American Express Blue Cash Review: Updated for 2014

Sign Up Bonus: American Express is now also offering a welcome bonus of a free year of Amazon Prime plus $50 back after you spend $1,000 during the first three months. The Amazon Prime subscription is a $99 value!

Verdict: On top of being our favorite overall rewards credit card, Blue Cash Everyday is currently the best card out there for saving on gas and groceries. In addition to other rewards, you can get unlimited 2% cash back on gas and purchases at ANY U.S. stand-alone gas station with the standard version of card, or 3% back with the preferred version.

It’s important to note that this is not just a gas rewards credit card. You can earn cash back in many other categories including 3% on groceries at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, 2% back at select major department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.

Key Features & Benefits
  • Earn Cash Back on Everything. With Blue Cash you can earn Earn Cash Back: 3% at US supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. With the Preferred version of this card you earn up to an astounding 6% cash back on your purchases.
  • Welcome Bonus. Get a bonus of $50 cash back AND a free year of Amazon Prime after spending $1,000 during your first three months as a cardholder.
  • Buyers Assurance Plan. American Express matches the manufacturers warranty of any products bought with the Blue Cash card up to an additional one year. So if anything you buy breaks before this additional warranty is up, American Express will pay for it.
  • Return Protection. If you try to return a product you buy with your Blue Cash card within 90 days and for some reason the store won’t take it back American Express will refund the purchase price to you, up to $300 per item (maximum of $1000 annually). Although there is the $1000 cap, this is still a good thing to have.
  • Travel Protection. By using this card, you’ll receive automatic car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and access to cash and travelers’ checks in whichever currency you need.
Blue Cash Rewards Program Overview

With Blue Cash you can earn 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases throughout the entire year. There are no rotating categories with this card so you earn the maximum cash back throughout the entire year.

The Blue Cash rebate system is actually pretty simple because there are no rotating categories as I mentioned above. If you spend a lot on gas, groceries and clothing (most normal human beings do) this card has a fantastic rewards program. The regular version of this card allows you to earn 3% cash back on grocery at U.S stand alone- supermarkets and the first $6,000 in purchases at U.S stand alone supermarkets for a calender year and then 1% cash back after that.

This card once had tiers that determined how much cash the consumer would get back. For consumers who spent $0 to $6,500 in a given year, they’d receive 1 percent on everyday purchases, such as gasoline and groceries. For all other purchases, consumers received 0.5 percent back. After $6,500, everyday purchases triggered 5 percent cash back and all other purchases triggered 1.25 percent cash back. Now, unless you drive a tank and eat lobster for dinner every night, you’ll get more cash back under the current version.

How It Compares to Other Cash Back Credit Cards

Blue Cash Everyday vs Blue Cash Preferred

This card is similar to the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Preferred card. However, there are a few differences. They are as follows:

  • Blue Cash Everyday Preferred pays 6 percent as compared to 3 percent cash back at grocery stores.
  • Blue Cash Everyday Preferred pays 3 percent cash back at gas stations and department stores as compared to 2 percent.
  • Blue Cash Everyday Preferred comes with a $75 annual fee as compared to no annual fee for the Blue Cash card.

Thus, as a result, the Blue Cash Everyday Preferred card makes more sense to big spenders, as their savings will negate the annual fee. The standard Blue Cash card that is discussed in this article may make more sense for smaller buyers.

Blue Cash Versus Rotating Category Credit Cards

Unlike the Blue Cash card, many credit cards offer cash back on a rotating basis. The most popular are the Discover it and the Chase Freedom cards.  The categories that offer cash back rewards change every quarter. One quarter may have rewards for gasoline and travel and the next may have rewards for other items such as groceries and home improvement. For savvy consumers, there is very little difference between each type of card. However, the credit card companies are banking on the hope that you not only spend in approved categories, but also spend on others.

If you are able to always stay on top of which categories are approved for bonus cash back, then this issue should not be a major deciding factor in determining which card is for you. However, you can simply eliminate the risk of spending outside of approved categories by going with a card like the Blue Cash card. As the categories do not change on a quarterly basis, you’ll know what you will and will not get cash back on. Just imagine if you purchased a $1,000 vacation a day too late on a card with rotating categories? You’d lose out on some money that you were counting on. Essentially, if you are not certain that you will keep up with rotating categories, it is best to go with a card like the Blue Cash card. The AmEx Blue Cash card will also be a better bet if you always want higher rewards for groceries and gas.

Interest Rate, Fees & Other Fine Print

There is no annual fee with this card. Also, you may add additional people to your account at no cost to increase your cash back rewards. However, the card comes with a late-payment and returned-payment fee of up to $35 but, overall, the fees are not bad on this card.

If you occasionally miss payments, you may want to consider the Discover it card, which has no late fee for your first late payment and no penalty APR to worry about. The Blue Cash card does have a foreign transaction fee as well, unlike the Discover it card, if you do a significant amount of shopping outside of the United States.

So Whats The Catch?

With the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card, you’ll need excellent credit. In other words, if you’ve had 3 cars repossessed in the past 2 years, you probably won’t qualify for this card. However, those with excellent credit will be able to take advantage of the features of this card if they choose to do so.


Overall Blue Cash from American Express is a great card for people who are looking to get cash rebates on every day purchases such as gas and food. The useful features such as the Buyers Assurance Plan and Return Protection are an added bonus, however they are really just icing on an already great cake. If you want high rewards for gas, groceries and clothing, the Blue Cash Everyday card is hard to beat, especially with no annual fee and a great sign-up bonus.

About the author

Kevin Fleming

Kevin founded CreditShout in 2008 to help people manage their credit and finances. He wants to make it easy for anyone, regardless of their level of financial knowledge to understand credit cards and what may seem like the complex world of personal finance. | Author Google+

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