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If you're looking for a credit card without an annual fee and want to earn cash back for your weekly grocery run, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express could be a great fit. You'll also get a good cash back rate on everyday purchases at gas stations and select department stores.
|No annual fee||Foreign transaction fees|
|Bonus cash back at supermarkets, gas stations and select department stores||Bonus cash back limited to U.S. stores|
|Intro offers for new cardholders||A similar card with an annual fee could be more rewarding|
|Customer service contact info for American Express|
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express serves a specific demographic really well—those who own vehicles and regularly shop at supermarkets and department stores. Its bonus cash back categories can help you earn rewards on everyday purchases (hence the card's name), while the lack of an annual fee can make it a good option for those looking to save money.
Get 3% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets
The main feature of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is its 3% cash back bonus category. Using the card earns you 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each year, and 1% cash back after you hit the spending limit.
It's a good cash back rate on a necessary expense, especially considering the lack of an annual fee, but beware of the exceptions as you won't earn the bonus cash back on all your grocery purchases.
First, only U.S. supermarkets qualify, although you still earn 1% cash back on supermarkets outside the country. Additionally, Amex only considers stores that offer a range of food and household products to be supermarkets.
Superstores, convenience stores, specialty shops and warehouse clubs don't make the cut—if you do most of your grocery shopping at these types of stores, know that you'll only be earning 1% cash back.
Earn 2% Cash Back at Gas Stations and Select Department Stores
There are also 2% cash back bonus categories for purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. These two categories can cover many additional necessary expenses—transportation, clothing and household products—making it easy to earn cash back on purchases you have to make anyway. Plus, there's no spending cap on the 2% cash back earnings.
However, there are restrictions on which gas stations and department stores qualify.
For gas stations, the station must be primarily in the business of selling gas. For example, a supermarket, warehouse store or superstore that has an attached gas station won't qualify for the 2% cash back. You also don't get the bonus cash back on commercial and marina fuel.
Amex has an explicit list of department stores that qualify for the 2% cash back rate:
- Bon-Ton stores
- Century 21 Department Stores
- J.C. Penney (JCP)
- Lord & Taylor
- Neiman Marcus
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Stein Mart
In either case, you'll earn the base 1% cash back on purchases that don't qualify for bonus rewards.
Intro Bonuses for New Cardholders
The specifics can vary, but there's often an intro bonus, such as a statement credit (after making eligible purchases), an intro 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases or an intro 0% APR offer on balance transfers for a certain period.
The bonuses are only available to new cardholders who have never previously carried the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (even if you previously had it and closed your account).
Intro offers can be one of the distinguishing factors that make a credit card more appealing. However, there are many rewards credit cards that don't have an annual fee and offer intro bonuses. Consider both the intro offer and the long-term value of the cards as you comparison shop.
Complimentary Cardholder Benefits
You'll receive a variety of benefits for having and using your Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. You can review the cardholder agreement for all the details, but here's an overview of some of the benefits:
- Purchase protection: Get up to $1,000 refunded if something you buy is accidentally damaged or gets stolen. The coverage lasts up to 90 days after your purchase and you receive up to $50,000 in coverage each year.
- Presale tickets: Get a jump on concerts, plays, sports games and other events with exclusive presale access.
- Rental car insurance: Free insurance that covers damage to and theft of eligible rental cars when you turn down the rental agency's insurance. The coverage is secondary (you'll have to use your auto insurance first), and it doesn't include liability coverage.
You'll also get to use Amex features, such as Pay It and Plan It. Plan it allows you to create a fixed-fee payment plan for select purchase. Pay It lets you make payments throughout the month to help keep your card's balance under control.
There are also Amex Offers, which you can add to your card and then automatically get statement credits on select dining, shopping and travel purchases.
You can find these features in your online account, or by using the Amex app. The app also lets you quickly check your balance, make payments, use rewards, review your account history and set up (and receive) alerts about your card account.
You can also freeze your account to prevent someone else from using it if you lose your card or someone steals it. Then, you can unfreeze your card if you find it (rather than having to cancel the card and order a new one). And don't worry, you aren't liable for fraudulent purchases if any occur.
Purchase APR: Intro 15-month 0% APR for eligible new cardholders, then 14.49%-25.49% Variable Grace period: 25 days Transfer APR: Intro 15-month 0% APR for eligible new cardholders, then 14.49%-25.49% Variable Annual fee: $0 Cash advance APR: 26.74% Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater Minimum interest charge: N/A Cash advance fee: 5% of the amount of each cash advance or $10 minimum, whichever is greater Foreign transaction fee: 2.7% Late payment fee: Up to $39 Returned payment fee: Up to $39
You can add an authorized user (what Amex calls an additional card member) to your account for free and get a credit card for the person who's linked to your account. For example, you could add your spouse as an authorized user and earn bonus cash back when either one of you goes out for a grocery run or fills up the gas tank.
The authorized user will get many of the same perks, including access to Amex Offers, early tickets and the purchase protections. They can also use the Amex app with their own login to manage the card.
An authorized user's transactions will appear in your account activity, and you'll be responsible for paying for all the charges from your card and the authorized user's card. But the authorized user won't have access to your account unless you decide to share access. You can also set a spending limit for the authorized user's card, starting as low as $200.
Is This Card Right for You?
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express can be a great fit for individuals or families who frequently cook at home, have a car (or several) and shop at major department stores. But it's not right for everyone.
For example, if the card's bonus categories don't align with your everyday shopping, consider a different cash back card. Or, if you frequently travel abroad, the bonus categories lose their appeal and you'll have to consider the foreign transaction fee. A card that rewards purchases globally and doesn't have the fee could be a better fit.
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