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03-04-2013, 01:02 PM #1
American Express Blue Cash: Full Review & Application
If you're looking for a new credit card for everyday purchases like clothing, gasoline and groceries, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option than the American Express Blue Cash, which comes in two versions: Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred. Here's the real scoop on these cards and a look at how much you could be saving.
Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred -- What's the Difference?
Let's start by going over the basics of the Everyday and the Preferred.
Blue Cash Everyday
This is the basic version with no annual fee and you might want to start with this card because you can upgrade it later. The difference between the two cards is the Blue Cash Everyday earns less cash back, although you'll still earn:
- 3% cash back on stand-alone supermarkets for the first $6,000 each year; afterward you earn 1%.
- 2% cash back on gasoline at stand-alone gas stations and most major department stores.
- 1% cash back on everything else.
- Bonus of $100 when you spend $1,000 during the first 3 months.
Blue Cash Preferred
This version has a $75 annual fee so it'll only be the better option if you spend a substantial amount every year in gasoline, groceries and clothes.
- 6% cash back on stand-alone supermarkets for the first $6,000 each year; afterward you earn 1%.
- 3% cash back on gasoline at stand-alone gas stations and most major department stores.
- 1% cash back on everything else.
- Bonus of $150 when you spend $1,000 during the first 3 months.
One of the best things about the Blue Cash cards is you don't have to worry about rotating categories like you would with the Discover IT card. As long as you're looking for rewards on everyday spending, you'll see pretty substantial cash back.
How Much Can You Save With Blue Cash?
Assuming you spend an average of $440 at the supermarket, $260 in gasoline and $100 at department stores and another $750 in other purchases every month, you'll earn over $353 cash back with the Blue Cash Everyday Card. With the Preferred, this rises to $570 cash back, minus the annual fee, which comes to $495.
You can also add a secondary card to your account which will earn the same rewards. If you spend more than the average consumer, you're of course looking at greater savings each year.
Note: Some people even report earning that 6% cash back by purchasing gift cards at their grocery store, which lets you earn 6% back at your favorite restaurant, Starbucks and much more. Of course, this will push you closer to the $6,000 per year threshold but it might be a good option if you don't already spend $500/month on groceries.
Redeeming Your Rewards
Along with the great rewards rate of up to 6%, the redemption process is also hassle-free. Your points won't expire, there is no limit the number of gift cards you can get and there aren't any tricks in terms of point accumulation requirements. Redemption starts at $25 for cash back or gift cards.
Along with the highest rebates for everyday spending categories, the card includes:
- Purchase Protection which protects purchases with your card against theft and accidental damage for up to 90 days after the date of purchase.
- Return Protection which refunds the full purchase price up to $300/item and $1,000/annually if you try to return an item within 90 days but the merchant won't accept it.
- Extended Warranty Coverage, which matches an eligible manufacturer's warranty up to 12 additional months when you use your card.
There are a couple of things to note with the card, however. Because it's an American Express, you may find it isn't accepted everywhere you like so you may want another no-fee backup card from Discover or Visa. There's also a 2.7% foreign transaction fee so it's not the best option if you travel overseas fairly often.
The Bottom Line
While it won't be accepted everywhere, American Express is known for its great network perks like purchase protection and extended warranties and you can't go wrong earning up to 6% cash back on everyday spending -- even with the cap.
This cash back credit card is designed for the average household so you'll earn hundreds back every year just by buying the same groceries, clothing and gasoline you always do. You can also start out with the basic version and try it out and upgrade in the future if you want to earn more cash back.
If you're looking for travel rewards rather than cash back on everyday spending, turn to the Capital One Venture card instead with 2 miles per $1 spent which can be used as a credit against any travel expense, such as airfare, baggage fees or car rentals.
Last edited by CreditDave; 04-12-2013 at 02:49 PM.Bad Credit? Read This >> The Ultimate List of Resources For Building Your Credit
03-05-2013, 11:40 AM #2
We love our Blue Cash Preferred card.. saved a few hundred $$$ on groceries last year. Upgrading to the preferred is worth it if you are going to use it!Need a Card to Build/Rebuild Your Credit With? Read This >> Best Credit Cards For Building Your Credit
03-06-2013, 12:19 PM #3
seems like its almost always worth upgrading to preferred with this.