Blue Cash Everyday vs Preferred Cash Back Calculator

Blue Cash Everyday -vs- Blue Cash Preferred

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The American Express Blue Cash Everyday and American Express Blue Cash Preferred cards share many of the same benefits. The main difference between both is that the Blue Cash Preferred offers a higher earning rate at the cost of paying an annual fee. If you can make use of the higher earning rate, the Blue Cash Preferred can easily be worth the fee, but if you can't then you will want to go the no annual fee route and pick up the Blue Cash Everyday.

AMEX Cash Back

Both the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred earns cash back under the American Express umbrella. Rewards dollars earned with AMEX cash back credit cards can be applied to the statement, used to purchase gift cards, or used to shop in the American Express website for name brand merchandise. You must have at least $25 minimum to redeem cash back.

Bonus Categories

The Blue Cash Everyday features the categories of supermarket, department store, and gas station purchases while the Blue Cash Preferred features supermarket, streaming services, gas stations, and transit categories. Both the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred have a cap of $6,000 per year of the supermarket bonus category. After reaching the max, both cards will only earn at the non-category rate of 1% cash back per $1 spent. The remaining categories do not have a cap. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn with either card.


Supermarket Earnings
Blue Cash Everyday Blue Cash Preferred
3% Cash Back 6% Cash Back

The big difference between the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred is that the big difference in earnings when it comes to supermarket spend. The Blue Cash Everyday will earn you 3% cash back per $1 spent on the first $6,000 in purchases for the year. Spending $6,000 in supermarket purchases, or $500 a month, will earn you $180 in AMEX cash back. The Blue Cash Preferred will earn you a higher rate of 6% cash back per $1 spent on the first $6,000 in purchases. This comes out to being a total of $360 in AMEX cash back which is double the cash back of the Blue Cash Everyday. Once you take into account the $95 annual fee that the Blue Cash Preferred has, you're looking at a net gain of $265 which is about 47% higher than the Blue Cash Everyday's return. This is only based off of supermarket, so there is still room for additional earnings in the remaining two categories. So if you're part of a big family and can easily hit or come close to $500 per month, you will end up on top with the Blue Cash Preferred.

How about if you don't spend $6,000 per year in groceries? The deciding amount when based strictly off of supermarket spend is going to be $3,180 per year or $265 per month. Spending $3,180 on grocery with the Blue Cash Everyday will earn you $95 in AMEX Cash Back rewards. The same spend on the Blue Cash Preferred will earn you $190, but once you subtract the annual fee, you will end up with a net gain of $95. So if you spend less than $265, you will want to consider the Blue Cash Everyday. Again, this is only based off one category. Depending on your spend for the remaining categories, the Blue Cash Preferred might still come out ahead.

Streaming Services

Streaming Services Earnings
Blue Cash Everyday Blue Cash Preferred
1% Cash Back 6% Cash Back

The newly added streaming category on the Blue Cash Preferred earns an uncapped 6% cash back per $1 spent. This includes popular services such as Amazon Prime, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, Apple Music, Audible, HBO, Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube. The Blue Cash Everyday card only earns 1% cash back on these categories. While I would recommend picking up this card for just streaming services (unless you dish out a lot in this category), it is a nice addition to the card. The streaming categories are also featured on the Barclays Uber Card (2% cash back) and Wells Fargo Propel AMEX (3x Points, 3%-4.5% return).

Department Stores

Department Stores Earnings
Blue Cash Everyday Blue Cash Preferred
2% Cash Back 1% Cash Back

Earning cash back on department store spend is not a popular bonus category found in the credit card world unless you're looking at a store card. The Blue Cash Everyday card earns 2% cash back per $1 spent on department store purchases. The Blue Cash Preferred previously earned 3% cash back on department stores, but the category was removed July 2019. This makes the Blue Cash Everyday the better card for these types of purchases. AMEX has a specific list of department stores that they count as falling within this category. Those stores are:

  • Bealls
  • Belk
  • Bloomingdale's
  • Bon Ton Stores
  • Boscov's
  • Century 21 Department Stores
  • Dillard's
  • J.C. Penney (JCP)
  • Kohl's
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy's
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sears
  • Stein Mart

Department stores not included in the list above will be counted as non-category and will receive 1% cash back per $1 spent.

Gas Station

Gas Station Earnings
Blue Cash Everyday Blue Cash Preferred
2% Cash Back 3% Cash Back

When it comes to gas station purchases, the Blue Cash Everyday earns 2% cash back per $1 spent while the Blue Cash Preferred earns 3% cash back per $1 spent. When combined with the earnings of the other categories, this could also assist in your choice on deciding if the Blue Cash Preferred earns the better return. Pure gas station spend will require the same spending of $9,000 per year or $750 per month to break even at $190 in cash back. While both of these rates are not too shabby, there are better no-annual fee cash back cards to place gas station spend on such as the PNC Cash Rewards which earns 4% cash back and the Sam's Club Mastercard which earns 5% cash back.


Transit Services Earnings
Blue Cash Everyday Blue Cash Preferred
1% Cash Back 3% Cash Back

Another newer category added to the Blue Cash Preferred card is transit purchases. The Blue Cash Preferred earns 3% cash back per $1 spent on these types of purchases which includes ride-shares (e.g. Uber, Lyft), tolls, parking, and any other form of transportation related charges. This can be very useful for those who deal with Uber/Lyfy on a frequent basis as well as those who generally pay for parking or tolls. AMEX doesn't really feature any cards that focus on overall travel purchases like Citi and Chase does, so this is a great category to pick up some cash back on. The Blue Cash Everyday does not feature this category, so you will earn 1% cash back on these purchases.


Non-Category Earnings
Blue Cash Everyday Blue Cash Preferred
1% Cash Back 1% Cash Back

The Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred both earn a flat rate of 1% cash back per $1 spent on all non-category purchases. These cards are not good for this type of spend. If you're looking for a catch all, the AMEX Cash Magnet Card earns 1.5% cash back per $1 spent on all purchases. This card pairs well with both the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred, so if you're looking to pick up either of those cards, I recommend grabbing the Cash Magnet Card as well.

Perks and Benefits

There are no special benefits or bonuses specific to the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday or Blue Cash Everyday Preferred cards. Both cards feature the standard AMEX perks that come with most of their cards such as AMEX offers, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, shoprunner membership, return protection, and more.

Sign Up Bonus

The standard sign up bonus for the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday card is $150 after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. This is only slightly lower than the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card's standard sign up bonus which is $200 after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first 3 months. Slightly higher sign up bonuses of $200 for the Everyday and $250 for the Preferred can sometimes be obtained by using private/incognito browsing when pulling up the American Express website.

Credit Card Fees

Fees At A Glance - -
Annual Fee - -
Authorized User Fee - -
Foreign Transaction Fee - -

Annual Fees

The AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Card does not have an annual fee so you will always earn a solid return when using this card to make purchases. The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95 which has to be justified by running enough spend through the card to bring in a higher return than the Blue Cash Everyday Card. You can use the Blue Cash Everyday versus Blue Cash Preferred Calculator to see which card earns you the highest return.

Authorized User Fees

The authorized user fee for the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday and AMEX Blue Cash Preferred is $0. This allows you to add authorized users to both cards without worrying about additional fees. If you have family or friends that shop in these categories, adding them can assist in build cash back faster and can even help justify the fee of the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred.

Foreign Transaction Fees

The AMEX Blue Cash Everyday and AMEX Blue Cash Preferred both have a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%. Using these cards for international purchases will cripple the cash back rewards earned on the cards. If you're looking to earn cash back rewards when traveling internationally, AMEX is not the way to go. The Barclay Uber Card has 10 bonus categories with the restaurant categories earning 4% cash back. The Barclay Uber Card also has no annual fee, no authorized user fee, and no foreign transaction fee.

Rewards and Card Value Calculator

You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category for both cards. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the cards based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees.

All category spend entered in the first column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site. This means you don't have to re-enter the same information over again. You can use the Copy functions under the Options menu within the Categories & Bonuses section.

Credit Card
This calculator will calculate the cash value of the selected credit card(s) based on spend, benefits, and fees. You can compare this card against any another rewards card side-by-side by clicking on the Compare A Card button.
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Enter the cash value of these rewards in cents per point/mile. You can enter the value as X.XX cents or 0.0XXX cents. The maximum value allowed is 15 cents ($0.15) and the minimal value is 0.1 cents ($0.001).
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Covers hotel loyalty status, status with bank rewards programs, and few others. These are added automatically based on card selection, but can be manually added as well.
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Enter how much you spend in each category listed. You can click on the amount to edit the value. You can use +/- Categories to add and remove categories from the list and Options to copy spend between columns and clear all spend.
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Select which categories you want to appear in this calculator. You can search categories by typing in a keyword below. De-selecting categories will remove them from this calculator. Categories are changed once you hit 'Update'.
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This will clear the spend in all of the categories in both columns. This will also clear all saved values.
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Copy Right will take the spend from the left column and copy it to the right column. Copy Left will take the spend from the right column and copy it to the left column. The spend amount ($) and unit of time (month, day, quarter) will be copied over.
Reward Bonuses
This section holds sign up bonuses, loyalty bonuses, and bonus bonuses. Most bonuses here will be listed automatically based on certain criteria. You can click 'Extra Bonus' if you wish to enter your own bonus amount.
Extra Bonus
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Total Earnings
Sum of all rewards above this line.
Cash Value of Earnings
Based off of currency worth.
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Monetary Bonuses/Perks
This is a list of cash perks and bonuses associated with the selected card(s). Some perks will be listed here automatically. You can click on 'Perk Bonus' if you want to add additional value for the card.
Perk Bonus
Enter how much you value any unmentioned perks this card offers.
Annual Fees
This section contains the annual fee and authorized user fee (if applicable) to hold on to the listed card(s).
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Edit the annual fee and authorized user fee of the Card (if applicable).
Annual Fee: -
Auth Fee: -
Grand Total
The total estimated value you can get out of this card and the amount of return for your spend.
Total Card Value
The value of the card when everything is taken into account.
Total Return
The percent you are earning per dollar spent on this card.

Page Last Updated: 2019-09-17

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