If you’re looking to use targeted rewards to earn solid cash back on your most frequent purchases, and you don’t want to pay an annual fee, then the Blue Cash Everyday is a strong choice.
A lot of great rewards credit cards are on the market for consumers, ranging from simple to complex systems for earning points, miles or cash back. For credit card users who want to earn straightforward cash back – without paying an annual fee – there’s the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express. It offers compelling bonus categories for common purchases, along with a valuable promotional financing offer and no annual fee.
Steady earnings with no annual fee
The Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express is designed to reward you the most at the places you shop the most. It offers you 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1%). You also receive unlimited 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on purchases from select U.S. department stores. You’ll then earn 1% cash back on other general purchases.
New accounts also earn $200 in cash back after you spend $2,000 on new purchases within the first six months of account opening. This card also comes with two separate promotional financing offers. The first offer features 15 months of 0% intro APR financing on new purchases, followed by a standard variable APR of 15.49% to 25.49%, depending on your creditworthiness when you applied.
The second offer allows you to use American Express’ Buy Now, Pay Later plan with no fees for plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. For plans created after that, there’s a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan, based on the plan’s duration.
This card also comes with several useful benefits, including a rental car collision damage waiver policy. This valuable rental car benefit was once common on most credit cards, but it’s now rather scarce. With this coverage, you can decline the expensive optional coverage every time you rent a car.
Additionally, this card has no annual fee, so there’s no ongoing cost to holding the Blue Cash Everyday.
Targeted rewards have pros and cons
These types of targeted bonus cash back offers for specific categories of purchases have their own advantages and drawbacks. Having these bonus categories can be a strength when you make a lot of qualifying purchases each year. For example, with the Blue Cash Everyday, you’d earn a total of $180 in cash back each year if you spent $500 per month at U.S. supermarkets.
And when it comes to buying gas, earning 2% cash back is the same as always receiving a discount of 7 cents per gallon, assuming gas costs $3.50 per gallon. Likewise, the 2% cash back offer at select U.S. department stores can offer significant savings, especially if you make large holiday purchases at eligible stores.
These targeted bonus categories are ideal for families who shop at eligible supermarkets and those with significant gas expenses and department store purchases. However, these types of targeted bonuses might make less sense for urban dwellers who primarily eat out and don’t own a car. Those who can’t take advantage of these bonus categories might be better off using a card with bonus categories more suited to their spending habits or one with a higher flat rate of cash back.
That’s because most cash back credit cards that have bonus categories only offer 1% cash back on purchases that aren’t eligible for the bonus. On the other hand, cards that offer no bonus categories typically offer 1.5% or even 2% cash back on all purchases. For those who spend most heavily in categories that don’t get a bonus, these kinds of flat-rate cards can offer more cash back overall.
And because purchases made at wholesale clubs aren’t eligible for bonuses on grocery, gas and department store purchases, those who prefer to shop in bulk at these types of stores will miss out on the additional rewards offered by the Blue Cash Everyday and similar cards.
Is the American Express Blue Cash Everyday worth it for me?
The Blue Cash Everyday has a lot of valuable features, but it isn’t right for everyone. Like all reward credit cards, the Blue Cash Everyday will have a higher standard interest rate than similar cards that don’t offer rewards. So if you’re the type of credit card user who usually carries a balance and pays interest charges, then you’ll likely be better off with a card that offers a lower interest rate. This strategy is likely to save you more money on interest than you’d earn by having a cash back rewards card.
On the other hand, if you do pay your balances in full every month and you like these kinds of targeted bonus offers, then you might also want to consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It offers 6% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back on transit and gas purchases, and 1% cash back elsewhere. It also features a welcome bonus of $300 in cash back after spending $3,000 within six months of account opening, as well as access to the Pay It Plan It payment option. However, it does have an annual fee of $95 ($0 intro annual fee the first year).
Also, American Express offers a wide variety of travel rewards credit cards that help you earn award flights and hotel nights. If you consider these types of rewards more valuable to you than the cash back that you can earn from cards like the Blue Cash Everyday, then they are worth considering as well.
If you’re looking to use targeted rewards to earn the most possible cash back on your most frequent purchases, and you don’t want to pay an annual fee, then the Blue Cash Everyday is a strong choice. The Blue Cash Everyday is likely to be worth it to those who frequently visit U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and eligible department stores.