American Express Blue Cash Cards

American Express Blue Cash Cards

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American Express has two great cash back credit cards: the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees) and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which comes with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). They're two of our favorite cash back credit cards, and can generate sizeable cash back earnings for the average consumer. Read more about the benefits and differences in our review of the Amex Blue Cash cards.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Review

The Amex Blue Cash cards are two of our favorite credit cards for cash back because their rewards categories line up nicely with the major buckets of most consumers' spending: supermarkets and gas. On top of this, their cash back percentages are on the higher end compared to other cards. These two factors make the Blue Cash cards quite valuable in the wallet of the average person.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of our favorite cash back credit card because it gets the average consumer the most cash rewards back. It offers high rewards rates on two categories that make up most people's budgets: 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. At 6%, the U.S. supermarket rewards rate (capped at $6k in purchases per year) is the highest bonus percentage we've seen for that category. While the 6% can only be earned on the first $6,000 of U.S. supermarket spending in the year, it is still a solid deal for the category compared to other credit cards. A 3% cash back rate on U.S gas stations is above average as well. These accelerated bonuses more than make up for the annual fee of $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 for the typical person.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is another good no-annual-fee cash back credit card to consider for people who tend to eat out more instead of cooking and generally spend less. Like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express rewards purchases made at U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations - just at lower rates of 3% (capped at the same $6k in purchases per year), 2% respectively.

Which Card Should I Get: the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?

If you're deciding between the no-annual-fee version, Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the choice will depend primarily on your supermarket spending. If you spend more than $3,200 at the supermarket in a year, go with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Its extra % U.S. supermarket bonus over the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays for itself above this mark. In fact, it ranked as our favorite cash back credit card since it yielded the most cash back in an analysis of rewards earned on the average consumer's budget.

On the other hand, if your annual supermarket bills are less than $3,200, then other no-annual-fee credit cards may get you more cash back than the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. We found that for the average consumer's spending, the Chase Freedom® actually earned more cash rewards. The Chase Freedom® rewards categories offer great seasonal 5% bonuses that get consumers more bonus categories than the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has, which means more opportunity to earn rewards faster. More on this below in our comparisons.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Features

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

13.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Card Features

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

$0

13.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Analysis of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Rewards

To give you a sense of the rewards a typical family with children can earn, we've calculated the cash back assuming an average family's annual expenditure. Average spending is based on expense data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that we think can be charged on a credit card. This excludes one-time welcome bonuses.

Annual Consumer Spending for Family

Amount
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

U.S. Supermarket (first $6k at bonus rates)

$7,400$194$374

U.S. Gas Station

$6,600$132$198

All Other

$11,000$110$110

Less: Annual Fee

$0$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Net Cash Back Earned

$25,000$436$587
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Rewards Rate for the Amex Blue Cash Cards

The more you spend towards the bonus categories on supermarkets (up to $6,000), and at U.S. gas stations the better your rewards rate. Based on the cash back earned on an average family's credit card spending, the rewards rate for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is 1.7%, while the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express rewards rate is 2.4%. These figures are calculated by dividing an annual credit card spend of $25,000 by the net cash back earned in our table above.

What's Included in the Bonus Categories?

U.S. Supermarket bonuses are capped at $6,000 a year for both the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. You can earn these bonuses by shopping at places that primarily sell everyday household products, such as Shoprite, Whole Foods, and Fresh Direct. Consider that supermarket spending beyond the first $6,000 earns the following: 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% cash back on other purchases. On the other hand, specialty places (like cheese shops or wine shops) and superstores and warehouse clubs (like Amazon, Walmart, and Sam's Club) don't count. Gas bonuses can only be earned at standalone gas stations, so your typical roadside Mobil, Shell, or Exxon stands are included. However, if you refuel at Sam's Club or buy cartons of gasoline in a store, then those would fall into other categories.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more: 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

How to Redeem Rewards with the Amex Blue Cash Cards

Cash back comes in the form of Reward Dollars with Amex. You can redeem Reward Dollars in multiples of $25 towards statement credits or gift cards with various merchants. If you want a check for your cash back / Reward Dollars, you'll have to pay your account balance in full, and then call American Express to request the check. It takes about 5 - 7 business days to mail the check.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Comparisons to Other Credit Cards

We've picked out a few other credit cards that are similar in terms of rewards rate and rewards structures for your reference.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • On Chase's Secure Website

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a $0-annual-fee cashback card offering rotating bonus categories each quarter. Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Bonus spending categories change quarterly and will help you maximize these purchases.

Generally speaking, someone with an average spending pattern (mostly supermarkets, eating out and gas, etc.), will get the most cash back from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express than the Chase Freedom Flex℠, followed by the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The Blue Cash cards are preferable for people who just want an easy-to-use and preloaded card, while the Freedom's categories require quarterly activation.

The more detailed answer depends on how you spend your money and how much effort you want to put into your card. For example, if your spending is pretty regular during the year and you spend at least $2,500 at the supermarket, then the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express bonus categories will reward you more. However, if you spend below $2,500 at supermarkets, or just want access to more bonus categories or merchants, then go for the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has a broader array of opportunities for 5% cash back, depending on the quarter. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, while a good cashback credit card, pales compared to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Chase Freedom Flex℠. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has fewer rewards categories and lower bonus percentages versus the two.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

If you're looking for a credit card with a high rewards rate, and have a preference for travel, then the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a better choice. You get a general high rewards rate on all spending when you redeem rewards for travel: 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. Other advantages for the traveler with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are its lack of a foreign transaction fee on international spending. You're better off with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express if you spend more at supermarkets and gas stations, and care more about cash back.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

The advantages of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card over the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express are simplicity and flexibility. With the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, you earn a lower (still decent) but more broadly applicable cash back rate: 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. No need to keep in mind category restrictions or caps. For example, if most of your spending is at Costco, or on Amazon.com, and you spend a lot more than $6,000 on supermarkets, then the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card will reward you 1.5% for all of that, compared to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express 1%. However, if your spending levels are moderate, and you naturally spend more at supermarkets and gas stations then the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express makes more sense. Both are no-annual-fee cards.

The information related to the Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).