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The best credit cards for drugstores: Up to 5% cash back on pharmacy purchases

The best cards to use at standalone drugstores and Pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, and Duane Reade can earn you up to 5% cash back or 5x transferable points on your pharmacy purchases.

Here are the cards that can get you the most rewards at standalone drugstores and pharmacies.

The best drugstore and pharmacy rewards credit cards

CardDrugstore/pharmacy rewards
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Annual fee: $0
5% cash back on up to $500 of spending each month in the category where you spend the most.
In order to earn 5% cash back at drugstores, you must spend more at drugstores on the card than in any other eligible spending category. 5% cash back is earned as ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for cash back or travel rewards.

If you use your Citi Custom Cash mostly for drugstore purchases, the card will give you one of the highest rates of cash back in the category.

More on the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee: $0
Unlimited 3% back on purchases at drugstores.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns Ultimate Rewards® points, which can be redeemed for cash back or travel rewards.

Earning 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on drugstores is a fantastic rate of return, especially if you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card and can transfer to travel partners.

More on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
Chase Freedom Flex card art
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual fee: $0
Unlimited 3% back on purchases at drugstores.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns Ultimate Rewards® points, which can be redeemed for cash back or travel rewards.

Earning 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on drugstores is a fantastic rate of return, especially if you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card and can transfer to travel partners.

More on the Chase Freedom Flex℠.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art
U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
Annual fee: $400
Unlimited 3x points when you pay with mobile wallet.
Points are worth 3% cash back or 4.5% travel rewards when redeemed for travel through the Altitude Rewards Center.

You’ll get 3x anywhere that you pay with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, or Samsung Pay, which can be useful if your pharmacy is isn’t a standalone drugstore. Since this card is a Visa card, it’s also accepted at Costco Pharmacy.

More on the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card art
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Annual fee: $0
3% cash back on drugstore/pharmacy purchases. Up to 5.25% cash back with Preferred Rewards with Platinum Honors.
Increased cash back rewards are limited to $2,500 in total purchases across all 3% and 2% bonus categories each quarter.

This card becomes particularly interesting if you have Platinum Honors status in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, thanks to the Platinum Honors 1.75 credit card rewards multiplier.

More on the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card.
The best credit cards for drugstore rewards.

My take on the best cards to use at drugstores and pharmacies

Personally, my pick for earning rewards at drugstores and pharmacies is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Chase Ultimate Rewards® is an incredibly useful rewards program and all of my Ultimate Rewards points get transferred to my Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. My Ink Preferred enables me to transfer points to airline and hotel transfer partners where I get much more than 3% cash back value from them. If you’re into transferable rewards, either one of the Freedom cards is a great option.

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is also a great option if you want transferable points and hold a Citi Premier® Card, but I’d imagine that most people spend more consistently at grocery stores and could get more rewards using their Custom Cash for that. (Though it is possible to get multiple Custom Cash cards!)

If you want the simplicity of carrying one card for everything, I really like the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card for its 3x on mobile wallet purchases. Only consider the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card if you have BofA Preferred Rewards with Platinum Honors.

Use other cards for pharmacies within grocery stores, big box stores, and warehouse clubs

Most pharmacy and drugstore rewards cards will only give you increased rewards if you make purchases at a standalone pharmacy or drugstore. This is mostly due to the merchant category codes businesses use to process transactions—purchases at a pharmacy within Target will likely code as a big box store, for example. If you pick up your prescriptions at a place other than a standalone pharmacy, here are a few ideas that can get you more rewards.

Target. If you purchase prescriptions at the Target pharmacy, use a card from our list of the best cards for Target purchases to earn maximum rewards. For most people, the Target RedCard™ Mastercard is likely your best bet.

Costco. The Costco pharmacy will likely code your purchase as a warehouse club purchase, so use a card from our list of the best cards for Costco. There are several good options on that list.

Grocery stores. Use a grocery store credit card to earn the most cash back or points if your pharmacy is located within a grocery store.

The best cards for drugstore purchases

Here are some more details on our picks for the best cards for purchases at drugstores and standalone pharmacies.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card – 5% cash back at drugstores

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

You can use the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card to get 5% on your drugstore purchases on up to $500 in purchases monthly. Although the Custom Cash is marketed as a cash back card, the card earns ThankYou® Points, which can make the card’s 5% rewards even more interesting. More on that in a bit.

The key to getting the best rewards at drugstores and pharmacies with the Custom Cash is to use the card exclusively for drugstore purchases. And only use it for up to $500 of spending per billing cycle—after $500 spent and in other categories, you’ll earn 1% rewards.

If you hold multiple cards than earn ThankYou® points, you can combine your ThankYou Rewards accounts and earn points in a single account. When you also hold a Citi Premier® Card or the (no longer available) Citi Prestige card, you can transfer points to airline and hotel transfer partners and take advantage of those programs’ redemption options. If you have a Citi Rewards+® Card, you’ll get a 10% point rebate on your ThankYou Points redemptions on up to 100,000 point a year.

Learn more about how the ThankYou® Rewards program works or check out our overview of the Citi Custom Cash.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $0

This is a direct bank link. All information about the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card sign-up bonus

bonus_miles_full

The 6-month window to earn this bonus makes it an easy bonus to earn.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
Citi Entertainment® – Access to event ticket pre-sales.

Rewards:
5% cash back on your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, on up to $500 of purchases.
5% eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.
1% cash back on all other purchases.
Rewards are earned as ThankYou® Points.

Learn more:
Learn more about the Citi Custom Cash in our review of the card.
See our overview of the ThankYou® Rewards program.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Unlimited 3% cash back at drugstores and pharmacies + restaurants + 1.5% everywhere

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is marketed as earning unlimited 3% cash back on drugstore purchases. A few cards can get you more cash back on your pharmacy spending, but behind the scenes, the Freedom Unlimited earns its rewards as Ultimate Rewards® points. This makes the card more more interesting than a cash back rewards card.

When you also hold a premium Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, you can transfer your points to your premium card and get more value out of them through travel redemptions.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited will also give you decent rewards everywhere else and offers an excellent extended warranty benefit. Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited in our card overview.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer: Extra 1.5% cash back on $20,000 spent in the first year. (Annual fee: $0)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Better than the $200 after $500 bonus once you spend $13,334 in your first year. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. 3% at drugstores and on dining. 1.5% on other purchases. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

Chase Freedom Flex℠: Unlimited 3% cash back at drugstores and pharmacies + restaurants + 5% rotating categories

Chase Freedom Flex card art
Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers unlimited 3% cash back on drugstore purchases. But the Freedom Flex pairs its drugstore rewards with 5% rewards in categories that rotate quarterly. Like the Freedom Unlimited the Freedom Flex earns its rewards as Ultimate Rewards® points, allowing you to get better than cash back value from your points when you also hold a premium Ultimate Rewards card.

Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® enable you to redeem points for increased value through Chase Travel℠. And since you can transfer your points from your Freedom Flex to your premium card, this increased value extends to the points you earn at drugstores.

Learn more about rotating category cards, including the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ welcome bonus:

Before you apply through the link below, be sure to see our coverage of the best welcome bonus on this card. There may be a better offer in-branch.

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Our take on the welcome bonus: $200 after $500 is the standard welcome bonus on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Freedom Flex card art

Chase Freedom Flex℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% in rotating categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter). 5% travel through Chase. 3% dining. 3% drugstores. 1% other purchases.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Cell phone protection.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card: 3x everywhere when you use a mobile wallet

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

If you can use a mobile wallet to make purchases at your preferred drugstore or pharmacy, you can get 3x rewards on your purchases with the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.

The the 3x points you’ll get on every mobile wallet purchase with the Altitude Reserve can be redeemed for 3% cash back or 4.5% rewards toward travel when you book through the Altitude Reward Center.

The Altitude Reserve is an especially good choice if you preferred drugstore or pharmacy is within another store, like Target, Walmart, Costco, or Sam’s Club. Often these big-box store and warehouse locations don’t code purchases as drugstore purchases, so you’ll miss out on rewards if you use other cards.

Drugstores can be a great place to purchase gift cards, either as gifts, or as a way to expand your drugstore bonus to other merchants that sell branded gift cards at your favorite drugstore. But be warned: The U.S Bank Altitude Reserve‘s terms and conditions say that you won’t earn increased rewards on your gift card purchases and the bank has been known to close accounts of customers purchasing gift cards.

Learn more about the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve, a card that can earn you 3x almost everywhere in-store, from our overview of the Altitude Reserve.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $400

This is a direct bank link. All information about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card sign-up bonus

Earn 50,000 bonus points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can get a bigger welcome bonus with several other competing cards with similar annual fees.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
$325 in annual statement credits for travel and dining purchases.
Primary auto rental collision damage waiver.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Trip delay reimbursement.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Extended warranty.
Purchase security.
Return protection.

Rewards:
5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked with the Altitude Rewards Center.
3x on eligible travel purchases.
3x on mobile wallet purchases made with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay.
1x on other eligible purchases.
Rewards are earned as points which can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent apiece, or toward travel at 1.5 cents each.

Learn more:
Learn more about in our review of the Altitude Reserve.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards: Up to 5.25% cash back for Preferred Rewards customers with Platinum Honors

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card art
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program turns the bank’s lineup of relatively lackluster cash back cards into best-in-class cards if you’re looking to earn cash back rewards. For drugstores, the best BofA card to use is the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards.

The card earns 3% cash back on drugstore/pharmacy purchases, plus a bunch of other categories (gas and EV charging stations, online shopping/​cable/​streaming/​internet/​phone plan, dining, travel, and home improvement/​furnishings purchases.) It also earns 2% rewards at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. The catch? The 3% and 2% rewards are earned only on the first $2,500 of spending each calendar quarter. Other spending earns 1% cash back rewards.

Most people will prefer another card on our list that offers uncapped 3% cash back or 3x rewards on drug store purchases. But if you have Platinum Honors status in the preferred rewards program, your 1.75x rewards multiplier will turn the Customized Cash‘s 3% cash back categories (including drugstores) into 5.25% categories, and the 2% categories into 3.5% categories, making the card much more attractive.

You can learn more about the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program or explore our overview of the Customized Cash to learn more.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card art

Learn how to apply.

Annual fee: $0

This is a direct bank link. All information about the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card sign-up bonus

$200 Online Bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

The bonus is about average for a card with no annual fee.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
Extended warranty.

Rewards:
3% cash back in a select category of your choice: gas and EV charging stations, online shopping/cable/streaming/internet/phone plan, dining, travel, drug store/pharmacy, or home improvement/furnishings.
2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
Bonus rewards in 2% and 3% categories are limited to the first $2,500 in spending each quarter. Additional purchases earn 1% cash back
1% cash back on all other purchases.
Rewards get multiplied by up to 1.75x depending on your Bank of America Preferred Rewards status.

Learn more:
Learn more about the card in our review of the Customized Cash.
Read more about the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

Which merchants count as drugstores?

Each card issuer will have its own rule for what counts as a drugstore purchase. Here’s what each of the card issuers featured on this page says counts as a drugstore.

Chase: What counts as a drugstore?

Here’s what Chase has to say about drugstores:

Merchants in this category specialize in selling prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, supplements and various health-related items. These merchants may also sell cosmetics, toiletries, greeting cards, and various household items such as cleaning supplies and packaged foods and drinks. Some merchants that sell a wide variety of goods including these items, and which may contain an onsite pharmacy, for example, warehouse clubs, discount stores, or grocery stores, are not included in this category.

Citi: What counts as a drugstore?

Here’s what Citi says about the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card‘s drugstore category:

Includes purchases made at pharmacies in grocery stores, general merchandise/discount superstores, and wholesale/warehouse clubs if those merchants submit purchases made in their pharmacy with the drug store and pharmacy merchant category code.

Frequently asked questions

Which Chase card should I use at drugstores?

Both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards earn unlimited 3% back at drugstores. These two cards are the best Chase cards to use at drugstores.

Does CVS have a credit card?

CVS does not have a credit card, so it’s best to use a credit card that earns rewards at drugstores for purchases at CVS. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, and Chase Freedom Unlimited® can all be great options for purchases at CVS.

Does the pharmacy at a grocery store count as a drugstore?

How you’ll earn rewards for drugstore purchases depends on how the merchant processes your transaction. Most drugstores within grocery stores or big-box stores will be processed as a grocery store or big box store purchase.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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