American Express EveryDay vs. Blue Cash Everyday

Which card is best for you?

Amex EveryDay vs. Blue Cash Everyday

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers.

If you’re an avid cook or live in a big household with a lot of mouths to feed, then your grocery bill is almost certainly one of your biggest monthly expenses. That presents a big opportunity if you’re looking for ways to maximize your spending. If you’re willing to use a card for all or most of your grocery spending, then you could amass a substantial amount of rewards just by stocking your refrigerator.

American Express offers some of the best grocery-centric rewards bonuses around. But if you’re not sure which American Express card to choose, it’s a good idea to think through how you plan to use it. For cardholders who want a well-rounded grocery card, but don’t want to pay an annual fee, both the American Express EveryDay card and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card offer a solid amount of value. But for most cardholders, the Blue Cash Everyday card is, by far, the best choice. Here’s why:

If you want to earn as much as possible without paying an annual fee and don’t mind being rewarded in cash back rather than membership rewards, the Blue Cash Everyday card is much more rewarding. With this card, you not only get 3 percent cash back for every dollar you spend on groceries (up to $6,000), you also get an unlimited 2 percent cash back on gas and department store purchases and 1 percent cash back on everything else. That can add up quickly if you use your Blue Cash card every time you need to restock your closet or kitchen or fill up on gas.

Here’s what else we found when comparing the two cards: 

AMERICAN EXPRESS EVERYDAY VERSUS BLUE CASH EVERYDAY
   American Express EveryDay
American Express EveryDay
Blue Cash Everyday
Blue Cash Everyday
Rewards rate
  • 2 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year)
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
  • Terms apply
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • Terms apply
Sign-up bonus
  • 10,000 membership rewards points when you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • 20 percent bonus when you make at least 20 purchases in one billing cycle
  • Terms apply
  • $150 when you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply
Annual fee
$0 (See rates and fees) $0 (See rates and fees)
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900) $268 $311
Pros
  • Good spending bonus on groceries
  • A solid monthly rewards bonus for big spenders
  • Can transfer points to other travel loyalty programs
  • Excellent spending bonus on groceries
  • Unlimited 2-point bonus on gas and department store purchases
  • Solid sign-up bonus
  • Simple redemption
Cons
  • You don’t earn bonuses on other everyday spending categories
  • Groceries bonus is limited to $6,000 worth of groceries
  • Redemption is somewhat more restrictive
  • You can only redeem your rewards as cash
  • Groceries bonus is limited to $6,000 worth of groceries
Who should get this card?
  • Cardholders who are saving hotel or frequent flier miles with an American Express travel partner
  • Shoppers who spend at least $500 a month on groceries
  • Families with kids
  • Cardholders who value simplicity and convenience

Best for shoppers who spend $6,000 per year or less on groceries: Blue Cash Everyday card

If you’re comparing cards based solely on how much you’ll earn from your regular stops at the grocery store, the Blue Cash Everyday card is the winner.

Though Membership Rewards points in themselves are more valuable than cash back – we estimate each point to be worth 1.19 cents on average versus only 1 cent for cash back – the 3 percent grocery bonus on the Blue Cash Everyday card trumps the Everyday card’s higher point value. If you spend $6,000 a year on groceries – around $500 a month – you’ll reap at least $180 in cash back. If you spend the same amount of money on the EveryDay card – which also caps bonus grocery spending at $6,000 – you’ll collect just $143 worth of points.

Even the EveryDay card’s 20 percent point bonus isn’t strong enough to save it. If you swipe your card at least 20 times each billing cycle (thus earning the bonus), you’ll earn $171 worth of points from your grocery spending – less than half of what you’d earn if you used the Blue Cash card. 

AVERAGE AMOUNT BACK WHEN YOU SPEND $6,000 ON GROCERIES
Blue Cash Everyday card American Express EveryDay card
$6,000 x 3% cash back = $180 $6,000 x 2 points x 1.19 cent point value = $143
$6,000 x 2 points x 1.19 cent point value + 20% point bonus = $171

One caveat here: With the EveryDay card’s higher point value and 20 percent spending bonus, it is possible to get a better return on your grocery spending with the EveryDay card if you are an especially heavy grocery shopper and prefer to put all of your spending on one card. For instance, if you manage to use the Everyday card frequently enough to earn the 20 percent bonus each month, we estimate that you only need to spend an additional $42 per year on groceries ($6,042 total) to beat the cash back rewards on the Blue Cash Everyday card.

That said, if you are looking for the best return on your grocery spending, you may be better off switching to another card – such as the Citi Double Cash card, which offers 2 percent back on every purchase – once you hit the $6,000 cap on your grocery bonus.

Best for families: Blue Cash Everyday card

The Blue Cash Everyday card also beats the American Express EveryDay card on other types of everyday spending. Unlike the EveryDay card, the Blue Cash card offers a 2 percent bonus on gas and department store spending – two big expenses for families with school-aged kids. American Express doesn’t limit how much cardholders can earn from gas and department store purchases either, making it a winning choice for families that have to stretch their budgets on clothing and gas. 

Consider, for example, a family that spends $200 a month on daily car commutes and shuttling kids to different activities. If that family uses a Blue Cash card to pay for gas, they’ll earn an additional $48 by the end of the year. With an EveryDay card, they’ll earn just $29 worth of rewards. Similarly, a family that spends $300 on back-to-school shopping will earn $6 back with the Blue Cash card if they shop at a department store. With the EveryDay card, they’ll earn just over half that amount. 

AVERAGE AMOUNT BACK WHEN YOU SPEND $2,400 A YEAR ON GAS
Blue Cash Everyday card American Express EveryDay card
$2,400 x 2% = $48 $2,400 x 1 point x 1.19 cent point value = $29

 

AVERAGE AMOUNT BACK WHEN YOU SPEND $1,000 A YEAR AT DEPARTMENT STORES
Blue Cash Everyday card American Express EveryDay card
$1,000 x 2% = $20 $1,000 x 1 point x 1.19 cent point value = $12

Best for someone who values simplicity and convenience: Blue Cash Everyday card

Because it’s a cash back card, the Blue Cash card is simpler to use. To redeem your rewards, you just need to request cash back and you’ll receive a statement credit in the amount you earned.

With membership rewards, it’s a bit more complicated. You can use your points to pay for a variety of expenses, including travel, dining and entertainment, or you can transfer your points to other loyalty programs. But the value of the points will change, depending on how you redeem them. American Express also limits the types of expenses that qualify for a points-funded statement credit, so you may feel more restricted by a points-based card. 

Best for someone who is stockpiling hotel or frequent flier miles: American Express EveryDay card

For most cardholders, the Blue Cash Everyday card is a better value. But if you’re a frequent flier or hotel guest with an American Express travel partner, then the EveryDay card may be more useful. American Express offers a relatively flexible redemption policy that allows you to transfer points on a one-to-one basis to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs, including Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles, Starwood Preferred and Hilton Honors.

If you’re a member of one of these programs and are diligently saving points for your next big rewards purchase, you may find that earning fewer points is worth it if you can use them to top up your miles and finally buy a free trip.

Conclusion

In terms of value, the Blue Cash Everyday card swamps the American Express EveryDay card. It even offers a better sign-up bonus, giving cardholders an extra $50 to spend as they please. Unless you’re an avid membership rewards collector, you’ll almost certainly get more value out of the Blue Cash card. But if you’re a heavy shopper, you may want to consider upgrading to  a premium Blue Cash Preferred card or EveryDay Preferred card.

With these cards, you’ll have to pay an annual fee, but the rewards you earn could more than make up for the yearly charge. For $95 a year, the Blue Cash Preferred card, for example, offers an industry-leading 6 percent cash bonus on your first $6,000 in grocery purchases and a 3 percent bonus on gas and department store purchases. Meanwhile, the EveryDay Preferred card offers a 3-point bonus on groceries, a 2-point bonus on gas and a 50 percent rewards bonus if you make 30 or more purchases in the same billing period.  

See related: AmEx Blue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash Preferred: Which is best?, Citi Double Cash vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which is best?

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy


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Updated: 12-15-2017