6 Min Read | Updated: September 28, 2023

Originally Published: July 30, 2021

American Express Cash Back Cards: How Reward Dollars Work

American Express offers three cash back credit cards. Explore each card’s unique benefits, from cash back percentages to welcome offers and more.

American Express Reward Dollars


American Express offers three distinct cash back credit cards so new Card Members can best align cash back and rewards-earning potential to their spending style.

At Amex, cash back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits, with no redemption minimum.

Whether you’d prefer to earn up to 6% cash back in certain spending categories or would rather pay no annual fee, Amex has a cash back Card for you.

Credit card holders tend to prefer cash back rewards over points or miles, possibly due to how simple – and flexible – cash back credit cards can be, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.1 After all, who wouldn’t want to earn a little money by spending money on everyday purchases?  


To meet the demand for cash back, American Express offers these three cash back credit cards, each with its own unique benefits and welcome offers:

  • The American Express Cash Magnet® Card.
  • The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Here’s what you need to know about American Express’ cash back Cards, from earning points and redeeming Reward Dollars to taking advantage of welcome offers. Terms apply to all benefits for the credit cards listed below and all offers listed are subject to change.

How Does American Express Cash Back Work?

Cash back is a credit card rewards benefit that lets you earn back a small percentage of each eligible purchase made with the Card, often redeemed as a statement credit. The amount of cash back you earn typically ranges anywhere from 1%–3% of the transaction. But some cards, like Blue Cash Preferred, offer up to 6% cash back on certain spending categories. Cash back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars, which accumulate until you decide to redeem some or all of them.

American Express’ Three Cash Back Credit Cards

To earn Reward Dollars from American Express, you’ll want to choose one of the three American Express cash back credit cards that’s the right match for your spending style.


Blue Cash Everyday is a tiered cash back Card that offers benefits in specific spending categories like supermarkets and gas stations, with no annual fee.2  As for cash back earning rates, Blue Cash Everyday will get you:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 in yearly purchases (then 1%).
  • 3% cash back at U.S. online retailers, on up to $6,000 in yearly purchases (then 1%).
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 in yearly purchases (then 1%).
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Beyond cash back, Blue Cash Everyday Card Members can also get:

  • $84 Disney Bundle Credit: Get a $7 monthly statement credit (up to $84 back annually) after using your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday Card to spend $9.99 or more each month on a subscription (subject to auto-renewal) to the Disney Bundle. Valid only at DisneyPlus.com, Hulu.com, or Plus.espn.com in the U.S.2
  • $180 Home Chef Credit: Get up to $15 in statement credits monthly for online purchases made with meal kit delivery service, Home Chef, on your Blue Cash Everyday Card (up to $180 in statement credits annually). Enrollment required. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Subscription subject to auto-renewal.2

Blue Cash Preferred offers even more cash back rewards in certain spending categories. For example, let’s say you want to supercharge the rewards you get from supermarket and gas expenses – all while getting cash back for your streaming service subscriptions. This could be the right card for you. As for cash back percentages, Blue Cash Preferred offers:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 in purchases per year.
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3% cash back on transit, including tolls, parking, trains, buses, and more.4

Beyond cash back, Blue Cash Preferred Card Members can also get a $120 Equinox+ Credit to use toward Equinox+, a first-of-its-kind digital fitness platform that offers immersive classes led by expert instructors.4 To get the benefit, Card Members must first enroll and then pay for their monthly Equinox+ subscription fees using their Card at equinoxplus.com. Card Members will then automatically receive a $10 statement credit every month (subject to auto-renewal). That’s up to $120 back annually on Equinox+, allowing Card Members to tap into its collective of preeminent brands across movement to recovery, including Equinox, SoulCycle, PURE Yoga, Precision Run, HeadStrong, Myodetox, Rumble, TB12, and [solidcore] – wherever they are, whenever they’re ready.

The Cash Magnet Card is a straightforward Card with unlimited cash back benefits on all purchases – and no annual fee.5 With Cash Magnet, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on the Card during the first six months of Card Membership, in the form of a statement credit. For cash back, Cash Magnet offers:

  • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, with no spending limit.

If you’re a shopper who prefers simplicity when it comes to earning rewards – and tend to make regular purchases in a variety of spending categories – this Card might be right for you.

How to Redeem American Express Cash Back Rewards

To redeem Reward Dollars, log into your American Express account and click “Use Reward Dollars.” Just enter the amount of Reward Dollars you’d like to use as a credit toward your next statement balance and the credit will usually appear within three days. Note that the statement credit will not apply to the “minimum payment due” portion of your balance. 


And remember: As long as your Card’s account is in good standing – i.e., not canceled or past due – your Reward Dollars will never expire. They’ll be ready to redeem whenever you are.

The Takeaway

Cash back credit cards offer a way to earn cash rewards for everyday purchases you’d likely be making anyway – it’s like getting a small rebate for every eligible purchase you make. American Express offers three cash back credit cards, each with its own unique benefits and offers to match your spending preferences – whether you’re buying groceries for a large family, spending on gas for a long commute, using online streaming services, or even want to earn monthly statement credits for working out with Equinox+.

Megan Doyle

Megan Doyle is a business technology writer and researcher whose work focuses on financial services and cross-cultural diversity and inclusion.


All Credit Intel content is written by freelance authors and commissioned and paid for by American Express. 

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