The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) is a no-annual-fee cash back credit card with a very generous rewards program. Blue Cash Everyday offers 3% cash back (up to $6,000 per calendar year) on grocery store and supermarket purchases, unlimited 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else. Rewards come as statement credits once you hit the $25 redemption minimum. Although applicants do need very good to excellent credit, Blue Cash Everyday doesn’t require stellar credit, as is the case with more generous cards.
Blue Cash Everyday competes with a number of popular cash back and points-based rewards credit cards. These include general cash back cards like American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Capital One Quicksilver, Barclaycard CashForward MasterCard, Chase Freedom, and Discover it, as well as general rewards credit cards such as Capital One Venture Rewards, American Express EveryDay and EveryDay Preferred, and Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Sign-up Bonus: You get a statement credit worth $100 when you spend at least $1,000 within 3 months of opening your account.
- Cash Rewards & Redemption: Grocery store purchases, up to $6,000 total per calendar year, earn 3% cash back. Grocery store purchases above the $6,000 spending cap earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Gas station and department store purchases earn an unlimited 2% cash back. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Once you earn at least $25 cash back, you can redeem it for a statement credit. Note that American Express does not include big-box superstores such as Walmart and warehouse club stores such as Costco in its definition of grocery stores.
- Introductory APR: Blue Cash Everyday comes with a 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 12 months from account opening. To qualify for the promotional rate, balance transfers must be requested within 30 days of account opening.
- Regular APR: After the introductory periods, the regular purchase and balance transfer APR ranges between 13.24% and 23.24%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance APR is 25.49%, and the penalty APR is 29.49%.
- Important Fees: There is no annual fee. Balance transfers and cash advances both cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred or advanced amount. Foreign transactions cost 2.7% of the total transaction amount, regardless of currency denomination. Late and returned payments both cost $37.
- Travel Benefits: Blue Cash Everyday comes with some useful travel benefits, including a 24/7 roadside assistance hotline; rental car loss and damage insurance coverage when the full amount of the rental is charged to your card; 24/7 global concierge service for cardmembers traveling more than 100 miles from home; and travel accident insurance (death only).
- Shopping Benefits: Blue Cash Everyday has some useful shopping and purchase protection benefits, including extended warranties on items with original warranties set to last five years or less; return protection for rejected returns made within 90 days of original purchase (up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year); and loss and damage coverage for items purchased within 90 days (up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year).
- Credit Required: This card requires excellent credit. You won’t be approved if you have any notable credit blemishes.
- No Annual Fee. Blue Cash Everyday doesn’t have an annual fee, unlike Blue Cash Preferred (its American Express stablemate) and Capital One QuicksilverOne. Among cash back cards without an annual fee, Blue Cash Everyday has one of the most generous cash back schemes around.
- Valuable Cash Back Rewards. Speaking of generous cash back schemes, Blue Cash Everyday’s cash back program is quite rewarding for cardholders who can fully utilize it. With a $6,000 spending limit, the 3% grocery store cash back category pays you up to $180 per year, after which you still earn unlimited 1% cash back at the grocery store. If you’re shopping for a family, it’s not hard to approach or exceed this spending limit. Meanwhile, the unlimited 2% gas station and department store category is great for funding everyday purchases, particularly for fashionable shoppers and frequent drivers. If you focus your spending on the 2% and 3% categories, you can rack up the rewards faster than with a flat 1.5% cash back card, such as the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard and Capital One Quicksilver.
- Cash Back Spending Categories Don’t Change. Blue Cash Everyday’s cash back categories never change – you can always expect 3% at the grocery store (up to the cap), 2% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% everywhere else. By contrast, Discover it and Chase Freedom both change their cash back categories quarterly, sowing confusion for cardholders who don’t keep up with the category schedules.
- Solid Intro APR Promotion. Blue Cash Everyday comes with a 12-month purchase and balance transfer APR promotion. That’s better than Capital One Quicksilver and QuicksilverOne, which only offer 0% APR promotions for a limited time.
- Great Travel Benefits. Blue Cash Everyday has more than its fair share of traveler-friendly benefits. From the rental car insurance coverage to the 24/7 global assist hotline for travelers more than 100 miles from home, this card won’t leave you in a lurch if your vacation doesn’t go exactly as planned – whether you’re driving, flying, or taking the train. Chase Freedom and Discover it have comparatively limited travel benefits.
- Great Shopping Benefits. Blue Cash Everyday has a great lineup of shopping benefits. Its return protection policy covers individual items up to $300 each and $1,000 per year, and its new purchase loss and damage coverage is worth up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year. Chase Freedom only has damage coverage (up to $500 per item) and Discover it doesn’t have any of these benefits.
- Inflexible Redemption Options. Blue Cash Everyday’s cash back can only be redeemed as a statement credit, once you hit the $25 minimum redemption threshold. Capital One Quicksilver and QuicksilverOne let you redeem for statement credits and bank account deposits; Bank Americard Cash Rewards offers statement credits, bank account deposits, and paper checks; and Citi Double Cash allows statement credits, bank account deposits, paper checks, and gift cards.
- Mediocre Sign-up Bonus. Blue Cash Everyday’s 3-month sign-up bonus isn’t anything to write home about. You have to spend $1,000 to get $100, redeemable only as a statement credit. By contrast, Chase Freedom’s 3-month sign-up bonus asks you to spend just $500 to get $150, redeemable for cash deposits, statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise. Capital One Quicksilver’s 3-month bonus pays you $100, also redeemable in a variety of ways, for spending $500.
- Comes With a Penalty APR. Blue Cash Everyday has a 29.49% penalty APR, a major drawback for cardholders who occasionally miss payments. Many of its peers, including Discover it and Chase Freedom, don’t have penalty APRs.
- No Credit Monitoring or Scores. Blue Cash Everyday has no credit monitoring or score updates as part of its cardmember benefits package. The Discover it (including the regular version as well as it chrome) and Capital One (including Quicksilver and QuicksilverOne) cash back card families, offer free credit scores on a monthly or unlimited basis.
- Comes With Foreign Transaction Fees. This card’s 2.7% foreign transaction fee is a bummer for cardholders who travel abroad. With no foreign transaction fees, the Discover it cash back card family has superior options for frequent international travelers. Keep in mind, however, that Discover isn’t as widely accepted.
If you don’t fly or stay at hotels often, and spread your spending across a wide range of categories, a cash back rewards credit card is probably a better choice than a travel rewards card or similarly specialized credit card. However, even if you have more specific spending needs, such as travel or business expenses, Blue Cash Everyday is a good card to keep in your wallet.
With 3% cash back at the grocery store, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is great for people who eat lots of meals at home. With 2% cash back at the gas station and department store, it’s nice for folks who drive long distances and buy clothing or household goods regularly. And, with 1% cash back on everything else, it’s not bad for, well, everything else. When it comes to cash back cards, you can definitely do worse than Blue Cash Everyday.
Learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and find out how you can apply at CardRatings here.