Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Card Overview
As far as no annual fee cards go, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers strong, year-round cash back on crucial bonus categories like groceries and gas.
It’s not as flexible or competitive as its bigger sibling, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but no annual fee means the cash back goes straight to you. This makes it one of the best cards for groceries if you’re the designated errand driver—or even if this simply isn’t your primary rewards card.
Want more details? Jump to the following sections:
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- 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: Earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months. Plus, earn 20 percent cash back on Amazon.com purchases on your card within the first six months (up to $150 back)—worth up to $250 total, or $300 through CardMatch. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable
Current welcome offer
Last year’s holiday welcome bonus makes a bold return: you’ll be eligible for $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership—or more than $333 each month. Frequent Amazon.com shoppers will also be able to earn up to an extra $150 cash back since you’ll also earn 20 percent cash back on Amazon.com purchases during that time. That means you could include $750 toward Amazon purchases—or $125 each month—into your $2,000 statement credit spending requirement budget in order to get the maximum $250 from both of these welcome offers at the end of your first six months. For an even better deal, you may be able to get pre-approved through our CardMatch tool for an improved offer worth up to $300 in total cash back.
Compared to the previous $200 statement credit intro bonus (after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months), the current offer’s spending requirement is double, but the timeline to qualify is doubled to six months too. The additional $50 cash back, or extra $100 with the CardMatch offer, means it might be a great time to jump on this deal if you’d typically need more time to meet the spending requirement or you’re a loyal Amazon.com customer.
Otherwise, there are plenty of no annual fee cash back cards that regularly pay out slightly lower intro bonuses worth $150 to $200 or more for spending $500 to $1,000 in half the time frame.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday earns cash back with a tiered category structure, meaning it earns rewards on several bonus categories at different rates.
Many issuers put spending caps on the highest-earning category, often around $1,500 per quarter before returning to 1 percent rewards. Instead, the Blue Cash Everyday card’s U.S. supermarket category has a yearly $6,000 spending limit before earning the lower 1 percent cash back rate.
Earning cash back
Although they’re marketed as cash back cards, the American Express Blue Cash cards earn “Blue Cash Reward Dollars,” which you can then redeem for equivalent cash back in the form of a statement credit.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card earns 3 percent cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 annually, then 1 percent). You also earn unlimited 2 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores like Macy’s and J.C. Penney, along with 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Maximizing your rewards with this card can be tricky compared to more flexible cards, like flat-rate cash back programs. You need to understand your stores’ four-digit merchant category code and whether they’re counted by Amex as U.S. supermarkets. For instance, Kroger and Albertsons-brand stores will earn 3 percent cash back, but Walmart won’t since it isn’t categorized as a supermarket.
Redeeming cash back
The Blue Cash Reward Dollars you’ve earned can be redeemed for a statement credit or a gift card (must be valued at least at $25). Alternatively, you can shop for merchandise with your rewards, but cash back via statement credit is your most versatile option.
How much are the rewards worth?
The Reward Dollar system the Blue Cash Everyday card uses essentially works like direct cash back, but with an extra step to redeem. Similarly, each Blue Cash Reward Dollar is worth an equivalent $1.
Other cardholder perks
Unfortunately, the Blue Cash Everyday card’s benefits are pretty sparse outside the standard American Express features. On the bright side, they’re handy enough that you may get some mileage out of them.
Pay It Plan It®
After American Express expanded Pay It Plan It® to more cards, these alternative payment programs have become a staple for Amex cardholders. Rather than add new purchases directly to your balance and accumulate interest, Pay It allows you to immediately pay for small qualifying purchases below $100, and Plan It lets you put up to 10 purchases over $100 into extended payment plans for a fixed fee.
Of the two Pay It Plan It® features, Plan It is a bit more useful if you’re in a pinch. Just make sure to calculate your Plan It fees ahead of time in case the initial cost of interest is the cheaper route.
Complimentary ShopRunner membership
All U.S. consumer and small business American Express cards receive a complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required) for as long as it’s active. By paying with your card, you receive free two-day shipping and free returns with participating retailers.
Your Blue Cash Everyday card’s 2 percent at select U.S. department stores bonus category makes this benefit an even sweeter deal. Retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus are among the list of select U.S. department stores that you can earn cash back on, so this benefit saves you a trip to the mall.
Purchase and car rental protections
Unless you have one of American Express’ co-branded cards, the only shopping and travel protections offered on Amex no annual fee cards are these basic perks:
- Purchase protection: If your purchase needs to be repaired or replaced, you will be reimbursed for up to $1,000 per eligible incident (up to $50,000 per card).
- Car rental loss and damage insurance: By paying with your card and declining the rental agency’s coverage, your eligible rental vehicle receives secondary insurance in the event of damage or theft.
Rates and fees
One of the Blue Cash Everyday card’s highlights is that it doesn’t charge an annual fee. You’ll also get a chance to keep interest at bay for 15 months with its introductory 0 percent interest period on purchases. The ongoing APR is 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable after the intro APR expires.
Before you apply, note that the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card doesn’t currently accept balance transfers. There is also a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee if you were planning to take this card abroad.
How the Amex Blue Cash Everyday compares to other cash back cards
The Blue Cash Everyday card alone provides solid, ongoing cash back in the grocery and gas bonus categories. But compared to the Blue Cash Preferred card, the Everyday card’s only redeeming factor is its 2 percent at select U.S. department stores bonus category. If you decide the annual fee is worth it, the Preferred card is a much more rewarding opportunity.
In the no annual fee realm, the Everyday card’s rewards rates are on par with other more flexible cards. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card can provide up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases (1 percent at purchase, 1 percent at payment), which could potentially outclass the Everyday card’s grocery category.
Here are some alternatives to earn competitive cash back:
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Welcome bonus||Other details|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||
||$95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)||
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||
|Citi® Double Cash Card||
Best cards to pair with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday
Shoppers interested in a premium American Express card will be able to make great use of the Everyday card’s 2 percent select U.S. department store cash back category with The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll earn cash back on top of the Platinum Card’s annual Saks Fifth Avenue statement credits (up to $100, enrollment required), plus receive faster shipping from your ShopRunner membership (enrollment required). If you’re lucky, you could also reap bonus Saks Fifth Avenue rewards from an Amex Offer.
Naturally, pairing the Blue Cash Preferred card with the Blue Cash Everyday could make a great combination. This pair would boost your U.S. supermarket rewards category spending cap to $12,000 per year, plus add unlimited 6 percent U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3 percent transit bonus categories to your arsenal.
A flat-rate cash back card like the Citi Double Cash Card would also come in handy for non-bonus purchases.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday worth it?
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is an excellent starter card if you’re looking for cash back on common categories such as groceries or gas, or if you don’t find the annual fee worth it for the premium Blue Cash Preferred card.
However, the Everyday card isn’t particularly unique among other no annual fee rewards cards—except for its department store rewards.
Plus, the bonus category terms may restrict your shopping if the Amex Blue Cash Everyday is your only rewards card, though pairing it with other cards can fill in the gaps.
Learn More: Is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday worth it?