Limited Time Sign-Up Bonus On Great Amex Cash Back Credit Cards

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Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige® Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

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.

American Express has just announced an interesting increased sign-up bonus on two of their most compelling cashback cards. Not only is it a good offer, but it’s also interesting to see the new direction they’re taking in terms of how they market their welcome bonuses.

Amex Blue Cash increased sign-up bonus

We’re seeing increased limited time sign-up bonuses on both the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, as follows:

  • Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card — no annual fee
    • $100 cashback after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
    • Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first six months, up to $200
  • Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card — $95 annual fee
    • $150 cashback after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
    • Earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first six months, up to $200

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 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases. In the past American Express offered a similar limited time sign-up bonus, though it came in the form of 10% cash back on US wireless telephone service providers, also up to $200.

Essentially you can earn 5% cash back on up to $4,000 of travel spend, which is pretty great, especially for a no annual fee card.

Some people love cash back cards, while others prefer to earn traditional points, so this isn’t for everyone. I’d note that there are plenty of cards out there offering bonus points on travel purchases. For example, the Citi Prestige® Card and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express each offer triple points on airfare, which I value at close to a 5% return.

Singapore-A380
Earn 5% cash back on travel purchases

Anyway, the sign-up bonus is only a small aspect of these cards, 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 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 ~$3,200 per year at grocery stores you’re probably better off getting the Blue Cash Preferred over the Blue Cash Everyday, given that the $95 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 was recently 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, and the best we’ve seen if you can maximize the $200 cash back on travel. If you’re someone who spends a good amount on supermarkets and gas stations, I’d seriously consider one of these cards.


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Comments

  1. You didn’t mention a pretty big negative of these cards – 2.7% foreign transaction fees, which makes the 5% on travel part of this offer far less attractive.

  2. Hi Lucky,

    Amex just increase the signup bonus for these both card by additional $100. $250 for Blue Cash Preferred card and $150 for Blue Cash. I opened the Blue Cash Preferred less than 2 weeks ago (but the offer only for $150). Just wondering, how to get the additional $100 signup bonus? I chat with the online persona, but he said all automatic so I am not eligible. Has anyone able to request the additional signup bonus?

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