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

Family Grocery Shopping 1

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If you’re interested in earning rewards on all or most of your everyday spending, you’re going to want to read today’s card challenge.

The 2 popular American Express cards we’ve selected today focus on rewarding everyday spending, including 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” card. While both of these products focus on everyday earnings, each card has a specific earning structure, redemption options, and list of travel and shopping benefits.

These differences are typical between different card products and can make it difficult to sort through the options — that’s why we’re here.

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 fits your idea of the perfect match-up for your spending habits. 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 size of the bonus, however, depends on the current offer in place at the time you’re approved for a given 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.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

Amex Gold Card

Hot Tip: The value of a welcome bonus can vary depending on how it’s 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 Amex 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 CategoryAmex Blue Cash Everyday CardAmex Gold Card
U.S. Supermarkets3% 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
Restaurants1% cash-back4x earnings
Select Travel1% cash-back3x earnings on flights purchased directly from the airlines and on Amex Travel
U.S. Gas Stations2% cash-back1x earnings
Select Department Stores2% cash-back1x earnings
All Other Purchases1% cash-back1x earnings

The level of rewards you earn depends 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

Annual 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
Amex Blue Cash Everyday CardAmex Gold Card
  • 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
  • Restaurants: 1% on $1,800
  • U.S. Supermarkets: 4x on $12,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations: 1x on $2,000
  • Eligible Department Stores: 1x on $2,000
  • Restaurants: 4x on $1,800
$338 total earnings59,200 Membership Rewards points

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

Annual Spending Breakdown:

  • $9,000 at U.S. supermarkets
  • $3,000 on flights booked directly from airlines
  • $2,400 spent at restaurants
  • $2,000 at eligible department stores
  • $1,500 at U.S. gas stations
Amex Blue Cash Everyday CardAmex Gold Card
  • 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
  • U.S. Supermarkets: 4x on $9,000
  • Flights: 3x on $3,000
  • Restaurants: 4x on $2,400
  • Eligible Department Stores: 1x on $2,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations: 1x on $1,500
$334 total earnings58,100 Membership Rewards points

Since you can redeem Membership Rewards points for 1 cent each through the Amex Travel portal, the translated value for the above total net earnings on the Amex Gold card would be $592 and $581 respectively. Keep in mind, however, that if you leverage the flexibility of Membership Rewards points and transfer them to partners, you could get much more value from your points on a cent-per-point basis. We’ll get into this more below.

You’ll also notice the Amex Gold card charges an annual fee and the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card does not (see rates and fees). 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 U.S. supermarkets, restaurants, and for airline tickets, but it also comes with an annual fee. The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card doesn’t 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
Amex Blue Cash Everyday cardRedeem as cash-back for statement credits; minimum of $25 needed to redeemGift 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 Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, greater value can potentially be found when Membership Rewards points earned on the Amex Gold card are transferred to travel partners.

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

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

The Amex 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. You’ll find the most current annual fee listed in the snapshot at the beginning of this article. The Amex Gold card also allows up to 5 additional users at no cost. The sixth card and any 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:

  • 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 your 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/or Membership Rewards points 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 – note that some require enrollment. 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 Amex 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.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card — Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections

  • Introductory 0% APR Period for Purchases — Use your card to make an eligible purchase/eligible purchases 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 in the table at the beginning of the article, will apply.

Amex Gold Card — Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections

  • Uber Cash — Receive $10 each month in Uber Cash that can be used for Uber rides in the U.S. or Uber Eats orders, up to $120 total each year. Add your Amex Gold card to your Uber account to be eligible for the monthly benefit.
  • Extended Warranty — Pay for an eligible item with your card and for manufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less, the warranty will be extended by 1 year. Benefit limits are $10,000 per item, $50,000 per account.
  • Monthly Dining Credit — Receive $10 per month in dining credits for purchases at select restaurants.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Please note our list is not inclusive of all the benefits and protections provided on each card — and we’ve 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

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

It’s always good to look at the 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 BenefitAmex Blue 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 RewardsCash-back for statement credits, shopping, gift cardsTransfer 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
Annual Statement CreditsN/AUp to $120 dining credit annually
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 of $1,000 per item
  • Amex Offers
  • Amex auto purchasing program
  • ShopRunner Membership
  • $10 each month in Uber Cash, up to $120 total each year
  • Purchase protection of $10,000 per item
  • Extended Warranty
  • 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 Amex 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 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, worldwide dining, no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement, solid 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 Amex 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 Amex Blue Cash Everyday card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Amex 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 Amex Blue Cash Everyday card or the Amex Gold card?

If you spend a lot at grocery stores, dining out, and on 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 rewards on dining purchases worldwide.

The Amex 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’s 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’re 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 Amex Blue Cash Everyday card work?

The Amex 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’ll 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.

Which U.S. supermarkets count for the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card?

Most U.S. supermarkets count for bonus earnings on the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, however, there are exceptions.

Warehouse clubs such as Sam’s Club and Costco do not count as grocery stores as well as superstores such as Walmart and Target. Additionally, most convenience stores, specialty food stores, and Amazon also do not count as grocery stores.

If you’re unsure as to whether a store will count as a grocery store, you can do a small purchase then check your statement for bonus earnings.

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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