ALERT: American Express Blue Cash - Here’s What You Should Know

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ALERT: American Express Blue Cash - Here’s What You Should Know

Postby CreditCardGuru » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:26 am

The Blue Cash Preferred® and Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, are known for having low-maintenance, lucrative reward structures. And they deserve that reputation. Read on to find out how these cards let you earn cash back on your everyday spending.

American Express Blue Cash Review

There are two versions of this card. While there are some notable differences, both offer a fixed percentage cash back in non-rotating and useful spending categories.


Blue Cash Preferred
Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express
This version of Blue Cash has an annual fee of $75 per year, but it provides enhanced cash back percentages for certain spend categories. Even if you're a light spender, consider starting with this one because it comes with a bigger bonus (you can always downgrade later on if needed). It's also possible you'll spend enough within the categories to justify the annual fee after the first year.
  • Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.

Apply for the Blue Cash Preferred here

Blue Cash Preferred
Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express
The "Everyday" card is the no-annual-fee version of the "Preferred." It has a smaller bonus offer and pays a smaller percentage cash back on category spending.
  • Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 3% at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

Apply for the Blue Cash Everyday here

What the Blue Cash cards offer is simplicity – bonus categories with higher rewards that remain the same. For many, that may be preferable to cards with rotating categories and quarterly reward enrollments. In fact, the Blue Cash cards are among the more straightforward reward programs you will find. With both versions, the cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. While you can't redeem for travel, merchandise and other things you can get with other cards, many people might prefer the simplicity of straight-up cash.

How much will you save in 2015 and beyond?


  • U.S. Supermarkets: Those who regularly buy groceries (especially those with large families) can save some serious money with these cards, considering the Preferred gives 6 percent back and the Everyday gives 3 percent. Up to $6,000 per year spent in this category qualifies for the higher cash back, after which you'll earn 1 percent.
  • U.S. Gas Stations: The Everyday card gives you 2% back at U.S. gas stations, while the Preferred card gives you 3%. Even though gas prices aren't as bad as they've been the past couple years, 3 percent back still gets you a 7 cent rebate on the average gallon of gas. Best of all, both cards let you earn rewards at all stand-alone U.S. gas stations instead of just one brand. Gas stations at superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs aren't eligible, however.
  • Select U.S. Department Stores: Not a frequent clothes shopper? Consider all the other things major department stores sell. Heading to a department store for appliances, tools and electronics will get you a little extra cash back (2 percent with the Everyday and 3 percent with the Preferred), assuming you shop at one of these stores (list current as of June 2015):
  • Nordstrom
  • Bloomingdale's
  • Belk
  • Bon Ton Stores
  • Kohl's
  • Dillard's
  • J.C. Penney (JCP)
  • Boscov's
  • Bealls
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy's
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sears
  • Stein Mart
  • Century 21 Stores

Comparison of the AmEx Blue Cash Everyday vs. Preferred annual reward earnings:
Everyday versus Preferred card comparison


If you spend roughly the amount on the above chart, you'll earn more than $500 cash back per year with the Preferred card and more than $300 with the Everyday. Secondary cards on the account also earn rewards, so add your spouse and together you can rack up reward points that much faster.

Insider Tip: As you know, you can often buy gift cards for places like The Home Depot, iTunes, Kohl's and other retailers while shopping at U.S. supermarkets. Use your Blue Cash to buy gift cards there -- that way you can earn 3 or 6 percent back when buying them.


Both cards offer sign-up bonuses for those who qualify:
Blue Cash Preferred: Here is the link for the $150 cash back offer
Blue Cash Everyday: Here is the link for the $100 cash back offer


As mentioned above, you have to make $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months after opening the account to get the bonus Reward Dollars.

In addition to some of the highest cash-back categories around, these cards also carry the following benefits at no additional cost:
Extended Warranty Coverage: If you're buying expensive electronics, the extended warranty the store tries to sell you might be worth the price. But what if you could get free extended warranty coverage on eligible purchases? With both of these cards, you can shop worry-free knowing that the terms of the original manufacturer's warranty will be matched up to one additional year on U.S. warranties of five years or less.

Purchase Protection: Have you ever damaged a brand-new purchase, just days after buying it? This benefit protects eligible items against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

Return Protection: Returns can be a hassle. Maybe you've lost the receipt, or maybe the store is just giving you a hard time. With Blue Cash cards, you have free return protection. If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days and the merchant won't take it back, American Express will refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item – and up to $1,000 annually per account – assuming the item is in like-new condition.

Car rental loss and damage insurance: If you decline the rental agency's pricey coverage and pay for the entire rental with your card, you'll get secondary insurance coverage for the rental. If the car is damaged or stolen, the coverage your card provides will kick in after your regular car insurance pays out. This means your card's coverage could take care of your deductible and other fees your regular car insurance may not cover. Be sure to check your card's terms for restrictions (such as vehicle types that are not covered).

Which one is best for you? Ask yourself these 3 questions...


  1. How much do I spend on groceries?
    The biggest difference between the two cards is the Preferred card's 6 percent rebate at supermarkets in the U.S. For families, the value is obvious. But even for individuals, it still could be worth it if you buy a lot of prepared foods at places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc. The bottom line is if you spend $100 per week at supermarkets, that's $5,200 per year (which would net you more than $300 cash back with the Preferred card's 6 percent).
  2. How much gas do I buy?
    If you use public transit or don't drive much, obviously this category won't be of much use. But those who drive will benefit from this rebate, especially when the price of gas shoots up.
  3. Do I use more than one credit card?
    If you're using several cards to maximize rewards, then the no-annual-fee Everyday Blue Cash card might be the smartest choice (since your full spending won't be going on this American Express, the $75 fee for the Preferred might not be worth it). Even if you do play the credit card game, as long as you're able to spend at least $50 per week with the card on groceries from the supermarket, you're earning more than $75 more per year by going with the Preferred versus Everyday.
Verdict? The Blue Cash cards get you consistent cash back year round for realistic and useful everyday spending categories. Few other reward cards out there come close.

So the only question left is which one? In my opinion, Blue Cash Preferred is the way to go, and judging by the number of our forum members who list this card in their arsenal, it seems to be a frequent choice among people in the know. Even if you're a light spender, given the bonus offer right now, it might make sense to start with the Preferred card and downgrade after the first year if needed. But ultimately the choice is yours.

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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