Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review: Solid grocery run rewards for no annual fee

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Snapshot

4.2

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Bottom line

Recent updates ave made the Blue Cash Everyday one of the most competitive no-annual-fee cash back cards on the market thanks to its impressive rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations as well as its U.S. online retail purchases bonus category, which can be hard to find on a rewards card.

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Apply now

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15 MONTHS 0% INTRO APR | BEST FOR EVERYDAY REWARDS

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Rewards rate

1%–3%

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200

Regular APR

16.99%-27.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

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 is one of your best options for earning rewards on everyday spending. The card not only offers strong, year-round cash back in practical bonus categories like groceries and gas, but also earns a unique 3 percent back on your first $6,000 in spending with U.S. online retailers (1 percent back after that).

This category makes the card uniquely versatile, as it’a one of the only cards that offers more than 2 percent back on both U.S. supermarket purchases and on U.S. online retail purchases without requiring you to juggle rotating categories.  Collectively, these categories and the $0 annual fee make the Blue Cash Everyday one of the better no-annual-fee grocery rewards cards on the market.

That said, if a higher grocery rewards rate is appealing to you, then there are a few no annual fee options that may offer slightly more cash back depending on your monthly expenses, including the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. And if you’re willing to put up an annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could offer even more value.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Tiered rewards categories offering: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases in each category (then 1%), and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Introductory APR offer on purchases and balance transfers
  • Earn $200 after spending $2,000 within the first six months of card membership

Cons

  • Wholesale clubs and superstores like Target and Walmart do not count as U.S. supermarkets
  • If you pay late or miss a payment, you’ll incur a penalty fee of up to $40 and a higher penalty APR that lasts at least six months (see rates and fees)
  • 2.7 percent foreign transaction (see rates and fees)

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases in each category (then 1 percent), and 1 percent cash back on other purchases.
  • Welcome offer: Earn a $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
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months
  • Regular APR: 16.99 percent to 27.99 percent (variable APR)

Current welcome offer

The Blue Cash Everyday Card’s latest intro bonus offers a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases during your first six months.

A $200 value is par for the course, but considering how steep the spending requirement is, there are plenty of no-annual-fee cash back cards that regularly pay out similar welcome offers worth at least $200 for spending only $500 to $1,000 in half the time frame.

In fact, this offer is a bit demanding even compared to the card’s past intro offers. The previous welcome bonus provided up to a $250 value that could be obtained after spending a total of $2,000 within six months—$100 statement credit after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first six months, plus up to another $150 from 20 percent cash back on Amazon.com purchases during that time. Granted, it may have been more difficult for some cardholders to earn the maximum value from this offer, but the Blue Cash Everyday has also previously offered the same $200 statement credit as it does now for half the spending requirement: $1,000 on purchases during the first three months.

All things considered, the current welcome offer isn’t the best value on the market—or even in the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s history—so it isn’t worth hinging your decision on.

Rewards rate

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday earns cash back at the same generous rate in multiple bonus categories, making it easy to track how much you’re earning and build a solid cash back strategy.

And while, like many issuers, Amex puts spending caps on the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s highest-earning categories, its limits offer a lot more wiggle room than cards’. While many cards limit your top rates to your first $1,500 in spending per quarter before dropping them back to 1 percent, the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s bonus categories each have an annual $6,000 spending limit before the rate drops to 1 percent cash back.

This can make for interesting strategies to save money on groceries if you’re waiting for seasonal sales, bulk delivery orders or even to pair with other rewards cards.

How you earn

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 your first $6,000 in spending per year in each of the following categories:

  • U.S. supermarket purchases
  • U.S. gas station purchases
  • U.S. online retail purchases

The card also earns 1 percent back on all other purchases.

In order to maximize your rewards with this card, you may need to pay attention to merchant category codes to see whether a purchase is considered a U.S. supermarket or online retail purchase. For instance, Kroger and Albertsons stores will earn 3 percent cash back, but Walmart won’t since it isn’t categorized as a supermarket. Similarly, the card’s terms and conditions state that online retail purchases include purchases made online from a U.S. retail merchant and categorized as an internet transaction by the merchant. While typical shopping at an online store like Amazon should qualify, certain online purchases like travel may not be eligible.

How you redeem

Blue Cash Reward Dollars you earn can be redeemed for a statement credit or a gift card . Alternatively, you can shop for merchandise with your rewards, but cash back via statement credit is your most versatile option.

The Blue Cash Everyday doesn’t offer much variety when it comes to redemption options, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary as a cash back card.

On the bright side, its simple earning and redemption model means you won’t have to change your routine or redemption method to maximize your rewards. In fact, you won’t even have to connect a bank account because you can’t redeem for a direct deposit or a check like some issuers allow. Although this is a downside comparatively, it shouldn’t be an issue for cardholders using the Blue Cash Everyday for most of their month-to-month purchases.

Other cardholder perks

Compared to no annual fee cards on the larger Visa and Mastercard networks, travel cards especially, the Blue Cash Everyday doesn’t come with a host of network perks that continually add a ton of value to the card. Other no annual fee cards with Visa or Mastercard benefits may come with features like stronger travel and purchase protections or partner merchant credits, but Amex cash back cards’ purchase-oriented features don’t go above and beyond like Chase cards in its class do.

While it does have access to American Express Experiences events, Global Assist Hotline customer service and the Pay It Plan It feature, the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s benefits are pretty sparse outside these standard American Express features. On the bright side, they’re handy enough that you may get some mileage out of them. However, the Blue Cash Everyday’s offerings are pretty much on par with what’s to be expected on a cash back card with no annual fee, and exceed perks you’d get with competing cash back cards from Bank of America.

Credit for The Disney Bundle Collection

The Blue Cash Everyday Card now has one of the best streaming perks offered by a rewards credit card. When you spend $13.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, you’ll get $7 back each month (enrollment required). Since the Disney Bundle includes popular streaming services Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, this gives the card an impressive amount of additional value, especially for households with kids, sports fans and binge watchers. 

Compared to other rewards cards, this is a standout feature. Cards like the Blue Cash Preferred offer high cash back rates for select U.S. streaming services. But even an unlimited 6 percent cash back rate won’t add up as quickly as the Everyday card’s new credit.

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. Fortunately, you can enjoy $0 intro plan fees on Plan It monthly installment plans for your first 15 months. After that, you’ll have the normal monthly plan fee of up to 1.33 percent of each purchase amount moved into the plan based on its plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

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 cash back on U.S. online retail purchases makes this benefit an even sweeter deal.

Purchase and car rental protections

Unless you have one of American Express’s 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.

These are standard protections to expect on a cash back card with no annual fee. While some cardholders might shrug off these perks because they’re usually available on other cards—and although similar benefits like extended warranty coverage and return protection would be welcome—these features add to the Blue Cash Everyday’s value as a shopping card.

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. Whether you choose to redeem your rewards for gift cards, statement credits or merchandise, each option retains the same 1:1 value.

Every Rewards Dollar is worth $1. That means for every dollar you spend, you’ll earn 3 cents back from purchases in your 3 percent categories.

Rates and fees

One of the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s highlights is that it doesn’t charge an annual fee. Once you start spending with the card, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll offset an annual fee with the rewards.

You’ll also get a chance to keep interest at bay for 15 months with its introductory 0 percent interest period on purchases and balance transfers. The ongoing APR is 16.99 percent to 27.99 percent (variable APR ) after the intro APR expires. There is also a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee if you were planning to take this card abroad.

Bankrate staff experience

Bankrate editor Mariah Ackary has found that the Blue Cash Everyday Card can be a rewarding option for household shopping—especially with multiple users on the account:

My boyfriend and I have been living together for a few years, so we have a lot of shared expenses. After a while, we got sick of constantly requesting each other on Venmo for things like groceries and restaurant bills. He applied for the Blue Cash Everyday and made me an authorized user. That is the card we use for all of those joint purchases, and we split the bill evenly each month. The rewards at U.S. supermarkets add up quickly when you’re shopping for two!

— Mariah Ackary, Editor at Bankrate

How the Amex Blue Cash Everyday compares to other cash back cards

Even before its new and improved updates, the Blue Cash Everyday Card held its own against many of the best rewards cards. But if you typically make purchases that aren’t covered by the Everyday card’s bonus categories or spend a lot on groceries, you could get better value with another cash back rewards card.

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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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4.2
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
Apply now

on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200

Rewards rate

1%–3%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Citi Image

Citi® Double Cash Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200 Cash Back

Rewards rate

2%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
American Express Image

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

$350

Rewards rate

1%–6%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Citi® Double Cash Card  

Both the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Citi Double Cash Card are top rewards cards, but each will appeal to a different type of cardholder. The Everyday card’s rewards and additional features like the Disney Bundle credit will be standout features for rewards maximizers who enjoy taking advantage of as many credit card perks as possible. But if you want an easier way to earn rewards and tend to spend a lot in areas that fall outside the Everyday card’s multiple bonus categories, the Citi Double Cash Card could be a better fit. 

The Double Cash card’s unlimited 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and 1 percent as you pay it back add up to an impressive amount of savings and one of the highest flat rates on the market. And while the Blue Cash Everyday Card offers great bonus rewards in a number of areas, it only offers 1 percent cash back on all other eligible purchases. So some people should have no trouble bringing in more cash back with a flat-rate card that covers all their purchases compared to the Everyday card’s higher rate in select bonus categories. 

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express has a lot going for it, including one of the highest cash back rates around on U.S. supermarket purchases and select U.S. streaming services, even perks like the Disney+ bundle credit. But the battle between the Blue Cash Preferred and the Blue Cash Everyday may just come down to your spending habits and budget. 

Both of these cards are great options, especially when it comes to popular household categories like groceries, gas and streaming services. But if you don’t spend a lot on groceries to justify an annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday Card could be the clear winner, especially if you spend a lot on online purchases.

Best cards to pair with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday

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 rewards card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card (earns cash rewards) could also come in handy for non-bonus category 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, gas, and online shopping, or if you don’t find the annual fee worth it for the premium Blue Cash Preferred card.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, please click here.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

All information about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

Learn more: Is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday worth it?

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