Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Review Updated for 2015

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Rewards Credit Cards

American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Overview

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Rewards Card Review

CreditShout Rating

Excellent

Rewards Program:

  • 3% Cash Back at Grocery Stores (on up to $6,000, then 1%)
  • 2% Unlimited Cash Back on Gas and at Department Stores
  • 1% Cash Back Everywhere Else

Signup Bonus:

  • $100 cash bonus after spending $1,000 in first 3 months
  • 0% APR for 15 Months on Purchases and Balance Transfers*

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Required: Excellent​

Intro APR

0% for 15 Months on Purchases​

Intro Balance Transfer

0% for 15 Months + 3% BT Fee

Regular APR

12.99% - 21.99% Variable

Verdict: Blue Cash Everyday® is one of our favorite overall cash back rewards credit cards, especially when trying to earn rewards on gas and groceries.

Should I Choose Blue Cash Preferred Instead?

The Blue Cash Preferred Card offers 6% cash back on groceries (with the same $6,000 cap). So, if you spend at least $2,500 per year in groceries, you will earn enough additional cash back rewards to justify the $75 annual fee for Preferred version.

More...

Key Features & Benefits

  • Earn Cash Back on Everything. With Blue Cash Everyday you can earn cash back: 3% at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% thereafter); 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores; and 1% on other purchases. With Blue Cash Preferred®, you earn up to an astounding 6% cash back on your purchases - but you will pay a $75 annual fee for that privilege.
  • Welcome Bonus. Get a bonus of $100 statement credit bonus 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. This benefit is limited to up to $300 per item (maximum of $1,000 annually). Although there is the $1,000 cap, this is still a good thing to have.
  • Travel Protection. By using your American Express 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

The Blue Cash rebate system is actually pretty simple because there are no rotating categories. 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 on the first $6,000 in purchases for a calendar year, and then 1% cash back after that. You also earn 2% cash back at gas stations and select department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases throughout the entire year.

Shortcomings of Rewards Program

  • ​Grocery bonus rewards are capped to first $6,000 of spending.
  • Grocery rewards are not available to warehouse stores or super centers - so you only earn 1% at Costco, Target, and Walmart.
  • Department stores available are only major department stores, and fails to include places like the Gap or even H&M.
  • Gas rewards are only available at stand-alone gas stations - so you only earn 1% when you fill up at Costco, Walmart, Kroger, etc.

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 $38, as well as a foreign transaction fee. Overall, the fees are a bit high on this card - and can easily wipe out any rewards you earn.

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.

Charges and Fees

APR for Purchases

0% intro APR for 15 months from date of account opening. After the intro APR expires, your APR will be 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Balance Transfers

0% intro APR for 15 months from date of account opening, if requested within 30 days of account opening. After the intro APR expires, your APR will be 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Cash Advances

25.24%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Penalty APR

29.24%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate

Annual Fee

None

Balance Transfer Fee

Greater of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.

Cash Advance Fee

Greater of $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance

Foreign Transaction

2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Late Payment Fee

Up to $38.

Returned Payment

Up to $38.

How Blue Cash Compares to Other Cash Back Rewards Cards

Our Guide to Cash Back cards provides some nice tables and tips on choosing which cash back card will maximize your rewards. We suggest you check out that article. Or you can read on to get the highlights...

Blue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash Preferred

The Blue Cash Preferred is similar to the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card, except for these few key differences:

  • Blue Cash Preferred Card pays 6 percent - as compared to 3 percent - cash back at grocery stores (with the same $6,000 cap before yielding 1%).
  • Blue Cash Preferred pays 3 percent cash back at gas stations and department stores, not 2 percent.
  • The Preferred Card comes with a $75 annual fee, as opposed to no annual fee for the Blue Cash Everyday Card.
  • Blue Cash Preferred offers a $150 signup bonus, not $100, if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Thus, the Blue Cash Preferred Card makes more sense for bigger spenders, as their extra rewards will negate the annual fee. A simple test is to see if you spend at least $2,500 per year on groceries. If you do, you will earn sufficient additional cash back to justify the Preferred card's annual fee.

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.

Conclusion

We highly recommend this excellent cash back rewards card.

Pros:

  • Great cash back rewards
  • $100 signup bonus offer
  • Introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee
  • All American Express card benefits

Cons:

  • Cap on grocery rewards
  • Location limitation on grocery rewards and gas rewards
  • Department stores does not include Gap and the like
  • Fees are a bit high
  • There is a foreign transaction fee

Overall, Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is a great card for people who are looking to get cash rebates on every day purchases such as clothing, 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

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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