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American Express replaced the old American Express Blue Cash card with two new cards. While the Nerds weren't impressed with the previous card, we're big fans of the replacement cards — the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
The Nerds disliked the former American Express Blue Cash card for a number of reasons, including the unfavorable spending threshold and awkward rewards redemption options. But now that AmEx kicked up its rewards rate while simplifying the rewards program, break out the pom-poms, because we're Blue Cash cheerleaders. Here are our five reasons to love the American Express Blue Cash cards:
1. No spending threshold
While the former Blue Cash card required that you spend $6,500 to get the full rewards rate, the current cards don't have a spending threshold. You'll begin earning the full rewards with your first purchase.
2. Easy-to-redeem rewards
The former Blue Cash card paid out rewards in a once-a-year statement credit, so if you closed your account, you'd lose some of your rewards. American Express then started allowing for multiple redemptions per year, but in the end decided to keep the status quo. The current Blue Cash cards let you redeem as many times per year as you'd like -- starting at $25 for statement credit.
3. Simple, clear rewards program
The Blue Cash rewards are simple. The rewards rate you see is the rewards rate you get: 6%, 3% and 1% for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and 3%, 2% and 1% for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Rewards rates are year-round and static. You don't need to sign up for quarterly rotating bonus categories like with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Discover it® Cash Back. The rates:
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year in spending)
Select U.S. streaming subscriptions
U.S. gas stations
Transit (including taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses)
Select U.S. department stores
All other spending
4. Fringe benefits
Overall, we think the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express almost always outweighs the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
American Express is pretty generous with its network benefits, extending them to most of their cards. Included in the many perks are purchase protection, extended warranty, car rental insurance and return insurance. Here's where you can find more information and details about American Express benefits.
5. Bonus offers for new cardholders
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express boasts a large welcome offer: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a smaller, but still-solid bonus offer for new cardholders: Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the Card in the first 6 months, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply. If you refer a friend who's then approved for a Blue Cash card, you'll receive a referral bonus of 50 Reward Dollars per referral, capped at 550 Reward Dollars per calendar year.
Bottom line: Thanks to the changes in the Blue Cash program, the Nerds enjoy both the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Provided your spending is high enough to negate the annual fee, we recommend the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It boasts the higher welcome bonus and rewards, and the annual fee is easily canceled out. Otherwise, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is still a solid card for spending at U.S supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.