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

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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 departments 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 it’s 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 $95
Welcome bonus $150 statement credit after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership $200 statement credit after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership
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
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%)
  • 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Variable APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (for balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening)
  • Variable 15.24% - 26.24% APR for purchases and balance transfers after intro
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from account opening (for balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening)
  • Variable 15.24% - 26.24% APR for purchases and balance transfers after intro
Other cardholder benefits
  • Car rental insurance
  • Extended warranties
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Free enrollment in ShopRunner
  • Car rental insurance
  • Extended warranties
  • Return protection
  • Purchase 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 ahead with $200 in statement credit. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express compares with a welcome bonus of $150 in statement credit. To qualify for either one, you’ll need to make at least $1,000 worth of purchases within your first 3 months as a cardholder.

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

Both cards offer bonus cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and select department stores. 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 and select U.S. department stores. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express only offers 3% at U.S. supermarkets and 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.

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 or select U.S. department stores. You can also get 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Best for card benefits: Tie

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express have many identical 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.
  • Extended warranties: This matches the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty on your eligible purchases (up to one additional year) on warranties for five years or less.
  • Return protection: If a merchant won’t accept a return within 90 days of your purchase, you may be able to get a refund for up to $300 per item (limited to $1,000 per card member, per calendar year).
  • Purchase protection: Get reimbursed for up to $1,000 per occurrence if an eligible item you buy is stolen or accidentally damaged (up to $50,000 per card member, per calendar year).
  • Free ShopRunner membership: Enroll in complimentary membership to ShopRunner, which gives you free two-day shipping on eligible purchases at more than 140 online stores.

One slight advantage of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is that it offers an introductory 0% APR purchase and balance transfer rate 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 doesn’t have an annual fee, whereas the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 annual fee.

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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, gas stations and department stores 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) and 3% at eligible U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. But it can take a lot of cash back to offset the $95 annual fee.

Consider the following scenario in the table for some potential spending scenarios with both cards.

If you spend … Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express  Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$250 per month ($3,000 per year) at eligible U.S. supermarkets $7.50 per month or $90 per year in cash back $15 per month or $180 per year in cash back
$75 per month ($900 per year) at eligible U.S. gas stations $1.50 per month or $18 per year in cash back $2.25 per month or $27 per year in cash back
$50 per month ($600 per year) at eligible U.S. department stores $1 per month or $12 per year in cash back $1.50 per month or $18 per year in cash back
Total annual earnings $120 $225
After annual fee $120 $130

 

In this example, you’re able to earn more in cash back rewards from your purchases with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but it barely comes out ahead against the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, even after you factor in the 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? 3 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®
Best cash back card for dining out Uber Visa Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

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.

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Citi® Double Cash Card

From cardholders in the last year

Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® features a rotating list of bonus rewards categories. You can earn 5% cash back on your first $1,500 quarterly at merchants in select bonus categories 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.

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Chase Freedom®

From cardholders in the last year

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Uber Visa Card

The Uber Visa Card isn’t just for those who use the popular ridesharing app. Using the card, you can earn cash back on a variety of purchases, including 4% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on hotels and airfare, 2% cash back on online purchases and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.