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AmEx Blue Cash Wins on Grocery Spending

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AmEx Blue Cash Wins on Grocery Spending

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express no longer dole out unlimited bonus rewards on groceries. Now you can earn the higher cash-back rate only on the first $6,000 you spend per year at standalone supermarkets (then 1%). But spending caps and all, these cards may still be your best bet for maximizing rewards on everyday grocery purchases.

 Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Sign-up bonusSpecial Offer - Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms ApplySpecial Offer - Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply
APR0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24%-23.24% Variable0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24%-23.24% Variable
Annual fee$95$0
Rewards

  • 6% back on up to $6,000 per year in supermarket purchases (then 1%)

  • 3% back from gas stations & select department stores

  • 1% on all other purchases
  • 3% on up to $6,000 per year in supermarket purchases (then 1%)

  • 2% back from gas stations & select department stores

  • 1% on all other purchases

Where Blue Cash shines

There are plenty of reasons we still love the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Here are a few:

1. Lots of earnings on groceries – Even with the spending caps, these cards still offer bigger cash back rewards on groceries than much of the competition. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 6% cash back on groceries up to $6,000 spent annually (then 1%), and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns 3% cash back on groceries up to $6,000 spent annually (then 1%).

For the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, that’s $285 in savings per year, once you subtract the $95 annual fee. And for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, that’s $180 in annual savings.

2. Signup bonuses – Both cards offer signup bonuses, a rare feature for cash back cards. You’ll earn these automatically once you meet the spending minimums.

3. No rotating rewards – Sometimes, simple is just better. If you hate keeping track of unpredictable earnings categories, the easy-to-understand earning structures on these cards may make them easier for you to use.

>>More: How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards When Shopping

4. Options for different spending styles – You don’t have to be a big spender to get excellent grocery rewards. With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll come out ahead if you spend at least $31 a week on groceries. And if you shell out more than that, it can boost your earnings even higher.

Other grocery contenders to consider

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express aren’t for everyone. If you do all your grocery shopping at a place that isn’t a standalone supermarket, such as Walmart or Target, or if you want to earn more cash back in other categories, consider going with a different offer.

>>More: NerdWallet’s Best Rewards Credit Cards For Groceries

Chase Freedom Credit Card
Learn More
If your spending habits are always changing: Chase Freedom®

With rotating rewards categories, the  Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in select categories per quarter (which adds up to $6,000 a year, matching American Express’s cap). Sometimes, these categories include groceries. If your spending needs align with these quarterly groups, you may be able to earn more cash back overall than you would with other cards.

US Bank Cash+(TM) Visa Signature(R) Card Credit Card
Learn More
If you want to choose your own rewards adventure: U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

With the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, you can choose two rotating categories to earn 5% back on up to $2,000 in combined net purchases. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on your choice of an everyday category – which, in this case, could be groceries. Because there’s no limit on how much cash back can be earned in total, this card may offer larger returns in the long run for people who spend more at the supermarket.

Citibank Citi® Double Cash Card Credit Card
Learn More
If you don’t want to bother with categories at all: Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

You can earn a flat 1% cash back per dollar spent on the Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, plus another 1% on every dollar you pay off. Because there are no limits on how many rewards you can earn, you don’t have to worry about spending more in certain categories or hitting any spending caps. You may earn more cash back in the long run this way – especially if your spending is more diversified.

The takeaway

At the end of the day, if you want a good grocery rewards credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express are hard to beat. If you spend less than $6,000 a year on groceries, the spending caps won’t make a difference to you. And if you spend more, you may still be earning more cash back on groceries than you would with other cards.

Claire Tsosie is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @ideclaire7 and on Google+.


Image via iStock.

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