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Looking for a cash back card to add to your arsenal of rewards cards? Cashback cards play an essential role in any rewards strategy, putting money back in your wallet with every purchase charged to the card, while at the same time keeping things simple and straightforward.
American Express currently offers several variations of cash back credit card, each featuring a different combination of welcome bonus, earning structure, annual fee, perks, and in some cases a cap on the cash back you can make in bonus categories. In this post, we compare the features of each Amex cash back card and highlight the ones we think offer top value for points and miles fans chasing cash back on everyday spending.
American Express Cash Back Credit Cards
Of the cards reviewed, two provide a flat percentage return across all purchases; the rest offer increased returns on select bonus categories. Unlike other Amex cards that earn flexible Membership Rewards points, or points and miles within a specific loyalty program, these cards are all straight cash back rewards cards providing a cash equivalent rebate on every dollar spent.
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
- 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. (Terms Apply)
- Earning structure: 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Annual fee: $95
Our take: A return of 6% is one of the highest you're likely to see on a cash back card, and on a necessity like groceries it’s an easy category to maximize. Our only wish is that the spending cap was a little higher to accommodate the average family’s annual grocery spend. We wouldn't recommend using the card internationally, however, as you’ll pay foreign transaction fees of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars .
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
- 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores
- 1% back on other purchases
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. (Terms Apply)
- Earning structure: 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
- Annual fee: $0
Our take: For folks looking to earn cash back without the out-of-pocket expense of paying an annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday receives a lower return on the same bonus categories as it’s more expensive stablemate, in addition to a slightly smaller welcome offer.
- Earn an unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on all qualifying purchases.
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months. (Terms Apply)
- Earning structure: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
- Annual fee: $0
Our take: The first Amex cash back card to feature a fixed-rate return; cardholders receive 1.5% back on all purchases with no limit to the cashback you can earn. For those with lots of spending in categories that don't get a bonus with other cards, this is a simple option to guarantee a solid return.
- Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
- Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 12 months (after, a 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR will apply)
- Earning structure: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
- Annual fee: No annual fee
Our take: The Blue Business Cash is the cashback version of the popular The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Instead of earning Membership Rewards, this card earns 2% cashback on all business expenses up to the first $50,000 spent every year, then earns 1% on all purchases. As far as business cards go, they don't come much more simple than this. There are no bonus categories to keep track of, no annual fee to pay, and a generous intro APR that provides low-cost short-term finance for your business.
- Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
- Welcome bonus: Earn Up To $600 Back. Earn a $200 statement credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases on the Card, up to $30,000, within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earning structure: 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
- Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee your first year, then $250. (Terms Apply)
Our take: Essentially, a business cashback charge card with a twist, the Amex Plum provides a 1.5% discount when you pay early (within ten days of the billing cycle closing), with no cap on the cashback you can earn. The other main feature of the card is the ability to defer paying off large charges for up to 60 days without paying interest provided you’ve met the minimum payment by the due date, on a card you would typically need to pay off in full each month. The main downside to this card is the hefty annual fee, even waived for the first year, which is much higher than other business cash back cards offering similar rewards and benefits.
Each card provides a slightly different take on the cashback theme, with options ranging from the basic fixed-value Cash Magnet through to the Blue Cash Preferred which offers higher-tiered cash back rewards but also charges an annual fee. Don’t forget to run the numbers against the best cards for everyday spending to ensure sure you get the highest return on every dollar you spend on your card. If you've got a particular category in mind, check out our resource on the best cards for each spending category.
Got a favorite Amex cashback card? Let us know in the comments below.
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