If you spend a lot at the grocery store, the gas pump and online — and can't stand the idea of paying an annual fee on a credit card — the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may be calling your name.
For a $0-annual-fee card, it pays an excellent 3% cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. online retail purchases. You’ll earn that 3% rate on the first $6,000 in spending per year in each of those three categories. All other purchases (including above the $6,000 cap in the categories) earn 1% cash back. Terms apply.
The card is frequently compared with its sibling, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which is perhaps the ultimate gas and groceries card. It has a$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. In exchange, it offers some of the highest rewards rates of any cash-back card.
When you compare the Blue Cash cards head to head, the pricier Preferred will come out on top for many households, but that doesn't mean the Everyday can't hold its own against its fellow AmEx or the rest of the cash-back competition. It all comes down to how you spend.
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Basics and benefits
To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.
Card type: Cash back.
Annual fee: $0.
Bonus offer: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.
3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year.
3% back at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 spent per year.
3% back on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 spent per year.
1% back on other purchases.
Interest rate: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 18.99%-29.99% Variable APR.
A $180 credit for Home Chef, a meal kit delivery service, in the form of $15 monthly statement credits.
A $84 credit for a subscription to The Disney Bundle, in the form of $7 monthly statement credits. The Disney Bundle includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+.
Getting 3% back on your U.S. supermarket spending is a nice return on a potentially big portion of the household budget. It essentially means getting a discount on all the food, paper goods, personal care products and other items you buy regularly at the grocery store. Terms apply.
Rewards are based on where you’re shopping — in this case, U.S. supermarkets — not what you buy there. American Express’ definition of U.S. supermarkets excludes wholesale clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club, superstores like Target and Walmart, specialty food stores and others. So consider not only how much you spend on groceries but also where you most often buy them.
The 3% rewards rate applies to the first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending annually. That’s generous for a rewards spending cap. Maxed out, it’s worth $180 annually in bonus cash back. But it’s still a cap — one a family could blow through before the year is done. The average U.S. household of four spends about $6,200 on food at home annually and hundreds more on housekeeping supplies and personal care products that are also common purchases in supermarkets, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey. So a family of four could exceed its limit for 3% rewards and then revert to 1% cash back.
A 3% cash-back rate at U.S. gas stations is competitive, though other cards may earn as much as 5% back on gas.
Restrictions apply here, too. The $6,000 annual spending cap could limit your earnings if you put a lot of miles on your car. Also, higher gas rewards are available only at traditional gas stations. Warehouse clubs, superstores and supermarkets that sell gas don’t count, according to American Express. American Express maintains a list of examples of qualifying stations.
Online retail purchase rewards
If you make most of your purchases without leaving home, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns a respectable 3% cash back when you shop online, on up to $6,000 in spending per year. Goods bought through a retailer’s website or app are eligible to earn 3% back. But paying for services online doesn’t count toward this category. According to American Express, “services” means purchases such as travel bookings and online food delivery.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit cards for online shopping
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express comes with a bonus offer for new cardholders: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply. That’s a nice incentive.
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Pitfalls and other possibilities
Blue cash vs. blue cash
A primary consideration with the card is deciding whether you should instead apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which comes at a price. It has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. That's steep for a cash-back card, but in exchange, you'll get an extensive suite of benefits that can be really lucrative for road warriors and home chefs.
So when is the annual-fee card a better deal? The easiest way to compare the Blue Cash cards is to look at grocery spending alone. If you spend at least $61 per week at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn more with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, even after the annual fee. Our comparison of the two Blue Cash cards goes into more detail and includes a calculator for comparing rewards.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
6% (on up to $6,000 a year in spending)
3% (on up to $6,000 a year in spending)
Select U.S. streaming subscriptions
U.S. gas stations
3% (on up to $6,000 a year in spending)
Transit (including taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses)
U.S. online retail purchases
3% (on up to $6,000 a year in spending)
All other purchases
If you don’t spend enough on groceries or some combination of other bonus categories to justify paying an annual fee, the best alternative might be a step down to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
A "flat-rate" card that pays the same rewards on all spending might also be a better fit.
For example, a $0-annual-fee alternative is the low-hassle Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, which pays 2% cash back on all purchases with no spending categories to remember. It also offers a sign-up bonus for new card holders.
Or consider the generous 5% rotating bonus rewards categories of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back, which have in the past included grocery stores and gas stations. The 5% cash back rewards on these cards apply up to a $1,500 quarterly spending maximum, and you have to activate the categories each quarter. All other purchases on the cards get 1% back. If you prefer to have reward rates on the categories flipped, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers 3% cash back on the spending category of your choice, which includes gas as an option, and 2% on groceries. (With these cards, the amount of spending eligible for bonus rewards is capped; click through to their pages for details.)
Less ideal for international travel
The card is not ideal to use abroad because acceptance internationally lags Visa and Mastercard, and it charges a 2.7% fee on international purchases. Some cards charge no foreign transaction fee.
You can learn more about cash-back credit card alternatives by visiting NerdWallet's list of the best credit cards to have.
Is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express right for you?
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers good, relevant cash-back rewards that could match your needs if your spending at U.S. supermarkets isn't high enough to justify applying for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — or if you’re looking to earn solid rewards on gas and online purchases.
To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page.