Bank of America Cash Rewards vs. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Both cards offer cash back in everyday spending categories, but which one fits your spending habits better?

Summary

Deciding which gas rewards card is better for you depends on your needs and how you plan to use the card. Read on to see how these cards compare.

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The Bank of America content was last updated April 1, 2022.

Whether you have a road trip in your future, commute a long distance to work each day or simply drive to run errands, a gas rewards card is a great way to earn cash back on a major everyday purchase. Two popular options are the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With the Blue Cash Preferred, you can earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. Alternatively, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card offers 3% cash back in a category of the cardholder’s choice, including gas.

While both cards have a similar introductory bonus and cash back rate on gas and general purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred card’s higher rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets seemingly make it the obvious choice. However, keep in mind that the Blue Cash Preferred also comes with a $95 price tag each year (waived for the first year).

Before deciding which card is best for you, see how they compare side by side in the table below:

Bank of America Cash Rewards vs. Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Rewards rate
  • 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale club purchases
  • $2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
  • 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • Terms apply
Introductory bonus$200 online cash rewards when you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
  • $300 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in first 6 months
  • Terms apply
Annual fee$0$95 (waived for the first year)
Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 average annual spend)$262$418

Earning cash back rewards

In addition to the 3% bonus rate on a category of your choice, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card offers a 2% bonus at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined choice category, grocery and wholesale purchases each quarter).

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, in contrast, offers a 6% bonus at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%) and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions (Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix and more). As mentioned before, it earns 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (trains, rideshare services, subways, etc.)

Both the Bank of America Cash Rewards card and the Amex Blue Cash Preferred pay 1% cash back on general purchases. Overall, the Blue Cash Preferred provides a more generous earning structure, but both cards rank as two of the best cards for groceries.

Welcome bonus

As for welcome bonuses, both cards offer one. The Bank of America Cash Rewards offers a $200 bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, not bad for a no-annual-fee card. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred gives a $300 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in the first six months of card membership. The $3,000 spending goal may seem like a lot, but you do get six months to fulfill it (around $500 per month).

Annual fee

Considering its moderate rewards rate and welcome bonus, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card packs a good punch – all without charging an annual fee.

It’s obvious by now the Amex Blue Cash Preferred earns higher cash back, but it also charges a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year). This is a pretty standard annual fee among other popular rewards credit cards, but as long as you spend more than $1,584 in groceries per year, you’ll easily make up for it.

Introductory APR

The Bank of America Cash Rewards also comes with 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers (made in the first 60 days) and new purchases (14.24% to 24.24% variable thereafter). The Amex Blue Cash Preferred also has an intro APR period, charging 0% interest on new purchases for the first 12 months (14.74% to 24.74% variable thereafter).

Both cards act primarily as cash back credit cards, but their intro APR offers are a nice perk. The Bank of America Cash Rewards has an edge since its introductory APR extends to balance transfers as well, giving it a dual purpose as a cash back and balance transfer card. If you’re planning on paying down debt while still earning some rewards, look no further than the Bank of America Cash Rewards.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred: Best for cash back on groceries

In general, the Blue Cash Preferred card offers the best rewards value for the average cardholder, despite its $95 annual fee (waived for the first year). In particular, it makes a great grocery card.

No other card can match the Blue Cash Preferred card’s 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, and it doesn’t take much grocery spending to offset the card’s ongoing annual fee ($1,584 in supermarket purchases per year). If you reach the card’s $6,000 cap on U.S. supermarkets, you can earn $360 cash back.

Other than its high-earning cash back rates, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred has great perks such as extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection.

Bank of America Cash Rewards: Best for greater flexibility on everyday spending

The main advantage the Bank of America Cash Rewards has its flexibility, since it allows you to choose your 3% bonus category once per calendar month. You can use it for gas rewards every month or switch to dining or online shopping as your spending shifts.

Though the Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers a higher cash back at U.S. supermarkets, its spending cap is lower. The Bank of America Cash Rewards’ cash back in its bonus categories is limited at $2,500 per quarter ($625 per month), versus the Blue Cash Preferred’s limit at $6,000 per year ($500 per month). You won’t be earning as much in cash back rewards, but you’ll have that added flexibility in your spending, in both your spending cap and bonus category.

Bottom line

For someone who spends a moderate amount on groceries and has the funds to pay the $95 annual fee (waived for the first year), the Blue Cash Preferred card is the better all-around card for everyday purchases. Even if you use this card only at U.S. supermarkets and pair it with another cash back card, it’ll still be worth adding to your wallet.

However, if you’re looking to earn bonus cash back on unique bonus (like online shopping or home furnishings) categories, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card’s customizable and flexible rewards would be a great option for you.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
16.39%
Student
17.07%
Airline
16.04%
Business
14.62%
Cash Back
16.51%

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