The American Express Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred Credit Cards are excellent options for earning cash back on everyday expenses. These cards are not the same as the American Express Everyday and Everyday Preferred Cards, which both earn Membership Rewards (MR) points. The Blue Cash cards are better for those who want simplicity and more bonus categories.
The Blue Cash Everyday Card has no annual fee, while the Blue Cash Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). The former is the clear winner in this category. But for some people, the latter’s $95 fee could be worth it.
The Blue Cash Everyday Card offers a bonus worth $150. It can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. This bonus is like earning 15% cash back on the first $1,000 of purchases. This card has had bonuses as high as $250 in the past for the same minimum spend. Currently, American Express is offering 20% cash back up to $200 on Amazon purchases made on the Card within the first six months. The normal sign-up bonus plus the promotion can be worth up to $350.
Conversely, the Blue Cash Preferred Card offers a bonus worth $250. It can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. This bonus is like earning 25% cash back on the first $1,000 of purchases. This Currently, Amex is offering $300 for the same $1,000 minimum spend.
The Blue Cash Preferred wins because it offers a higher public sign-up bonus. Otherwise, the Blue Cash Everyday is best if you often shop on Amazon. Higher bonuses are always better, especially for American Express cards. This is because of the Once Per Lifetime Rule, which states that you can receive a sign-up bonus for a given Amex card only once ever.
Unfortunately, the Blue Cash Everyday is a relatively weak earner. This is especially true when compared to credit cards that earn points or miles. The Blue Cash Everyday earns 3% cash back on Grocery Store purchases. It also earns 2% on Gas and Department Store purchases as well as 1% on non-bonus spend. The Blue Cash Everyday has the distinction of being one of the only non-store credit cards with a designated category for Department Stores. It’s a shame that the earning rate is just 2%
However, the Blue Cash Preferred is a strong earner. It earns 6% cash back on Grocery Store purchases and for select Streaming Services. The Streaming Services category is not a large expense for many people. But it can be a nice cash booster every month for those who subscribe to many streaming services. The Blue Cash Preferred Card also earns 3% on Gas and Transit Service expenses as well as 1% on non-bonus spend.
The break even point for grocery store expenses is $3,166.67 per year. In other words, you will earn more cash back with the Blue Cash Preferred if you spend at least $3,166.67 per year on groceries. This assumes that you spend nothing on your Blue Cash card in the other bonus categories. The break even point decreases if you plan on using your Blue Cash card for the other bonus categories as well.
All bonus categories are limited to the first $6,000 spent per year within them. American Express should raise this spend limit significantly or eliminate it altogether if they want to gain and retain more cardholders. Those who spend at least $6,000 per year on Groceries should acquire either both cards or go for another lucrative grocery card such as the American Express Gold Card.
The Blue Cash Preferred is the only card of the two with substantive perks (Return Protection, Extended Warranty, and Purchase Protection). This is because American Express revamped their suite of card-related perks in January 2020.
Intro APR Offers
Both cards offer 0% introductory APRs, letting you float balances on for the duration of the offer period. The Blue Cash Everyday Card’s period is 15 months while the Preferred Card’s period is 12 months. The Blue Cash Everyday Card wins here as it has the longer intro period.
However, floating balances unless you can pay the balance back in full within the intro period. Many travel cards don’t come with intro APR offers, so having them on both cards is nice if you can use them responsibly.
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is the better option for those with moderate to large grocery budgets. Frequent spenders who only want one card will also do better with this card. The Blue Cash Preferred Card can also be a solid alternative to the Amex Gold charge card. It has a lower annual fee and a similar Grocery category. But those who spend more than $6,000 per year on groceries should opt for the Gold Card. This is because the Gold Card has a higher annual spend limit of $25,000.
However, the Blue Cash Everyday Card is the winner for lighter spenders. It’s also a decent downgrade option for Preferred cardholders who do not want to spend the $95 annual fee, lose their cash back, or close their account.