I just received an e-mail from a reader named Matthew who reports that American Express is re-working their cash back percentages on the AmEx Blue Cash rewards credit card. As you might recall, this card previously offered 5% cash back rewards on “Everyday” purchases (gas stations, grocery stores, and pharmacies) and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases once you reach $6500 in spending for the year*.
Well, according to Matthew…
The non-5% rewards will be dropping to 1.25% instead of 1.5% after $6500 in annual spending. In addition, purchases over $400 at gas stations (how would you get that high? I guess if you’re a trucker…) will no longer be classified as “Everyday” purchases. The last major rewards change was that it now specifically states the purchases must be made for personal consumption.
This information was apparently sent out with April card statements. I’ve since checked the application page for this card, and it seems that Matthew’s information is correct. The lower reward level after you reach $6500 in spending will indeed be 1.25%, and mega-purchases at gas stations (the $400 limit appears to be per transaction) will no longer qualify for 5% cash back.
While this might not strike you as a huge change, the drop from 1.5% to 1.25% represents a 17% decrease. Thus, while it’s still a good card, it’s not quite as good as it used to be.
*Note: Prior to hitting the $6500 spending level, this card pays 1% rewards on “Everyday” purchases and 0.5% rewards on everything else.