American Express fields a diverse range of rewards credit cards, with options ranging from cash-back cards to premium products with benefits such as airport lounge access and annual travel statement credits. Right in the middle of the pack are the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Amex EveryDay Preferred® Credit Card from American Express.
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Given their similar annual fees, welcome offers and earning structures, you might be trying to decide between these two cards. The good news is, there’s no wrong choice. You will just need to decide if a cash-back card or one that earns transferable points fits better into your rewards strategy.
Here’s how the two cards compare.
|The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express||Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express|
|Annual fee||$95||$95 (see rates and fees)|
|Welcome offer||15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in three months
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months then variable 12.99% to 22.99%)
|$250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in three months
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (then variable 12.99% to 23.99%)
|Earning||3x at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year then 1x
2x at U.S. gas stations
1x everywhere else
50% bonus points every billing period with 30 or more purchases
|6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%
6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
3% on transit and at U.S. gas stations
1% on everything else
|Redemptions||Transfer to over 20 airline and hotels
|Cash back for statement credits, gift cards, direct shopping|
|Other benefits||Purchase protection
Secondary car rental insurance
Secondary car rental insurance
The information for The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Now for the details on each and their respective benefits.
Both cards charge the same annual fee, $95 a year. Neither card waives its annual fee for the first year.
Related reading: My mom got her first rewards card after using cash for 50 years
Now we get to the first major difference between the cards. New Blue Cash Preferred cardholders can earn up to $250 in cash back in the form of a statement credit after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Related reading: The Best Cash-Back Credit Cards for 2020
The current welcome offer for the Amex Everyday Preferred is 15,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening. These are full-fledged, transferable Amex Membership Rewards points, which TPG currently values at 2 cents apiece. So we’d peg those bonus points at around $300 in value. However, if you redeem these points for cash back, such as for gift cards, travel, Amazon.com purchases, or simple statement credits, you get between 0.6 cent and 1 cent per point in value. So your best redemption option by far is to transfer them. We’ll get into this more below.
Winner: A bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points isn’t that large, so you actually might be better off with the Blue Cash Preferred Card’s $250 statement credit.
Related reading: Credit Card Review: American Express Blue Cash Preferred
- 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per calendar year)
- 6% back on U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 3% back on transit (parking, tolls, ride-hailing services, subway, etc.)
- 3% back at U.S. gas stations
- 1% everywhere else
There are two things to pinpoint about this earning formula. First, it features a wide array of bonus-eligible categories where consumers tend to spend a lot, such as groceries and gas, which can really rack up statement credits quickly. Second, getting 6% back even on a single category is a pretty phenomenal rate of return. You probably won’t see a huge return on your spending for streaming services unless you subscribe to a ton of them, but that grocery bonus could net you $360 cash back if you max it out each year.
Related reading: The Best American Express credit cards for 2020
The Amex EveryDay Preferred offers some pretty attractive bonus opportunities as well. The card accrues 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar on up to $6,000 per year at supermarkets and 2x points per dollar with no cap at gas stations as well as on certain purchases through AmexTravel.com, such as prepaid hotel stays and cruises. It earns 1x per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Related reading: A guide to earning transferable points and why they’re so valuable
And, for every billing cycle in which you use your card to make 30 purchases or more, you get a 50% points bonus. That brings your potential earning up to 4.5x per dollar at supermarkets and 3x at gas stations. Since these are full Membership Rewards points, we peg those figures at 6-9.5% return on spending in the bonus categories and 3% back on everyday spending. Nonethtless, how much value you get from your Membership Rewards points will really depend on how you redeem them.
Winner: It’s hard to argue with the Blue Cash Preferred’s simple 6% cash back on groceries and 3% back on gas — especially since you have to track your transactions to maximize the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card’s 50% boost after 30 transactions.
With the Blue Cash Preferred Card, you can redeem your rewards for cash back when your balance is over $25 in one of three ways:
- Receive a statement credit
- Redeem for gift cards
- Shop with your rewards
The best strategy is usually just to redeem for a statement credit since you can buy the gift cards from a retailer with your credit card, earn even more cash back on those purchases, and then redeem your points for those purchases.
With the Amex EveryDay Preferred, you earn American Express Membership Rewards points that you can transfer to the following airline and hotel partners:
Airline Partner Programs
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Aeromexico Club Premier (transfer ratio 1:1.6)
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- ANA Mileage Club
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Delta SkyMiles
- El Al Matmid (50:1)
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Airways Guest Program
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue True Blue (1:0.8)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Hotel Partner Programs
- Choice Privileges Rewards
- Hilton Honors (1:2)
- Marriott Bonvoy
Related reading: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value
You can also make direct redemptions of your points sort of like cash back, but this is not usually a great deal. For flights booked through AmexTravel.com, you get a rate of 1 cent apiece, but just 0.7 cents per point for other bookings such as hotels and car rentals. For statement credits against purchases, you only get 0.6 cents per point, and around 0.7 cents per point on Amazon.com purchases.
Winner: Amex EveryDay Preferred. If you’re just looking for cash back, the Blue Cash Preferred is hard to beat. However, for the versatility of being able to transfer your points to 19 airline and three hotel partners, or just book direct through AmexTravel.com, you can’t beat good, old-fashioned Membership Rewards points.
Related reading: Credit card review: The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card
Neither of these cards is packed with perks, but there are a few. Both offer secondary car rental insurance, return protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, and Amex Offers discounts as well as free ShopRunner membership. Unfortunately, both also charge foreign transaction fees of 2.7%.
Related reading: Best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees in 2020
The Blue Cash Preferred is one of the best cash-back credit cards currently available from any issuer thanks to its 6% and 3% categories and reasonable annual fee. But if you’re looking for a card that earns transferable points and opens up decent bonus-earning opportunities, the Amex EveryDay Preferred might be a better choice. Which card is right for you will come down to how you hope to redeem your points.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see here.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy