Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Blue Cash Preferred Card [Detailed Comparison]

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You make a lot of purchases as part of your daily life, whether it’s filling up your gas tank, buying socks, or stopping to pick up a few items at the supermarket.

What if all of the everyday purchases you’re making could also be earning rewards? And at the end of the month, you’d be sitting with extra useful cash in your pocket. You’d also have the option to let the cash accumulate or apply it to your monthly credit card statement. This scenario can easily be executed and earnings on everyday purchases can be automatic and result in tangible rewards.

If you’re spending a lot at grocery stores, gas stations, or department stores, or on transit or streaming services, the American Express credit cards we’re going to talk about today could match up with your spending patterns and be worth considering.

Let’s compare 2 popular cards that do well at rewarding everyday purchases. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express are designed specifically for this task.

If you’re spending a lot on everyday purchases and not currently earning rewards, you’ll be especially interested in hearing about how it works.

Introductory Welcome Bonuses

Introductory welcome bonuses can jump-start your cash-back earnings. To earn the welcome bonus offered on each of these cards, you need to meet minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.

While welcome bonuses can change, you can generally expect to find a welcome bonus between $100-$200 on the Blue Cash Everyday card and between $200-$300 on the Blue Cash Preferred card.

Earnings Rewards Dollars

Cereal at Grocery Store
The Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred card earn big on supermarket purchases. Image Credit: Franki Chamaki via Unsplash

Both the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred card earn cash-back in the form of Blue Cash Rewards Dollars. When you spend on your card, the applicable earnings percentage for that purchase category is applied and earned cash-back is deposited into your Rewards Dollars account for later redemption.

Here’s a look at how the cards compare in the earning categories:

Everyday Purchase CategoryBlue Cash Everyday CardBlue Cash Preferred Card
U.S. Supermarkets
  • 3% cash-back up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1%
  • 6% cash-back up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1%
U.S. Gas Stations
  • 2% cash-back
  • 3% cash-back
U.S. Department Stores
  • 1% cash-back
Streaming Services
  • 1% cash-back
Transit
  • 1% cash-back
  • 3% cash-back
All Other Purchases
  • 1% cash-back
  • 1% cash-back

It’s clear that the Blue Cash Preferred card is the winner when comparing bonus category earnings. If you focus on supermarket purchases alone, you’ll see the potential for double the earnings over the Blue Cash Everyday card.

While the Blue Cash Preferred card charges an annual fee, you would need to spend $1,584 in 6% cash-back categories on the Blue Cash Preferred card each calendar year to offset the current annual fee. This may be something to consider when deciding between an annual fee card compared to a no annual fee card.

If you prefer to not pay an annual fee, however, all of the cash-back you earn on the Blue Cash Everyday card turns into free money earned on purchases you’re already making.

Bottom Line: There are no losers in this credit card battle. Either card could be a winning choice depending on your preference of paying, or not paying, an annual fee and how bonus category earnings match up with your personal spending mix. 

Redeeming Rewards Dollars

Cash-back Blue Cash Rewards Dollars earned on either card can easily be redeemed for statement credits. This means you can wipe out any purchase you make with your cash-back funds.

There is a requirement that redemptions must be made in $25 increments.

In addition to redeeming cash rewards for statement credits, cardholders have the option to purchase merchandise or gift cards. However, note that these options may not deliver good value for your rewards.

Travel Benefits and Protections

White Car in the desert
Both cards come with secondary rental car insurance and the option to purchase premium coverage for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental period. Image Credit: Matthew T Rader via Unsplash

You can count on both the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred card to offer some of the same travel benefits.

These common benefits include:

Secondary Car Rental Insurance

Reserve and pay for your rental car with your eligible card, decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) coverage, and receive protection for theft, damage, and loss of use charges. Coverage is secondary to other insurance which means you must file a claim with your own insurance first.

Access to Amex Premium Car Rental Protection

American Express Premium Car Rental Protection is available to cardholders for a flat fee of $12.95-$24.95 depending on your chosen coverages. The fee covers the entire rental period, up to 42 consecutive days, and includes primary protection for your rental car.

Best Rate Hotel Guarantee

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

Global Assist Hotline

Receive assistance 24/7 while traveling more than 100 miles from your residence. Get help with English-speaking doctor referrals, translators, legal or other medical referrals, emergency transportation, and more. Cardholders are responsible for the actual cost of services but referral assistance is provided complimentary.

Washer and Dryer
If you have a large purchase you to make, the 0% APR period could save you money on interest charges. Image Credit: Sears

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Both the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred card deliver a long list of shopping benefits that can save you money and provide additional protections that cover eligible items purchased with either card.

Here are some of the shopping benefits and protections you’ll find on both cards.

0% Introductory APR for Purchases

Have a large purchase to make such as new appliances or furniture? Each card comes with an introductory 0% APR period for purchases which grants a period of time when no interest is charged. This no-interest period allows you to make a large purchase (or purchases) and pay the balance back over time without incurring interest rate charges.

The Blue Cash Preferred card offers a 0% APR period for purchases for 12 months after card approval. After that, a variable rate of 13.99%-23.99% will apply. The Blue Cash Everyday card offers the same 0% APR for 15 months after card approval. After that, a variable rate of 13.99%-23.99% will apply.

After that time, you will be charged normal variable interest rates.

Amex Offers

Receive online Amex offers that can be utilized for savings on select purchases. Savings can be significant — up to hundreds, even thousands of dollars per year on everything from utilities, retailers, travel, and services.

American Express Car Purchasing Program

Cardholders receive a discount when purchasing a new vehicle from participating dealerships. You will also be able to charge at least $2,000 of the purchase price on your card.

Purchase Protection

Purchase an eligible item with your card and have theft and damage protection for 90 days from the purchase date. Coverage limits are $1,000 per covered item, up to $50,000 per account.

ShopRunner Membership

Receive 2-day free shipping and free returns with your complimentary ShopRunner membership. Receive special offers and shopping privileges at over 100 retailers. Normally, a ShopRunner membership costs $79 annually.

You’ll find the following additional shopping benefits and protections only on the Blue Cash Preferred card.

Extended Warranty

When an eligible item is purchased with your Blue Cash Preferred card, you will receive 1 additional year added to the manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less. Coverage limits are $10,000 per item, $50,000 per card account.

Return Protection

Purchase an eligible item entirely with your card and receive up to $300 if the merchant will not accept a return within 90 days of the purchase date. Coverage is limited to $1,000 maximum per card account per calendar year.

Additional Benefits

Annual Fees and Additional Users

Annual Fees

As with the cards’ benefits, these cards also vary in annual fees. The Blue Cash Everyday card does not have an annual fee and the Blue Cash Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.

It’s important to include any annual fee, along with the card’s benefits, to determine which card might be right for your wallet.

Additional Users

Adding an authorized user to your card helps you earn more rewards faster. There is no charge to add additional users to either the Blue Cash Everyday card or Blue Cash Preferred card.

Shell gas station
Image Credit: Shell

Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Blue Cash Preferred Card — Summary

These 2 cards have a lot of similarities in their bonus earning categories, redemption options, and additional benefits.

However, let’s look closer at how these cards stack up in a side-by-side comparison.

BenefitBlue Cash Everyday CardBlue Cash Preferred Card
Earnings
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (maximum $6,000 in a calendar year), 2% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and department stores, 1% all other purchases
  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (maximum $6,000 in a calendar year) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, 1% all other purchases
0% APR Introductory Period
  • 15 months for purchases
  • 12 months for purchases
Travel Benefits/Protection
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Access to Amex Premium Car Rental Protection
  • Best rate hotel guarantee
  • Global Assist Hotline
Shopping Benefits/Protections
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex Auto Purchasing Program
  • Purchase Protection
  • ShopRunner Membership
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex Auto Purchasing Program
  • Purchase Protection
  • ShopRunner Membership
  • Extended Warranty
  • Return Protection

Bottom Line: When we compare these 2 cards we immediately see a difference in bonus category earning levels. The Blue Cash Preferred card stands out earning much more on supermarkets, streaming services, and at gas stations. To receive these greater earnings, however, you’ll be paying an annual fee. If you maximize the spending on groceries alone, however, you’ll easily offset that fee and come out far ahead.

Alternative Cards for Everyday Purchases

While the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred card could either serve as a productive addition for earning rewards on your everyday purchases, you should also check out these 2 additional options.

American Express® Gold Card

Everyday spenders can enjoy earning cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, restaurants worldwide, and travel. Here’s how the earnings break down on the Amex Gold card:

  • 4x earnings on up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets each card anniversary year
  • 4x earnings at restaurants worldwide
  • 3x earnings on flights purchased directly through the airlines and Amex Travel
  • 1x earnings on all other purchases

In addition to bonus category earnings, the card earns valuable Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for travel or transferred to hotel and airline partners for even greater potential value.

You’ll also receive a $100 statement credit for airline incidentals and a $10 monthly dining credit.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

No need to keep track of bonus earning categories as the Freedom Unlimited card earns a flat 1.5% on every purchase you make.

The Freedom Unlimited card makes a perfect choice to ensure you’re always earning rewards, regardless of the purchase category.

Final Thoughts

Comparing the Blue Cash Everyday card to the Blue Cash Preferred card boils down to simple math.

If you spend $6,000 on groceries in a calendar year, you’re going to earn $360 in cash-back rewards on the Blue Cash Preferred Card. You will earn just $180 on the Blue Cash Everyday card for the same level of spending ($6,000 x 3%). Even after paying the annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred card, you’re still ahead $265.

If your spending mix is different, or at lower levels, and you are averse to paying an annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday card can still deliver value.

As we mentioned earlier, there are no losers with these 2 cards, there’s just a little math involved to determine which one is a better fit for your situation.

If you’re a frequent traveler, however, the cards will not live up to the role a travel rewards card needs to play. Both cards charge foreign transaction fees, do not offer flexible travel redemption options, and do not earn elevated rewards on travel purchases.

One of these 2 cards could be a perfect match for your everyday purchasing card but if you’re looking for a travel rewards card, check out our recommendations for some of the best available.


The information for the Chase Freedom® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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 is better, the Blue Cash Everyday card or the Blue Cash Preferred card?

For the consumer looking for a card that rewards everyday purchases, either card could be a match.

The better card will be the one that matches rewards earning to the mix of your spending so that your greatest expenses earn maximum rewards.

In addition, you must be comfortable paying the annual fee. While the Blue Cash Everyday card does not charge an annual fee, it’s earning levels are lower than the Blue Cash Preferred card.

If you spend $6,000 at U.S. supermarkets in a year, the Blue Cash Preferred card would be the better card. You would be earning $360 in rewards and paying a $95 (current) annual fee, for a net gain of $265. With the Blue Cash Everyday card, your earnings on $6,000 spending at U.S. supermarkets would be net $180 ($6,000 x 3%).

Can I get both the Blue Cash Preferred card and the Blue Cash Everyday card?

Yes, generally you can. The Blue Cash Preferred card and the Blue Cash Everyday card are credit cards and although American Express does not publish a maximum number of cards it allows you to have, data points reveal that the maximum number of credit cards allowed is generally 5.

There are also data points that you cannot apply for more than 2 credit cards within a 90-day period and the applications should be spaced at least 5 days apart.

You will need a good to excellent credit score to apply for either card.

Can I upgrade the Blue Cash Everyday card to the Blue Cash Preferred card?

Yes, it is possible to upgrade, but reports are that you would need to have had the card for 1 year prior to being able to make the change.

How does the 0% APR period work?

Both cards offer an introductory 0% APR period for purchases.

The 0% APR period is a grace period where you are not charged interest on purchases such as those from other high-interest credit cards.

The Blue Cash Everyday card has a 15-month 0% APR period that starts upon card approval. For purchases made during that time, you will not be charged interest for the first 15 months.

The Blue Cash Preferred card has an introductory 0% APR period of 12 months from card approval.

It’s important to note that there is a 3% or $5 (whichever is greater) fee for balance transfers.

After the 0% APR period expires, normal interest rates, which are variable, apply.

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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