Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
vs. Discover it® Cash Back Card

Updated: June 17, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Shield Insurance

MoneyGeek partners with leading industry experts and advertisers to help you get to your financial happy place. Our content is accurate when posted but offers may change over time. We may receive compensation for partner advertisements, but our editorial team independently reviews and ranks products. Learn more about our editorial policies.

Both the Blue Cash Preferred and the Discover it Cash Back card offer compelling cash back rewards and introductory APRs. However, the Blue Cash Preferred edges ahead with its high cash back rates on supermarkets and streaming services. Despite its annual fee after the first year, the value of cash back earned can outweigh the cost for frequent shoppers in these categories.

Meanwhile, the Discover it Cash Back remains a solid choice, especially with its unique first-year cash back match and the advantage of a longer 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers.

Credit Card logo for Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
Credit Card logo for Discover it® Cash Back Card
Discover it® Cash Back Card
MoneyGeek Rating
4.2/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
4.2/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    19.24–29.99% variable
    17.24%–28.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% on purchases for 12 months
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Intro Offer
    Earn $250
    Matches cash back earned at the end of the first 12 months
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1–6% cash back
    Earn 1%–5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% on balance transfers for 12 months
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Balance Transfer Fee
    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)
    Annual Fee
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    29.99% variable
    None
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Blue Cash Preferred if you spend significantly at U.S. supermarkets and on streaming services. The high cash back rates in these categories, along with additional rewards on gas and transit, can offset the annual fee after the first year. The introductory offer is also a strong incentive for new cardholders.

You might prefer the Discover it Cash Back if you value flexibility and want to maximize cash back in different categories throughout the year. The lack of an annual fee and the unique first-year cash back match can provide substantial savings. Additionally, the longer 0% intro APR period is ideal for managing larger purchases or balance transfers.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and other features side by side clarifies which card aligns with your financial habits. For instance, if you spend heavily on groceries, Blue Cash Preferred's 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets may appeal to you, whereas Discover it Cash Back could be more beneficial if you prefer earning on rotating categories.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back card is better, offering a lower starting APR of 17.24% compared to the Blue Cash Preferred's 19.24%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Discover it Cash Back

    Discover it Cash Back is better for those looking to avoid annual fees, as it charges no annual fee, whereas the Blue Cash Preferred has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back card offers a longer introductory 0% APR period of 15 months for both purchases and balance transfers, compared to the Blue Cash Preferred's 12 months. This makes the Discover it Cash Back card more favorable for those seeking extended 0% APR terms.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Blue Cash Preferred

    The Blue Cash Preferred is better for rewards, offering 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% on other purchases. Discover it Cash Back offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases in various categories upon activation, then 1%, and 1% on general purchases. Blue Cash Preferred's higher cash back rates in everyday spending categories make it the superior choice for rewards.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Blue Cash Preferred

    The Blue Cash Preferred offers a better welcome bonus, providing a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first six months, which translates to a higher ROI (return on investment) compared to the Discover it Cash Back card's cash back match offer at the end of the first year.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Blue Cash Preferred and the Discover it Cash Back cater to individuals with good to excellent credit scores, ranging from 670 to 850.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: Discover it Cash Back

    For penalties and fees, the Discover it Cash Back is more favorable. It waives the first late payment fee, charges no foreign transaction fees and does not apply a penalty APR. In contrast, the Blue Cash Preferred imposes a late fee of up to $40, a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% and a penalty APR of 29.99% variable.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express

    When it comes to issuer satisfaction, American Express leads with a higher satisfaction rating of 5, compared to Discover's rating of 4.5.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Blue Cash Preferred includes benefits like a $250 statement credit, $0 intro plan fees with Plan It® and a $84 Disney Bundle Credit. Discover it Cash Back offers a first-year cash back match, no annual fee and a 0% intro APR for 15 months.

Rewards Comparison

The Blue Cash Preferred leads with a higher expected reward value, particularly for those who spend regularly on groceries and streaming services. Its 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets is capped at $6,000 per year. The 3% back at gas stations and on transit also adds value for commuters and travelers.

While the Discover it Cash Back doesn't quite match up in terms of overall rewards, its rotating 5% cash back categories can be lucrative if your spending aligns with those quarterly categories. The Discover card's categories require activation and have a quarterly cap, but they can offer higher rewards in areas like dining or Amazon.com during specific quarters.

For the Discover it Cash Back, the eligible spending categories for the 5% cash back rotate each quarter and have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and Amazon.com.

Following this section, you'll find a detailed table of bonus categories for both cards.

Category
Blue Cash Preferred
Discover it Cash Back

U.S. Supermarkets

6% for the first $6,000 annually/1% thereafter

5% (on rotating categories up to $1,500 quarterly, activation required)/1%

U.S. Streaming Subscriptions

6%

5% (on rotating categories up to $1,500 quarterly, activation required)/1%

U.S. Gas Stations

3%

5% (on rotating categories up to $1,500 quarterly, activation required)/1%

Transit

3%

5% (on rotating categories up to $1,500 quarterly, activation required)/1%

All Other Purchases

1%

1%

Redeeming Rewards

Moving from earning to redeeming rewards, both cards offer cash back but differ in redemption flexibility. The Blue Cash Preferred allows redemption as a statement credit or for Amazon.com purchases, with no expiration. The Discover it Cash Back offers more options, including gift cards and direct deposit, with rewards that do not expire but may be forfeited after 18 months of inactivity.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards using a tailored scoring system for various use cases, such as cash back and balance transfers. The Blue Cash Preferred scores highest for cash back, while Discover it Cash Back leads in balance transfers.

The most influential factors in these scores include the reward rate and introductory offers for cash back, and the introductory offers and regular APR for balance transfers. For a deeper understanding of our scoring process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Blue Cash Preferred vs. Discover it Cash Back Card

What are the annual fees for the Blue Cash Preferred and Discover it Cash Back cards?
How do the introductory APR offers compare between the two cards?
Which card offers better rewards for supermarket spending?
Is there a cash back match offer for either of these cards?
Do either of these cards charge foreign transaction fees?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.