Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday

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When it comes to cash back credit cards, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express are two of the most popular around.

Choosing between either of these two cards can vary depending on many factors. For example, one of these cards has an annual fee, whereas the other does not, yet you’ll get a higher rewards rate with one card over the other.

Which American Express credit card should you sign up for? That really depends, but we hope this comprehensive guide can help you decide.

Main details

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express  Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
Welcome bonus $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months
Rewards rate
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year in purchases (then 1% back)
  • 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% back on transit and at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% on all other purchases
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases every year (then 1% back)
  • 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% on all other purchases
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%
Annual fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 $0

Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday Card highlights

This head-to-head comparison can help you determine which card stands out in the categories you care the most about.

Welcome bonus winner: Blue Cash Preferred

The Blue Cash Preferred offers a $300 welcome bonus when you spend $3,000 on your new card within the first six months of getting it. This spending requirement is very doable, so you’ll likely qualify for the bonus with no problem.

The Blue Cash Everyday only offers a $200 welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within the first six months of opening your account. You’ll only need to spend about $333 a month for six months to earn the maximum bonus cash back.

If you would already easily spend at least $500 a month with your normal spending habits, the Blue Cash Preferred will be more rewarding due to the slightly higher welcome bonus. But if you need to shave off a third of the spending threshold and the full six months to qualify within your budget, the Blue Cash Everyday’s welcome bonus is probably your best bet.

Rewards rate winner: Blue Cash Preferred Card

With purchases at both U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent) and select U.S. streaming services earning 6 percent cash back, you’ll have a hard time finding any card to rival the rewards rates of the Blue Cash Preferred. You’ll also earn 3 percent back on transit and at U.S. gas stations and 1 percent on all other purchases.

The Blue Cash Everyday card, on the other hand, offers just 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending each year (then 1 percent), 2 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1 percent on all other purchases.

Both are good options for an everyday spending card if you’re interested in long-term rewards, but the Blue Cash Preferred still has a slight edge. Just remember, instead of earning points in the American Express Membership Rewards program, you’ll earn cash back or rewards dollars. So, you don’t have many options to earn or redeem rewards like you would with other Amex travel credit cards.

Annual fee winner: Blue Cash Everyday Card

The Blue Cash Preferred charges a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year), whereas the Blue Cash Everyday comes with no annual fee. It’s easy to see how the Blue Cash Everyday wins in the long run.

Which card earns the most?

Although it comes with a $95 annual fee after the first year, the Blue Cash Preferred will help you earn more cash back over time than the Blue Cash Everyday. The Preferred has a bigger welcome bonus and higher bonus rewards in popular categories like U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and transit.

Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday Card spending example

To show what we mean, imagine for a moment you spend $1,300 per month on this card:

  • Groceries at U.S. supermarkets—$500
  • U.S. gas stations and transit—$250
  • Select streaming services—$50
  • Miscellaneous expenses—$500

With the Blue Cash Preferred, you would earn $360 in rewards on grocery spending, $90 in rewards on gas, $36 in rewards for streaming and $60 in rewards on regular expenses each year. You’d more than meet the spending threshold ($3,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months) for the $300 welcome bonus. This would leave you with a total of $846 in rewards for the first year of owning the Blue Cash Preferred card.

With the Blue Cash Everyday, however, you’d only earn $180 in rewards on grocery spending, $60 in rewards on gas and $66 on miscellaneous purchases (streaming included) for a total of $306 of rewards for the year. With this spending template, you’ll also meet the welcome bonus requirements and get $506 in total rewards within the first year of owning this card.

Why should you get Blue Cash Preferred?

If you aren’t afraid of an annual fee and want to maximize rewards over the long haul, the Blue Cash Preferred is an excellent choice. It’s the perfect go-to credit card for earning massive rewards on some of your most common purchases, from groceries and gas to Uber rides.

Here’s a Bankrate staff member’s take on why this card is a great option for covering family expenses:

My wife and I use the Blue Cash Preferred for our household grocery spending and many of our streaming services. We long ago maxed out the 6 percent cash back bonus on U.S. supermarket purchases, but we’re still earning 6 percent on subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix, Spotify and Peacock. The combined savings far outweigh the $95 annual fee. Brady Porche, managing editor at Bankrate Credit Cards 

Additional benefits

On top of the rewards you earn with your card, the Blue Cash Preferred also gives you car rental loss and damage insurance and access to the Amex Global Assist Hotline. Additionally, you can qualify for return protection, a benefit that guarantees American Express will accept the return of eligible items when the retailer won’t take them back.

Redemption options

Your rewards will come in the form of a statement credit on your account, meaning you can redeem your cash back to cover any purchases you make with your credit card.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need a good or excellent credit score (670 to 850) to qualify for the Blue Cash Preferred, which is standard among the best cash back credit cards.

Why should you get Blue Cash Everyday?

The Blue Cash Everyday comes with no annual fee, making it an excellent card if you don’t spend a lot each month or are simply averse to paying an annual fee for a credit card. You’ll earn less in rewards overall, but you won’t have to pay to carry this card in your wallet.

Additional benefits

The Blue Cash Everyday offers a longer zero-interest offer than the Blue Cash Preferred. With a 0 percent introductory APR for 15 months on purchases (then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR), you’ll have plenty of time to pay off your balance without being bogged down by interest payments.

You’ll also get access to Amex Plan It, which gives you the option to split up purchases of $100 or more into monthly payments with a fixed fee. You’ll receive other cardholder benefits, including access to a Global Assist hotline and purchase protection against damage or theft.

Redemption options

You can redeem your rewards for a statement credit to your account, which offers a lot more flexibility than one might think. This means you can use your rewards to cover anything you buy with your card or even bills you pay with plastic.

Recommended credit score

You’ll need a good or excellent credit score (670 to 850) to be approved for the Blue Cash Everyday.

The bottom line

While the Blue Cash Everyday is an excellent cash back credit card in its own right, the Blue Cash Preferred offers more long-term value. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, the decision may come down to your grocery spending—a substantial budget item for many families who use this card.

Ted Rossman, credit card senior industry analyst at Bankrate, tells us why he upgraded from the Blue Cash Everyday card to the Blue Cash Preferred.

“The math made sense by then because we were easily maxing out the grocery spending limit,” says Rossman. “Even after subtracting the annual fee, we come out $85 ahead by earning 6 percent, rather than 3 percent, on $6,000 in grocery spending.”

Either way, these rewards credit cards have the potential to leave you better off in terms of the cash back you can earn, but you should take the time to compare them and all other options before you decide.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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