The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card is a decent no annual fee card for cash back enthusiasts. It’s also the “little brother” of the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. However, it is a tough sell for travelers who would rather earn Membership Rewards (MR) points than cash back. Travelers who go grocery shopping often should look elsewhere. It’s also a tough sell for cash back lovers too because of its limited redemption options.
The Blue Cash Everyday Card’s strength lies in its earning structure. It earns a decent 3% cash back at Grocery Stores. But the 3% is limited to the first $6,000 spent annually. Thereafter, the rate goes down to 1%.
Plus, the Blue Cash Everyday Card earns 2% at Gas Stations and Department Stores. The Blue Cash Everyday is one of the only credit cards to have a bonus category dedicated to department stores. While you can probably get better rewards from a store credit card, those are not recommended for travelers or cash back lovers.
Furthermore, the Blue Cash Everyday also has a sign-up bonus worth $150. This bonus can be earned after spending just $1,000 in the first three months. This is like getting a 15% return on the first $1,000 in purchases with the card.
American Express’ cash back cards are hampered by having only one way to redeem cash back, which is via statement credit. This is unfortunate because many competitors offer more ways to redeem. For example, Discover lets you deposit cash back rewards into a bank account among other methods.
Statement credits are nice for travelers who can put atypical travel expenses on their Blue Cash Everyday and then “erase” them with the cash back. But they’re terrible for people who want to use their cash back however they want. For example, I prefer to redeem my cash back for investing or saving. The Blue Cash Everyday does not let you do either.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is the “bigger sibling” of the Blue Cash Everyday Card. It has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and more categories than the Blue Cash Everyday Card.
The Blue Cash Preferred earns 6% cash back at Grocery Stores and at US Streaming Services. It also earns 3% at Gas Stations and for Local Commuter Transit. This card also comes with a sign up bonus worth $250, which can be earned after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
People who spend at least $61 per week at Grocery Stores and want cash back should go for the Blue Cash Preferred Card. Otherwise, the Blue Cash Everyday is better.
Bank of America Cash Rewards
The Bank of America (BOFA) Cash Rewards Card has a similar earning structure to the Blue Cash Everyday card. Many cash back enthusiasts use these cards in tandem. The Cash Rewards Card has no annual fee. And it offers a $200 sign-up bonus, which can be earned after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
This card earns 3% back in a category of choice. You can choose from the following categories: dining, drug stores, gas, home improvement / furnishings, online shopping, or travel. The Cash Rewards card also earns 2% back at Grocery Stores and Wholesale Clubs. The BOFA card’s increased earning structure means that it could be more lucrative than the Blue Cash card for many people.
Furthermore, this card is also part of BOFA’s Preferred Rewards Program. This program lets BOFA account holders earn 10% more rewards on their credit cards. That percentage increases if you have more than $20,000 total in your BOFA accounts.
This card is better than the Blue Cash Everyday for BOFA account holders and people who don’t go to the grocery store too often.
The Blue Cash Everyday Card is a nice card for people who have light grocery expenses and sometimes shop at department stores. Plus, it can be useful in two unusual ways for travelers: paying for atypical travel expenses and as a foundational card for credit history.
But it’s truly hampered by a lack of redemption options. Statement credits are not the best redemption option for most travelers and cash back lovers. So I would not recommend this card unless American Express becomes more flexible.
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