American Express just launched a new cash back credit card, known as the “Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.”
The card comes with no annual fee and no spend minimum, meaning you start earning cash back at the full percentages right off the bat.
That’s certainly a plus, and differs from the original Blue Cash card, which only offered the bonus cash back once you spent $6,500 each year.
What you get in the way of cash back with Blue Cash Everyday:
– 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year)
– 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations
– 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores
– 1% cash back on other purchases
As you can see, the cash back levels are pretty good, considering the fact that they’re “live” all year round. The only drawback is the $6,000 annual cap at grocery stores. And their definition of grocery stores does not include specialty stores like wine shops, nor does it include superstores or warehouse clubs like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Costco, etc.
So-called “Rewards Dollars” can be redeemed once your balance reaches $25, and can be used for gift cards, statement balances, or other merchandise, such as electronics, clothing, and more. Personally, I like to use it for a statement balance reduction, which is a no fuss, simple way to redeem the cash back earned.
Once a year, I just redeem the cash back earned throughout the year and get away with making a nice, small monthly credit card payment.
$100 Cash Back Welcome Bonus and 0% APR for 12 Months
As if that cash back wasn’t enough, American Express also offers $100 cash back if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
So if you spend slightly more than $333.33 each month on the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express, you’ll get another $100 on top of the cash back mentioned above that you earn for your everyday purchases.
This may be a limited-time bonus, so act soon to ensure you can take advantage of this rare cash-back opportunity from American Express. After all, they seldom offer cash back sign-up bonuses of any kind…
The Blue Cash Everyday card also comes with 0% APR for 12 months on purchases, meaning you won’t have to pay any credit card finance charges for the first year if you carry a balance.
The APR for balance transfers is the same as the variable purchase rate, so it’s not the card you want to use if you’ve got an existing balance elsewhere.
The Blue Cash Everyday from American Express also affords you special discounts at places like 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Hertz, and other merchants.
For example, Flemings recently offered a $25 gift card if you spent $100 at their restaurant, which certainly isn’t difficult to do given their high-end prices.
You can also receive a $25 referral bonus for each friend or family member who is approved for the card.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
If you want to earn even more cash back, American Express also offers a “preferred” version of the Blue Cash Everyday card. There is a $75 annual fee with the Blue Cash Preferred Card (soon to be $95 in August 2016), but you can snag a $150 sign-up bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
In other words, you effectively pay for the annual fee for the first two years with that bonus. Additionally, the cash back tiers are higher with the preferred version.
– 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year)
– 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
– 3% cash back at select U.S. department stores
– 1% cash back on other purchases
With the preferred version, you can earn up to $360 in cash back at grocery stores at the 6% level, whereas the regular version caps out at $180. So if you spend a good amount of money at grocery stores, the preferred version may pay for itself.
You also get slightly higher cash back at gas stations and certain department stores. Everything else is the same on these two cards, so if you’re not a big spender, you may want to opt for the regular version.
But take the time to do the math first to determine which version is best.
Update: Both the Blue Cash Everyday Card and Blue Cash Preferred Card now come with one year of Amazon Prime for free if you sign up for a new membership with the card and meet the spending requirement in the same period!
If you use your credit card primarily at supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores, this could be the card for you if you’re looking to maximize your cash back.
And because the categories are fixed, you will never have to worry about them rotating in and out, like the rewards programs offered by many other card issuers. Both Chase and Discover do the rotating category thing, which clearly limits the amount of cash back you can earn.
Finally, with no annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express is a great choice for those who want the benefits of American Express (great customer service, purchase protection, extended warranty) without the unnecessary cost.
For the record, it is my cash back credit card of choice because I do the bulk of my spending in the categories that offer the most cash back.
However, I have the original Blue Cash card, which offers 5% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores once you hit $6,500 in annual spending. That version is no longer available.
Tip: If you care more about earning Membership Rewards points, check out the Amex EveryDay Credit Card instead. It allows you to earn points instead of cash, which can then be transferred to frequent flyer programs and used for awesome free travel.