The Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Amex Gold Card [Detailed Comparison]

Full Disclosure: We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. We appreciate your support!

If you’ve finally decided to earn rewards on all or most of your everyday spending, you’ll be interested in today’s card challenge.

The 2 popular American Express cards we’ve selected today focus on rewarding everyday spending such as purchases you make at U.S supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, restaurants, department stores, and more.

Perhaps you’ve realized at this point in your search for a rewards card, however, that there is no “one size fits all.” While both of these cards focus on everyday earnings, each card has its specific earning structure, redemption options, and list of travel and shopping benefits.

These typical card differences can make it difficult to sort through the options — but that’s where we can help.

Our 2 featured cards, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card have similarities but also some important differences.

Join us as we look closer at these 2 everyday earning cards to uncover which card fits your idea of the perfect match up for your everyday purchases. We’ll also talk about redemption values and provide a helpful list of benefits you can expect from each card.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses are a great way to earn rewards quickly. The amount of the bonus you will receive, however, will depend on the current offer in place at the time you are approved for a specific card.

To receive the welcome bonus, you’ll need to meet the specified minimum spending requirements within a given amount of time. For this reason, it’s important to plan the timing of your card acquisition accordingly.

Here’s a snapshot of bonuses currently being offered on our featured cards.

Blue Cash Everyday Card

Amex Gold Card

Hot Tip: The value of a welcome bonus can differ depending on how it is redeemed. To learn more about the value of different types of rewards points and miles, check out our article on the topic. 

Earning Rewards

Couple buying grapes
You’ll earn elevated rewards on every U.S. supermarket purchase with both of our featured cards. Image Credit: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

While the Blue Cash Everyday card earns rewards in the form of Rewards Dollars that can subsequently be redeemed for cash-back, the Amex Gold card earns Membership Rewards points that have additional redemption options.

We’ll compare those redemption options next, but first, let’s look at how each of our featured cards compares when it comes to earning rewards.

Purchase CategoryBlue Cash Everyday CardAmex Gold Card
U.S. Supermarkets
  • 3% cash-back on up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1%
  • 4x earnings on up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1x
Restaurants Worldwide
  • 1% cash-back
  • 4x earnings
Select Travel
  • 1% cash-back
  • 3x earnings on flights purchased directly from the airlines and on Amex Travel
U.S. Gas Stations
  • 2% cash-back
  • 1x earnings
Select Department Stores
  • 2% cash-back
  • 1x earnings
All Other Purchases
  • 1% cash-back
  • 1x earnings

The level of rewards you earn will depend on the mix of your spending. If you can estimate your highest annual purchases, you can determine which card may be a better fit for your circumstances.

Here are a couple of spending scenarios that illustrate the process.

Spending Scenario #1 — High Spending at U.S. Supermarkets

Spending Breakdown:

  • $12,000 at U.S. supermarkets
  • $2,000 at U.S. gas stations
  • $2,000 at eligible department stores
  • $1,800 at restaurants worldwide
Blue Cash Everyday Card$338 total earnings

  • U.S. Supermarkets – 3% on $6,000 and 1% on the remaining 6,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations – 2% on $2,000
  • Eligible Department Stores – 2% on $2,000
  • Dining Out – 1% on $1,800
Amex Gold Card — 59,200 Membership Rewards points

  • U.S. Supermarkets – 4x on $12,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations – 1x on $2,000
  • Eligible Department Stores – 1x on $2,000
  • Dining Out – 4x on $1,800

Spending Scenario #2 — Moderate U.S. Supermarket & Travel Spending

Spending Breakdown:

  • $9,000 at U.S. supermarkets
  • $3,000 on flights booked directly from airlines
  • $2,400 spent at restaurants worldwide
  • $2,000 at eligible department stores
  • $1,500 at U.S. gas stations
Blue Cash Everyday Card$334 total earnings

  • U.S. Supermarkets – 3% on $6,000 and 1% on the remaining $3,000
  • Flights – 1% on $3,000
  • Dining Out – 1% on $2,400
  • Eligible Department Stores – 2% on $2,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations – 2% on 1,500

 

Amex Gold Card — 58,100 Membership Rewards points

  • U.S. Supermarkets  – 4x on $9,000
  • Flights – 3x on $3,000
  • Dining Out – 4x on $2,400
  • Eligible Department Stores – 1x on $2,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations – 1x on $1,500

 

Since you can redeem Membership Rewards points for 1 cent each, the translated value for the above total net earnings on the Amex Gold card would be $592 and $581 respectively.

You’ll also notice that the Amex Gold card charges an annual fee and the Blue Cash Everyday card does not. The actual total net earnings for the Amex Gold card would need to consider this factor and subtract it from gross earnings.

Your actual earnings will be determined by the specific bonus categories on the card and how your spending mix aligns with those categories.

Bottom Line: The Amex Gold card comes with higher earnings at supermarkets, dining, and airline tickets but it also comes with an annual fee. The Blue Cash Everyday card does not charge an annual fee but its earning rates are lower. To determine which card is better for you, apply an estimate of your highest spending categories to the applicable rewards earning level of each card, remembering to take into account the annual fee. 

Redeeming Rewards

Couple Having Coffee
Determining which rewards card is best for you requires matching your largest expenses to the card’s spending bonus categories and your preferred option for redeeming those rewards. Image Credit: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Whether you prefer the liquidity of earning cash-back rewards or earning rewards that can be redeemed for travel, you’ll find several available options with our featured cards.

CardBest Redemption OptionsAdditional Redemption Options
Blue Cash Everyday Card
  • Redeem as cash-back for statement credits; minimum of $25 needed to redeem
  • Gift Cards, Shopping
Amex Gold Card
  • Transfer to airline and hotel partners
  • Redeem for flights at 1 cent per point via Amex Travel
  • Qualifying travel via Amex Travel, shopping, statement credits, gift cards, NYC taxis

While you can redeem cash-back for a statement credit against purchases via the Blue Cash Everyday card, greater value can potentially be found when transferring Membership Rewards points to travel partners.

Bottom Line: Redeeming cash-back earned on the Blue Cash Everyday card is simple and straightforward. Redeeming Membership Rewards points may require slightly more effort due to the options available, but the results could potentially yield more value. 

Annual Fees and Adding Authorized Users

The Blue Cash Everyday card does not charge an annual fee and there is also no charge for adding authorized users.

The Amex Gold card does charge an annual fee, which is listed early. The Amex Gold card also allows up to 5 additional users at no cost. The sixth card and subsequent users can be added at $35 each (see rates and fees).

couple at airport
Whether it’s a weekend getaway, an epic vacation, or even a staycation, you’ll find useful travel and shopping benefits/protections on both of our featured cards. Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi via Shutterstock

Travel Benefits and Protections

You’ll find the following travel benefits and protections on both of our featured cards:

  • Secondary Car Rental Insurance — Use your card to pay for your entire rental, decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver coverage, and receive secondary coverage for damage and theft. Secondary coverage requires you to file a claim with your own insurance first.
  • Access to Premium Car Rental Protection — Often overlooked is the exclusive option for cardholders to purchase primary car rental protection for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental car period, up to 42 consecutive days. The coverage costs just $12.25 to $24.99 for each rental period, depending on the level of benefits you select and your state of residence.
  • Global Assist Hotline — Receive assistance when traveling with access to a dedicated phone line to help with a lost passport, to obtain medical and/or legal referrals, arrange emergency transportation, and more.

The following additional benefits are offered only on the Amex Gold card:

  • Airline Incidental Statement Credit — Receive up to $100 in statement credits for airline incidental purchases, per calendar year, such as seat upgrades and baggage fees.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Reimbursement — Receive a statement credit of up to $100 when you use your card to pay for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fees.
  • The Hotel Collection Benefits — Stay 2 consecutive nights and receive $100 hotel credit towards eligible hotel purchases at check-out.
  • Baggage Insurance Plan — If baggage is damaged or stolen while traveling with a common carrier, you could receive up to $1,250 per person, per trip, for carry-on baggage, or up to $500 per person, per trip, for checked baggage.
  • Trip Delay Insurance — Pay for your entire trip with your card and if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered loss, you could receive up to $300 per trip for reimbursement of incidental expenses and lodging (maximum of 2 claims per 12-month period).

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Each of our featured cards comes with several useful shopping benefits and protections. Here are the ones that are offered on both cards.

  • Purchase Protection — Use your card to purchase an eligible item and receive 90 days of coverage, from the date of purchase, for damage or theft. Coverage is limited to $1,000 per item on the Blue Cash Everyday card and $10,000 per item on the Amex Gold card. Both cards limit maximum coverage to $50,000 per account.
  • Amex Offers — Enjoy significant ongoing savings offers on purchases with select retailers and service merchants.
  • Amex Auto Purchasing Program — Receive cardholder discount pricing when purchasing a new vehicle and have the opportunity to charge at least $2,000 on your eligible card.
  • ShopRunner Membership — Free shipping and free returns are yours when shopping with over 100 retailers via your complimentary ShopRunner membership benefit.
  • Best Hotel Rate Guarantee — If you book a prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and find the same room advertised online for less, you could receive the difference.

Blue Cash Everyday Card — Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections

  • Introductory 0% APR Period for Purchases — Use your card to make an eligible purchase(s) and receive up to 15 months, from the date of card approval, to repay the amount without interest charges. After the introductory rate, regular APR, listed above, will apply.

Amex Gold Card — Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections

  • Monthly Dining Credit — Receive $10 per month in dining credits for purchases at select restaurants.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Please note that our list is not a complete list of all the benefits and protections provided on each card, plus we have also abbreviated the descriptions. The actual guide to benefits for each card will contain full descriptions and a complete list of all the benefits/protections available with each card.

Family watching sunset
Enjoy a variety of redemption options for the rewards earned on your card. Image Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Amex Gold Card — Summary

It’s always good to look at the overall big picture when you’re selecting a rewards card.

Let’s summarize all of the earning, redeeming, and benefits information we’ve talked about previously for our featured cards.

Feature or BenefitBlue Cash Everyday CardAmex Gold Card
Annual Fee
  • $0
  • $250
Earning Rewards
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per calendar year
  • 2% cash-back at gas stations
  • 2% cash-back at select department stores
Redeeming Rewards
  • Cash-back for statement credits, shopping, gift cards
  • Transfer to hotel and airline partners, redeem for flights at 1 cent per point, NYC taxis, qualifying travel via Amex Travel at 0.7 cents per point, shopping, gift cards
Statement Credits
  • N/A
  • Up to $100 fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $100 for airline incidental purchases
  • $10 per month dining credit
Travel Benefits/Protections
  • Secondary car rental insurance and access to purchase Amex Premium Car Rental Protection
  • Global Assist Hotline
  • Best hotel rate guarantee
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fees
  • Secondary car rental insurance and access to purchase Amex Premium Car Rental Protection
  • Global Assist Hotline
  • Best hotel rate guarantee
  • The Hotel Collection $100 Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
Shopping Benefits/Protections
  • Purchase protection $1,000 per item
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex auto purchasing program
  • ShopRunner Membership
  • Purchase protection $10,000 per item
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex auto purchasing program
  • ShopRunner Membership

Bottom Line: Your first inclination may be to avoid a card with an annual fee and select the Blue Cash Everyday card. Depending on your spending mix, however, the Amex Gold card, even with its annual fee, has the potential for greater earnings if you’re spending a lot at supermarkets or on dining and airline tickets. The card also offers greater travel and shopping benefits/protections. 

Final Thoughts

The Amex Gold card is by far the better card for the frequent traveler, offering a generous welcome bonus, elevated earnings on flight purchases and worldwide dining, no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement, statement credits for airline incidental fees, good-value travel redemption options, and more.

If you absolutely do not want to pay an annual fee, however, you’ll still realize plenty of earnings on everyday purchases with the Blue Cash Everyday card. Plus, without an annual fee, you’ll be able to keep the card indefinitely and add to your credit history longevity — a factor that can improve your credit score.

For additional cards to consider for your everyday purchases, check out our comparisons between the Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred card vs. the Amex Gold card.


For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, 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 Gold card?

If you spend a lot at grocery stores, dining out, and on airline flights, the Amex Gold card may be the better choice. It does, however, have an annual fee. The card is also best for the frequent traveler as it comes with several travel benefits, statement credits for airline incidentals, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and for dining worldwide.

The Blue Cash Everyday card does not charge an annual fee but could be a fit if you prefer cash-back and are not a frequent traveler.

The better card will be the one that matches your spending mix, redemption options you prefer, and benefits that can save you money or provide assistance.

Which is better, cash-back or Membership Rewards points?

Cash-back is the most flexible reward you can earn but it is not always the most valuable. The better rewards currency for you will depend on your redemption preferences.

For example, if redeeming rewards for travel is your preference, Membership Rewards can be leveraged into greater potential value when transferred to travel loyalty programs and subsequently redeemed for flights or free hotel nights.

However, if you are not a frequent traveler, this benefit may not appeal to you. In that case, you may prefer the simplicity and fixed value that comes with earning cash-back.

How does the cash-back on the Blue Cash Everyday card work?

The Blue Cash Everyday card earns cash-back on every purchase you make in the form of Rewards Dollars, but some bonus category purchases earn more.

The card’s bonus earning categories include U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. department stores.

The cash-back earned each statement period is deposited into your Rewards Dollars account and once you have accumulated $25 in earnings, you can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards, or use for shopping.

Subsequent redemptions must be made in $25 increments.

When you redeem cash-back rewards for statement credits, you will receive the full value of 1 cent in statement credits for 1 cent of Rewards Dollars. Other reward redemptions could result in less value.

For example, using your cash-back for Amazon purchases results in receiving 0.7 cents for each 1 cent of rewards and is therefore not good comparative value.

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.

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.