grocery store purchases.
  • Dining rewards programs may include additional perks and benefits, like access to exclusive restaurant reservations, events and more.

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What are dining rewards credit cards?

Typically, dining rewards credit cards fall under the umbrella of cash back cards. Cardholders earn rewards for dining-related spending, such as eating at restaurants, ordering takeout, spending at bars and more. There may be other cardholder perks and benefits focused on dining too.

While they may be referred to as dining cards, other types of purchases made with the card may also earn rewards. And there may be an elevated rewards rate for dining-related spending. But each card has its own rules on how you can earn and redeem rewards.

Take the Capital One SavorOne Rewards card, for instance. With SavorOne, you can earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services and at grocery stores.1 And you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases.

Plus, with Capital One Dining, cardholders get access to exclusive reservations at some of the most-sought-after restaurants and tickets to unforgettable dining experiences curated in partnership with  experts like the Michelin Guide, the James Beard Foundation and Chef José Andrés.2 Find out more about all of SavorOne’s benefits

How do dining rewards work?

Dining rewards credit cards generally work the same as other cash back credit cards. As you spend with the card, you earn back a percentage of qualifying purchases as cash back or points. Remember, each card has its own rules on earning and redeeming rewards. 

Do bars count as restaurants for dining credit cards?

Whether you can earn dining rewards for spending at bars varies by card. To find out more about how a specific dining rewards credit card works, review the card’s terms and conditions. 

For the Capital One SavorOne Rewards card, purchases at bars typically qualify as dining-related purchases. 

Does fast food count as a restaurant for dining credit cards?

This also depends on the card. SavorOne cardholders can generally earn dining rewards at fast-food chains, restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges and bakeries.

Dining credit card benefits

Each dining card has its own rewards program that may include cash back rewards and other benefits. Here are some of the perks that SavorOne cardholders can enjoy: 

  • New cardholders can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once they spend $500 on purchases within three months from account opening.3
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and qualifying grocery store purchases. 
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Access to exclusive reservations and events with Capital One Dining.
  • Earn 8% cash back on unforgettable experiences across sports, music, dining and more with Capital One Entertainment.4
  • Unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • No foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. View important on rates and disclosures.
  • Capital One card security features to help you keep your account safe. 

Is a dining credit card right for you?

If you’re a live-to-eat type of person, a dining rewards credit card may be something to consider. You can earn cash back on dining while trying the newest restaurant in town or visiting your favorite local spot. 

And with SavorOne, you earn cash back on every purchase you make. Plus, you’ll have access to exclusive reservations and culinary experiences to delight your inner foodie. 

Dining credit cards in a nutshell 

Ready to explore dining rewards credit cards? You can compare Capital One credit cards to see if there’s a dining credit card that suits you. And before you apply, you can see if you’re pre-approved for potential card offers. Pre-approval is quick and won’t hurt your credit scores. 

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