Our editor's take
Curtis Arnold CardRatings Managing Editor
Many cash back credit cards require cardholders to spend tremendous amounts of money before they see any substantial benefits. American Express overhauled its Blue Cash cards in the spring of 2011 to address those concerns, offering an "Everyday" cash back rewards card with real earning potential.
When we first covered the relaunch of American Express Blue Cash on our news blog, the generous cash back rewards offered under the "Preferred" banner caught our attention. However, after a few months of monitoring our credit card forum and other online hangouts for bargain hunters, the real story seems to be Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.
At the time, spokesperson E-Bai Koo told reporters that he expected an average consumer would save at least $187 per year using the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. With no annual fee, the card compares more than favorably against the best cash back rewards cards from Chase and Capital One.
After previous versions of the Blue Cash card garnered criticism for being too complex, American Express streamlined the rewards program. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers more rewards for certain purchase categories. However, it carries a $75 annual fee and requires excellent credit along with other credit criteria, while it's cousin Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has no annual fee.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express cardmembers enjoy all of the credit card issuer's usual benefits, including fraud detection. The only downside: Some retailers refuse to accept American Express, citing higher payment processing fees compared to Visa or MasterCard. Otherwise, Blue Cash Everyday Card makes a good addition to most consumers' wallets.
Here's the cash-back breakdown: 3% at US supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. There is no annual fee. Terms and restrictions apply.