If groceries and gas are significant parts of your budget and you refuse to pay an annual fee, this card is a fine choice.
Pros & Cons
No annual fee
High rewards rate
Intro APR period
Requires good/excellent credit
Spending caps on bonus rewards
If you spend more than $61 a week on groceries, you'll get more value out of this card, even accounting for the $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee. You get a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. (Terms apply.)
Compare to Other Cards
14.74%-24.74% Variable APR
14.74%-24.74% Variable APR
12.24%-23.24% Variable APR
0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
If you rack up spending at the gas pump and grocery checkout, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express could be a good choice among rewards cards.
For a $0-annual-fee card, it offers an excellent 3% cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year, along with a competitive 2% rate at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. Terms apply.
Nevertheless, the card will frequently be compared with its big brother, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which is perhaps the ultimate gas and groceries card. It has a relatively high annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, but in exchange it offers elevated bonus-category rewards: an industry-leading 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. (Terms apply.)
Overall, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers good rewards in a few practical spending categories. But the argument to make it your only rewards credit card breaks down when comparing it with its big brother and the best of its cash-back competition. That leaves it mostly as a decent gas and groceries card for lighter spenders and those who refuse to pay an annual fee to boost rewards.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Basics and benefits
To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.
Card type: Cash back.
Annual fee: $0
Introductory bonus: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.
3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1%)
2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
1% back on all other purchases
Interest rate: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74%-24.74% Variable APR
Getting 3% back on your U.S. supermarket spending is a nice return on a potentially big portion of the household budget. It essentially means getting a discount on all the food, paper goods, personal care products and other items you buy regularly at the grocery store. Terms apply.
Rewards are based on where you’re shopping — in this case, U.S. supermarkets — not what you buy there. American Express’ definition of U.S. supermarkets excludes wholesale clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club, superstores like Target and Wal-Mart, specialty food stores and others. So consider not only how much you spend on groceries but also where you most often buy them.
The 3% rewards rate applies to the first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending annually. That’s generous for a rewards spending cap. Maxed out, it’s worth $180 annually in cash back. But it’s still a cap — one a family could blow through before the year is done. The average U.S. household of four spends about $6,200 on food at home annually and hundreds more on housekeeping supplies and personal care products that are also common purchases in supermarkets, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey. So a family of four could exceed its limit for 3% rewards and then revert to 1% cash back. Terms apply.
A 2% cash-back rate at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores is double the mundane 1% that many cards offer, although it's not as unique as it was just a few years ago. The nice part is that those double rewards aren't capped. Terms apply.
However, restrictions apply here, too:
Higher gas rewards are available only at traditional stand-alone gas stations. Warehouse clubs, superstores and supermarkets that sell gas don’t count, according to American Express.
Elevated rewards for department stores apply only at named merchants, although the list includes most of the largest national department store chains, including Macy’s, Kohl’s and Sears. Discount retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart are excluded, and your regional department store chain might not count. American Express maintains a list of qualifying stores.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express comes with a bonus offer for new cardholders: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply. That’s a nice incentive.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Pitfalls and other possibilities
Blue cash vs. blue cash
A primary consideration with the card is deciding whether you should instead apply for its big brother. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes at a price. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95 — steep for a cash-back card. But in exchange, you'll get an extensive suite of benefits that can be really lucrative for road warriors and home chefs.
So when is the annual-fee card a better deal? The easiest way to compare the Blue Cash cards is to look at grocery spending. If you spend at least $61 per week at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn more with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, even after the annual fee. Our comparison of the two Blue Cash cards goes into more detail and includes a calculator for comparing rewards.
If you don’t spend enough on groceries or some combination of other bonus categories to justify the big-brother card, the best alternative isn’t necessarily a step down to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Instead, a flat-rate card that pays rewards on all spending might be a better fit.
For example, a no-fee alternative is the low-hassle Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which pays 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy something and another 1% when you pay it off. No spending categories to remember.
Or consider the generous 5% rotating bonus rewards categories of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back, which have in the past included grocery stores and gas stations. The 5% cash back rewards on these cards apply up to a $1,500 quarterly spending maximum and you have to activate the categories each quarter. All other purchases on the cards get 1% back. If you prefer to have reward rates on the categories flipped, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers 3% cash back on the spending category of your choice, which includes gas as an option, and 2% on groceries. (With these cards, the amount of spending eligible for bonus rewards is capped; click through to their pages for details.)
Less ideal for international travel
The card is not ideal to use abroad because acceptance internationally lags Visa and Mastercard, and it charges a 2.7% fee on international purchases. Some cards charge no foreign transaction fee.
You can learn more about cash-back credit card alternatives by visiting NerdWallet's list of the best credit cards to have.
Is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express right for you?
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers good, relevant cash-back rewards that could match your needs if you spend modest amounts at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores — modest enough not to justify applying for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Before you decide, check out flat-rate and quarterly category cash back cards, which might match your spending better and pay slightly higher dividends.
NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.