Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Credit Card Review

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The Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card lets frequent shoppers of Kroger, King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Baker’s, Smith’s, Fry’s, and QFC earn points for every dollar they spend. By signing up for the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card, customers at any of these stores can earn at least 1 point per dollar spent anywhere that Visa is accepted. Plus, they’ll earn two points for each dollar spent in the Kroger family of stores, and three points per dollar on generic Kroger-brand products.

As a co-branded grocery store card, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card is a store discount card, a rewards card, and a Visa credit card all in one. If you’re a regular Kroger customer and you’re thinking about signing up, keep reading to learn more about the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card, what its biggest strengths are, and which alternatives might let you earn more rewards over time.

The Simple Dollar’s Key Takeaways

  • Earn 1-3 points for every dollar you spend. With the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card Review, you’ll earn one point per dollar on all purchases, two points for every dollar you spend at the Kroger family of stores, and three points per dollar on generic Kroger-brand products.
  • No annual fee. Never pay an annual fee to earn cash back on your grocery spending, and never wonder whether you should cancel. Without an annual fee, you can plan on keeping this card for the long haul.
  • Rewards are sent automatically every quarter. You don’t have to worry about redeeming your rewards or keeping track of them, either. Once you start racking up points, you will start receiving a quarterly “bonus check” with no effort on your part.

Review: An OK Rewards Card for Kroger Shoppers

Before we dig into the nitty-gritty details, let’s start with the positives of the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card. First, this card lets you earn anywhere from 1-3 points for every dollar you spend. And since it’s a Visa card, you can use it at millions of retailers all over the world. As an added bonus, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card doesn’t charge an annual fee.

The fact that this card doesn’t charge an annual fee might be its biggest benefit as a rewards credit card. If you’re not earning any type of cash back and don’t want a more traditional rewards credit card, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card is an alternative to consider if you frequent the Kroger family of stores.

And if you don’t like to deal with complicated rewards programs, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card might even be perfect for your needs. Once you start earning points, you’ll get a quarterly check for free groceries without having to redeem your points. Unlike other cards that make you jump through hoops or navigate complex rewards programs, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card doesn’t require you to do anything other than use it for regular purchases.

Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card: Where it Falls Flat

The biggest downside of the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card is the low redemption value of the points you earn. While you can rack up anywhere from 1-3 points for every dollar you spend, those points aren’t worth a lot: 1,000 points only gets you $5 in free groceries. That’s a redemption value of just $0.005 per point — a half a penny — and far less than what’s offered by comparable grocery store rewards credit cards.

As if that wasn’t enough, points earned with this card are only good for free groceries, and only at Kroger-owned stores. You can’t redeem them for cash back to spend how you choose, travel rewards, or anything else. Once you start racking up points, your only option when it comes to redeeming them is waiting for your quarterly check for free groceries to come in the mail.

Beyond those downsides, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card offers very few additional perks when compared to other cash-back cards. You don’t get a free FICO score on your monthly statement, free trip cancellation/interruption insurance, or anything of the sort.

At the end of the day, the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card can only help you get nominal amounts of free groceries, and nothing more. While this might be perfect for people who don’t want to mess with traditional rewards programs or those who are obsessed with Kroger’s store-brand products, the vast majority of people would earn a lot more points by signing up for one of the top cash-back credit cards instead.

Who This Card is Good For:

  • Someone who shops exclusively at Kroger brand grocery stores.
  • Someone who doesn’t pay to pay an annual fee.
  • A person who wants to earn free groceries but doesn’t want to mess with a traditional rewards program.

Who Should Pass:

  • Someone who is willing to sign up for a better cash-back card to earn more rewards.
  • Anyone who wants additional option when it comes to how they redeem their points and where.
  • Someone who wants to redeem their points for travel.

How Does it Compare to Other Grocery Store Credit Cards?

If you’re looking for a no-fee credit card that lets you rack up cash back at U.S. supermarkets specifically, you may also want to take a look at the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The following chart compares each of the benefits these cards offer, highlighting the best features of both:

 Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® CardBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Annual Fee$0$0
Earnings RateEarn 1x points on all purchases, 2x points at Kroger brand stores, and 3x points on Kroger generic products3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores; 1% on other purchases. Terms Apply.
Point Values1,000 points equals $5 in groceriesSpending $1,000 is worth $150 in cash back
Signup BonusNoYes

Neither card charges an annual fee, which makes them each a smart grocery card to keep on hand. However, that’s where the similarities end. Since the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express lets you earn 3% cash back on your first $6,000 in spending at all U.S. supermarkets each year (then, 1%), you’ll earn considerably more with this card over the long haul. And since you also earn 2% back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, you have even more opportunities to earn more than the standard 1% cash back on other purchases as well.

If you want the option to earn more than 1% cash back at U.S. supermarkets — including those that aren’t in the Kroger family brand of stores — the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is the clear winner. As an added bonus, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express lets you redeem your cash back on statement credits so you can spend on anything you want – not just on free groceries.

Partner Offer

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Highlights:

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.24% to 25.24%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Want a More Versatile Cash Back Card? Consider the Chase Freedom® Unlimited Card

If you want to use your cash back for more than free groceries, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is a smart alternative. With this card, you’ll earn a unlimited 1.5% back on every purchase you make with no exceptions. Best of all, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee and you can redeem your points for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, and even purchases made on Amazon.com.

If you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can also pool your points and redeem them for travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal at a 25% discount. Conversely, you could transfer them to any one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel transfer partners including British Airways, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, United MileagePlus Explorer, and Ritz Carlton Rewards.

Chase Freedom® Unlimited

Highlights:

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Final Thoughts

If your goal is earning cash back on groceries the Kroger 1-2-3 REWARDS® Visa® Card can help. However, there are a ton of other cash back cards that can help you earn even more cash back on all of your grocery spending.

Before you pull the trigger with any cash back card, make sure you find one that lets you maximize the points you earn and offers redemption opportunities you’ll actually use.

Cash Back Credit Card Directory

If you want to browse other cash back credit cards, the directory below can help. Sort the top rewards credit cards by card type, signup bonus, and other criteria to find the right grocery store credit card for your needs.

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