Review of the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® and Blue Cash Preferred® Cards

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Oct 20, 2017 | Updated Dec 04, 2017

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American Express offers this pair of highly rewarding cash back cards, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card.

They both offer cash back for groceries and gas, and their potential interest rates are identical, but the Preferred card is an upgraded version that provides quite a bit more cash back (at the cost of an annual fee).

These cards are great for everyday spending, whether you get the Everyday or Preferred version. Read on to learn what makes them different, how to make the Preferred worth the annual fee, and how they can help you save money on some of the things you buy the most.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express®
Apply Now

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express®

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express®
Apply Now

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express®

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Interest Rate: 13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Get $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

We give both the Blue Cash cards 5 out of 5 Stars because they are both great reward cards for the niches they intend to fill. They’re designed for spending on groceries and gas for the most part, with the Everyday version meant for lower spenders and the Preferred version meant for higher spenders.

The Blue Cash Everyday, with no annual fee, offers a solid 3% back at grocery stores and 2% back at gas stations and some department stores, making it one of the best reward cards without an annual fee. The Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee, but for that price you’ll earn 6% back at grocery stores and 3% back at gas stations and some department stores, and this very high reward makes it pretty easy to offset the annual fee and make quite a bit of profit on top of that.

Both cards have a good signup bonus. For spending $1,000 with the card in the first 3 months, you’ll get $150 cash back with the Everyday version and $200 cash back with the Preferred. This will pay for the Preferred’s annual fee for 2 years, so that’s a pretty nice offer compared to the fee.

We found that if you spend more than $2,600 on groceries and $1,300 on gas every year, the Blue Cash Preferred will end up providing more cash back, even after you pay the annual fee. If you spend less than that amount every year, the Blue Cash Everyday will be more profitable to use. For a thorough discussion of which card to use in different financial situations, see the Which Card Is Better For You? section below.

Both cards share the same set of extra benefits, some of which can be quite rewarding. In particular, check out the Amex Offers and the 10% discount on utilities.

Overall, they do well on all the main card features: good cash back rewards, good benefits, and fair costs and fees.

Insider Advice: Using These Cards as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • These cards are both primarily designed for buying groceries and gas, along with shopping at some department stores. If that’s your intent, one of these cards will probably work out well for you. If you’re looking for a card for more general spending, check out other reward credit cards.
  • A smart strategy could be to pair one of the Blue Cash cards with a general reward card. You can use the Blue Cash card whenever you buy groceries or gas, and the general reward card for every other purchase. That makes things simple, and helps maximize the cash back you earn.
  • The Blue Cash Everyday has no annual fee and offers relatively lower rewards, while the Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee but it offers higher rewards. If you use the Preferred version you’ll want to make sure you earn enough cash back every year to pay for that fee, and provide some profit on top of that. You’ll need to spend at least $1,100 at grocery stores and $1,100 at gas stations per year to offset the fee, but you’ll want to spend more than that to make this card profitable. Learn more in our section on How to Offset the Annual Fee.
  • The Everyday is good for minimal spending, while the Preferred is better for average or higher spending. If you’re trying to choose between them, check your spending habits: if you spend more than $2,600 on groceries and $1,300 on gas per year, the Blue Cash Preferred will provide more cash back despite the annual fee. If you spend less than that, the Blue Cash Everyday will be more appropriate for you. Read our section, Which Card is Better For You?, to learn more.
  • Both of these cards have a signup bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, so be sure to plan out some spending to achieve this. When you do, you’ll get $150 cash back with the Everyday card and $200 back with the Preferred. It’s easy money, so you should definitely take it.
  • You’ll have a few different ways to redeem the cash back you earn: for statement credits, gift cards, or particular shopping purchases. We recommend you always go with statement credits, unless there is a particular gift card you want to get. We found that statement credits are the best way because they’ll always provide the full $1 for every $1 of cash back you redeem; gift cards are second-best because they will usually redeem for the full amount, but not always; and the shopping redemption method is the worst because the deals it offers are far more expensive than if you were to make those purchases through normal methods.
  • These cards both come with quite a few benefits, and some of them can be pretty rewarding. Be sure to look at all of them, but particularly the Amex Offers, where you’ll find exclusive discounts on a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment-related purchases. There’s also an offer for 10% off certain utilities, though this only comes now and then for a limited time so be sure to watch out for it.
  • Typically you would only need one of these cards at a time. If you have the regular Blue Cash Everyday but are spending quite a bit with it, you can contact American Express to see if you can upgrade to the Preferred version. In some cases they may transfer your credit limit over, but in other cases you may have to apply for the Preferred and get an entirely new account with a new credit limit.
  • Both of these cards allow you to carry a balance from month to month at the cost of accruing interest, but we do not recommend this. You can easily avoid accruing interest by paying off your balance in full every month. This will prevent extra interest charges, which make these cards less profitable, and it will also help your credit scores.

The Rewards

Earning

Blue Cash Everyday

You’ll get:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1% cash back)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
  • A $150 signup bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Blue Cash Preferred

With this upgraded version of the card, you’ll get:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1% cash back)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
  • A $200 signup bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

When I got my Blue Cash Preferred, I first checked to see if I was prequalified for the card. It turned out that I had an offer available for a $250 signup bonus instead of the normal offer, which I happily took. A great value for easy work!

The ‘supermarket’ category is quite broad, and probably includes most retailers that you’d classify as a supermarket. This category does not include specialty food stores, superstores, or warehouse clubs.

The list of eligible stores in the supermarket category includes, but is not limited to:

Supermarket Category Example Retailers
Gristedes Foodtown Meijer Pathmark Shoprite
Stop and Shop Vons Wegmans Whole Foods Online supermarkets like FreshDirect

The ‘gas station’ category defines a gas station as “a merchant that is in the primary business of selling gasoline to consumers,” so that will include pretty much every gas station you’ll ever find in the U.S. Take note that this category does not include superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs that sell gas.

For the ‘select department stores’ category, there are currently only 16 retailers where this is applicable. The list includes some pretty big brands, however, and online purchases are eligible for the 2% cash back, so it shouldn’t be too hard to make use of this reward category.

Here is the current and complete list of department stores where this 2% reward category is eligible:

Complete List of Department Store Retailers
Bealls Belk Bloomingdale’s Bon Ton Stores Boscov’s Century 21 Department Stores Dillard’s J.C. Penney (JCP)
Kohl’s Lord & Taylor Macy’s Neiman Marcus Nordstrom Saks Fifth Avenue Sears Stein Mart

You’ll get your cash back in the form of Reward Dollars, which are basically credits that are ready and waiting to be used. You’ll get 1 Reward Dollar for every $1 in cash back that you earn, but the value you get in the end will depend on how you redeem those Reward Dollars.

How to Offset the Annual Fee

The Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting at least that much value from the rewards and benefits. Otherwise you’re losing money every year.

So how much cash back would you need to earn to offset that fee, and how much would you need to spend to get it?

The basic Blue Cash Everyday card has no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about offsetting it. As long as you pay your bills on time and avoid interest, you’ll always come out ahead no matter how much you spend. But in many cases the cardholder would earn more with the Preferred, even after paying the fee; see our Which Card is Better For You? section below for a discussion on this.

More specifically, how much would you need to spend on groceries and/or gas every year to offset the fee for the Preferred card? You’ll earn 6% cash back at grocery stores and 3% cash back for gas, so with that combined spending it will be pretty easy for most people to offset the annual fee. We’ll assume that you redeem your cash back as a statement credit, so you’ll be sure to get the full $1 for every $1 in cash back you’ve earned.

The most cost-efficient way to offset the annual fee would be to earn that cash back at the 6% rate. If you spend $1,584 at grocery stores ($132 per month) you’ll get just over $95 cash back, and any more cash back you earn is all profit. But a more realistic way to use the card is to buy both groceries and gas with it.

With that combined spending, one minimal way to offset the annual fee would be to spend just $1,100 on groceries and $1,100 on gas in a given year ($92 per month for each), which will earn you $99 in cash back. If you know you’ll be spending at least that much on those purchases every year, you can be confident you’ll be able to offset the annual fee (though you won’t be making much profit — see our Which Card is Better For You? section below).

In a more realistic scenario you’ll probably be spending much more than that. How much cash back would you earn, for example, if you spent $3,600 per year on groceries ($300 per month) and $1,200 per year on gas ($100 per month)?

You’d end up getting $216 back for the groceries and $36 back for the gas, for a total of $252 cash back per year. When you subtract the annual fee of $95, you’re left with $157 cash back. Not too shabby.

Redeeming

You’ll get 1 Reward Dollar for every $1 in cash back that you earn, but the final value you get will depend on how you redeem those Reward Dollars. There are three ways to redeem the Reward Dollars that you earn:

  • Statement credits: recommended, most rewarding method, guaranteed $1 per 1 Reward Dollar
  • Gift cards: second-best method, usually $1 per 1 Reward Dollar but not always
  • Shopping: worst method, offers less than $1 per 1 Reward Dollar

You’ll be required to redeem your cash back in increments of $25, unless otherwise noted.

Statement Credits

This is the usual way to redeem cash back with these cards, and it’s a very simple and cost-effective option. You’ll get $1 for every Reward Dollar you redeem, so it’s always easy to see how this kind of redemption will affect your finances.

The amount you redeem will be subtracted from your account balance, or the credit will be added to your account for future purchases.

Gift Cards

You’ll be able to redeem your points for gift cards at a wide variety of merchants, usually at a rate of $1 per Reward Dollar. There is no extra fee. A notable exception to this is American Express Gift Cards: they will always cost 4 extra Reward Dollars, no matter the monetary value of the gift card.

So you won’t be saving any money when you do this, and, in most cases when you want to shop at a particular merchant, it would be better to just redeem for a statement credit and then use a reward card to earn cash back on when you shop. If you just use the gift card, you wouldn’t earn any cash back when you shop at the merchant.

However, a good use of this redemption method could be to get gift cards as gifts for other people. You can choose where to have gift cards shipped, so you can have them sent directly to people with very little work on your end.

Most gift cards are available in increments of $25, though some are a bit different and may have a higher starting price. The selection of merchants is quite large and will change, but when this review was last updated the list included:

Amazon.com American Express® Gift Card Bass Pro Shops® Best Western Travel CVS/pharmacy Fandango
Gap iTunes Lowe’s Macy’s Microsoft Office Nike
Panera Bread Regal Cinemas Sears Starbucks Ulta Zappos.com

Shopping

The Shopping redemption method is a bit different than the previous ways. Instead of a statement credit or credit with a particular merchant, this method allows you to use Reward Dollars to directly pay for purchases of specific items.

The number of Reward Dollars you need will differ depending on the item. There’s quite a wide selection to choose from, and the offerings are mostly (or entirely) from the same merchants you can get gift cards with, as explained above.

Some of the offerings can be had for less than 20 Reward Dollars, while others cost almost 10,000. The cost includes standard shipping and handling. Some of the deals available when this review was last updated include:

  • A 36-pack of Keurig Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K-Cups: 47.00 Reward Dollars
  • A set of 4 Wine Enthusiast Glencairn Whiskey Glasses: 65.00 Reward Dollars
  • North Face Denali Fleece Jacket: 206.00 Reward Dollars
  • Sony BRAVIA OLED 4K 55″ HDR TV: 4,509.00 Reward Dollars

So, are these deals worth it? Are you getting a discount here, is the price the same, or do you end up spending more when you use Reward Dollars for these purchases?

We’ve summarized the results of our research here. You can clearly see that the Shopping redemption method will not help you save money. In every case we tested, it was cheaper to make a purchase through a regular method, like Amazon.com or the brand retailer itself. The Price Difference and Price Increase Percentage columns in the table below are both based on the lowest price found for the item.

Item Cost via Amex Shopping Redemption Method Lowest Retail Price Price Difference Amex Shopping Markup
36-Pack Breakfast Blend K-Cups 47 Reward Dollars $20 $27 +135%
4 Glencairn Whiskey Glasses 65 Reward Dollars $50 $15 +30%
North Face Denali Fleece Jacket 206 Reward Dollars $170 $36 +11%
Sony Bravia OLED 4K 55″ HDR TV 4,509 Reward Dollars $2,998 $1,511 +50%

As you can see, we found that same 36-pack of Green Mountain Breakfast Blend K-Cups for as low as $28 on Amazon with shipping, and for less than $20 at Walmart. So in this case you’d be paying more than twice as much as might be necessary.

Up next, the whiskey glasses: we found them being sold for around $50 on Amazon, and about the same on the Wine Enthusiast website. So here you’d be paying about $15 more than you should if you bought these glasses with a cash back redemption.

As for the North Face Denali fleece, we found that for around $170 on Amazon, which is almost $40 less than the offer you’d get with Reward Dollars. It was over $200, including shipping, at other retailers.

And what about that Sony Bravia TV, which will cost 4,509.00 Reward Dollars? Well, we found that same TV on Amazon and at other retailers for only $2,998.00, including shipping. That’s a difference of over $1,500!

Clearly, the deals you’ll get through the Shopping redemption option are not very good — you get less than $1 per 1 Reward Dollar in every offer we found. We haven’t found any deals that will actually save you money, compared to buying the item directly as you normally would.

Since we didn’t find any of the Shopping options to be worthwhile, we recommend you stick with statement credits and gift cards when redeeming your Reward Dollars. Statement credits will always give you $1 per 1 Reward Dollar, and gift cards will too in most cases.

Which Card is Better for You?

As you can see, both of these cards have valuable features but the Preferred version is quite a bit more rewarding. You’ll get twice as much cash back when buying groceries, and a bit more back on gas and at department stores.

But the Preferred card also has an annual fee of $95, while the Everyday version is free to use. So is the Blue Cash Preferred worth the cost, compared to the Blue Cash Everyday? The answer to this will depend on how much you typically spend on groceries and gas every year.

In our examples below, we calculated that if you spend more than about $2,600 on groceries and $1,300 on gas per year, the Blue Cash Preferred Card will be more profitable to use. If you spend that much or less per year, the Blue Cash Everyday will be more profitable to use.

Blue Cash Preferred Card Spending Examples

Using the Preferred Card you’ll get 6% back for groceries and 3% back for gas. Lets say, for example, that you spend $100 on groceries and $50 on gas per week, for a total of $5,200 on groceries and $2,600 on gas per year. That means you’ll get $312 back for the groceries and $78 back for the gas, for a total of $390. That’s more than enough to pay for the annual fee, with $295 in profit after you pay it.

But what if you won’t spend that much on gas and groceries? If you only spend half as much, $50 on groceries and $25 on gas per week, that would equal $2,600 on groceries and $1,300 on gas per year. That will provide $156 back for groceries and $39 back for gas, for a total of $195. That would pay for the annual fee with only $100 in profit.

Here’s a table summarizing those results, along with another even lower-spending example:

Annual Grocery Spending Annual Gas Spending Total Cash Back Net Cash Back After Annual Fee
$5,200 $2,600 $390 $295
$2,600 $1,300 $195 $100
$1,300 $650 $97.50 $2.50

Let’s go over the same spending examples with the Everyday card.

Blue Cash Everyday Card Spending Examples

That sounds fine for the Preferred Card, but what if you did the same spending with the basic Blue Cash card? You would earn less cash back, getting 3% back for groceries and 2% back for gas, but you also wouldn’t need to pay the annual fee. So does it end up being a better deal?

In our first higher-spending example, you spend $5,200 on groceries and $2,600 on gas per year. With the basic Blue Cash card, you would earn $156 back for the groceries and $52 back for the gas, for a total profit of $208 cash back. Compare that to the Blue Cash Preferred, which would provide $295 profit after paying the annual fee with this level of spending.

In the second lower-spending example, you spend $2,600 on groceries and $1,300 on gas per year. The basic Blue Cash card would provide $78 back for the groceries and $26 back for the gas, for a total profit of $104 cash back. Compare that to the Blue Cash Preferred, which would only provide $100 cash back per year at this level of spending. In this example you’ll actually earn more back with the basic Blue Cash card, but only by $4.

Here are those results summarized, and compared to what you’d get with the Blue Cash Preferred:

Annual Grocery Spending Annual Gas Spending Total Cash Back with Blue Cash Everyday Net Cash Back with Blue Cash Preferred
$5,200 $2,600 $208 $295
$2,600 $1,300 $104 $100
$1,300 $650 $52 $2.50

The Right Card Depends on Your Level of Spending

There is a particular level of spending that constitutes a cutoff point for the Blue Cash Preferred card. If you spend less than this, you shouldn’t be using the Preferred card because you can get a more profitable deal with the Blue Cash Everyday.

If you spend less than about $2,600 on groceries and $1,300 on gas every year, the Blue Cash Everyday will be right for you. If you spend more than this every year, the Blue Cash Preferred will be more profitable to use as long as you redeem your cash back for the full $1 value, as explained above. 

Keep in mind that we were somewhat conservative with these estimates because we didn’t take into account any other spending you might do with the card, at department stores or anywhere else. Chances are that if you’re the average American consumer, you’ll be spending more than our low-spending example.

So, if you’re going to be buying groceries quite regularly, the Preferred version of this card will probably be the right move. And if you’re buying groceries for an entire family you’ll almost certainly be better off with the Preferred. The cash back you earn from groceries alone should offset the annual fee, and this doesn’t even take into account other purchases or the other benefits you’ll get with this card.

The Benefits

The Everyday and Preferred cards offer the same set of additional entertainment, shopping, and travel benefits. Check your card terms for details on your benefits and how to access them. Since they’re the exact same here, you won’t have to worry about choosing between benefits if you’re wondering which one of these cards to get.

A couple of them, like the Amex Offers, can be quite rewarding if you find deals that you’ll be able to make use of. Also, look for the 10% discount on utilities, which could end up saving you quite a bit over time.

Here are the most valuable and interesting benefits, though this list doesn’t cover everything these cards offer.

Amex Offers

You’ll have access to discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are 73 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.

You just need to head to the Amex Offers program and click ‘Add to Card’ for the deals you want. Then, just use your card as you normally would to make a purchase with that merchant. Your savings will appear as a statement credit later on, reducing your account balance. You may or may not earn additional rewards at the regular rate — this will depend on the particular offer.

Many of the deals can be quite valuable, saving you from $5 up through more than $100 for some of them. For most of them, you’ll need to spend a certain amount to get a certain discount. Some of the current offers include:

Merchant Need to Spend Cash Back Maximum Savings
PuritansPride $30 $10 33.33%
Sling TV $15 $5 33.33%
Glasses.com $200 $50 25%
1-800-CONTACTS $200 $40 20%
MGM Resorts $250 $50 20%
Ray-Ban Sunglasses $175 $35 20%
Wine Enthusiast $250 $50 20%
Raymour & Flanigan $750 $115 15.33%
Dollar Shave Club $70 $5 7.14%

There are many fantastic deals waiting to be had here, though many other credit card issuers will offer a similar service. For example, Chase provides the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, Bank of America has their “BankAmeriDeals” offers, and Discover has the Discover Deals service. You’ll find a range of discounts in all of them.

Save 10% on Some Utilities

Occasionally you’ll be given the opportunity to save 10% on your cable, satellite TV, and/or cell phone bills. Just find the offer and click ‘Add to Card,’ and then use your card to pay for the utility as normal.

Entertainment Access

This benefit, also called Membership Experiences, provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events, as well as access to certain exclusive experiences. You’ll be able to search by interest, artist, event, or venue.

A couple of offers that were available when this review was written are special access to the LUCKYRICE™ Miami Feast on the affordable end (for $88 per ticket), to VIP Access to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the more expensive end (for $9,800).

Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed

If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference. You must submit your claim before the check-in date, and be sure to check your card details because some restrictions apply.

Free 2-Day Shipping and Returns

Cardholders will have access to free 2-day shipping and returns through the ShopRunner service. This benefit includes over 140 merchants and brands, which you can easily browse.

You must manually enroll in this benefit to make use of it.

American Express Personal Loans

Cardholders have the opportunity to apply for a loan through American Express (but only if they have been pre-approved). Loans are offered from $3,500 to $25,000, with fixed interest rates from as low as 6.90% up to 19.97%.

Other Benefits and Perks

We’ve only described some of the most interesting benefits here but there are quite a few others that could help you out in a pinch, like shopping protections and security features. Check out the full set of benefits for the Blue Cash Everyday or the Blue Cash Preferred.

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Blue Cash Everyday $0 0% for 15 months  13.99% - 22.99% Variable 26.24% Variable 2.7%
Blue Cash Preferred $95 0% for 12 months  13.99% - 22.99% Variable  26.24% Variable 2.7%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Blue Cash Everyday 29.99% Variable up to $38 up to $38
Blue Cash Preferred 29.99% Variable up to $38 up to $38

You can see from the table that the costs and fees of these cards are almost completely identical. If you’re trying to choose between them, the annual fee is the only detail you need to worry about.

Both cards have a very generous 0% intro APR period — 15 months for the Everyday and 12 months for the Preferred — which are pretty long compared to most other options out there. You can use these periods to pay for large purchases at no interest, but you’ll still have to pay your bill every month. Just remember the high penalty APR, which could be implemented if you make a late or returned payment.

Take note that 0% intro APRs are great, but if you make a late or returned payment you could lose it before it officially ends, leaving you with the high penalty APR!

Since there is no annual fee for the Blue Cash Everyday, the cash back you earn will be all profit as long as you avoid accruing interest. With the Blue Cash Preferred, if you earn enough cash back to offset the annual fee as described above, any more you earn will be all profit as long as you avoid interest.

The Bottom Line

The Blue Cash cards from American Express are some of the most rewarding cards on the market. The 3% cash back for groceries with the Blue Cash Everyday card is usually as good as it gets, which makes the 6% back with the Blue Cash Preferred card pretty incredible.

Since these cards have identical benefits and nearly identical fees, the major deciding points are the amounts of cash back they provide and the annual fee.

Although each card has a $6,000 limit for the cash back offer on groceries, you’ll still get quite a bit of cash back even if you hit that limit. If you spend the full amount in 1 year this still equates to $180 for the Everyday card and $360 for the Preferred, quite a nice return on purchases you’ll already be making. And that doesn’t even take into account gas or department store purchases.

While the Preferred card does have a $95 annual fee, you’ll be able to easily pay for it with the cash back you get as explained above, with a lot more to spare. You’ll also have the signup bonus on each card, providing $150 for the Everyday and $200 for the Preferred, which will cover the Preferred’s annual fee for 2 years.

These cards also come with the award-winning customer service of American Express, so you can expect a relatively good experience if you need to deal with any problems that might come up (compared to some other card issuers).

How to Apply for the Amex Blue Cash Cards

The application process for each card will be through American Express, who will usually check your Experian credit report. The Everyday version is meant for people with good credit, while the Preferred version is designed for people with excellent credit.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express®
Apply Now

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express®

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express®
Apply Now

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express®

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Interest Rate: 13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Get $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.

Alternatives to the Amex Blue Cash Cards

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card (Review) is one of the best general-purpose cash back cards, offering a simple 2% cash back for every purchase you make. This card provides 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% cash back when that purchase is paid off. Gas, groceries, or anything else, you’ll get 2% back for it.

There is no annual fee for this card, and it has an introductory 18-month 0% APR balance transfer offer. The Blue Cash Everyday also has no annual fee, though the Blue Cash Preferred has a fee of $95. Both of the Blue Cash cards have an introductory 0% APR offer that includes both purchases and balance transfers, so they are more appealing in this case. The Blue Cash Everyday provides 15 months at 0% APR, while the Blue Cash Preferred provides 12 months.

The Blue Cash cards both have a signup bonus, $150 for the Everyday and $200 for the Preferred, but the Double Cash has no bonus like this.

When you compare the Double Cash’s rewards to the Blue Cash Everyday — 3% back on groceries, 2% back on gas and at department stores, 1% back everywhere else — you’ll see that the Double Cash card is more versatile. It’s designed for all kinds of spending, not limited to just groceries, gas, and department stores.

The Blue Cash cards, and especially the Blue Cash Preferred, are both designed to be your primary grocery and gas cards. With the Blue Cash Preferred offering 6% back for groceries and 3% back for gas, it’s pretty much the best credit card offer available for this purpose.

Since the Double Cash card is versatile and the Blue Cash cards are specialized, a great credit card strategy would be to actually use the Double Cash along with one of the Blue Cash cards. Just use the Blue Cash card whenever you buy groceries, gas, or shop at department stores, and use the Double Cash card everywhere else. You’ll be maximizing your rewards for every purchase you make.

The extra benefits provided by both the Blue Cash cards and the Double Cash card will be pretty comparable for the most part, though the Amex cards will have the better set thanks to their Amex Offers.

Discover it Card

The Discover it (Review) is a very popular card, offering rewards in a different way. Instead of providing cash back in certain categories that are set from the start and never change, the Discover it has a rotating 5% cash back category that changes every 3 months. It provides 1% cash back for all other purchases.

There is no annual fee for this card, and it comes with a 14-month 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. This makes it pretty comparable to the Blue Cash Everyday card, which has no annual fee and a 15-month 0% introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers. The Blue Cash Preferred is more expensive at $95 annually, and its 0% intro APR offer lasts for 12 months.

Here is the 5% cash back schedule for the Discover it for the year of 2017:

January – March April – June July – September October – December
Gas Stations, Ground Transportation, and Wholesale Clubs Home Improvement Stores and Wholesale Clubs Restaurants Amazon.com and Target

The great thing about the Discover it is that Discover will double the cash back you earn after your first year with the card. That means you’ll end up earning a maximum of 10% cash back on certain purchases, which is an excellent deal among credit cards.

It might seem difficult to compare this card, with rotating rewards, to the Blue Cash cards. Instead of just using one or the other, consider using both the Discover it and one of the Blue Cash cards. With this strategy you can use the Discover it whenever you’ll earn the 5% back, and save the Blue Cash card for purchases of groceries and gas, and at department stores. You’ll just have to remember when you’ll earn 5% cash back on gas with the Discover card, so you can use it during those months to maximize your cash back.

Discover offers a nice set of benefits with their cards, like the Discover Deals shopping portal, but in general you’ll probably find slightly better benefits with the Amex Blue Cash cards.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) is pretty simple to explain: no annual fee, and a 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. It provides 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back everywhere else.

Much like the Blue Cash cards, this card comes with a $150 signup bonus for spending $500 in the first 90 days. But you’ll have to spend $1,000 with each of the Blue Cash cards to receive your bonus with them, and you’ll get $150 for the Everyday version and $200 for the Preferred. This isn’t a big difference, however, as most people won’t have much of a problem reaching either spending threshold.

When it comes to the rewards, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards is pretty similar to the Blue Cash Everyday. The Everyday card provides 3% back for groceries and 2% back for gas. If you’re trying to pick between these two cards, the basic question should be pretty simple to answer: do you spend more on groceries or on gas? If you spend more on groceries the Blue Cash Everyday would be more rewarding overall, and if you spend more on gas the BankAmericard would be more rewarding overall.

But when you compare the BankAmericard to the Blue Cash Preferred, you can see that the Preferred easily comes out on top. It provides 6% back for groceries — 3 times as much as the BankAmericard — and 3% back for gas, which is equal to the BankAmericard. So you’ll be earning way more cash back for groceries with the Blue Cash Preferred, and just as much back for gas.

Even though the Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95, it can still end up being more profitable to use than the BankAmericard, which has no annual fee. As long as you spend enough with the card every year, you’ll be able to earn enough cash back to pay for the annual fee and then profit quite a bit. See our section above, Which Card Is Better For You?, to see if this card will work for your spending habits.

Do you use one of these cards? How do you like it? Leave your own review of the Blue Cash Everyday, or leave a review for the Blue Cash Preferred.

Looking for other rewards credit cards? Check out our picks for the Best Reward Credit Cards.
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  • AMEX Blue Cash Everyday, a MUST in your wallet!

    Want to get $100 cash back from AMEX?

    Please use My Referral link: http://goo.gl/Hb3x5k

    You’ll get $100 cash back after $1,000 purchase in first 3mos, and I will receive, a $50 Rewards Dollars (once approved you can have this referral benefit as well).

    Personally, besides all the main features, specially the cash back, I think that the Travel Insurance, Purchase & Return Protection, and Extended Warranty are undoubtedly a MUST added Bonus. You never know when you are going to need these, specially now days with so many situations to worry about in our lives… “better safe than sorry!”. I do have another AMEX card for quite sometime and Customer Service is always on point and very professional.

    On the other hand, as for the credit requirements, lucky me, I was approved instantly on October 2015. I live in NJ; AMEX used EXPERIAN. At that time on Credit Karma my Credit Score on TU: 754; EQUIFAX: 753. On Credit.com was 788 and VantageScore 763. The credit inquiry lowered my score by 6 points, but obviously it will go up as months go by.

    This is one of “THE” BEST credit cards out there. Why? Lets look at some of the AMEX Blue Cash HUGE Benefits:

    * $100 cash back after $1,000 purchase in first 3mos

    * 3% Cash back on US supermarkets

    * 2% on gas stations & dept stores

    * 1% on all purchases

    * AMEX Offers

    * Twitter Promos

    * 0% APR for 15 mos (including balance transfers)

    * NO annual fee

    * Refer Friends for $50 Rewards Dollars (http://goo.gl/Hb3x5k)

    * ApplePay or Android Pay (secure payment methods & convenient)

    * ShopRunner (free 2 days shipping)

    * Travel Accident Insurance included when buy air tickets with card

    * Extended Warranty on products (up to 1 year)

    * Purchase & Return Protection (even if item gets stolen for up to 90 days from date of purchase)

    * Global Assist Hotline anywhere in the world

    * And much more (For full details go to http://www.americanexpress.com and select Blue Cash Card Benefits)

    Please, if you decide to apply, I will be forever thankful, if you use my referral link: http://goo.gl/Hb3x5k which once approved, you will receive $100 cash back after $1,000 purchases in the first 3 months, and I will receive a $50 Rewards Dollars, which can be used as a credit on my statement. Once you are approved, you can referred as well in order to get the same benefit, up to $550 Rewards Dollars per calendar year.

    Thank you and endless blessings!

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