Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Amex Cash Magnet Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Generally, not a lot of thought goes into everyday spending. We stop and fill up our tank with gas, grab a bite to eat at the drive-thru, then perhaps pick up necessary items at the grocery store. These transactions can become routine, likely without any thought that these purchases could be generating valuable, usable rewards.

If you’re currently missing out on rewarding your everyday purchases, we’d like to take some time to share several possible vehicles for changing that scenario.

Having a rewards-earning credit card that earns cash-back on every purchase you make is a smart, simple choice that can result in extra cash you can use to offset your purchases, accumulate for vacation funds, or to save for a large purchase.

And while the decision to start earning rewards may be simple, selecting the right card for doing so may not be.

No worries — we’re going to get you started by comparing 2 popular cards that can earn cash-back on common everyday purchases and more. We’ll look at the earnings and benefits of each card, and then suggest a couple of other everyday earning cards that also serve the purpose well.

Let’s get started learning about our featured cards, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the American Express Cash Magnet® card.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses and card pricing change periodically, but you can generally expect to see a welcome bonus on each of these cards after meeting minimum spending requirements in the first 3 months after card approval.

The Blue Cash Everyday card and Amex Cash Magnet card typically offer a welcome bonus around $150-$200.

Earning Reward Dollars

Pastry Purchase
Are all of your everyday purchases earning rewards? Image Credit: Cenk Batuhan Özaltun via Unsplash

Both the Blue Cash Everyday card and Amex Cash Magnet card earn cash-back in the form of Reward Dollars.

We’ll discuss redeeming Rewards Dollars shortly but first, let’s see how the cards compare when it comes to earning on your everyday purchases.

Spending CategoryBlue Cash Everyday CardAmex Cash Magnet Card
U.S. Supermarkets
  • 3% cash-back on up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year
  • 1.5% cash-back
U.S. Gas Stations
  • 2% cash-back
  • 1.5% cash-back
U.S. Department Stores
  • 2% cash-back
  • 1.5% cash-back
Dining and Restaurants
  • 1% cash-back
  • 1.5% cash-back
All Other Purchases
  • 1% cash-back
  • 1.5% cash-back

If you want simplicity, the flat rate earning of 1.5% cash-back on every purchase with the Amex Cash Magnet card checks that box.

However, that simplicity could come at a cost when your spending includes a lot of U.S. supermarket, U.S. gas station, and U.S. department store purchases. If you spend heavily in those categories, the Blue Cash Everyday card is the better choice in most cases.

Adding authorized users to your card is another way to boost earnings quickly. There is no charge to add additional users to either card.

Redeeming Reward Dollars

You’ll be earning cash-back for your purchases on either card in the form of Rewards Dollars that can be redeemed for cash-back statement credits.

In addition to statement credits, Rewards Dollars can be redeemed for gift cards or merchandise, but you may receive far less value.

Bottom Line: While there’s certainly something to be said for the Amex Cash Magnet card’s simplicity of earning and redeeming rewards, the Blue Cash Everyday card delivers far more earnings if your greatest spending is at supermarkets, on gas, and at department stores. 

Travel Benefits and Protections

Person driving an Audi
Both featured cards offer secondary car rental coverage and the option to purchase premium coverage for 1 low fee. Image credit: Andraz Lazic via Unsplash

You’ll find a short list of travel benefits and protections that come with each of our featured cards.

Secondary Car Rental Insurance

Reserve and pay for your entire rental car contract with either card, decline the rental car agency’s CDW or LDW coverage, and receive protection if the rental car is damaged, stolen, or for loss-of-use charges.

Secondary coverage means that you must first file a claim with your own car insurance company, if you have one, before your card coverage applies.

Access to Premium Car Rental Protection

One benefit of having most American Express cards, including the 2 cards were highlighting today, is access to Amex Premium Car Rental Protection. For just one low fee that ranges from $12.95 to $24.95 per rental period (not per day), you can secure rental car coverage with primary rental car protection.

Coverage is worldwide, with a few exceptions, covers up to 42 consecutive days, and provides up to $100,000 in coverage for damage and theft. The coverage also does not have a deductible.

Hotel Rate Guarantee

Book a prepaid qualifying hotel through Amex Travel and if you find the same hotel room advertised for less, you could receive the difference.

Global Assist Hotline

Use the Global Assist Hotline to help you plan your trip with customs information, currency exchange, and more. When traveling more than 100 miles from home, you’ll also have access to emergency assistance including medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation, lost passport, and help with other travel disruptions you might experience.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Both of our featured cards come with key shopping perks that can save you money and provide protection when purchasing eligible items with your card.

Amex Offers

Receive special Amex Offers posted to your online credit card account. Amex Offers can be quite lucrative, saving you hundreds of dollars on purchases you make with featured retailers.

Introductory 0% APR on Purchases

If you have a large upcoming purchase or purchases, you can enjoy an interest-free period to repay for your items. You’ll have 15 months from card approval to repay the purchases without incurring interest charges.

Once the 0% APR period has expired, a variable rate applies. The current rates are found in the table at the beginning of the article.

Purchase Protection

It can be frustrating when a newly purchased item gets accidentally damaged or stolen. If you purchased the eligible item with either of these cards, however, you may be able to receive a benefit of up to $1,000 per item, maximum of $50,000 per card.

ShopRunner Membership

You’ll enjoy free returns, free 2-day shipping, and access to special offers with over 100 retailers. Complimentary ShopRunner membership normally costs $79.

Entertainment Access

Receive priority access to pre-sale event tickets, preferred seating, and invitations to special events and experiences.

Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Amex Cash Magnet Card — Summary

Couple in Kitchen
The best rewards-earning credit card for you will align with your spending mix. Image Credit: Sears

Nothing beats a side-by-side comparison to get quickly to the bottom line and determine which card might be the better fit for you.

Here’s how the two cards align when we look at earnings and benefits.

Feature or BenefitBlue Cash Everyday CardAmex Cash Magnet Card
Earnings
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in a calendar year
  • 2% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash-back all other purchases
  • 1.5% cash-back all purchases
Introductory 0% APR on Purchases
  • 15 months from card approval, a variable rate as mentioned above will apply after the 15 month period expires
Travel Benefits/Protections
  • Secondary Car Rental Insurance
  • Access to Amex Premium Car Rental Protection
  • Hotel Rate Guarantee
  • Global Assist Hotline
Shopping Benefits/Protections
  • Amex Offers
  • Purchase Protection
  • ShopRunner Membership
  • Entertainment Access

The Blue Cash Everyday card and the Amex Cash Magnet card are nearly identical cards except when it comes to earning rewards. Let’s take a look at a few spending mixes to see how the cards differ in this category.

Spending Scenario #1

  • $10,000 at supermarkets
  • $2,000 at gas stations
  • $1,000 at department stores
  • $3,000 on travel
Blue Cash Everyday Card — $310 total earnings ($6,000 x 3%, $4000 x 1%, $2,000 x 2%, $1,000 x 2%, $3,000 x 1%)Amex Cash Magnet Card — $240 total earnings ($16,000 x 1.5%)

Let’s change the mix and see how the cards compare.

Spending Scenario #2

  • $6,000 at supermarkets
  • $1,000 at gas stations
  • $1,500 at department stores
  • $1,500 on travel
Blue Cash Everyday Card — $245 total earnings ($6,000 x 3%, $1,000 x 2%, $1,500 x 2%, $1,500 x 1%)Amex Cash Magnet Card — $150 total earnings ($10,000 x 1.5%)

Spending Scenario #3

  • $15,000 in home appliances
Blue Cash Everyday Card — $150 total earnings ($15,000 x 1%) plus up to 15 months to repay without interest chargesAmex Cash Magnet Card — $180 total earnings ($15,000 x 1.5%) plus up to 15 months to repay without interest charges

The Blue Cash Everyday card is strong when it comes to earning on everyday purchase bonus categories.

However, the Amex Cash Magnet card holds its own when it comes to non-bonus category purchases by earning 1.5% cash-back on every purchase. Add in the option of using the introductory 0% APR period and it could be the go-to choice for a large purchase(s) that can then be paid back over time.

Bottom Line: The biggest difference between the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Amex Cash Magnet card is the earnings structure. Unless your spending is mostly on non-bonus categories, such as the furniture purchase example above, you could earn more cash-back with the Blue Cash Everyday card.

Alternative Cards for Everyday Purchases

Woman shopping in grocery store
If you spend a lot at supermarkets, you’ll have several card options for earning rewards. Image Credit: Artem Beliaikin via Pexels

The Blue Cash Everyday card and the Amex Cash Magnet card can both be decent choices for earning rewards. If you’d like to step things up a notch and realize even more earnings, however, we have a couple of recommendations.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

While the Blue Cash Preferred card does come with an annual fee, you’ll find the earnings on select everyday purchases much higher than either the Blue Cash Everyday card or the Amex Cash Magnet card.

Why We Like the Card for Everyday Purchases:

  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per calendar year
  • 6% cash-back at U.S. streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, and more
  • 3% cash-back on transit including taxis, ride-sharing services, and other transportation
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations
  • Travel and shopping benefits/protections

If you spend $6,000 a year at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll maximize the value of the Blue Cash Preferred card. Additional earnings on streaming, transit, and gas purchases can result in an even greater value.

American Express® Gold Card

If you spend a lot at grocery stores, dining out, and on airline tickets, you’ll enjoy great earning potential with the Amex Gold card.

The frequent traveler will also be pleased with the flexible options to redeem Membership Rewards points by transferring points to hotel and airline partners or redeeming for travel directly via Amex Travel.

Why We Like the Card for Everyday Purchases:

  • 4x earnings at U.S. supermarkets (limit of $25,000 each calendar year)
  • 4x earnings at restaurants worldwide
  • 3x earnings on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline or via Amex Travel
  • $100 statement credit for airline incidental purchases
  • $10/month in dining benefits
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Travel and shopping benefits/protections

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that American Express does a fine job of offering a wide selection of cards designed to reward everyday purchases.

Whether you’d prefer a card with no annual fee, such as one of our 2 featured cards, or are willing to pay an annual fee in return for higher earnings such either of the 2 alternative cards, you have several options for ensuring your highest expenses earn rewards.

If you have a large purchase or purchases coming up, the Amex Cash Magnet card serves as a viable choice with 1.5% cash-back on those purchases and up to 15 months from card approval to repay those purchases over time without interest charges. You’ll also be earning 1.5% on every other purchase you make.

In addition to these American Express-issued cards, there could be other rewards cards to consider, depending on your spending mix.

Check out our article on the best credit cards for each spending category to find even more options for earning the most rewards on your greatest expenses.


For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, click here
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

Which card is better, the Blue Cash Everyday card or the Amex Cash Magnet card?

The Blue Cash Everyday card offers bonus earning on several specific categories while the Amex Cash Magnet card earns a flat 1.5% cash-back rate on every purchase.

If your spending is mostly at supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores, you’ll fare better with the Blue Cash Everyday card.

With that said, if you just don’t want to deal with remembering bonus earning categories, then the Amex Cash Magnet card will work for you, but in the vast majority of cases, your earnings will be less overall.

Other than earning levels, the cards come with the same benefits and neither charges an annual fee.

How does the introductory 0% APR period for purchases work?

Eligible items purchased with either card will not incur interest charges within the first 15 months after card approval.

This introductory 0% APR period allows you to pay back a large purchase or purchases over time. You’ll save money as no interest is charged but once the period ends, you will incur normal variable interest rates.

For this reason, it is important to pay off your balance prior to the expiration of the 0% APR period.

How does cash back work?

The Blue Cash Everyday card and the Amex Cash Magnet card both earn cash-back in the form of Rewards Dollars on every purchase you make. Each statement period the Rewards Dollars are deposited into your account. When your balance reaches $25 or more, you are able to redeem your rewards.

You can redeem your Rewards Dollars for a statement credit, for gift cards, and for merchandise.

Rewards must be redeemed in $25 increments.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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