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Blue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash Preferred: Comparing Amex Cash Back Cards

Choosing which American Express cash back card is right for you depends on where you shop and your monthly subscriptions

Advertiser Disclosure: Most products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation. However, opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

If you’re looking to earn top cash back rates with one of the most respected credit card brands around, the Blue Cash Everyday® and Blue Cash Preferred® cards from American Express might have caught your attention.

Both cards have a compelling combination of rewards, features, and benefits covering a wide range of spending needs. If you’re on the fence and don’t know which one is best, keep reading this Blue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash Preferred comparison to help you find the right Amex cash back card.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: $200
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1%-3% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: Enjoy introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate applies.

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card earns 3% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 2% back on gas from U.S. gas stations. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn $200 after spending $2,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households who frequently purchase groceries and gasoline, but not in quantities high enough to justify paying an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers good value among cash back rewards card competitors with no annual fee. Between its competitive grocery rewards rate and $200 welcome bonus offer, it’s easy to extract a lot of value from this card.

Cardholders earn cash back rewards of up to 3% on every purchase, with bonuses for eligible grocery store and gas station purchases in the U.S. and 1% on standard purchases everywhere else.

If you want to earn cash back on everyday purchases but don’t feel like your household budget is high enough to justify a more premium card with an annual fee, this card might be a good choice.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Welcome Bonus: $350
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1%-6% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

Intro APR: Enjoy introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate applies.

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card earns 6% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 6% back on select U.S. streaming services. You’ll also earn 3% back on gas from U.S. gas stations and transit expenses, including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, buses and more. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn $350 after spending $3,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households who spend enough each year on groceries and gasoline to justify the expense of an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card
It’s rare for a cash-back credit card to charge an annual fee, but it’s even more unexpected to earn a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and with select streaming services. Big families will undoubtedly offset the cost of the annual fee without having to stride outside their normal spending habits.

Many large households will naturally spend $6,000 annually at supermarkets, and with 6% cash back — the card returns $360 of your budgeted grocery bill. That’s nearly four times the annual fee.

This credit card may also be ideal for families who spend a lot of time commuting around the city and who also have multiple U.S. streaming subscriptions, too. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is definitely designed to help busy households maximize their cash-back earnings.

Rewards Rates

Winner: Tie (answer varies based on shopping habits)

The first place to look when comparing cash back credit cards is the rate at which you earn rewards. Here, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred has an edge, though both offer very good overall cash back rewards in popular bonus categories.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Rewards

Standout Rewards:

  • 3% back on U.S. online retail purchases

Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express is the no annual fee version of the Blue Cash family and offers up to 3% cash back on bonus categories.

Here’s a summary of Blue Cash Everyday rewards:

CategoryCash Back Rate
U.S. supermarkets3% (limit $6,000 per year in purchases)
U.S. online retail purchases3% (limit $6,000 per year in purchases)
U.S. gas stations3% (limit $6,000 per year in purchases)
Everywhere else1% (no limit)

Compared to other cards with no annual fee, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday comes with an impressive set of rewards. If you take advantage of the full $6,000 per year limit in the three categories with 3% rewards, you will earn $180 per year in each category before reverting to the 1% rate. That’s up to $540 in annual cash back from the bonus categories.

Online retail purchases include Amazon, Walmart, and many more online stores. These include pet, furniture, drug store, bookstore, toy and hobby stores, computers, electronics, sporting goods, and other online retailers. If you’re shopping online anyway, you might as well get the maximum possible cashback.

Earning 1% on “everywhere else” purchases isn’t very exciting. Some cards pay 1.5% or 2% back on purchases outside of bonus categories, so you may want to carry this card for groceries, gas, or online shopping and pair it with a second card for other purchases.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred Rewards

Standout Rewards:

  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets
  • 6% back on eligible U.S. streaming services
  • 3% back on transit

As expected, the card with an annual fee has a higher bonus rewards potential. This card offers up to 6% back on top categories. However, they don’t align with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, so the better card for you depends on your spending habits. Here’s what you earn with the Blue Cash Preferred Amex card:

CategoryCash Back Rate
U.S. supermarkets6% (limit $6,000 per year on purchases)
Eligible U.S. streaming subscriptions6% (no limit)
U.S. gas stations3% (no limit)
Transit (taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, and buses)3% (no limit)
Everywhere else1% (no limit)

Compare to the Amex Everyday Preferred and other picks for the Best Rewards Cards

With this card, you can earn up to $360 per year in cash back from the card’s top 6% bonus rate on groceries. If you regularly buy groceries, chances are you will earn enough cash back from that category alone to cover the annual fee and turn a profit. You also earn 6% back on eligible U.S. streaming subscriptions, which can add up to another decent chunk of change depending on your subscription habits.

Earning an unlimited 3% back for gas station and transit purchases is useful for anyone who has to get around. Whether at the pump, a subway pass, or hailing a ride through Uber or Lyft, the 3% back rate counts.

Bonus Offers

Winner: Amex Blue Cash Preferred

American Express is known for offering lucrative signup bonuses when you get a new card. The Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred are no exception.

New Amex Blue Cash Everyday users can earn $200 back after spending $2,000 on standard purchases in the first six months after opening a new account. That’s about $333 per month in spending to earn the offer.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred includes an offer worth $350 cash back after spending $3,000 in the first six months. That’s an average of $500 per month in purchases. If you do all your general spending on the card, you may find you easily earn the bonus without spending more than usual.

While the annual fee from the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is a turnoff for some users, quick math shows that the $350 bonus effectively covers your annual fee for the first four years.

Benefits Comparison

Winner: Tie (answer varies based on shopping habits)

For most people deciding on these two cards, looking at the annual fee and your typical spending habits should show you which card will offer the best total cash back and less fees for your household. But these American Express cards also come with useful discounts, benefits, and protections that could add a lot of extra value depending on your spending and priorities.

Blue Cash Everyday Benefits

disney+
Slickdeals/Disney+

Key Benefits:

  • Disney+ Bundle
  • Home Chef subscription

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday offers a valuable package of benefits, a few of which could justify getting the card on their own. However, some of the purchase protections and travel coverage benefits are a little light compared to other cards from American Express.

If you subscribe to the Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, this card is a no-brainer. It gives you $7 back per month, that’s up to $84 per year, off of the $13.99 or more paid for that subscription bundle. The Disney Bundle may be very tempting if you love pro sports, Star Wars, or have young kids at home. You’re effectively paying half price or about $7 per month for all three streaming services.

Home Chef subscriptions paid with the card offer up to $15 per month in statement credits.

For purchase and travel benefits, users get access to rental car insurance and a 90-day purchase protection plan. These are among the most critical credit card benefits, so it’s good to see them. However, they fall far short of other Amex insurance and protection offerings from more premium cards.

Blue Cash Preferred Benefits

Equinox+ app on phone
Equinox+

Key Benefits:

  • Extended return protection
  • Equinox+ membership

The Blue Cash Preferred card has a different set of benefits and perks than Blue Cash Everyday. That starts with partner benefits.

Blue Cash Preferred features $10 back monthly on a subscription to Equinox+. There’s no extra cash back for the Disney Bundle, which is disappointing. It also lacks the Home Chef benefit.

For travel and purchase benefits, the package is somewhat comparable. The card includes the same Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance. If you skip the rental car company’s insurance when checking out and pay with the card, you’ll get an included insurance benefit. That saves you from paying the $10 to $20 per day the rental company can charge.

The Amex Cash Preferred includes a Return Protection benefit. If you want to return something within 90 days and the merchant won’t take it back, Amex will reimburse you up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.

Intro APR

Winner: Amex Blue Cash Everyday

Both cards have a lengthy 0% intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers. You won’t pay any interest for purchases or eligible balance transfers completed within the 0% period.

The Blue Cash Everyday card features 15 months at 0% APR before the regular interest rate kicks in (regular APR is variable based on creditworthiness). That’s well over a year interest-free, which can help you finance a big home improvement or get ahead on your overall debt payoff.

Blue Cash Preferred comes with 12 months at 0% APR for purchases. The 0% intro APR period doesn’t extend to balance transfers. After the end of the promotional period, regular variable APR applies based on creditworthiness as well.

Redeeming Rewards

Winner: Tie

Both cards offer nearly identical rewards redemption processes. Cash back is earned in the form of Blue Cash Reward Dollars. Reward Dollars accumulate in your account over time. You can redeem rewards at any time for any amount with no minimum redemption requirement.

Rewards are redeemed as a statement credit, which lowers your outstanding balance. For example, if your current balance is $500 and you’ve accumulated $200 in rewards, you can redeem and lower your balance to $300.

If you want to save up cash back and redeem it to cover a specific large purchase, vacation, or anything else, you’re able to do that. Or you can redeem every month to chip away at that credit card bill. Again, there’s no limit or restrictions on how or when you redeem earned rewards. Your Blue Cash Reward Dollars never expire as long as the account is open and in good standing.

Costs and Fees

a couple have a cup of coffee
Twenty20

Winner: Amex Blue Cash Everyday

Both cards have features that make it easy to end every year with far more rewards than costs. The key to that is paying off your card in full every month by the due date. If you pay off the statement balance in full monthly with any card, you won’t have to pay any interest.

Blue Cash Everyday has no annual fee. Interest rates vary based on your credit score and market interest rates. There are transaction and penalty fees for balance transfers, cash advances, foreign transactions, late payments, and returned payments. The foreign transaction fee is more than 2%, so you probably won’t want to use the card on a vacation to Mexico, Canada, Europe, or anywhere else out of the United States.

Blue Cash Preferred requires a $95 annual fee. In other ways, the fees are mostly the same.

While some people never want an annual fee, they often make sense. Once you consider the new cardmember cash bonus, cash back rewards, and other benefits, it’s easy to see how the Blue Cash Preferred offers far more than $100 in annual value.

Blue Cash Alternatives

If you’re considering the Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash Preferred, you might be interested in these alternative rewards cards:

American Express® Gold

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $250
Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1-4X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $250

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card awards 4X points per dollar at U.S. grocery stores, up to $25,000 each calendar year (1X point afterwards), and 4X points at restaurants worldwide, including eligible takeout and delivery services in the U.S. . Also earn 3X points on flights booked directly through airlines or with amextravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that spend a large portion of their budget on food, either at grocery stores or restaurants, will find a lot of value with this credit card.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express® Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card is a foodie’s dream. Not only will you earn outsized rewards at U.S. grocery stores and restaurants worldwide, you’ll also enjoy perks like $120 in dining credits each year with select merchants including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

Yet, benefits like no foreign transaction fees for international purchases and $120 in annual Uber Cash credits make this card ideal for travelers as well. While the hefty annual fee may look daunting, households that are able to take advantage of the $240 worth of annual statement credits will easily offset that recurring cost.

All things considered, the American Express Gold Card is among the most appealing rewards credit cards currently on the market.

The American Express Gold Card is a foodie’s dream come true. This appetizing credit card awards 4X points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, including eligible takeout and delivery services in the U.S., and 4X points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 each calendar year (then 1%). You’ll also earn 3X points on flights booked directly through airlines or amextravel.com, and 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.

While the $250 annual fee may seem out of reach for many households, when you consider that this credit card also offers $120 annual Uber Cash credits (valid for both rideshare and meal delivery) and $120 in annual dining credits for select merchants including The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations — families who use these services will undoubtedly offset the recurring cost of card membership.

Plus, the generous welcome bonus will go along way towards booking that next family vacation. Read our full review of the American Express Gold Card to learn more about its benefits and costs.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Extra 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Intro Rewards Rate: 3%-6.5% Cash Back
Standard Rewards Rate: 1.5%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: This card allows new cardholders to save money with an introductory 0% interest rate on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of account opening.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000) in the first year of account opening. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and increases rewards rates to: 6.5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 4.5% back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstore purchases and 3% back on all other purchases.

Rewards Rate: After the bonus 1.5% cash back intro offer period concludes, earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% back at drugstores and on dining purchases and 1.5% back on everything else.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that prioritize cash-back rewards for everyday spending and Chase loyalists who are looking to maximize Ultimate Rewards earnings.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

You don’t need excellent credit to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited. In fact, many cardholders report getting approved with good credit. We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more.

And that sign-up bonus? Adding extra value to everyday spending categories like dining and travel help elevate this card above its competitors. Add the fact that there’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 months, an extra 1.5% cash back bonus during the first year of account holding and no annual fee, and you’ll see why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is among our favorite flat-rate cards.

More Details: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a valuable all-around credit card with no annual fee. This cash-back card earns a rewards rate of 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back at drugstores, 3% back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services and a flat-rate 1.5% back on other purchases. There are no rotating categories to track, caps on how much you can earn or excluded purchase categories.

New cardholders can take advantage of its big sign-up bonus—enjoy an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and stacks with all the above rewards rates, meaning you can earn up to 6.5% cash back. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.

How to Choose

While the Blue Cash Preferred is marketed as the more premium version of the Blue Cash family, it’s not clearly a better choice. While cards with an annual fee typically pack more value, the benefits of Blue Cash Everyday are nothing to look past.

Blue Cash Preferred is better for those who spend heavily on groceries, streaming services, and gas. The higher rates and uncapped earnings for gas station purchases are the major features making this card more attractive. It also comes with the added Return Protection benefit that you won’t find on the Everyday version.

However, with no annual fee, 3% back for online purchases, and that huge benefit when subscribing to the Disney Bundle, Blue Cash Everyday might be a better choice. The Blue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash Preferred debate ultimately comes down to where you spend most and if you subscribe already to the Disney Bundle, Home Chef, or Equinox.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: $200
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1%-3% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: Enjoy introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate applies.

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card earns 3% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 2% back on gas from U.S. gas stations. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn $200 after spending $2,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households who frequently purchase groceries and gasoline, but not in quantities high enough to justify paying an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers good value among cash back rewards card competitors with no annual fee. Between its competitive grocery rewards rate and $200 welcome bonus offer, it’s easy to extract a lot of value from this card.

Cardholders earn cash back rewards of up to 3% on every purchase, with bonuses for eligible grocery store and gas station purchases in the U.S. and 1% on standard purchases everywhere else.

If you want to earn cash back on everyday purchases but don’t feel like your household budget is high enough to justify a more premium card with an annual fee, this card might be a good choice.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Welcome Bonus: $350
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1%-6% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

Intro APR: Enjoy introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate applies.

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card earns 6% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 6% back on select U.S. streaming services. You’ll also earn 3% back on gas from U.S. gas stations and transit expenses, including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, buses and more. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn $350 after spending $3,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households who spend enough each year on groceries and gasoline to justify the expense of an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card
It’s rare for a cash-back credit card to charge an annual fee, but it’s even more unexpected to earn a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and with select streaming services. Big families will undoubtedly offset the cost of the annual fee without having to stride outside their normal spending habits.

Many large households will naturally spend $6,000 annually at supermarkets, and with 6% cash back — the card returns $360 of your budgeted grocery bill. That’s nearly four times the annual fee.

This credit card may also be ideal for families who spend a lot of time commuting around the city and who also have multiple U.S. streaming subscriptions, too. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is definitely designed to help busy households maximize their cash-back earnings.

Regardless of the card you choose, Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred are likely to pay you back more than they cost if you pay off the card in full every month and avoid certain fee-bearing activities. If you want to learn more, need to read the fine print, or apply for these cards, you can check out the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred cards here.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full-time. He has in depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing, business, and other financial topics. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world and spending time with his wife and little girls. You can connect with him at Personal Profitability or EricRosenberg.com.

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