Many people sign up for a credit card to get bonus miles and points for travel, but some prefer their rewards in the form of cash. The Blue Cash Everyday Card by American Express is a good cash back card that offers bonus earning opportunities in popular everyday spending categories.
The card doesn’t have an annual fee, and it offers 0% introductory APR on purchases. It also comes with a $200 welcome bonus which is credited on your statement once you meet the minimum spend of $2,000 in the first six months.
Cardholders earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at US supermarkets per year. You won’t max out this bonus category unless you spend more than $500 a month on groceries.
Purchases at gas stations and select department stores including Bloomingdale’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Nordstrom earn 2% cash back, and all other purchases earn 1% cash back per dollar spent.
Cash back is received in the form of reward dollars that can be cashed in at a rate of one penny per point, so 25,000 points = $25.00, which is the minimum amount needed to get a statement credit.
Who is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card For?
This card is good for someone who doesn’t want to pay an annual fee for a credit card, but still wants to earn rewards for their spending. While many travel rewards cards offer bonuses for travel and dining, the bonus categories on the Amex Blue Cash Everyday rewards those that use their card to buy groceries and gas.
The $200 welcome bonus is also accessible for people that don’t spend $1,000 or more a month. Many travel rewards cards require a minimum spend of $3,000 or more in the first three months of having the card. The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card gives you half a year to meet the $2,000 in spend needed to earn the bonus, which amounts to less than $350 a month in spending.
It’s also a good choice for someone who wants to finance a big purchase and pay over time without having to pay interest because it has no interest on purchases for the first 15 months. Most travel rewards cards do not offer 0% interest for purchases.
This card is probably not the best option for someone who travels frequently for business and eats out often, but it’s a great choice for families that prepare most meals at home and travel primarily by car. It’s also good for someone who frequents the department stores that offer double rewards.
Credit Score Range Typically Required
Your credit score needs to be 700 or more, which means it has to be on the high end of a good score which is between 690 and 719. Or your score needs to be in the excellent range, which is 720 to 850.
Both FICO and VantageScore use a range of 300-850 to determine credit scores. If your score is in the fair range (630-689) or below, then you will most likely not get approved for the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.
What’s included in my credit score?
Just over a third (35%) of your FICO credit score is based on your payment history, and another 30% is calculated based on the amount owed. These two factors together make up two-thirds of the overall score.
Your credit history, which looks at the length of time you have been granted credit, makes up 15% of the model, and new credit and the mix of credit mix account for 10% each. These last two metrics are concerned with how many new lines of credit you have applied for and the different types of credit you have, which can include home, car and student loans in addition to credit cards.
Income Level Required
In addition to reviewing your credit score, and even possibly modifying the weight given to the factors involved in it, American Express also asks what your income is on your credit card application. They also ask what your housing cost is to help them determine your ability to pay your credit card bills.
There is no specific income requirement for the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, but what you make is one of the important factors when deciding whether or not to approve your application. It will also come into play when Amex decides what credit limit the card will come with if your application is successful.
Odds of Approval
If your credit score is good to excellent, your income levels are sufficient, and you’re not carrying too much debt on your credit cards, you have a good chance of getting approved.
A typical successful applicant would be someone who has had a mix of credit over a number of years, a good payment history on those lines of credit, and someone who hasn’t opened a lot of new credit lines recently.
Your credit card balance should also not exceed more than 30% of your combined credit lines. A lower debt-to-credit ratio improves your odds, and likewise a higher ratio of debt to credit will decrease your odds. But keep in mind that this is only one factor being considered.
American Express Rules
Your credit score and other factors noted above are not the only things that come into play when your application is getting reviewed. Like most credit card issuers, American Express has certain rules that may block you from getting approved.
For example, you can only apply for two American Express cards in a 90-day period, and you have to wait five days in between applications. Also, you can only have five active Amex cards with a preset spending limit at a time, including both personal and business cards. Amex charge cards like the popular Gold and Platinum cards don’t count as they don’t have a pre-set limit.
Also, another important consideration is that you will only receive the welcome bonus one time for each of its products, so if you’ve ever had the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express before and gotten a welcome bonus, you will not be eligible for the $200 bonus if you apply again.
Amex Blue Cash Everyday Preferred Card
If you are thinking about signing up for the Blue Cash Everyday card, but you’ve had it before or you want to earn greater rewards, you might want to consider the Blue Cash Everyday Preferred Card from American Express.
This mid-tier version of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card does have a $95 annual fee in the second year, but it includes a statement credit of $300 as a welcome bonus once you spend $3,000 in the first six months.
If your spend is closer to $500 a month rather than just a few hundred, this might be the better option for you because the annual fee is waived the first year and the bonus earnings are greater.
Bonus Categories for the Blue Cash Everyday vs. the Blue Cash Everyday Preferred
The Preferred version of the card lets you earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000, which is double the rewards offered by the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday card. Subscriptions to select US streaming services also earn 6% cash back with the Preferred card. This is not a bonus category for the Blue Cash Everyday card so it only earns 1% cash back for streaming.
You’ll also earn 3% cash back at domestic gas stations and eligible transit such as buses, trains, parking, rideshare, taxis, tolls and other transit costs. The Blue Cash Everyday card only earns 2% at gas stations and no bonus rewards on transit. All other purchases on the Blue Cash Everyday Preferred card earn 1% cash back.
0% Introductory Offers for Blue Cash Everyday vs. the Blue Cash Everyday Preferred
The Blue Cash Everyday Preferred by American Express also offers a 0% into APR for the first year, but that is three months less than the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card offers, so if you want longer to pay off a balance for a big purchase then the no-annual fee version might be a better choice.
Both cards offer a buy now, pay later Plan It financing option that allows you to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Any plan created during either card’s intro 0% APR period will have no plan fees. Plans created for purchases after the introductory period ends will have a monthly plan fee of up to 1.33% of each purchase over $100 based on the length of time in the plan, the APR that would normally apply and other factors.
Travel and Shopping Benefits
Both the Amex Blue Cash Everyday and the Preferred version come with the same package of travel benefits and shopping protection. If you use your card to pay for a car rental, you can decline the collision damage waiver and you will have secondary coverage for theft or damage in a covered territory.
Cardholders also have access to the Global Assist Hotline when they travel more than 100 miles from home including help with lost luggage, translations, and legal and medical emergencies, though the card member will be responsible for costs by third-party service providers.
Both cards also come with protection on purchases made with the card. If you need to return something you bought with the card and the merchant won’t take it back, Amex will refund you up to $300 per item with a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year. You also get theft and accidental damage protection on purchases up to 90 days and $1,000 per occurrence for a maximum of $50,000 per calendar year.
Credit Score Needed for Amex Blue Cash Everyday Preferred
The Preferred version of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card requires a similar credit score and history as the no-annual fee version, so you should compare both cards to see which is a better fit for your needs.
If you want to take some of the guesswork out of whether you will be approved for either one of these cards, especially if your credit score is borderline and you’re not sure if you qualify, you can see if you pre-qualify on the American Express site.
It’s not guaranteed that you will be approved if you do pre-qualify, but it is a good indicator of whether you will be successful in obtaining a particular Amex card.
If you’re in the market for a credit card that offers cash back on everyday spending like groceries and gas and you don’t want to pay an annual fee, then the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is a great choice. It offers a good cash back welcome offer and the minimum spend is very manageable.
If you can meet a slightly higher minimum spend ($3,000 vs. $1,000 in the first six months), then the Blue Cash Everyday Preferred will get you more rewards for your gas station and supermarket purchases. The Preferred version also offers 6x bonus rewards on streaming services so the typical family can really rack up rewards with these bonus categories.
The downside of the Everyday Preferred card is that it does carry a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. The extra $100 welcome bonus ($300 for the Preferred vs. $200 for the no-annual-fee version) can offset that difference, but once the annual fee kicks in you would have to evaluate whether you spend enough in the bonus categories to maximize the rewards and justify the annual fee.
Both cards require the same good to excellent credit score, but the Preferred version may have a higher threshold of creditworthiness because mid-tier cards often have higher lines of credit. But if you have excellent credit, the Preferred version offers greater rewards and you can always downgrade to the no annual fee version after the first year if you want to avoid the annual fee.
If you carry several credit cards in your wallet, the Blue Cash Everyday Card by American Express or the Preferred version can be a great addition that lets you earn 2x, 3x or 6x on categories outside of travel and dining which are the most popular bonus categories for most travel rewards cards.