3% Cash-Back Card = $500/Year Tax Free!

by Darwin on June 15, 2011

I’d been thinking about our cash-back rewards from the one credit card we do most of our spending on and decided it’s time to focus on the categories we spend the most on and optimize our cards and usage to get even more cash back each year.  For years, we’ve always enjoyed tax-free cash-back rewards to the tune of something like $600-$800, depending on big expenses and what kind of programs were out there.  Now though, I want to target the best grocery, gas and overall cash back cards and make sure we focus our usage on each category to optimize cash back.  Since my wife gets annoyed and confused over using different cards for different things, I simply write on each card in permanent market “gas only”, “groceries only”, etc.  I’d have trouble remembering which card’s which as well if I didn’t set up the accounts.

We Spend a TON on Groceries – So we can SAVE HUNDREDS!

I see some blogs where people are spending $50 a week on groceries.  Well, that’s not us.  We don’t eat Ramen noodles each night and often times, coupons are geared toward pre-packaged foods and other stuff that’s not very good for you.  I do think we have room for improvement in buying more meats in bulk or when on sale, so that’s something to focus on.  But overall, my wife likes to cook – all the time, and seemingly, for everyone.  We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and buy a fair amount of organic.  Additionally, we host fairly sizable parties here and there, and she always brings an elaborate dish to other parties so it all adds up.  As outrageous as it may sound, when I include all the ancillary stuff we buy at a grocery store like stamps, gift cards, cleaning supplies, etc., we probably spend close to $10,000 a year at grocery stores for our family of 5.  So, that’s priority #1 for credit card optimization.

A 3% Back Grocery Cash-Back Card ??

Hands down, the Blue Cash Everyday(SM) from American Express(see this card and many others with this cash back card comparison tool) is tops with its 3% supermarket cash-back status.  That’s simply amazing, I’ve never seen another card with a cash-back percentage that high, especially for such a high-spend category.  On top of that, the card pays 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores.  And finally, 1% on everything else.

Cash Back Details


  • Earn 100 Reward Dollars after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership.
  • Get 3% cash back at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, 2% cash back on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations and select major department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • The first $6,000 of purchases at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets in a calendar year qualifies for 3% cash back; 1% thereafter.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Cash back is earned only on eligible purchases.
  • Simple and Straightforward: With the Blue Cash Everyday Card, you can start earning cash back. No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • No annual fee, 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99%-21.99% with flexibility to pay over time.
  • Terms and Restrictions Apply.


Sign up today and start saving!

Find it here by cash back card comparison tool)

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin June 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

Yea I’ve been tempted by this myself… I’ve got the old, tiered version of the Blue Cash card.

But, you spend $10,000 per year on gas and groceries? That really is a ton. $833 per month is a lot of food and gas.

I’m still all about cash back rewards, but rewards checking accounts have turned out to be a better deal for us because you get rewarded for the cash in the bank, not just what you spend.


Darwin June 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

You haven’t met my wife :>

Seriously though, $200 a week isn’t a stretch at all. We have a family of 5, a dog, 2 cats and we entertain a lot. My wife is an epic cook and doesn’t skimp, so it’s always lots of nice meats, cheeses, wines, and organic to boot. A basic look at our monthly credit card bill pretty much says it all. We hit that routinely.


Oren December 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

What do you think of the American Express Blue Preferred Card which says it gets you 6% back every day. Especially for someone like you who spends a lot of money on groceries, it might be worth it even thought it has the annual fee


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