When it comes to cash back credit cards, it’s hard to know which ones are the best fit for you. This is especially true when you’re comparing two of our top-ranked cash back credit cards, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) and the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. These cards earned top spots for their stellar cash back rewards, generous intro bonus opportunities and the seemingly-endless perks. While I’ve talked about my first-hand experience with the Blue Cash Everyday Card and how satisfied I am with this card, it may not be the right card for everyone. To help you determine which card is best for you, here’s a breakdown of every aspect of these top-notch credit cards, including how to determine if the Blue Cash Preferred Card’s $95 annual fee is worth it.
Best intro bonus: Blue Cash Preferred Card
Both cards offer a generous intro bonus, but the Blue Cash Preferred Card’s intro bonus is just a little more appealing. That’s because when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll get $150 back. On the other hand, the Blue Cash Everyday Card gives you $100 back when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Keep in mind that if you qualify for a special offer from American Express like I did, you may be able to earn an even larger intro bonus.
Best limited-time offer: Tied
If you apply to either of the cards by May 3, 2017, you’ll earn a whopping 10% cash back at U.S. restaurants for the first 6 months of card membership (up to $200 back, then it’s 1%).
Best ongoing rewards: Blue Cash Preferred Card
When it comes to ongoing rewards, the Blue Cash Preferred Card offers some of the highest earning potential of any card we review. Cardholders get 6% cash back at grocery stores (up to $6,000/year in purchases, then it’s 1%), 3% back at gas stations and select department stores as well as 1% back on all purchases. While the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s ongoing rewards aren’t quite as stellar as the Blue Cash Preferred Card’s, they’re still something to write home about. Blue Cash Everyday cardholders earn 3% back at supermarkets (up to $6,000/year in purchases, then it’s 1%), 2% back at gas stations and select department stores as well as 1% back on all other purchases. As a Blue Cash Everyday Card holder, I’ve been really satisfied with the cash back rewards I’ve earned from my purchases at the grocery store, gas stations and department stores — I’ve already earned enough to redeem for a $40 statement credit!
Longest 0% intro APR: Tied
Both Blue Cash cards offer a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, which is a solid amount of time, especially considering how generous the cards’ perks are. If you’re thinking of doing a balance transfer, something you’ll want to note is that both cards have a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.
Lowest annual fee: Blue Cash Everyday Card
Those looking to avoid an annual fee will appreciate the Blue Cash Everyday Card’s $0 annual fee. On the flip said, the Blue Cash Preferred Card charges a $95 annual fee. As you saw above, the perks of the Blue Cash Preferred Card are pretty significant, but are they worth the annual fee? It really depends. If you’re like me and you don’t spend a ton of money groceries or, frankly, the thought of a $95 annual fee scares you, the Blue Cash Everyday Card is best for you. On the other hand, if you’re a big spender at the grocery store and gas station, you’re likely better off with the Blue Cash Preferred Card because you’ll earn significant rewards on your purchases. For example, if you max out the 6% on groceries by spending $500/month at the supermarket (totaling to $6,000/year), you’ll get $360 back. After you deduct the $95 annual fee, you’re looking at a total of $265 back just for your grocery purchases, which is $85 more than the $180 you’d earn with the Blue Cash Everyday’s 3% on groceries (up to $6000/year).
Best redemption options: Tied
Best added perks: Tied
Both cards offer a handful added perks that you won’t get with some other credit cards. To start, you’ll get access to a roadside assistance hotline that can help you obtain emergency services like towing, changing a flat tire or boosting a battery. Next, you’ll get car rental loss and damage insurance when you use your card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the car rental counter. On top of that, you’ll get travel accident insurance that can cover travel by plane, ship or bus when you purchase the entire fare with your card as well as access to the Global Assist Hotline who can help you if something unexpected happens when you’re traveling, like you lose your passport or you come down with an unexpected illness. In addition, you get exclusive access to ticket presales and cardholder-only events in cities near you. These events can include Broadway shows, concert tours, family and sporting events and more.
As if that isn’t enough, both cards also get you added shopping perks like extended warranties that allow you to add up to one year to an original manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less, purchase protection that helps protect eligible purchases made with the card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase, return protection that may qualify you for a full refund (excluding shipping and handling) from American Express if you’re unable to return an eligible item to a merchant within 90 days and dispute resolution with the help of an American Express representative if there is fraud or an incorrect charge on your statement. It’s also worth noting that American Express offers cardholders 24/7 customer support via the phone and live chat.
Best overall: Blue Cash Preferred Card
As a Blue Cash Everyday Card holder, I recommend the Blue Cash Everyday Card to everyone and anyone who wants a top-notch cash back credit card without the annual fee. That said, as you can see from all of the information above, the Blue Cash Preferred Card offers rewards that can’t be beat. Although the card has a hefty $95 annual fee, if you spend at least $500 on groceries every month, as described above, it will easily balance out (and then some). Still, if you aren’t comfortable with that high of an annual fee, you’ll want to opt for the Blue Cash Everyday Card, as you’ll get some great rewards and not have to worry about any annual fee. Check out this blog post to learn more about my first-hand experience with the Blue Cash Everyday Card.
Visit our cash back credit card reviews to learn more about both of these cards and see how they compare to other top-notch cash back credit cards.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.