(UPDATE: American Express has clarified the cash-back categories for these cards. Cardmembers earn cash back at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, U.S. stand-alone gas stations and select major department store.)
The popular Blue Cash® from American Express card is no longer available, but two new Blue Cash cards from American Express takes its place.
American Express (NYSE: AXP) has made changes to one of its most popular cash back credit cards. New customers can no longer apply for the American Express Blue Cash® card while the new Blue Cash EverdaySM from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred from American Express have been introduced.
The Blue Cash card offered up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases (gas, grocery, and drugstore) and 1.25% cash back on all other purchases. These cash back rates were available only after spending $6,500 for the year on the card.
Until then, Blue Cash granted 1% on everyday purchases and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
The new Blue Cash Everyday card has a non-tiered cash back program. Cardmembers earn 3% cash back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% on all other eligible purchases. Additionally, cardmembers earn 25 reward dollars for every new completed referral for the Blue Cash Everyday card.
The introduction of the new Blue Cash Everyday card should receive a split response from current Blue Cash members and new card applicants. Customers who have trouble reaching the higher cash back threshold on the Blue Cash card may prefer the fixed cash back rate on the Blue Cash Everyday card. On the other hand, new customers may not be pleased to find that they could have earned a higher rate of cash back.
Switching to Blue Cash Everyday
According to an American Express chat representative, no changes are coming to cardmembers with Blue Cash, which will be honored under existing terms. New applications are not being accepted for Blue Cash from American Express. Current Blue Cash cardmembers have the option of switching to Blue Cash Everyday.
Generally, the card switch will not result in a credit inquiry or changes to APRs, credit limits, and card numbers (but exceptions may apply), according to the representative. Cash back earnings will be transferred to the Blue Cash Everyday card.
The process of switching from Blue Cash to Blue Cash Everyday can be conducted via customer service.
Blue Cash Preferred: 3% Cash Back at Supermarkets
Another card launched with this round of changes is the Blue Cash PreferredSM Card, which is an upgraded version of the Blue Cash Everyday card. For a $95 annual fee, the cash back still 3% at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations and departments stores and 1% on other purchases. The Preferred Card does however allow you to earn an extra 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200.
Frequent grocery shoppers will reap a large amount in rewards from the Blue Cash Preferred card.
Cardmembers will receive $75 reward dollars for every successful referral for the Blue Cash Preferred card.
These two products from American Express will easily join the ranks the other popular cash back credit cards.