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A Win for Shoppers as Aldi Starts Taking Credit Cards

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/03/2016 NerdWallet
READING FOOD LABEL © Marc Romanelli via Getty Images READING FOOD LABEL

by Ben Luthi
Aldi, a low-cost supermarket chain with nearly 1,500 locations nationwide, recently announced that it had begun accepting credit cards on the four major U.S. payment networks: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
The no-frills retailer is known for policies designed to keep costs low. Customers who want a shopping cart have to "rent" one with a deposit (which they get back when they return the cart). Shoppers also have to bring their own bags or buy them at checkout. And Aldi previously accepted only debit cards, which charge merchants lower fees than credit cards.

Now that Aldi accepts credit cards, however, its customers' shopping experience is not only more convenient but also more rewarding. The company said in its announcement that accepting credit cards won't affect prices.

Why this is good news

The average American household spends more than $300 per month on groceries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those who shop at Aldi regularly, the supermarket chain's decision to accept credit cards opens up an opportunity to earn credit card rewards where previously they had received nothing using a debit card or cash.

Using a credit card that rewards you just 1% back in the form of cash, rewards or miles likely won't net you a significant amount. But several credit cards on the market offer bonus rewards for grocery purchases, as much as 6% cash back. There are even options for people with fair credit that offer grocery store rewards.

» MORE:NerdWallet's best credit cards for grocery shopping

Next steps

Aldi's decision to accept credit cards is a huge plus for consumers. For those who already shop there or are thinking of doing so more regularly, consider applying for a card that offers better rewards for your grocery purchases.

Remember that it's wise to stick to a budget when using credit cards. Also, make sure to pay off your credit card in full each month. The opportunity to overspend can be tempting, but no amount of rewards or convenience can make up for money spent on credit card interest.

» MORE:NerdWallet's best cash back credit cardsBen Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.

This story originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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