American Express Blue Cash Everyday vs Blue Cash Preferred

I was at dinner the other day with my friend, and he was convinced he was getting more value from the Blue Cash Preferred than the Everyday version. After learning about his spending, I knew there was no way he was breaking even from the Preferred.

In case you're not familiar with the Blue Cash cards, here's a rundown:

Blue Cash Everyday

  • $0 Annual fee
  • 3% at grocery stores (cap of $6,000 of spend)
  • 2% at gas stations and select department stores
  • 1% everywhere else

Blue Cash Preferred

  • $95 Annual fee
  • 6% at grocery stores (cap of $6,000 of spend)
  • 3% at gas stations and select department stores
  • 1% everywhere else

The main difference is the $95 annual fee with the Preferred, and 6% back at grocery stores. It's important to keep in mind that the Blue Cash cards earn cash back only, and not Membership Reward points. 

Both of the cards are good if you spend a lot of money on groceries and don't want to worry about keeping an eye out for 5x back on grocery categories with the Discover It card. 

Amex Blue Cash Everyday VS. Blue Cash Preferred Breakeven

To figure out which card is best for you, we need to find the breakeven point. 

X = spend at grocery stores
Y = spend at gas stations and select department stores

BCE = BCP
0.03x + 0.02y - $0 Annual Fee (AF) = 0.06x + 0.03y - $95 AF  

Given that we have two variables, this formula can get complicated. To simplify things, we're going to assume you spend $0 on gas and select department stores. 

Assuming Y = 0
0.03x = 0.06x - 95
95 = 0.03x
X = $3,166.67 = ~$3,1667

This means that....

Blue Cash Everyday
= $3,166.67 * 0.03
= $95 cash back

Blue Cash Preferred
= $3,166.67 * 0.06 - $95
= $190 - $95
= $95 cash back

  • If you spend less than $3,166.67/year on groceries, keep the Blue Cash Everyday
  • If you spend approximately $3,166.67/year on groceries, you're impartial (breakeven point)
  • If you spend more than $3,166.67/year on groceries, then keep the Blue Cash Preferred

Altogether, $3,166.67/year on groceries comes out to $263.89/month. 

Factoring in Gas and Select Department Store Purchases

X = spend at grocery stores
Y = spend at gas stations and select department stores

BCE = BCP
0.03x + 0.02y - $0 Annual Fee (AF) = 0.06x + 0.03y - $95 AF  

Assuming x = $2,400
72 + 0.02y = 144 + 0.03y - $95
72 - 49 = 0.01y
y = $2,300

Breakeven Spreadsheet

Don't worry; we won't make you do the math.

Here's a spreadsheet to plug in your numbers. 

Instructions: File -> make a copy or download your own. DO NOT request access to the master file. 

Edit the YELLOW cells only. The other cells have formulas. 

Amex blue cash everyday vs blue cash preferred

Amex blue cash everyday vs blue cash preferred

This calculator does factor in the $6,000 cap at grocery stores, so no need to worry about it. 

After your crunch the numbers, and if the Blue Cash Preferred doesn't provide more than the breakeven value, you can downgrade the card to the Blue Cash Everyday. Keep in mind that you won't receive a signup bonus for the card if you do a product change.