If you’re looking for a way to earn a generous amount of cash back in a short period of time, the Blue Cash cards from American Express should be on your radar.
If you’ve been considering a Blue Cash card from American Express, you’ll be happy to learn that the cards just got even more appealing thanks to their elevated welcome bonuses.
If you get the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you can earn $350 cash back after spending $3,000 in the first six months of account opening. You’ll get your cash back in the form of Reward Dollars that you can redeem as a statement credit.
Meanwhile, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers a lower welcome bonus, which is $200 in cash back when you spend $2,000 in the first six months of account opening. You’ll receive your cash back in the form of Reward Dollars for this card as well.
Here we take a look at these cards’ bonuses, rewards rates and annual fees to give you a sense of their value in the first year and beyond.
Amex Blue Cash card bonus value: At a glance
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
|Estimated value in the first year ($15,900 spend)||$508||$623|
Which card is better?
The Blue Cash Preferred card offers a higher rewards rate and a better welcome bonus than the Blue Cash Everyday card. These two points may make the Preferred card seem like the obvious choice.
But since the Preferred card includes a $95 annual fee, you may be wondering: Is the Preferred card really the best value long-term?
Thanks to its higher bonus cash back rate in practical categories like purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations, the Blue Cash Preferred carries a higher average rewards rate for most consumers than the Blue Cash Everyday.
Based on an average consumer’s spending on gas, groceries and department stores, we estimate that you can earn a total of $623 in cash back on $15,900 in spending with the Blue Cash Preferred card in the first year. This takes into account the $350 welcome bonus (after spending $3,000 in the first six months) and cash back earned in all spending categories.
The Blue Cash Everyday card’s average earnings are up to $508 in the first year ($308 plus the $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months). While this is impressive on its own, it’s $115 less than the Preferred card’s first-year earnings.
Second year and beyond
Once you’ve completed the first year of card membership, the difference in value between the two cards is closer, but the Preferred card still wins. Even without the benefit of its welcome bonus, the Preferred card offers $323 in annual value on average, while the Everyday card offers only $308 — a difference of $15.
Check out our side-by-side comparison below to see for yourself how the cards stack up in year two and beyond, when no welcome bonus is in play.
Blue Cash cards: Second-year earnings (based on $15,900 spend)
|Blue Cash Everyday Card||Blue Cash Preferred Card|
|$15,900 x 1.94% average cash back rate = $308||$15,900 x 2.63% average cash back rate – $95 annual fee = $323|
The ongoing $95 annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred card is worthwhile for the majority of cardholders who are committed to using it in the short- and long-term. The Blue Cash Everyday card is a good option to earn rewards if you’re looking for a credit card without an annual fee, as the reward values are comparable to those of the Blue Cash Preferred after the first year.