Why the Blue Cash Everyday is great for big spenders on gas and groceries

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Who doesn’t want the chance to save as much money as possible on your grocery and gas bill? If you’re not inclined to clip coupons or track gas station specific-rewards, your next best option could be a rewards credit card.

One of the best credit cards for grocery and gas is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Here, we’ll break down why you should give this card serious consideration for savings on your grocery and gas spending.

What does the Blue Cash Everyday Card offer?

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent); 2 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months (see rates and fees)
  • Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable

This card not only offers a generous welcome bonus of $200 after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of opening it, but there’s also no annual fee. The rewards structure allows you to earn cash back on categories where many families spend the most: groceries and gas. Then, you still get 1 percent back on all of your other purchases.

Additional benefits and perks

This card is pretty light on benefits since there’s no annual fee and would be considered more of a beginner’s rewards card. The card offers basic purchase protection, which reimburses you for up to $1,000 per eligible incident (up to $50,000 per card) for repairs or replacement. Also, you can get car rental loss and damage insurance when you put your rental on this card. You must decline the rental agency’s coverage, and your eligible rental vehicle receives secondary insurance in the event of damage or theft.

For added payment flexibility, the Blue Cash Everyday card also features a 0 percent introductory APR period for 15 months and access to the Plan It feature. Plan It allows you to pay off qualifying large purchases over time for a fixed monthly fee.

Blue Cash Everyday spending example

If you like to know how much cash back you stand to earn with this card, it might help to walk through a hypothetical spending example. Suppose you’re spending the following each year on your Blue Cash Everyday card:

  • Groceries: $11,400
  • Gas: $3,600
  • Department stores: $1,800
  • Miscellaneous: $4,800

In this example, you’d earn $234 back on groceries ($6,000 at 3 percent and $5,400 at 1 percent), $72 back on gas and $66 back on your department store and miscellaneous spending for a total of $372 in cash back each year.

However, the first-year rewards are boosted by the welcome bonus, so you’ll get a total of $572 in first-year rewards with the Blue Cash Everyday card, which is a respectable amount of money in a given year. When it drops down to $372 after the first year, this is still a decent amount of money to save from swiping for grocery and gas spending.

How does the Blue Cash Everyday card compare to similar rewards cards?

If you are considering this card for your grocery and gas expenses, it’s fair to compare it to cash back cards that also offer similar rewards:

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Rewards rate:

  • 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstore or home improvement
  • 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined 3 and 2 percent category purchases each quarter, then 1 percent)
  • 1 percent back on all other purchases

The Customized Cash Rewards card offers a similar rewards rate for grocery and gas spending, but you can only earn 3 percent back on one “choice category” at a time. The bonus categories choices include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishing purchases. Also, the 3 percent and 2 percent categories share a combined $2,500 spending limit per quarter, which could really limit the amount of cash back you could earn on groceries and gas.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Rewards rate:

  • 5 percent cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent)
  • 5 percent back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases
  • 5 percent cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 3 percent cash back on dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstore purchases
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®

Rewards rate:

  • 5 percent cash back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery
  • 2 percent cash back in Walmart stores and fuel stations, at restaurants and on travel
  • 1 percent cash back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted

If you are a frequent Walmart shopper, you could get a lot of bang out of your buck with this card, which can also be used at Sam’s Club. Both retail brands feature gas stations, and you could earn the 5 percent back on your family’s fill-ups there, too. The only downside to this card is that to get the 5 percent back, you have to be pretty committed to shopping at Walmart and Sam’s for your grocery and car fuel spending on a consistent basis.

Other Amex cards for groceries and gas

If you don’t mind paying an annual fee, there are a few other Amex cards you might consider for higher rewards on groceries and gas: the American Express® Gold Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which have an annual fee of $250 and $95, respectively. If you’re spending enough on groceries and gas, you should be able to justify these annual fees.

Another no-annual-fee alternative is the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, which has a moderate earning rate on supermarket spending but allows you to earn Amex Membership Rewards points. If you’d like to earn points that can be redeemed for travel with Amex’s travel portal, this card could be an option, though your potential to earn a lot of rewards will be limited.

The bottom line

Being able to earn cash back on groceries and gas can provide some relief for your family budget. The Blue Cash Everyday card gives you that opportunity without having to pay an annual fee. If you spend a great deal more in these categories, you might consider another rewards card or Amex card that could help you earn slightly more back.

Written by
Aja McClanahan
Personal Finance Writer
Aja McClanahan is an author, blogger and speaker on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Aja is the author of "How a Mother Should Talk About Money with Her Daughter."
Edited by
Senior Editor, Credit Card Product News