Tough sell in a competitive cash-back landscape: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review
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Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express overview
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers several bonus cash-back categories and modest perks. But, although the card doesn’t charge an 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.
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, updated with a new welcome offer.
My parents recently asked me about getting a new credit card for groceries. I know that they generally prefer no-annual-fee cards and are only interested in cash-back credit cards. So my first thought was the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. After all, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 each year (then 1%).
However, the Blue Cash Everday Card from Amex may not be the best choice. After all, other cash-back credit cards compete in the same categories. Today I’ll take a closer look at the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express so you can decide if it’s right for you.
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Who is this card for?
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex is best suited for you if you prefer cash-back rewards over travel rewards. And, this card may be a good fit if you aren’t willing to pay an annual fee or you don’t plan to put more than a couple hundred dollars on your card each month.
Although the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex isn’t a student credit card, it can help students and young professionals who already have a credit history continue to build their credit profile while earning modest rewards. But, if you plan to use the card for more than a couple hundred dollars each month, you’ll get more out of other cash-back options.
Welcome offer: $200 value
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex currently offers a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases on your ne
w card in your first three months of card membership. Compared with some welcome offers, this is a relatively easy minimum spending requirement to reach.
However, due to Amex’s once-per-lifetime rule, you can’t earn this welcome offer if you have or previously had the Blue Cash Everyday Card. Amex may also consider other factors when determining your eligibility for the welcome offer.
Luckily, Amex has a welcome offer eligibility tool that will tell you after you apply whether you’re eligible for the bonus. So, if not being eligible to earn the bonus is a deal-breaker, you can withdraw your application before there’s a hard pull on your credit.
Main benefits and perks
As with most no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex doesn’t offer much in the way of perks and benefits. But, here are the main benefits and perks offered by the card:
- Intro APR: You can get 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the account opening date. After the introductory APR period, you’ll get a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% based on your creditworthiness and other factors (see rates and fees).
- Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance: You’ll get secondary coverage for damage and theft or a rental vehicle when you use your card to pay for the entire rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental counter. However, this coverage excludes some vehicles and rental locations.
- Amex Offers: As an American Express cardholder, you’ll get access to targeted offers that can save you money.
- Global Assist hotline: When you’re more than 100 miles away from home, you’ll get 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services. However, you’ll be responsible for any costs charged by third-party service providers.
- Pay It, Plan It: If you need additional flexibility when paying your credit card bill, you can use Pay It to quickly make payments for purchases under $100 throughout the month. And, you can use Plan It to select purchases of $100 or more and split them up into monthly payments with a fixed monthly fee and no interest.
- Entertainment Access: Amex offers cardholders access to pre-sale tickets and exclusive events.
How to earn
With the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex, you’ll earn:
- 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend each year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%)
- 2% at U.S. gas stations
- 2% at select U.S. department stores
- 1% on all other purchases
That 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets might sound good for a no-annual-fee card (see rates and fees). But even if you max out the $6,000 spending cap, that’s only $180 in cash-back rewards. So, most consumers looking for a card that earns bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets will do better with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
As for your other spending, several no-annual-fee cards provide bonus cash back on all purchases. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back when you pay for a total of 2% cash back. Plus you can convert that cash back into ThankYou points when you hold a Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier® Card card. So, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex won’t provide the best earning rates for most purchases. The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
How to redeem
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex is a cash-back credit card, so redeeming is relatively straightforward. You earn cash back in the form of Blue Cash reward dollars. And, you can redeem these reward dollars for statement credits whenever your reward dollars balance is $25 or more.
Occasionally, American Express may offer you other ways to redeem reward dollars, such as gift cards or merchandise. However, if given other options, ensure that your redemption rate is the same or better than redeeming for a statement credit. And, if you decide to close your account, plan to redeem a reward dollars balance of 25 or more shortly before canceling your card.
What cards compete with the Blue Cash Everyday?
Two cash-back credit cards compete closely with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from Amex: the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Citi Double Cash Card. So, let’s take a closer look at these competitors.
The Blue Cash Preferred usually charges a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees), but this fee is currently waived for the first year. And, you’ll get a much better rewards rates with the Blue Cash Preferred:
- 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 annually; then 1%)
- 6% on select U.S. streaming services
- 3% at U.S. gas stations
- 3% on transit
- 1% on everything else
Plus, the Blue Cash Preferred has a better welcome offer until Dec. 10, 2020, of a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first six months.
So, between the waived annual fee for the first year (see rates and fees) and the higher welcome offer, it should be easy to justify signing up for the Blue Cash Preferred. Then, after your first year, you can analyze your spending patterns to determine whether you’re earning enough cash back to offset the fee.
To learn more, see the full Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express review.
Citi Double Cash Card
Another card to consider is the Citi Double Cash Card, which earns up to 2% back on every purchase (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill). Though the Blue Cash Everyday Card from Amex 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 likely end up reaping more rewards since you can earn up to 2% on every single purchase.
The Double Cash doesn’t have an annual fee. Plus, you can convert Double Cash rewards to ThankYou points if you hold an eligible Citi ThankYou Rewards credit card. You may not care about this option if you’re only interested in cash-back rewards. But, this added flexibility can provide value if you eventually want to earn transferable points.
If you’re interested in learning more, see the full Citi Double Cash Card review.
Granted, students and credit card beginners with 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.
Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg.
Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.
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- Earn a $200 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% Cash 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