Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Which cash back card is better?

Customers buying groceries in supermarketImage: Customers buying groceries in supermarket

In a Nutshell

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express both offer bonus cash back on common purchases. Either could be a good choice, but the best card for you may depend on how much you usually spend at supermarkets, gas stations and department stores.
Louis DeNicola is a personal finance writer and has written for American Express and Discover. Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
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There’s no clear winner when it comes to these two cash back cards from American Express, so figuring out which might be best for you depends on your spending habits.

Rewards credit cards can offer cardholders a variety of earning opportunities.

Cash back cards like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express have tiered rewards programs, with different cash back rewards rates depending on where you’re making purchases.

If the bonus categories align with your regular purchases, a tiered-rewards program could be a good fit. Alternatively, there are cash back cards that offer a flat rewards rate on every purchase — a no-hassle structure that may appeal to some.

These two American Express cash back credit cards offer similar bonus cash back opportunities, interest rates and benefits, but they have different annual fees and rewards rates. So which is best?


At a glance: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Annual fee $0 $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Welcome bonus $100 statement credit after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership, plus 20% back on Amazon.com purchases during your first 6 months (up to $150 back)
  • $150 statement credit after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership
  • 20% back — up to $200 — on Amazon.com purchases that you make with the card during the first six months you have it
Rewards
  • 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%)
  • 2% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 2% cash back on select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% cash back on transit (including taxis/rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more)
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Variable APR for purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening
  • Variable 13.99% - 23.99% purchase APR after intro
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening
  • Variable 13.99% - 23.99% purchase APR after intro
Other cardholder benefits
  • Car rental insurance
  • Free enrollment in ShopRunner
  • Car rental insurance
  • Return protection
  • Free enrollment in ShopRunner

  1. Best for welcome bonus: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  2. Best for rewards points: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  3. Best for card benefits: Tie
  4. Best for annual fee: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  5. Heads up: What to consider when applying for a cash back card
  6. Bottom line: Which card is right for you?

Best for welcome bonus: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

When comparing welcome bonuses between the cards, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express edges just slightly ahead with $150 in statement credit when you make at least $3,000 worth of purchases within your first 6 months as a cardholder. You can also earn 20% back — up to $200 — on Amazon.com purchases that you make with the card during the first six months you have it.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express comes with a welcome bonus of $100 in statement credit when you make at least $2,000 worth of purchases within your first 6 months as a cardholder. You’ll also get 20% back on Amazon.com purchases during your first six months, on up to $150 back.

Best for rewards points: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Both cards offer bonus cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations. American Express has examples of eligible merchants that you can review.

But the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express wins this category, because it offers 6% back at U.S. supermarkets and 3% back at U.S. gas stations. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express only offers 3% at U.S. supermarkets and 2% at U.S. gas stations (though you also get 2% back with this card on select U.S. department store purchases).

With either card, the bonus cash back only applies on up to $6,000 worth of purchases you make at U.S. supermarkets in a calendar year, but there’s no dollar limit to the bonus cash back at U.S. gas stations. You can also get 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

If you’re looking for additional rewards categories, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers 3% cash back on transit (including taxis/rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). You can also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

Best for card benefits: Tie

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express share some cardholder benefits, including …

  • Car rental insurance: Secondary coverage (i.e., secondary to your personal auto policy, if you have one) for damage to or theft of eligible rental vehicles.
  • Free ShopRunner membership: Enroll in complimentary membership to ShopRunner, which gives you free two-day shipping on eligible purchases at more than 100 online stores.

One slight advantage of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is that it offers an introductory 0% purchase APR that lasts for 15 months, versus 12 months for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

But it’s not a big enough distinction to tip the scales — and there may be other cards out there that have better 0% introductory rate offers.

Best for annual fee: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a $0 annual fee, whereas the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

The former is the clear winner here, but don’t count out the latter just yet. Paying the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express annual fee could be worth it if you usually spend enough at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations to earn rewards that offset that cost.

Heads up: What to consider when applying for a cash back card

A cash back card could be a good option if you don’t want to deal with miles or points programs. But even if you earn a similar number of points or miles per $1 spent on purchases, travel rewards cards can offer potentially more-valuable rewards because you can redeem your miles or points for otherwise-costly flights or hotel stays.

Also, consider how and when you can redeem your cash back. With these American Express cards, you can redeem your rewards for statement credits once your rewards balance is at least 25 reward dollars.


Bottom line: Which card is right for you?

In the battle between the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, it all comes down to the bonus cash back versus the cost of the annual fee.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers more rewards-earning potential, with 6% cash back at eligible U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year (then 1%), 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% at eligible U.S. gas stations, 3% on transit (including taxis/rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% on all other purchases. But it can take a lot of cash back to offset the $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. annual fee.

To figure out which card is best for you, estimate how much you spend on the bonus categories and see if the rewards you’ll earn outweigh the annual fee.

Undecided? 2 no-annual-fee cash back cards to consider

Best flat-rate cash back card Citi® Double Cash Card
Best rotating category cash back card Chase Freedom Flex℠

Citi® Double Cash Card

From our partner

Citi® Double Cash Card

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a no-hassle, flat-rate cash back card. You can earn 2% cash back on purchases — 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay for those purchases.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

From our partner

Chase Freedom Flex℠

From cardholders in the last year

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ features a rotating list of bonus rewards categories. You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate — which can add up to $300 in cash back rewards each year in bonus categories alone. You earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.


About the author: Louis DeNicola is a personal finance writer and has written for American Express, Discover and Nova Credit. In addition to being a contributing writer at Credit Karma, you can find his w… Read more.