The Blue Cash American Express card is a good choice for people who want a rewards credit card that delivers high cash back on everyday purchases such as groceries and gas but don’t necessarily want to pay off their entire balance in full each month. Many cards offered by American Express are charge cards meaning that the full balance has to be paid off each month. But the Blue Cash American Express card is a credit card. Cardholders have the option of paying off their entire balance each month thereby avoiding interest charges or they can elect to pay off what they owe over time. (Interest charges will be added to any unpaid balance). This card has an annual fee of $75 which is not waived for the first year of membership.
American Express is offering new account holders the opportunity to get $150 back in the form of a statement credit. To qualify, you must spend a minimum of $1,000 on your card within the first three months of activation. This time period begins immediately upon approval. New members also receive a 0% introductory annual percentage rate on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
The Blue Cash American Express card gives card members a variety of ways to earn cash back on purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars which can then be redeemed as a statement credit. Examples are:
- Earn 6% Cash Back at supermarkets throughout the U.S.
- Earn 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
- Earn 3% Cash Back at select U.S. department stores
- Earn 1% Cash Back on all other eligible purchases
With the Blue Cash American Express card, you can start earning cash back as soon as you make your first purchase. No enrollment is required to earn cash back and there are no rotating reward categories. It’s simple and straightforward.
Cardholders also receive these additional benefits:
- Global Assist Hotline
- Purchase Protection
- Entertainment Access
- Roadside Assistance Hotline
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
- Extended Warranty
If you often travel abroad, you may want to consider that the Blue Cash American Express card charges card members a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on the total amount of each purchase made outside of the U.S. Depending on your spending habits, these fees could quickly add up to a sizeable sum.
Below we have broken down the specific details of the Blue Cash American Express card to help you decide if it’s a good choice for you.
New account holders can receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit after spending at least $1,000 on the card within the first three months of membership (not including any credits and/or returns). Fees, interest charges, balance transfers and cash advances do not count towards the qualifying amount. The statement credit is applied to your account 6-8 weeks after the spending threshold is met. The qualifying period begins once you are approved and the actual time you have to make $1,000 in purchases may be shorter depending on when you receive your card.
New members get a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) on all purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Balance transfers must be requested within 30 days of opening your account. Balance transfers will not be approved for less than $100 and cannot be more than 50% of your credit limit. After the initial 15 months, your APR will be between 12.99% and 21.99% depending on your creditworthiness (determined when you are approved).
Substantial Cash Back rewards:
Card members earn 6% cash back on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets. (Purchases made at warehouse clubs and superstores such as Costco, WalMart and Target are not eligible.) Your spending is capped at $6,000 per year for the 6% cash back. Any amount you spend over $6,000 will earn only 1% cash back.
Cardholders earn 3% cash back on eligible gas purchases made in the U.S. Again, warehouse clubs and superstores that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations and therefore do not qualify for any reward.
Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases made at select department stores in the U.S. with the Blue Cash American Express card. These include Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Terms and limitations apply.
Card members earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Cardholders receive all earned Cash Back in the form of Reward Dollars. These Reward Dollars can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Flexibility to carry a balance or pay in full:
The Blue Cash American Express card is a credit card so you have the option to carry a balance or pay the entire amount each month. Interest charges will be applied to any unpaid balances.
Additional benefits from American Express:
Card members also receive many of the benefits which come with American Express cards. These include:
- Global Assist Hotline – Emergency medical situations, legal questions, lost passports…you hope these scenarios will never happen while traveling but, in reality, they sometimes do. The Global Assist Hotline is available to card members 24/7 to help in dealing with problems such as these.
- Purchase Protection – Eligible purchases made with the card can be protected against theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. Again, restrictions and exclusions apply.
- Entertainment Access – The Blue Cash American Express card gets cardholders access to various entertainment events. These include early ticket sales and priority seating to sporting events and concerts as well as movie and theatre tickets.
- Roadside Assistance Hotline – Card members can call this hotline 24/7 whenever there is an emergency vehicle situation such as a dead battery or flat tire. This service will coordinate service and assist you in getting on your way quickly and safely. All third-party costs are your responsibility.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance – When you use your Blue Cash American Express card to reserve and pay for your entire eligible car rental, you can be covered in the unlikely event your car is damaged or stolen. You must decline the collision damage waiver.
- Extended Warranty – Get up to one additional year on eligible purchases. Important restrictions and exclusions apply.
Foreign Transaction Fees:
The Blue Cash American Express card charges card members a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on the total amount of each purchase made internationally. If you frequently travel abroad, these fees can quickly add up.
The annual fee for this card is $75. This fee is not waived for the first year of membership. Depending on your spending habits this may not be a big concern. However, if you don’t plan on using the card very often you should perhaps consider other rewards cards which offer good rewards with no annual fee.
Grocery purchases are capped:
Gas and department store spending limits are not capped but the 6% cash back reward on grocery purchases is capped at $6,000 annually. If you routinely spend $500 or more per month on groceries you should seriously consider this fact. Any grocery purchases above $6,000 earn only 1% cash back. That’s a significant difference.
Card members are required to have a minimum of $25 cash back in order to redeem it for Rewards Dollars (a statement credit). Reward Dollars for statement credits can only be redeemed in $25 increments and the minimum redemption amount allowed is $25.
Not everyone will qualify:
Not everyone will qualify for the Blue Cash American Express card. This card is targeted at people with higher income levels and who have very good to excellent credit scores (740+).