American Express has a great lineup of rewards credit cards for travel, business, rewards and cash back. Two popular cash back options, in particular, include the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
Both of these cash back credit cards have their own pros and cons, but is the no-annual-fee option, the Blue Cash Everyday, worth using when it has a higher-tier counterpart? Let’s take a look at the Amex Blue Cash Everyday’s rewards structure, fees, benefits and more to help determine how beneficial the card could be for you as a spender.
Details of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card offers a solid roundup of benefits for cardholders. In particular, it’s ideal for spenders who frequent supermarkets, gas stations and department stores and want to take advantage of those places as cash back categories. It has a decent welcome offer, no annual fee and a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months as well (14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR thereafter).
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday offers new cardholders a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first six months. Similar cash back cards, such as the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, offer the same bonus of $200 in cash back, but after spending only $500 within the first three months.
With the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, you can earn 3 percent cash back on your first $6,000 spent on eligible purchases at U.S. supermarkets each year. After that, those purchases earn 1 percent cash back. Cardholders also earn 2 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, while all other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. Cash back rewards are received as reward dollars that can be redeemed for a statement credit or a gift card.
In comparison, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card only offers 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has impressive rewards for a card with no annual fee: 5 percent back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022); 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 percent cash back on dining; 3 percent cash back on drugstore purchases; and 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases.
Rates and fees
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card has no annual fee, and cardmembers also receive an introductory 0 percent APR for 15 months on purchases (followed by a variable APR of 14.74 percent to 24.74 percent).
The APR for cash advances is 25.99 percent (variable depending on market rates), and the cash advance fee is either $10 or 5 percent of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
If you travel abroad often, keep in mind this card charges a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the U.S.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is a part of Amex’s Pay It, Plan It program. The Pay It option means you can quickly make payments throughout the month toward qualifying purchases under $100, while the Plan It option allows card members to put up to 10 purchases over $100 into extended payment plans for a fixed fee.
Cardholders also gain access to American Express Experiences. Members receive exclusive access to presale tickets for local events and access to cardmember-only events such as Broadway shows, concerts, sports and more.
With the Global Assist Hotline, travelers can receive help with lost passports, translation services, missing luggage and emergency legal and medical referrals. Other travel benefits with the Blue Cash Everyday card include car rental loss and damage insurance.
Further, charges made with an American Express credit card are covered under American Express purchase protection. Purchase protection will reimburse you for up to $1,000 per eligible incident (up to $50,000 per card). Cardmembers will also be protected from fraud and won’t be held responsible for any fraudulent charges.
Is the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express worth it?
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday can be the perfect card for the right type of spender—or, more specifically, those who frequently spend at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and department stores. Other major benefits include the somewhat easily attainable welcome offer, no annual fee and low introductory APR on purchases.
For the U.S. supermarket category, however, a spender who anticipates quickly reaching the $6,000-per-year threshold (or anticipates greatly exceeding that threshold) may do better with a different card option.
For example, the American Express® Gold Card earns 4X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases per year (then 1X points)—a much higher grocery spending threshold compared to the Blue Cash Everyday. This rewards card option also makes sense for spenders looking to redeem rewards toward travel since you’d be earning Membership Rewards redeemable through AmexTravel.com.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred could also be worth considering. While the spending threshold is the same as the Blue Cash Everyday, you earn double the rewards on groceries: 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent).
Additionally, potential cardholders may be held back by how many merchants do not accept American Express around the world, the good-to-excellent credit score requirement and the $25 minimum required to redeem any rewards. These are all things to take into consideration when determining if the card would be worth it for you as a spender.
Should you get the Amex Blue Cash Everyday?
The ideal Amex Blue Cash Everyday cardholder is someone who will take full advantage of the benefits that it offers. This card offers more than just cash back—it also has some basic travel benefits, no annual fee, a low intro APR on purchases, fraud protection and offers Pay It, Plan It.
If groceries and gas are significant parts of your spending, you’re probably more likely to take full advantage of this card’s welcome offer and use the additional benefits as well.
If you’re more of a traveler, however, you might want a card with more travel-specific rewards and no foreign transaction fees. Those willing to pay an annual fee for higher cash back rates in similar categories may want to consider applying for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred instead.
Credit score needed for Amex Blue Cash Everyday
The recommended credit score for the Amex Blue Cash Everyday is a good to excellent FICO score (670 to 850).
Is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday hard to get?
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is hard to get because applicants need to have a score of 670 or higher to be approved for the card. However, you’ll have a better chance of being approved for the card if you have at least a very good FICO score (740 to 799). You can check your approval odds for the card through Bankrate’s CardMatch tool without risking a hard pull on your credit.
How to maximize your rewards with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday
Planning out your spending is key to making the most out of the rewards offered by the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, as well as meeting the $2,000 spending requirement (within the first six months) to earn the welcome bonus.
Your biggest focus should be meeting the $6,000 spending cap each year within the U.S. supermarkets category, which breaks down to $500 in U.S. supermarket spending each month. With this spending alone, you’re looking at $180 in cash back earned by the end of your first year, plus an additional $200 in cash back earned from meeting the card’s welcome bonus requirements.
Say you also spend $250 a month in combined U.S. gas station and select U.S. department store purchases, as well as $100 a month on miscellaneous spending. That’s an additional $72 in cash back for a total of $452 in cash back earnings after your first year of card ownership.
Keep in mind that, after meeting the $6,000 cap, you’ll earn 1 percent back on U.S. supermarket purchases, so if you have a flat-rate cash back card in your arsenal that earns 1.5 percent to 2 percent back on every purchase, be sure to use that afterward (as well as for any spending that would fall into the “miscellaneous” category).
If you ever have trouble meeting the $6,000-per-year spending cap (say you’re $100 to $200 short of meeting it at the end of a yearly card ownership cycle), consider purchasing a few gift cards from a U.S. supermarket. Doing so still counts toward U.S. supermarket spending, and you might even check a few birthday or holiday gifts off your list.
The bottom line
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday is perfect for those looking to earn on specific spending—namely, purchases related to groceries, gas and department stores. The absence of an annual fee, low intro APR on purchases and the benefits that come with being an American Express cardmember are all great aspects of this card as well.
This card doesn’t have a travel or business focus, for example, so if outside categories better suit your needs, then you should consider other options among Bankrate’s best travel cards and best business cards.