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—especially among cards offered by American Express.
But, the right card for you among these two can vary depending on a whole host of factors. For example, one of these cards has an annual fee, where 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.
|Blue Cash Preferred||Blue Cash Everyday|
|Welcome bonus||Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases on your Card within the first six months (up to $200 back).||Earn a $100 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases on your Card within the first six months (up to $150 back).|
|Intro APR||0% APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%||0% 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 technically earns you a potentially higher up to $350 total bonus in the form of a $150 statement credit when you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card within the first six months and up to $200 via 20 percent cash back on Amazon.com purchases also within the first six months.
The Blue Cash Everyday offers a nearly identical welcome bonus, except the 20 percent Amazon cash back is capped at $150 and the statement credit is $100 after spending $2,000 within the first six months.
With the Blue Cash Everyday, you only need to spend a minimum of $334 a month for six months in order to earn the maximum bonus cash back (as long as $125 per month consists of Amazon purchases). If you would already easily spend at least $500 a month (about $167 being Amazon purchases) with your normal spending habits, the Blue Cash Preferred will be more rewarding. 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, 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 cards are good options if you’re interested in long-term rewards, but the Blue Cash Preferred still has a slight edge. Just remember that both of these cards let you earn cash back instead of points in the American Express Membership Rewards program.
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 the Blue Cash Everyday wins in the long run.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Both of these cards charge a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee on each purchase you make overseas, or from a vendor based outside the U.S. With that in mind, this category is one that neither card wins or loses.
If you do a lot of shopping outside of the United States, you might also want to consider credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. Many cards with no foreign fees offer lucrative rewards in their own right, which could include cash back or travel rewards points.
Which card earns the most?
Although it comes with a $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year), the Blue Cash Preferred will help you earn more cash back over time than the Blue Cash Everyday due to its higher bonus offer 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 $1,200 per month with $500 going toward groceries at U.S. supermarkets, $200 at U.S. gas stations and transit plus $500 on other miscellaneous expenses that included $167 on Amazon.com purchases.
With the Blue Cash Preferred, you would earn $180 in rewards on grocery spending, $36 in rewards on gas and transit, $20 in rewards on regular expenses and $200 in rewards on Amazon.com purchases within a six-month period. You’d more than meet the spending threshold (spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months) for the $150 welcome bonus, which would leave you with $586 in rewards once six months were up.
With the Blue Cash Everyday, however, you would earn $90 in rewards on grocery spending, $24 in rewards on gas, $22.50 in rewards on regular expenses and $150 in rewards on Amazon.com purchases over the course of six months, which would leave you with $386.50 in rewards (including the $100 welcome bonus) once six months were up.
Why should you get Blue Cash Preferred?
If you aren’t afraid of an annual fee and you 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.
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. You can also qualify for return protection, which is a benefit that guarantees American Express will accept the return of eligible items when the retailer won’t take them back.
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 (670-850) 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 you 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.
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 with interest payments.
You’ll also get access to the Amex Plan It®, which gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee. Other cardholder benefits you’ll receive include access to a Global Assist hotline and purchase protection against damage or theft.
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 (670-850) 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.
Either of these rewards credit cards will leave you better off in terms of the cash back you can earn, but you should take the time to compare these cards and all other options before you decide.