Blue Cash Everyday® Card From American Express Review: Good for Grocery Shoppers

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The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a cashback rewards credit card with a $0 annual fee. It gives 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply |  Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 15 months
Regular Purchase APR
14.49%-25.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.

How to earn cashback rewards

For an introductory deal, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express provides a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. The rewards program includes a decent amount of fine print for each cashback category.

Here’s what you need to know:

3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year, then 1%

Fine print: Superstores, warehouses and specialty stores are not included. So if you visit your local fishmonger or butcher a few times a month, the cash you spend there probably won’t count as grocery shopping. Also, spending money at Amazon, Target and Walmart specifically won’t earn you 3% cash back.

Here are samples of grocery stores that will earn you 3% cash back:

  • Foodtown
  • Gristedes
  • Meijer
  • ShopRite
  • Stop and Shop
  • Vons
  • Whole Foods
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Online supermarkets such as FreshDirect

2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores

Fine print: Superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that happen to sell gas are not included in the 2% cashback category. American Express gives examples of gas stations and a list of department stores that qualify for 2% cash back.

Here are some examples of gas stations:

  • Exxon
  • Gulf
  • Hess
  • Mobil
  • Murphy Express
  • Murphy USA
  • Shell

Here are the department stores:

  • Bealls
  • Belk
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Bon-Ton
  • Boscov’s
  • Century 21 Department Stores
  • Dillard’s
  • J.C. Penney
  • Kohl’s
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sears
  • Stein Mart

1% cash back on all other purchases

Fine print: The 1% cash back applies to all purchases that don’t qualify for 2% or 3% and grocery shopping you do beyond the $6,000 annual cap.

How does American Express determine cash back for each purchase?

American Express uses merchant codes to determine how much cash you earn for each purchase. Merchant codes (or MCCs) are four-digit codes assigned to merchants that classify their business. You need to buy gas and groceries from stores that have an eligible merchant code to get 2% or 3% cash back. For full cashback category terms, head here.

The cash back you earn can also be impacted by the way you choose to process your payments. According to American Express: “Purchases made through a third-party payment account or on an online marketplace (with multiple retailers) will not receive a higher percentage reward. A purchase may not receive a higher percentage reward if the merchant submits the purchase using a mobile or wireless card reader or if you use a mobile or digital wallet.”

By “higher percentage reward,” American Express means more than the basic 1% back. The best bet at making sure you get the highest reward possible from your spending is keeping things super simple.

Focus on shopping at the supermarkets, gas stations and department stores American Express has on the example lists above. At checkout, swipe your Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express the old-fashioned way to pay for your shopping haul.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

At first look, the 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets seems legit because you’re earning cash back with no fee. However, shoppers who spend any more than $3,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets should take a look at the upgraded Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express instead to see if it offers a higher reward.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express gives 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%, and has a $95 annual fee, but you shouldn’t let that cost deter you.

If you spend just $3,200 at U.S. supermarkets per year with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the 6% cash back minus the $95 annual fee offers a greater amount of cash back than what you would earn spending the same amount on the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Here’s how it works out:

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express – $3,200 x 0.03 = $96 cash back
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – $3,200 x 0.06 = $192 – $95 annual fee = $97 cash back

Yes, the difference initially may seem small.

But as you spend more on groceries, the cash back earned from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express surpasses the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express at a higher margin. Plus, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back on gas and transit, as well as 6% cash back on streaming services.

How I got $3,200.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
($0 Annual Fee)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
($95 Annual Fee)

If you spend...

Your cashback reward will be

If you spend...

Your cashback reward will be

$3,000

$90

$3,000

$85

$3,100

$93

$3,100

$91

$3,200

$96

$3,200

$97

$3,300

$99

$3,300

$103

$3,400

$102

$3,400

$109

In this review, we’ll first explain the basics of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express rewards program. Then, we’ll give you a scenario of when it still makes sense to apply for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express instead of other cash back cards, including the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

How cashback works

Cash back earned from the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is tracked in Rewards Dollars. You can redeem cash back through the account dashboard for statement credit in increments of $25. You can’t use cash back to make your monthly minimum payment.

How to qualify for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

American Express products are best for people with good or excellent credit.

Who the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is best for

Your goal with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is to spend enough in the higher cashback categories to beat the flat 2% on all purchases you can get with a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

To throw another variable in the mix, if you plan to shop big in the grocery category, you should compare the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express against the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express before making a decision.

So, how do these cards stack up against each other?

Here’s a real-world example of when the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express will benefit you more than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express or the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

For a quick recap:

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express $95 annual fee, 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, as well as NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

The sample scenario

Marc is a family of one and lives a simple life. He commutes 30 minutes to and from work each day. He’s not a big credit card user. He uses the card primarily to feed himself, to fill up his gas tank and to take his partner out to an affordable dinner at a place of her choosing once or twice a month.

Here are Marc’s spending specs:

  • $2,000 per year on groceries
  • $2,400 per year on gas
  • $1,500 per year on miscellaneous purchases

This is the cash back he would earn from the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer:

Category

Annually

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Groceries

$2,000

3% - $60

6% - $120

2% - $40

Gas

$2,400

2% - $48

3% - $72

2% - $48

Other Spending

$1,500

1% - $15

1% - $15

2% - $30

Annual Fee

-

$0

$95

$0

Total

-

$123

$112

$118

Marc is a pretty reserved spender, so he’ll earn more cash back with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express compared to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because there’s a $0 annual fee eating away at his earnings.

Cash back from the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer comes close to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, but the 3% at U.S. supermarkets is more of a benefit to him than unlimited 2% cash back because of his spending habits.

Now, let’s say Marc had his partner move in and the grocery bill increased to $3,000 per year.

Here’s the updated specs:

  • $3,000 per year on groceries
  • $2,400 per year on gas
  • $1,500 per year on miscellaneous purchases

Category

Annually

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Groceries

$3,000

3% - $90

6% - $180

2% - $60

Gas

$2,400

2% - $48

3% - $72

2% - $48

Other Spending

$1,500

1% - $15

1% - $15

2% - $30

Annual Fee

-

$0

$95

$0

Total

-

$153

$172

$138

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express with the $95 annual fee would take the earnings edge away from the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express in this second scenario. So, again, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may not be the best cashback deal available for someone who spends in the $3,000 range on groceries per year.

Although, every situation is unique, and small fluctuations in spending habits can make a huge difference in cashback potential. Do a similar cashback comparison on your own before settling on a rewards card.

Other card benefits

Besides cashback rewards, American Express cardholders get to take advantage of the following premium benefits:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Global assistance hotline
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranties
  • Return protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Fraud protection

If you decide to apply for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, know that American Express is a card that you may have difficulty getting accepted by smaller retailers and abroad. However, American Express having limited acceptance may not be too problematic for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express cardholders.

Mom-and-pop corner markets that don’t accept American Express may not have a merchant code that qualifies for 3% cash back anyway. Plus, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. So it’s probably not a card you’re going to take abroad frequently as your travel companion either.

That said, consumers who will benefit the most from this cash back card are ones who plan to shop primarily stateside at major supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores that qualify for the highest reward.

Rewards cards: Frequently asked questions

No, Blue Cash points do not expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. So, you can save your points for higher value rewards including electronics and travel.

Anything over 1.5% cash back is a good deal. There are some cards that offer more — as much as 5% or 6% cash back on purchases. But sometimes those offers are too good to be true. Banks don’t like to lose money and will pepper the fine print with all sorts of limitations. For example, they may offer 5% cash back on only purchases at certain types of retailers and only for certain periods of time. And those categories may change every quarter, which can make it hard to keep track.

Don’t let those cashback promises pressure you into spending more than you can afford. If you don’t pay your statement balance in full each month, you could get slapped with sky-high interest charges. That would totally negate any benefit you might get from earning cash back. Cash back cards are only valuable if you can pay your bill in full and capture the entirety of your cash back rewards.

It depends on the card. Some cards allow you to redeem cash back dollar for dollar as a statement credit, which can help lower your total balance. Just keep in mind that applying cash back to your card statement does not count as a monthly payment. Other cards will increase the value of your cash back if you spend on certain categories, like travel. Review your terms carefully to be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Find the card that fits your day-to-day spending needs best, beyond the flashy sign-up bonus offers and cashback promises. Pay your bill in full each month (spend only what you can afford to pay off).

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Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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