Increased Sign-Up Bonus On Amex Blue Cash Cards

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Update: These offers for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

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We’re seeing increased sign-up bonuses on both the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred through June 15, 2016.

The details are as follows:

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express — no annual fee
    • $100 cashback after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
    • Up to $200 cashback when you apply by June 15, 2016, by getting 10% back at US wireless telephone service providers on the first $2,000 in purchases made on the card in 2016
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — $95 annual fee ($75 if your application is received by 8/3/16)
    • $150 cashback after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
    • Up to $200 cashback when you apply by June 15, 2016, by getting 10% back at US wireless telephone service providers on the first $2,000 in purchases made on the card in 2016

The sign-up bonuses on the above cards are usually the $100 & $150 bonuses shown above, so the limited time aspect of the offer is receiving up to $200 back in the form of 10% off wireless telephone service providers. That’s not the most straightforward sign-up bonus there is, but if you were considering this card anyway, it’s a nice added bonus.

I would note even though I spend quite a bit on telecommunications, I don’t value 10% cashback on that anywhere close to face value. That’s because if you make your telecommunications purchases with the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card or Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card you earn 5x points. I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.6 cents each, so that’s potentially a return of 8%, making the marginal return an extra 2%.

Anyway, the sign-up bonus is only a small aspect of the card, as there’s also a lot of value to be had from using this card for everyday spend.

Amex Blue Cash return on everyday spend

While cashback cards aren’t for everyone, these cards have especially compelling category bonuses.

The no annual fee Blue Cash Everyday offers the following return on everyday spend:

  • 3% cash back at US stand-alone supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), then 1%
  • 2% cash back at US stand-alone gas stations and at select major department stores
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Meanwhile the $95 annual fee ($75 if your application is received by 8/3/16) Blue Cash Preferred card offers the following return on everyday spend:

  • 6% cash back at US stand-alone supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), then 1%
  • 3% cash back at US stand-alone gas stations and at select major department stores
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Those are some fantastic category bonuses if you’re someone who spends a good amount at supermarkets and gas stations every year. Assuming you spend at least $2,500 per year at grocery stores you’re probably better off getting the Blue Cash Preferred over the Blue Cash Everyday, given that the $75 annual fee will already be paid for at that point.

Groceries-6
Earn bonus cashback at supermarkets

Are the Amex Blue Cash cards right for you?

The above cards are great for those who like cashback cards and spend a lot in certain categories. I suspect we’re seeing the increased bonus because the Costco American Express will soon be discontinued, and this is the card Amex is recommending for those cardmembers as a replacement.

However, there are some other cards to consider as well, depending on your spend patterns.

If you just want a simple cashback card with no annual fee, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cashback when you make your purchase, and another 1% cashback when you pay for your purchase. Given that the card has no annual fee, that’s a return which is pretty tough to beat.

If you prefer to earn points, American Express has cards with a similar earnings structure to the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred, except they accrue Membership Rewards points rather than cashback. Those two cards are the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card.

The no annual fee Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offers:

  • 2x points at US stand-alone supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), then 1x points
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • A 20% points bonus when you use your card at least 20 times in a billing period

In other words, you’re earning 2.4x points at supermarkets and 1.2x points on other purchases, assuming you have 20 transactions per billing period. That’s pretty awesome for a no annual fee card.

Meanwhile the $95 annual fee Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card offers:

  • 3x points at US stand-alone supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), then 1x points
  • 2x points at US stand-alone gas stations
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • A 50% points bonus when you use your card at least 20 times in a billing period

That means you’ll be earning up to 4.5x points at supermarkets, up to 3x points at gas stations, and up to 1.5x points on everyday spend. That’s a huge return.

Bottom line

At a minimum I think it’s worth pointing out the increased sign-up bonuses on the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred cards. The bonuses are as good as they get on these cards. If you’re someone who spends a good amount on supermarkets and gas stations, I’d seriously consider one of these cards.

Otherwise there are plenty of other compelling cards out there, whether you’re after cashback or points.


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Comments

  1. Lucky, read Doctor of Credit’s post to get a sense of a more appropriate way of blogging about this.

  2. Was there a change in the required number of spends for the AMEX Everyday Preferred from 30 to 20 in a billing period or is that an error?

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