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Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs Amex Blue Cash Preferred, which is better?

Last updated: May 13,2021
Originally Published: April 09,2021
by Rosen Valchev

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Credit cards with similar names can be so confusing sometimes! Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs Amex Blue Cash Preferred, who can keep up? Although these cards are very similar, these cashback credit cards actually have some significant differences. One might hurry to think that the Blue Cash Preferred is better because it has higher cashback rates, but that wouldn’t be true in every case depending on your spending habits.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything about the differences between the Amex Blue Cash Everyday and the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card and decide which of the two is better for you personally. We will consider all variables and give some practical examples to help you make a choice.

Is either the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Amex Blue Cash Everyday good cards for 2021?

Despite the fact the global pandemic situation is starting to ease up travel still hasn’t resumed fully. Countries are closing and reopening borders on a daily basis. Restriction and entry requirements are updated regularly. COVID-19 is still a challenge in 2021.

With that said, many prefer to stay at home during 2021 in order to spare the hassle of going through long entry applications and still risking their health or their flight being canceled. For that reason, now may not be the best time for getting a travel credit card.

On the other hand, cashback cards like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday may come in handy in 2021. These cards can get you amazing rewards on things like groceries and gas purchases that would likely dominate the expense budgets of most of us throughout this year.

However, if you are determined to travel in 2021, make sure you get armed with another card, like the American Express Gold Card, that can earn some handsome travel rewards. With a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, both Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred aren’t well suited for travelers.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs Amex Blue Cash Preferred – Welcome Offers

Let’s be honest about it. One of the main (and most exciting) benefits of obtaining a new credit card is the welcome offer. The Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred are no exclusion to this rule. Amex gives a pretty good initial offer for both cards.

In the case of the Blue Cash Preferred, cardholders will get $150 after spending at least $3,000 in the first 6 months of account opening, while for the Blue Cash Everyday, the welcome offer is $100 after you spend $2,000 spend within the first 6 months after you open your account.

Now let’s compare both. One might argue that Blue Cash Preferred is better because it provides an overall higher welcome bonus. However, spending $3,000 on a single card, while easy for many people, may not be so easy for others.

Man looks excited at the computer
The feeling when your welcome bonus posts! (Source: Envato Elements)

In general, that would make the Blue Cash Everyday a better choice for somebody who wouldn’t like to spend so much on one credit card. And in general, throughout this guide, you will notice that the Blue Cash Everyday is a superior choice for individuals on a tight budget while the Blue Cash Preferred would be a better fit for people who spend more or for families that have larger monthly budgets.

It’s also important to note, that if you applied or had the Blue Cash Everyday or Blue Cash preferred in the past you might not be eligible for the welcome offer. Amex has a once-per-lifetime rule which disallows you to get this welcome bonus if you applied for the same American Express cards in the past. The company also has additional bonus eligibility requirements. 

On the bright side,  Amex has created a bonus eligibility tool that can help you see if it’s worth applying for these (and other) Amex credit cards before you opt-in and cause hard credit check 

Annual Fees and Introductory Rates

One of the biggest advantages of the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card is the fact it is a no-annual-fee credit card. On the other hand, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee, but with the added bonus of a fee waiver for the first year. It also comes with a 0% APR for the first 12 months of owning the card.

The Blue Cash Everyday also has a 0% introductory rate, but for an extended period of 15 months, which makes it a great choice for people who want to make larger purchases and carry a balance without incurring hefty interest charges for a period over one year.

Otherwise, both cards have a standard variable APR after their introductory periods elapse. Both cards also require a good to excellent credit score

Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs Amex Blue Cash Preferred – Bonus Categories

Now the time for the real talk. Let’s compare the bonus categories and rewards each of the cards can offer. 

Amex Blue Cash Everyday

Photo of Amex cash card


3% cashback on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) at selected U.S. supermarkets 
2% cashback at U.S. gas station
2% cashback at selected U.S. department stores (J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, and more)
1% cashback on all other eligible purchases. 

Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Photo of Amex Magnet Card

6% cashback on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) at selected U.S. supermarkets 
6% cashback on selected U.S. streaming subscriptions (like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, and more) 
3% cashback at U.S. gas station and on transit services (including rideshares like Uber and Lyft, taxis, trains, buses, tolls, parking, and more) 
1% cashback on all other eligible purchases. 

For both cards, the rewards are received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed in increments of 25. Each reward dollars usually equals $1 and you can use them in three ways.

Man typing on the computer with credit cards inside of a miniature shopping cart in from
Grocery stores are one of the easiest bonus categories to hit because virtually everybody spends significant amounts of money there, making both cards a winner.


1. As a statement credit – meaning you can use your Reward Dollars towards your next credit card bill. (However, you still need to pay at least your minimum payment due).

2. In Amex Reward Dollars online portal  – to buy a variety of retail merchandise like electronics, office goods, fashion, and more.

3. Gift Card redemption – you can also redeem your Reward dollars in the for of gift cards with a variety of eligible retailers, and companies in travel and dining. Again, the minimum amount is 25 reward dollars that are usually equal to $25. It’s possible to also get less value for your reward point in which case you should probably consider using them as a statement credit.

Typically there is no real benefit of using your cashback points in the online portal or for a gift card, and in some cases you may even get less value which frankly makes no sense. Why would you buy a $25 gift card for $30 in points where you could just buy it for $25 at a grocery store get 3% cashback and then wipe off the $25 with a statement credit? The online portal usually provides similar value to cash back but sometimes you may see a sale on certain items in which case it may make more sense to use the portal. Either way as you can see in 95% of cases you’re better off simply using the statement credit option.

Bonus Tip: Even though you can earn your Reward Dollars only in selected supermarkets and stores, you can typically get gift cards for other retailers at those stores, thus effectively extending your cashback to a wider range of buying options. 

Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs Amex Blue Cash Preferred – Overall Comparison

We’ve already discussed each aspect of Amex Blue Cash Everyday and Amex Blue Cash Preferred cards in detail. It’s time for the final battle. Let’s summarise and see which card would be a better overall choice for you. Spoiler alert:  we would also compare with some other options currently available on the market after we’re done.

Bonus Categories and Other Perks Amex Blue Cash EverydayAmex Blue Cash Preferred
Welcome bonus $100 statement credit if you spend $2,000 within
6 months of account opening
$150 statement credit if you spend $2,000 within
6 months of account opening
APR %15 months 0% introductory APR,12 months 0% introductory APR,
Annual FeeNo annual fee$95 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months)
Foreign Transaction Fee2.7%2.7%
Cashback at selected U.S. Supermarkets3% on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%)6% on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%)
Cashback at selected U.S. Gas Stations2% 3%
Cashback on transit services (including rideshares like Uber and Lyft, taxis, trains, buses, tolls, parking, and more) 1%3%
Cashback on selected U.S. Streaming Subscriptions (like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, and more) 1%6%
Cashback at selected U.S. Department Stores (J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, and more)2%1%
All other eligible purchases1%1%
Other included benefitsPlan It ® which gives the option to purchase products for $100 or more and stretch payments with a fixed rate

– Global Assist HotlineSecondary car rental loss and damage insurance

– Return Protection (up to $300 per item for 90 days)

– Purchase Protection (up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 a year for stolen items broken within the first 90 days)

-ShopRunner 2-day shipping (for a multitude of retail stores)Access to exclusive events, concert, games, and other entertainment  
– Plan It ® which gives the option to purchase products for $100 or more and stretch payments with a fixed rate

– Global Assist HotlineSecondary car rental loss and damage insurance

– Return Protection (up to $300 per item for 90 days)

– Purchase Protection (up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 a year for stolen items broken within the first 90 days)

-ShopRunner 2-day shipping (for a multitude of retail stores)Access to exclusive events, concert, games, and other entertainment  

Now that we have this convenient overview let’s see a real-life example. Let’s say you spend $300 a month on groceries, $60 on streaming subscriptions, $40 on Uber, $100 on gas, $50 at department stores, and another $200 somewhere else.

With the Blue Cash Everyday you will earn exactly $15 cashback a month or $180 a year. Not bad. With the Blue Cash Preferred, however, you will earn $28.30 a month or $339,60 a year. Even if we deduct the annual fee of $95 (remember it’s waived the first year), you will still net $244,60 which beats the cashback rewards of the Blue Cash Everyday, in this case.


Yet there is still room for improvement. Especially in the “other eligible purchases” category.
For instance, the American Express Cash Magnet card is another no-annual-fee credit card. It offers 1.5% Cashback (rather than 1%) on all purchases and a larger bonus of $150 statement credit for $1,000 spend in the first 90 days of account opening, 15 months 0% APR also included.

A great option to earn more on additional spendings could also be the Capital One Spark Cash for Business which can earn 2% on all spendings. Although a business credit card you don’t need to have a formal business and you may qualify for this award if you freelance or have another side hustle.

There are also great alternatives for those looking to eventually turn their everyday spendings into credit card points that could be transferred to travel partners (airlines and hotels) and potentially 10x their value (learn more here).

The Chase Freedom Flex could be a great alternative to the Blue Cash Everyday as it is a no-annual-fee credit card but it also comes with some exciting quarterly rotation bonus categories.  When paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Business Preferred cashback can be turned into Chase Ultimate Reward points.

An alternative to the Blue Cash Preferred on the other hand is the Chase Freedom Unlimited having a $95 annual fee but also bringing greater earning potential. Your Bali trip could turn out much cheaper than you expected.

Final Words on Amex Blue Cash Everyday vs Amex Blue Cash Preferred

The American Express Blue Cash Everyday can be a great choice for students or young professionals who are looking to build their credit score while earning some decent cashback rewards. The lack of annual fee on the Everyday plus an extra 3 months (15 months )0% introductory APR are definitely something to consider.

In contrast, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card would make more sense for individuals or families with larger budgets that spend more on a monthly basis. It’s also a good choice for frequent rideshare users and streaming service fans as well. However, make sure to make calculations to your budget to make sure it will be worth the annual fee!

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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