American Express New Blue Cash Everyday Card

American Express has replaced its old Blue Cash Credit Card with the new Blue Cash Everyday Card.

The new card, which was launched yesterday, looks similar to the old card in design, but has a rewards program that is better than that of the Blue Cash Card for those who don’t charge a lot on the card every month. And the better cash back program of the new Blue Cash Everyday Card really makes the card an everyday card for cardholders.

If you own the old Blue Cash Card, you know how the card’s cash back rewards work. Basically, you can earn a very high 5% rebate on eligible purchases if you spend more than $6,500 on the card every year. However, if you are unable to reach the spending limit, the cash back is then a very standard 1%. What has changed in the new Blue Cash Everyday Card is that there’s no tiered rewards and no spending minimum any more. While the new card no longer gives 5% cash back and let you earn 1% rebate on every purchase instead, it does offers a generous 3% cash back for every dollar spent at supermarkets and 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores. Unlike many other cash back cards that rotates bonus rewards categories every quarter, the Blue Cash Everyday Card allows you to earn nice cash backs for shopping at supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores automatically all year long. There’s no need to remember when to switch which card for a higher rebate and there’s no enrollment required (some credit cards do require cardholders to enroll in order to receive the extra rebate during the quarter).

Like the old Blue Cash Card, the new Everyday Card has no annual membership fee and there’s no limit on the amount of cash backs you can earn with the card.

Nowadays, there aren’t many credit cards that give you outright 2% rebate on every purchase. Instead, many have shifted to offer higher cash back only when shopping in certain categories, like the Blue Cash Everyday Card does. Therefore, if you want to get the maximum benefits, you will need to own more than one card and use different cards at different places, depending on which card has the highest rebate. For example, if you don’t mind carrying three credit cards, you can

  • Get 5% cash back at gas stations using the PenFed Platinum Cash Back Rewards Card
  • Get 3% cash back at supermarkets using the Blue Cash Everyday Card
  • Get 2% cash back on everything else using Fidelity American Express Investment Rewards Card

It’s not as straightforward as using one card for everything and the burden of managing multiple cards increases accordingly, but I think this is the strategy in the current environment.

With the launch of the new Blue Cash Everyday Card, American Express is offering referral bonuses to existing members for helping them spread the word. For each new Blue Cash Everyday Card member you refer, you will receive a $25 bonus and you can refer as many friends as you want.

In addition to the above fee-free version of the new Blue Cash Card, AMEX also introduced a new Blue Cash Preferred Card that gives cardholders better rewards, but it comes with a $75 annual fee. With the Preferred Card, you can Earn 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Though you need to pay a membership fee to enjoy the higher rebates, you will also receive a $100 sign up bonus after you spend at least $500 in the first 60 days of becoming a cardholder. The referral bonus is also higher at $75 per approved new card member. While I generally don’t like credit cards with membership fee, but because of the higher rebate, I think it’s still possible to receive more cash back with the Preferred Card even after the annual fee if, for example, you shop more at supermarkets for groceries.

What do you think of the new AMEX Blue Cash Cards? Are they better than the old card?

BTW, if you are a current Blue Cash Card holder, you will not be forced to switch to the new card, for now. That means you can still enjoy the old rewards system that earns you 5% cash back on gas, grocery and drug store purchases, after you spend $6,500.

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