American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday: Which Is Better?

American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday: Which Is Better?

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Though it comes with a moderate annual fee after the first year, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers cardmembers overall greater value than the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

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Both the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express are fantastic options for consumers looking for a cashback credit card with solid rewards rates and stellar perks. That said, there are a few key differences to note when deciding between the two cards.

  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • However, the benefits of this card outweigh the cost, even when compared to the $0-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a welcome bonus is $100 higher than the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express’s offer, and it gives members higher cashback rates and an additional cashback category.

While both cards come with a host of other valuable benefits including an intro APR offer, American Express Experiences, Global Assist Hotline and others, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers return protection as an added perk.

If you can stomach the moderate annual fee after the first year, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the best Amex Blue Cash card for earning cashback rewards. In particular, the 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets will make up for the annual fee for cardholders who spend at least $3,200 per year at supermarkets.

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

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Welcome offer
  • $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Terms apply.
  • $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Terms apply.
Rewards3% 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. Terms apply.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. Terms apply.
Annual fee$0$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Foreign transaction fees2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Intro APR offer0% on purchases for 15 months from account opening0% on purchases for 12 months from account opening
Ongoing APR13.99%-23.99% Variable13.99%-23.99% Variable
Credit requiredExcellent/GoodExcellent/Good
Good for...
  • Those who don't want to pay an annual fee
  • Maximized rewards potential
  • Those who spend moderately at U.S. supermarkets
  • Frequent Amazon shoppers
Bad for...
  • Earning the best rewards on U.S. supermarkets
  • International travel
  • Paying an annual fee
  • International travel
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

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

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

Why trust us

We've analyzed the features, benefits and drawbacks of both the American Express Blue Cash cards in order to help you make the best choice for your lifestyle and preferences. Our recommendations are based on evaluating the value of a number of factors, including annual fee, earning rate, welcome offer, additional perks and more. Our suggestions are not influenced by our advertisers.

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Compare American Express Blue Cash cards: Rewards

For cash back on everyday spending categories like supermarkets, gas and transit, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the clear winner. Though it charges an annual fee after the first year, the rewards certainly make up for it. 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (even with the $6,000 cap) is a phenomenal earning rate compared to other cashback cards. 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and transit is another huge win for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express users, as this is an outstanding earning rate in categories most people regularly spend in.

A 6% American Express streaming credit is another valuable Amex cashback category that the majority of people will likely benefit from, because who doesn't love Netflix?

Cash back category
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
U.S. supermarkets3% cash back up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)6% cash back up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
U.S. gas stations and additional categories2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis, rideshare services, parking, tolls, trains, and buses)
U.S. streaming subscriptionsN/A6% cash back
All other purchases1% cash back1% cash back

*Cash back is redeemable for statement credits

On the other hand, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express card offers 2% cashback at select U.S. department stores (whereas consumers only get 1% back with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express). This could be an influential factor when choosing a card, depending on whether you'll find cash back at U.S. department stores or Amex Blue Cash rewards on transit more useful based on your lifestyle.

Compare American Express Blue Cash Cards: Welcome bonus

Both American Express Blue Cash Cards offer lucrative welcome bonuses, though the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers $100 more in value.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Cash back is in the form of a statement credit.
  • Terms apply.
  • $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Cash back is in the form of a statement credit.
  • Terms apply.

Compare American Express Blue Cash Cards: Annual fee

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express doesn’t charge an annual fee and still has rewards rates that are competitive with other cashback cards on the market. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. We would argue that even though you'll eventually have to pay an annual fee, the amplified American Express Blue Cash rewards rates blow the competition out of the water and can result in the latter card being the more valuable option.

If you’re wondering if the annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is worth it, think about how much you spend on groceries. If you spend at least $3,200 per year at U.S. supermarkets ($266/month), you should choose the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Here’s the math to show you why:

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: $3,200 x $0.06 - $95 annual fee = $97 cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (redeemable for statement credits)
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: $3,200 x $0.03 = $96 cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (redeemable for statement credits)

Moreover, if you spend enough at supermarkets to reach the $6,000 cap (that’s $500 a month), the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the clear winner. You’ll earn $360 back on U.S. supermarket purchases per year — or $265 with the annual fee subtracted (redeemable for statement credits). That’s much better than the $180 per year that you would earn with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

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Which card should I get?

Most grocery shoppers should choose the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. If you spend at least $3,200 at U.S. supermarkets each year, you stand to earn more cash back with this card. Furthermore, along with the increased welcome bonus and option to earn cash back on streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will most likely be worth the money for most consumers.

If you spend less than $3,200 per year on groceries or can’t stomach an annual fee, choose the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. You’ll still earn a high rate of cash back at U.S. supermarkets, plus bonus cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.

The bottom line: For people who spend significantly on groceries and streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will yield more value overall, despite its moderate annual fee starting in the second year of card membership.

Amex Blue Cash alternative: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

For those looking for an alternative to the American Express Blue Cash cards, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a respectable substitute. For a $0 annual fee, this card lets you Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 5% eligible spend categories include:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Select travel
  • Select transit
  • Select streaming services
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Live entertainment

The best option for groceries?

We think the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card beats both of the Blue Cash cards as a standalone grocery card. Presuming you devote the card to grocery spending and reach the $500 cap each month (for $6,000 in annual grocery spending), you’ll earn more cash back on your purchases with the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card (which charges a $0 annual fee) than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express:

  • Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: $6,000 x $0.05 = $300 cash back on groceries
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: $6,000 x $0.06 - $95 annual fee = $265 cash back at U.S. supermarkets (redeemable for statement credits)
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: $6,000 x $0.03 = $180 cash back at U.S. supermarkets (redeemable for statement credits)
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This card also comes with a phenomenal, easily achievable sign-up bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back. You'll also get a great deal with the card's 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (followed by a 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) APR).

Blue Cash card FAQs

What's the difference between the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?

The primary differences between the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express are that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express charges an annual fee after the first year, but offers a more valuable welcome offer. It also offers a higher amount of cash back and has an additional spending category.

Is it hard to get the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express card?

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express requires a credit score of Excellent/Good. If your credit score doesn't meet this requirement, then yes, it will be hard to get the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Is Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express hard to get?

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express requires a credit score of Excellent/Good and charges a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. If your credit score is high enough and you can afford the annual fee, then the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express shouldn't be too hard to get.

What credit score do you need for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express?

You need a credit score of Excellent/Good for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

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

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

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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).