Review: Blue Cash Everyday from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express is a cash back credit card that offers different levels of cash rebates depending on the type of purchases you make with the card. Is it the best credit card for you? How does it stack up against the competition? Our review is below:

The first thing we obviously want to look at with the Blue Cash Everyday card is the cash back formula. With this card, you’ll get:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6000 worth of purchases per year. (If you spend more than $6000 at supermarkets in a year, you’ll get 1% cash back on the purchases beyond $6K.)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at many U.S. department stores (including stores listed here, but not stores like Walmart or Target)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

As a bonus for getting the card and putting it to work, you can earn an extra $150 if you use the card for at least $500 in purchases in the first 3 months that you have it.

OK, so let’s compare this card to the best cash back cards on the market, many of which offer flat cash back rates of 1.5% or more on all your purchases. (One card even gives you 2% back across the board.) The Blue Cash Everyday Card’s most important feature, then, is that 3% rebate on grocery purchases. It’s a generous rebate on necessities that many people spend a lot of money on. And most people won’t bump up against that $6000 yearly ceiling.

The 2% rebate on gas is nice, while the 2% at department stores is “meh,” since most people aren’t going to spend a ton at those stores. And then, 1% cash back on all other purchases obviously is not a big deal in today’s market.

So, since you can get a different cash back card that will pay you 2% on ALL your purchases, the Blue Cash Everyday Card only makes sense for you if you spend mostly on groceries and gas, or if you want to add an extra credit card that you’ll use only for groceries. But, if you’re just looking for an everyday card that gives you a nice flat rate rebate regardless of what you buy, this isn’t it.

Now, before we wrap up, you should know that American Express also offers a variation on this card that has an annual fee but a more generous reward formula. The Blue Cash Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee, but you’ll get 6% back on groceries, 3% back on gas and at those select department stores, and 1% back everywhere else. If you’re spending at least $75 per week on groceries and gas combined, this card would be the better deal over the no-annual-fee Blue Cash card. You might want to pay the fee and use the Blue Cash Preferred Card only for groceries/gas/department stores, and have a second card with a higher flat rate for all of your other purchases.

In terms of interest rate, the Blue Cash cards are roughly in line with most cards on the market, meaning you can get a good rate as low as 13.99% if your credit is excellent, but your rate could be a truly lousy 24.99% if your credit is just barely good enough to be accepted. Either way, don’t carry a balance or you’ll essentially cancel out your rebates with the interest you pay.