The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card has no annual fee and gives increased spending rewards for groceries (3%, up to $6,000 of annual spending), as well as gas and select department stores (2%, unlimited). If you are looking for a great rewards card with no annual fee, this is one of the best.
- 3% back at grocery stores (for the first $6,000 in annual spending)
- 2% back at select department stores
- 2% back on gas
- 1% back on all other purchases
- Rewards redeemable for a statement credit, gift cards or merchandise
- Only 1% back on groceries after spending $6,000 in a year
- Some merchandise redemption options are a poor use of Reward Dollars
3% Back on Groceries
You will earn a reward of 3% on the first $6,000 of eligible purchases in an annual reward year at supermarkets located in the U.S. (superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets). An annual reward year is 12 billing periods in a row starting with the one that begins in January
This card gives 3% back on groceries for the first $6,000 you spend. This is only at standalone supermarkets, so you can’t go buy groceries at Wal-Mart, Target, or Costco and expect the 3% cash back.
While there is a $6,000 limit on this card, a savvy rewards card user wouldn’t worry about it for this card. If you will spend more than $2,500 a year on groceries, you are better off with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred (which offers 6% back on the first $6,000 of grocery spend) because the extra rewards will pay for the $75 annual fee.
$2,500 * 3% = $75, which is what you’ll earn with the Blue Cash Everyday. $2,500 * 6% = $150, which is what you earn with the Blue Cash Preferred. The extra $75 pays for the annual fee, and anything above that is pure profit.
The grocery rewards on this card are great for people spending less than $208.33 a month in this category. Anything more, and you should get the Blue Cash Preferred.
2% Back on Gas and Select Department Stores
2% on eligible purchases of gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S. (superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations)
2% on eligible purchases at select department stores located in the U.S.
The 2% rewards for gas and department stores is lower than you receive on groceries, but there is no limit to how much you can earn at this rate. While there are some other cards that give more than 2% on gas, it’s still a nice perk if you don’t want to carry multiple cards. However, the department store benefit is great for anyone who frequently shops at those establishments.
Your shopping at any one of the following department stores will be eligible for 2% back:
Bealls, Belk, Bloomingdale’s, Bon Ton Stores, Boscov’s, Century 21 Department Stores, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney (JCP), Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears, and Stein Mart.
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday and the Blue Cash Preferred are the only cards we have found that give increased rewards at this many department stores. If you want department store rewards, this is the card to get.
1% Back on All Other Purchases
1% on all other eligible purchases.
All other purchases will earn 1%, as is standard with most rewards credit cards.
Sign Up Bonus – $100
Bonus as of 7/22/13
To qualify for the 100 Reward Dollar bonus, you must make purchases with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express that total $1,000 or more within your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
A $100 sign up bonus for a card that does not have an annual fee is pretty good, and spending $1,000 on the card in three months is very reasonable. This is one of the better sign up bonuses available.
If you are having trouble meeting the $1,000 threshold, you might consider using your American Express Blue Cash Everyday card to buy gifts cards to places you normally shop like Amazon.com or popular restaurants. This is a great way to spend the money up front to earn your sign-up bonus, and then use your gift cards over time.
Redemption – American Express Reward Dollars
This is a quick overview of redemption options for this card. You can find a more detailed review of the American Express Reward Dollars program here.
As a cash back credit card you will earn Reward Dollars with each purchase. You have three redemption options with Reward Dollars: a statement credit, gift cards, and merchandise.
If you have earned at least 25 Reward Dollars, you can redeem them for a statement credit. Statement credits only come in $25 increments, so if you have 28 Reward Dollars, you can only redeem 25 and will have to wait to redeem the rest until you have accumulated a full 25 Reward Dollars.
The best way to increase your rewards with this program is to look for gift cards that are on sale. There are typically a few cards that are 5-10% off. If you can find a store where you frequently shop, that is typically the preferred way to redeem Reward Dollars.
Annual Fee – None
With no annual fee, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday is one of the best strongest cards on the market. If you are someone who is not comfortable paying an annual fee then this card is the best you will find for groceries and department stores.
Reward Boost Verdict – American Express Blue Cash Everyday
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday is simply one of the best cards you can find with no annual fee. The grocery rewards are very strong, and the department store rewards are incredible if you shop at those stores. If you are looking for a good rewards card for anyone, or a great rewards card for people who spend a lot on groceries, department stores, and gas, this could be the card for you.