BACK

By Budimir Jevtic / Getty Images

Products

Blue Cash cards from American Express boost welcome bonuses

Both consumer cards are offering elevated welcome bonuses for new members

Summary

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.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Some of the offers mentioned below are no longer available. 

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.

Now, new Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express members can earn $300 cash back when they spend $3,000 in the first six months of card membership (the limited time offer ends Dec. 10, 2020) – an increase of $50 over the previous offer.

Meanwhile, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has updated its welcome bonus and is now offering up to $300 cash back in the first six months: You can earn $100 cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first six months, plus 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases in your first six months, up to a $200 cash back limit.

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.

See related: Best credit cards for groceries

Amex Blue Cash card bonus value: At a glance

Along with the increased welcome bonus now available on both cards, the Blue Cash Preferred card is carrying a limited-time offer of a $0 annual fee in your first year, then $95 (offer expires Dec. 10, 2020).

This gives the card tremendous first-year value: When you factor in its increased welcome bonus and $0 annual fee in the first year, new Blue Cash Preferred card members can now enjoy $145 more value than they would have gotten with the previous offer.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Rewards rate
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • Terms apply
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Terms apply
Introductory bonus
  • $100 after $1,000 spend in first 6 months
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months (up to $200 back)
  • Terms apply
  • $300 after spending $3,000 in first 6 months
  • Limited time offer, expires 12/10/2020
  • Terms apply
Annual fee$0
  • $95
  • $0 first year (limited-time offer, expires 12/10/2020)
Estimated value in first year ($15,900 spend, maximized Amazon.com rewards)$560$718

Which card is better?

The Blue Cash Preferred card offers a higher rewards rate than that of the Blue Cash Everyday card, as well as a more flexible welcome bonus that doesn’t require you to spend in any one category or with a specific retailer. These two points alone may make the Preferred card seem like the obvious choice.

But, since the Preferred card includes a $95 annual fee after the first year, you may be wondering: Is the Preferred card really the best value long term?

First-year earnings

Thanks to its higher bonus cash back rate in practical categories like purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations, the Blue Cash Preferred card carries a higher average rewards rate for most consumers than the Blue Cash Everyday. So much higher, in fact, that even with the $95 annual fee subtracted from your cash back earnings, the Blue Cash Preferred offers a better value over the no annual fee Blue Cash Everyday card.

Based on an average consumer’s spending on gas, groceries and department stores, we estimate that you can earn a total of $718 in cash back on $15,900 in spending with the Blue Cash Preferred card in the first year. This takes into account the waived annual fee, the $300 welcome bonus and cash back earned in all spending categories.

If you make the most of the temporary bonus cash back rate on Amazon.com purchases with the Blue Cash Everyday, your welcome bonus will equal that of the Blue Cash Preferred ($100 after spending $1,000 in the first six months, plus a maximum of $200 back on Amazon.com spending in the first six months). However, you’ll earn half as much cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases, leaving the Blue Cash Everyday card’s average earnings at up to $560 in the first year. While this is impressive on its own, it’s $158 less than the Preferred card’s 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 and with the annual fee back in the mix, the Preferred card offers $323 annual in value on average, while the Everyday card only offers $261 – a difference of $62.

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 or waived annual fees are in play.

Blue Cash cards: Second-year earnings (based on $15,900 spend)

Blue Cash Everyday CardBlue Cash Preferred Card
$15,900 x 1.64% average cash back rate = $261$15,900 x 2.63% average cash back rate – $95 annual fee = $323

For the majority of cardholders who are committed to using the card, the $95 annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred card is worth it – both in the short and long term.

See related: Best credit cards for streaming services

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.

What’s up next?

In Products

Amazon Prime Day: How cards can save you even more

Prime Day is a good time to save money on certain purchases. But if you just focus on the deals on Amazon.com, you could miss out on other opportunities to save.

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report
Business
13.91%
Airline
15.53%
Cash Back
15.85%
Reward
15.76%
Student
16.12%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more