Compare other no annual fee credit cards
The biggest difference between the Blue from American Express® Card and the other two Blue Cash offerings is the cash back you’ll receive. To pick the best one for you, consider your spending. Specifically, think of each card as optimal for different amounts of spending: low, medium and high.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is ideal if you spend very little on everyday purchases. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, but it has less-powerful cash back on everyday purchases compared to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card. You’ll get 3% back on groceries and 2% cash back on gas.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card is best for most families. The key is the card’s 6% cash back on groceries and 3% cash back on gas. Even with an annual fee, the Preferred will likely save you more money than the Everyday.
The Blue from American Express® Card promises up to 5% cash back on groceries, gas and more — but hold the horses. Each year, you first receive 1% cash back on everyday purchases up to $6,500. Only then do you start earning 5% cash back. Because of this, the Blue from American Express® Card’s cash back options will underwhelm low spenders. However, they’re stellar if you spend big on gas and groceries.
Here is an example of total spending and the rewards you can get for each card.
Comparison of AMEX’s Blue Cash Cards
|Everyday spending per year||Cash back – Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Cash back – Blue Cash Preferred® Card||Cash back – Blue Cash Card|
|$3,000 total: $2,500 on groceries, $500 on gas||$85||$70||$30|
|$9,000 total: $6,000 on groceries, $3,000 on gas||$240||$355||$190|
|$15,000 total: $10,000 on groceries, $5,000 on gas||$320||$455||$490|
The Perks of the Blue from American Express® Card
CASH BACK: Best if you spend big on everyday purchases.
First $6,500 in purchases: 1% cash back at US supermarkets, gas stations and some drugstores (everyday purchases). 0.5% on other eligible purchases
Above $6,500 in purchases: 5% on everyday purchases (up to $50,000; 1% afterwards). 1% on other eligible purchases
- ANNUAL FEE: No annual fee.
You’ll also like…
- Travel protection. You’ll have access to American Express’ Global Assist Hotline and Roadside Assistance Hotline, which you can use if you find yourself in a pinch on vacation. Also, get complimentary car rental and travel accident insurance.
- Purchase benefits. Get free two-day shipping at ShopRunner, as well as extended warranties and purchase protection on eligible items.
- Cardmember-only entertainment. As a cardholder, you’ll have access to exclusive events and ticket presales.
What to watch out for
- Not as widely accepted overseas. Because the Blue Cash is an American Express card, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with a Visa or Mastercard. It also has a foreign transaction fee.
- It hurts to pay late. Making late or returned payments could saddle you with fees as high as $38.
Consider other cards if…
- You don’t spend much on everyday purchases. You’ll probably find the card’s cash back features underwhelming. Consider a general cash back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card.
- You spend a lot on everyday purchases, but you don’t spend much over $6,500. The Blue from American Express® Card hits its stride after you spend $6,500 in everyday purchases. If you spend very little, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a better choice. It’ll give you 3% cash back at US supermarkets and 2% cash back at US gas stations and some department stores.
- You’re looking for travel rewards. There are many great travel cards, but the Blue from American Express® Card isn’t one of them. Instead, look for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card or the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®.
What to know before you apply
To apply for the Blue from American Express® Card, you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- A US resident
What credit score do I need?
You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Blue from American Express® Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
How to apply for the card
1. On the American Express website, click the Apply Now button.
2. Fill out the application form. Provide information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.
How long will it take to be approved?
Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you can get a decision on your application within 60 seconds.
I got the card — now what?
- Making payments. Register an account at the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
- Avoiding fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38.
- Customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 1-800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.
The Blue from American Express® Card is a home run if you spend big on everyday purchases.