[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners once they become available here — Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and American Express Blue Cash Everyday from American Express.]
American Express is enabling anyone looking to go on a restaurant binge with its latest offer for new members of its Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday cards. Anyone who successfully applies for either card from Feb. 28 through May 3 will get 10% cash back on purchases at restaurants in the United States within the first six months of having the card, up to $200.
New card members can also get a welcome bonus: at least $150 for Blue Cash Preferred and at least $100 for Blue Cash Everyday, if they spend $1,000 within the first three months of opening the account. (Make sure you read the offer details for more information.) This comes as a statement credit. The restaurant cash bonuses also come in the form of statement credits that show up on monthly billing statements within eight weeks after purchase. These bonuses come on top of the existing perks of the cards, including extra cash back on purchases at supermarkets and gas stations.
To qualify for the 10% cash back on restaurant purchases, the restaurant must be located in the United States, not merely owned by a U.S. company, like say, the Hard Rock Cafe in Paris.
So how far does this bonus go? To get the full $200, you’d have to spend $2,000 at restaurants in six months.
To get there, you’d have to order the Bloomin’ Onion (at $8.99) at Outback Steakhouse 223 times (for a total of 435,742 calories) minus tax and tip. You and your family could also order the Tour of Italy — that’s a sleep-inducing combo of chicken parmigiana, lasagna classico and fettuccini alfredo — at Olive Garden 114 times to get the $200.
If you’d like to get there in a classier (and faster) way, you need only order the $55 bone-in rib-eye steak at Capital Grille 37 times. In contrast, it would take more than 500 Big Macs, at $3.99 apiece, to earn the full bonus, or 333 if you want fries and a drink — Super Size Me indeed. At Masa in New York City, where a meal for two reportedly runs about $1,500, only a single sitting might suffice.
Aiming for this bonus might not be the most frugal choice, but if, after you get the $200, you want to stretch your dollar, we came up with a few ways you can do that, like sharing your meal and ordering off the lunch menu. And if you dine out habitually, these credit cards might be for you. Of course, before you apply for any credit card, it’s important to take a look at the fees and interest rates it carries to make sure it fits your budget. You’ll also want to check your credit (you can see two of your credit scores for free every 14 days on Credit.com) to get an idea of whether or not you’ll qualify. In general, rewards credit cards tend to require good credit scores of applicants.
At publishing time, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).