If you want an American Express card that earns cash back, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Amex Blue Cash Everyday provide two excellent options. But it might be unclear whether one of them offers more value than the other.
In this Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday comparison, you’ll get a chance to consider the benefits of both cards as they’re stacked up against each other. This side-by-side look can help you decide which card might be the better option for you.
AmEx Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday
The table below gives you a quick look at how the benefits and features of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday compare. This can help you decide which card might better align with your spending habits and financial goals. However, a deeper dive into the similarities and differences between the two cards can be found below the table.
|Card type||Cash Back||Cash Back|
|Annual fee||$95 (waived first year)||$0|
|Welcome bonus||Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months||Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months|
|Earning rate||6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases||3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases|
|Redemption methods||Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits if you have a minimum reward balance of $25 or more||Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits if you have a minimum reward balance of $25 or more|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening||0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months after account opening|
|Foreign transaction fee||2.7%||2.7%|
|Credit needed||Excellent, Good||Excellent, Good|
|Learn how to apply||Learn how to apply|
What both cards excel at
Both the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday are some of the best cashback credit cards offered by American Express. Being in the same rewards card category and coming from the same credit card issuer can help explain why the Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday have plenty of similarities.
Here are the ways both cards overlap:
- Everyday earning: The Blue Cash Preferred offers bonus rewards for purchases at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year) and select U.S. streaming services, as well as U.S. gas stations and eligible transit. The Blue Cash Everyday offers bonus rewards on purchases at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. If your goal is to earn cash back from purchases you frequently make, possibly on a daily basis, both cards can come in handy.
- Welcome offers: If you compare credit cards, the welcome offer is typically what first draws most people in. Getting a bunch of rewards for purchases you were already going to make is an efficient way to take advantage of a welcome offer. The offer on the Blue Cash Preferred will typically be higher than the one on the Blue Cash Everyday and you might see some variation in the requirements, including how much you need to spend after opening your card account to receive the welcome bonus.
- Simple rewards structure: These cards earn cash back, not Amex Membership Rewards. The cash back, called Blue Cash Reward Dollars, you earn with either card can be redeemed for statement credits. This makes it easy to use your rewards on anything you can charge to your card. Simply make a purchase with your card and use your cash back as a statement credit to help cover the charge.
- Amex Offers: The Amex Offers program is offered freely by American Express for cardmembers. The offers will vary, but they typically involve getting discounts, extra rewards, or statement credits for making purchases with Amex partners. All you have to do is add an available offer to your card through your online account on the American Express website or on the Amex Mobile app. Then use your card to make the eligible purchase and the offer you added will automatically be redeemed.
- Purchase protection: Both cards provide purchase protection, which covers damage to or theft of a covered purchase. This includes any eligible item you purchased with your card. An example of a situation where this could be useful is if you’re traveling and your phone is stolen or damaged. Potentially getting up to $1,000 to replace an expensive phone would be very helpful.
- Car rental coverage: Both cards offer secondary car rental coverage, which can be helpful if your primary coverage isn’t enough to cover all the costs of a rental car being damaged or stolen.
4 important differences between AmEx Blue Cash Preferred and Everyday
To get the best idea of where one card might be a better fit for you than the other, it’s helpful to compare and consider their differences. This is where you can see whether one card will offer you more value.
1. Annual fee
Annual fees immediately take away from the value of a rewards credit card because you have to earn enough rewards or use the card’s benefits to the point that you offset the annual fee. You don’t have to worry about this with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday because it has a $0 annual fee. No annual cost means all the value you get from rewards and benefits is immediately useful. You can read our Amex Blue Cash Everyday review for more details.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95 (waived first year). So if you don’t think you’ll earn enough rewards to offset this cost, it might not make sense to go with this card.
2. Earning potential
The amount of rewards you can earn is a big factor when deciding which new card to go with. Both the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday are two of the best credit cards for buying groceries, which makes it easy to pad your rewards total with an everyday expense.
But the Amex Blue Cash Preferred edges out the Blue Cash Everyday with its higher rewards rates. The 6% cashback rate on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year) and select U.S. streaming services easily beats the 3% cashback rate on U.S. supermarkets with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday.
If you spend a lot at the grocery store and on streaming subscriptions, it could make the Blue Cash Preferred a better fit for you. For more details on this card’s benefits, you can read our Amex Blue Cash Preferred review for more details.
3. Protection benefits
Both of these cards include purchase protection and secondary car rental coverage, but the Amex Blue Cash Preferred also has return protection and extended warranty protection.
Like many types of coverages, these protections aren’t necessarily helpful until the moment you need them. It can often happen that you buy an item and want to return it, but the merchant won’t take it. Unless you have return protection, you’re now stuck with an item you might not want or need, which is a waste of money.
With extended warranty coverage, getting up to an extra year of warranty protection could mean the difference between having to foot the bill for an expense or not. For example, your laptop or TV could start to malfunction after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. But if they’re covered purchases, your Amex Blue Cash Preferred’s extended warranty protection could come into play to help reimburse you for a repair or replacement.
4. Intro APR periods
This difference will only matter if you specifically want a cashback credit card that offers a promotional APR period. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers cardholders a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months while the Amex Blue Cash Everyday offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After this intro period the interest rate will be the normal variable APR.
The difference between these intro periods is small, but it could be helpful if you want as much time as possible to avoid interest on your purchases.
Which card should you choose?
You should choose the card that makes the most sense for your unique situation and preferences. If you don’t care to pay an annual fee, you only have one option between these two, which is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday. But if you want to earn bonus cash back on streaming services, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is the better choice for you.
If you want to earn the most cash back possible between these two cards, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred has higher earning rates. But the amount of cash back you can earn depends on how much you typically spend.
A quick comparison of generic spending amounts over the course of a year can help you visualize the type of cash back you can earn with each card. For example, let’s say you spend $1,000 on gas, $1,000 on groceries, $1,000 on transit, and $1,000 on streaming services in a year. Here’s the amount of cash back you would earn with each card:
- Amex Blue Cash Preferred: You get 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year) and select U.S. streaming services. Six percent of $2,000 is $120. You also get 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and eligible transit. Three percent of $2,000 is $60. Your total cash back in this example is $180.
- Amex Blue Cash Everyday: You get 3% cash back on U.S. supermarkets and 2% cash back on U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. After that, it’s 1% cash back on other purchases. Three percent of $1,000 is $30. Two percent of $1,000 is $20. The last $2,000 doesn’t fit into a bonus category, so you get 1% of $2,000, or $20. Your total cash back in this example is $70.
This is only an example, but it helps to show how what you typically spend your money on will determine which of these cards could offer you more value. If your spending aligns with the bonus categories on the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, it could be the best card for you, even with the $95 (waived first year) annual fee. If not, going with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday and a $0 annual fee might make more sense.
Can I get both the Blue Cash Preferred and the Blue Cash Everyday cards?
Yes, you can get both the Blue Cash Preferred and the Blue Cash Everyday cards from American Express and have them at the same time. This could help you earn more cash back overall since the earning categories aren’t exactly the same. But the cards are similar, so make sure you compare their rewards and benefits to see if it would be beneficial for you to have both the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Amex Blue Cash Everyday.
Can I upgrade a Blue Cash Everyday to a Blue Cash Preferred
Yes, you can upgrade an Amex Blue Cash Everyday to a Blue Cash Preferred card. This would likely make sense if you want a similar cashback card with a few more benefits and potentially higher earning potential. Keep in mind that you have to wait 12 months after successfully applying for your Blue Cash Everyday to be eligible for an upgrade to a Blue Cash Preferred.
Does Blue Cash Preferred work at Walmart?
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred doesn’t typically earn any bonus rewards for purchases made at Walmart. This is because American Express doesn’t include “superstores” like Amazon, Target, or Walmart in their U.S. supermarkets category since they often sell more than just groceries. However, Walmart Neighborhood Markets might count toward the Blue Cash Preferred bonus rate since they only sell groceries.
Is the Blue Cash Everyday card good?
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card is an excellent choice if you want a low-stress Amex cashback card. It has a $0 annual fee and offers rewards on everyday purchases, like 3% cash back on U.S. supermarkets and 2% cash back on U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. This type of earning potential can help you get a discount on purchases you may already be making.
If you compare both of these credit card offers — the Amex Blue Cash Preferred vs. the Amex Blue Cash Everyday — it’s easy to see how similar they are. Both cards earn cash back and they have similar bonus categories and benefits. But digging into the details can help you make an informed decision on which card might suit you best.
This is especially true if you seek to align each card’s features and benefits with your lifestyle and financial goals. If you typically spend more money in one card’s bonus categories over the other, then your choice is made easier. The same goes for whether you would get value from a card’s benefits, including extended warranty protection or a longer intro APR period.
#1 Cash Back at Supermarkets
- $300 statement credit welcome offer
- 6% cash back on U.S. streaming services and at U.S. supermarkets
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit
- 0% intro APR on purchases
- Terms apply