Blue Cash Everyday Card review: Tough sell in a competitive cash-back landscape
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Blue Cash Everyday Card Overview
To be frank, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express doesn’t stack up to the competition with its lack of bonus categories and perks. Though it does come with no annual fee (see rates and fees), most cardholders can find more value with other cash-back credit card options. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
The credit card space has become increasingly competitive throughout the past few years, with card refreshes and new product launches occurring both in the travel rewards and cash-back landscapes. For a card to really stand out among the sheer volume of options, it has to have a strong rewards structure. Unfortunately, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex doesn’t quite compete.
That isn’t to say that no one would get value from having this card in your wallet. But by and large, cardholders should make sure that this card is the best option for their specific spending habits before deciding to apply. Let’s take a look at the card’s details in-depth.
Related reading: Choosing the best American Express credit card for you
Who is this card for?
The Blue Cash Everyday is best suited for beginners in the rewards credit card game. You’re earning cash back on a limited number of categories in exchange for no annual fee (see rates and fees), with no ancillary perks to accompany the card. If you aren’t spending more than a couple hundred dollars on a credit card per month, this card might make sense for you. While not considered a student credit card, it could help students and young professionals who already have credit history continue to build their credit profile while earning modest rewards.
Related reading: The best first credit cards for 2020
Anyone who plans on using the card for more than a couple hundred dollars each month will get more out of other cash-back options.
Related reading: Best cash-back credit cards
New cardholders can earn a $150 statement credit after they spend $1,000 in purchases over the course of three months from account opening. It’s an easy bonus to hit, but if you’re spending that much per month naturally ($333 or more), you’re spending enough to make the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (the card’s big brother within Amex’s cash-back lineup) more worthwhile. It offers a $250 statement credit after spending the same $1,000 within the first three months, alongside a much more attractive rewards structure — for a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Keep in mind that you only get one shot to earn the welcome bonus for each Amex card due to the issuer’s once-per-lifetime rule. So if you’ve ever had the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card in the past, you will not be eligible to earn this bonus regardless of how long ago you held it.
Main perks and benefits
As with most no-annual-fee cash back credit cards, the Blue Cash Everyday doesn’t offer much in the way of perks and benefits. In fact most of the limited perks that it does offer are standard across Amex cards and not specific to this product.
- Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance: You’ll get secondary coverage when you use your card to pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental counter. This does not include liability coverage.
- Global Assist Hotline: This is a standard benefit all Amex cardholders receive. When you are more than 100 miles away from home, you get 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services.
- ShopRunner: You’ll get free two-day shipping on eligible items through ShopRunner when you enroll at shoprunner.com/americanexpress.
- Entertainment Access: Amex offers cardholders access to pre-sale tickets and exclusive events. This is an underrated perk offered across Amex cards. For example, I was able to get my little sister pre-sale tickets to a Harry Styles concert with her friends because I’m an Amex cardholder. Had she waited until tickets were available for public access, there’s no telling if she would have been able to get the same seats at the same price.
Earning and redeeming
With the Blue Cash Everyday, you’ll earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend annually at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% on all other purchases. Supermarkets and gas stations are common everyday spending categories, but the multiplier on earning is far from impressive. Even if you max out the $6,000 spending cap for 3% back at U.S. supermarkets, that’s only $180 in cash-back rewards (compared to $360 you’d earn with the Blue Cash Preferred). Cash back earned can be redeemed as a statement credit.
As a general rule of thumb, I try and make sure that I’m earning a bare minimum of 2% on all my purchases, whether that’s in the form of cash back or transferable points. There are plenty of cards that make this possible, including many that don’t charge annual fees, further increasing the competitive pressure on the Blue Cash Everyday.
What cards compete with the Blue Cash Everyday
The most direct comparison is the Everyday vs. the Blue Cash Preferred. The Preferred charges a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees), but you’ll get a much better rewards rate in return — 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 annually; then 1%) and select U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% on everything else.
Related reading: My mom got her first rewards card after using cash for 50 years
As mentioned earlier, the welcome bonus is also higher — $250 rather than just $150 after spending $1,000 in the first three months. That alone is enough to justify going with the Preferred for the first year, although after that you’ll have to analyze your spending patterns to make sure you’re earning enough cash back to offset the fee.
Related reading: Blue Cash Preferred card review
Another card to consider is the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns 2% back on every purchase (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay your bill). Though the Blue Cash Everyday does offer a slightly higher 3% on the first $6,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), the Citi Double Cash will still likely end up reaping more rewards, since you can earn 2% on every single purchase (1% when you buy, plus 1% as you pay).
The Double Cash doesn’t have an annual fee, and you can now convert your Double Cash rewards to ThankYou points (which are more valuable and can be transferred to partners) when you also hold an eligible Citi ThankYou credit card, such as the Citi Prestige® Card or the Citi Premier℠ Card. All in all, that makes the Citi Double Cash more flexible and more valuable than the Blue Cash Everyday. The information for the Citi Prestige and the Citi Premier card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related reading: Citi Double Cash review
To be considered a top cash-back credit card, you have to have a great rewards structure. Unfortunately, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday falls flat when compared to the competition. Students and credit card beginners with incredibly low monthly budgets might find value from the card, but most cardholders looking for a solid rewards credit card should look elsewhere — such as the Blue Cash Preferred or the Citi Double Cash.
Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.
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- Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
- 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
- 1% back on other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
- No annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees