Updated: There’s a new bonus available on the Amex Blue Cash! Check it out…
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday, which privileges suburban spending, now offers a $100 cash back signup bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of holding the card. In addition, it still gives an 3% back on up to $6,000 spent on groceries a year, unlimited 2% on gas and department stores and 1% elsewhere. So is the AmEx Blue Cash worth your time? The answer is yes – but not this Blue Cash.
The Blue Cash Preferred has always run circles around the Blue Cash Everyday. It gives $100 cash back after $1k in purchases as well, but its rewards rate is far better: 6% on groceries (up to $6k/year), unlimited 3% on gas and department stores and 1% elsewhere. That’s more than enough to offset its $75 annual fee. Think of it this way: spend $1,250 a year (less than 1/4th of the average household) and you’ll have negated the fee based on grocery rewards alone.
The Preferred is definitely the powerhouse of the family, with a first-sibling overachiever status that makes it pretty much the best card for households. The Everyday has always tagged along in the same rewards categories, and the new $100 cash back offer is an adorable imitation of its big brother. But when it comes time for the Thanksgiving family football game, as cute as the little brother’s quarterback dance is, you’re going to go with the kid who can throw a spiral.
Why the Blue Cash (Preferred) is Worth It
There’s a credit card for every person. The Blue Cash is perfect for suburbanites, families, and generally those who spend a lot on gas, groceries and clothes. As far as I can tell, the Preferred easily gives the best rewards in those categories, especially because the rewards are unlimited, save the yearly $6,000 spending cap on groceries (the average American spends ~$3,800 on groceries a year, so this is a reasonable amount). Plus, it’s a cash back credit card, so you don’t have to redeem for tickets on a specific airline, or gift cards to a store you hate. Plus, with cash back, the rewards rate you see is the rewards rate you get. Some other cards will give you points, and then ask you to rack up 25,000 before they’ll be worth the full 1 cent per point.
But that’s not the best thing about the Blue Cash Preferred. The best part is the extension of the 6% grocery rewards. You know how at the checkout line they usually have a ton of gift cards, so you can buy a $25 Starbucks card from, say, Safeway? Bingo. Now you’re earning 6% rewards on Starbucks. The same holds for Amazon, Gap, iTunes…if there’s a gift card in the store, you’re earning 6% rewards. Keep in mind the $6k spending cap, but if you’re the average consumer, you still have ~$2,200 to use to stock up on gift cards. This is why the Blue Cash Preferred heads the list of the best cash back credit cards.
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