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The most popular spending categories for the everyday family is typically gas and groceries. Because of this, I am constantly asked the best credit card to earn points/miles or even cash back on these hefty purchases.
So here are some of the best credit cards that will satisfy both of these two categories combined (gas and groceries). Let’s assume the average family spends $150 on groceries a week ($7,800/year) and $50 on gas a week ($2,600/year). Of course, your situation might differ, so make sure to adjust my math below based on your families budget.
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred: You’ll receive 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. Keep in mind though the cash back on groceries is capped at $6,000 spend in a calendar year, so you’ll only receive 6% cash back on the first $6,000 and the remaining $1,800 will receive 1% cash back. This means you’ll earn a maximum amount of $378 on groceries for the year. On the gas side, you’ll earn a maximum amount of $78 cash back over the course of the year. For these two categories combined, you’ll get a fixed $456 back in cash, if you max out. This card does come with a $95 annual fee. Value = $361/year maximum
- If you want to compare it to the no annual fee version of this card, you’ll see that paying the annual fee will actually net you more money over the course of the year, even when taking into consideration the $95 fee. With the no-annual fee American Express Blue Cash Everyday, you’ll receive 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations. This means you’ll get a maximum of $198 back on your groceries and $52 back at gas stations, for a maximum total of $250. With the fee-based version of this card from above, you’ll get $206 more back, which more then makes up for the annual fee! Value = $205/year maximum
- American Express Everyday Preferred: You’ll earn 3x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,00 spend a year) and 2x points at U.S. gas stations. But, if you make 30+ purchases in a billing cycle (on all purchases combined), you’ll get a 50% bonus on all points earned. Assuming, this can easily be done, that means you’ll earn 4.5x points on groceries and 3x points at U.S. gas stations. This will earn you Membership Reward points which I personally value at about 1.7 cents per point. With the average family spend, you’ll earn an estimated 29,700 points on grocery purchases and 7,800 points by filling up your gas tank, for a total of 37,500. From a dollar perspective, this can be valued at an estimated amount of $638 over the course of the year. Although, if you are really looking for just cash back and not utilizing the points earned for travel, you’ll earn 1% cash back, which equals $375. This card does come with a $95/year annual fee. Estimated value = $543/year (for earning Membership Reward points); OR $365/year (for earning cash back)
- There is also a no-annual fee version of the card, but if you spend a decent amount on the card, you’ll see that spending the annual fee for the preferred version is well worth it. With the no annual fee American Express Everyday, you’ll earn 2x points st U.S. supermarkets and 1x point at U.S. gas stations. And if you make 20+ purchases in a billing cycle (on all purchases combined), you’ll get a 20% bonus on all points earned. This means you’ll earn 2.4x points on groceries and 1.2 points at gas stations. Based on the same numbers from above, this will earn you an estimated amount of 16,560 points on groceries and 3,120 on gas, for a total of 19,680 Membership Reward points. I personally value this at approximately $328 which is much less then the value earned from the annual fee version of the card! Estimated value = $335/year (for earning Membership Reward points); OR $197/year (for earning cash back)
Both are great options on maximizing your purchases on gas and groceries. Remember, the main differences between the Amex Blue Cash and Amex Everyday is that with the Amex Blue Cash you only have the option of cash back where the Amex Everyday gives you some more flexibility as you are earning Membership Reward points. Membership Reward points allow you to transfer your points to partner programs (where you can potentially get a higher value out of your points) or cash out your points for pure cash. Both are also capped at earning the bonus points on groceries and both will allow you to take advantage of the awesome Amex Offers.
Of course, those that like to redeem their points on business or first might find better value with another card as they can redeem their points for flights that typically cost $5,000+. But for the everyday person, one of the cards above is probably your best bet.
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday
- American Express Everyday Preferred
- American Express Everyday
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