American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review
Make long commutes and lengthy lines at the supermarket worth it with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. With generous cash back rates at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets, this card is best for families who want to save on everyday expenses.
Perfect for families, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express boasts a whopping 6% cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets with a $6,000 annual spending cap and 3% back on transit and at U.S. gas stations. Cardholders can also get 6% back on select streaming subscriptions and enjoy 1% back on all other purchases.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card at a Glance
The generous reward rate that backs the Blue Cash Preferred Card makes it a good choice for families who often eat at home and commute on a regular basis. The card does have an annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year and only costs a reasonable $95 after that.
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
A great cash back card for gas and grocery shopping
- Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
- $95Annual Fee
- 3% Cash BackRewards Rate
- 6xRewards Rate on Entertainment
- 6xRewards Rate on Groceries
Pros & Cons Explained
The rewards that come with the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express make it attractive for those who aim to save in specific categories — but it comes with some drawbacks.
- Generous Cash Back Rewards RateDespite the $6,000 cap, the 6% cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets is one of the highest offers on the market. In addition, the 6% on select streaming subscriptions, 3% at U.S. gas stations and 3% on transit (such as taxis or rideshares) are all impressive rates on common purchases.
- Welcome BonusEarn up to $400 in statement credit through the generous welcome bonus. Get 20% back from eligible purchases made on Amazon with your new card, up to $200 back, and earn another $200 after spending $3,000 on your card within the first six months.
- 0% Intro APRFor the first 12 months upon account opening, you’ll get an introductory 0% APR. This is uncommon in most cash back cards with a high rewards rate.
- Annual FeeWhile the annual fees in your first year are waived, the following years have a $95 fee that can turn off potential applicants. It’s also something worth considering if you don’t often shop at the grocery store. Fortunately, the rewards more than make up for the fees, and if you reach the welcome bonus of $150, your second year is more than paid for.
- Limited EarningIf you spend more than $6,000 annually at the supermarket, keep in mind that everything after the cap will earn cash back at a 1% rate. This can still grant you significant savings but it may be something to keep in mind if you have another rewards card that has the same bonus category with a cash back rate higher than 1%.
- Foreign Transaction FeeThe Blue Cash Preferred Card is not ideal for purchases made abroad given the 2.7% foreign transaction fee. Cardholders who travel frequently are better off with a credit card made for travel that has no international transaction fees.
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card ranks as one of MoneyGeek’s top credit cards for gas rewards. If you drive on a regular basis, you may want to compare cards to find the best gas rewards that suit your financial habits.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
Armed with solid rewards rates and an attractive welcome bonus, the Blue Cash Preferred Card can grant smart shoppers significant savings on essential expenses.
Competitive Rewards Rate
Get 6% back on up to $6,000 worth of purchases at U.S. supermarkets. If you spend at least $500 per month on groceries for a year, you’ll max out the cash back and earn $360. You can also get 6% on select streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit and at U.S. gas stations and 1% on all other purchases.
In the first six months upon account opening, you can get up to $400 in statement credit. Get 20% off eligible Amazon purchases with a limit of up to $200, and get an additional $200 if you spend $3,000 within the first six months.
Complimentary ShopRunner Membership
By simply owning a card from American Express, you qualify for free, two-day shipping with dozens of online retailers. This is valued at $79 but requires enrollment on the ShopRunner website for it to apply.
Pay It Plan It
All American Express cardholders can take advantage of the Pay It Plan It program. Pay It lets you pay off small purchases under $100 quickly, while Plan It lets you create a custom payment plan for purchases above $100 with a fixed fee.
Other Features Explained
Blue Cash Preferred cardholders can enjoy more than just the generous cash back rates, as American Express offers a host of features and benefits for its customers.
- Card FeatureDescription
- Car Rental ProtectionCar rentals booked and paid for with the Blue Cash Preferred Card get secondary coverage in case of damage or theft.
- Purchase ProtectionAmerican Express cardholders get Purchase Protection. This lets you get reimbursed up to $1,000 per purchase in case of theft or damage, with a limit of $50,000 per calendar year.
- Fraud ProtectionThrough a card identification number (CID), chip technology, opt-in fraud alerts, active fraud detection and more, American Express works behind the scenes to ensure your information is secure.
"You’ll want to put all your Amazon purchases on this card as it will earn 20% on Amazon purchases in the first six months of Card Membership up to $200. This is also a fantastic rewards earner for your streaming services all year long." - Alene Laney, Credit Card Journalist
Understanding the Fine Print
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card comes with a variety of cash back rewards, but it also comes with various fees and interest rates. Make sure to understand all the fees involved before applying for the card.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- Annual Fee$95
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate3% Cash Back
- Airline Benefits
Intro and Regular APR
Blue Cash Preferred cardholders get a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months upon account opening. Afterward, there is a variable APR of 13.99%–23.99%, the exact rate of which will depend on your creditworthiness.
Cash Back Rewards Rate
The 6% cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets is capped at the first $6,000 spent per calendar year — anything past the limit gets a cash back rate of 1%. Cardholders can also get 6% back on eligible streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit (such as buses, trains and rideshares) and 3% at U.S. gas stations.
Penalty APR and Fees
In case you make late payments or have a payment returned, you will receive a penalty APR of 29.99%. This applies at least until you have made timely payments for six consecutive months and have no payments returned. Note that whether the penalty APR will apply depends on your creditworthiness as well.
Late payments and returned payments also get a fee of $40 each, but there are no fees for going over the credit limit.
Foreign Transaction Fees
For every transaction made abroad, you will have to pay a 2.7% fee. This means that if you purchase something worth $500 abroad with the Blue Cash Preferred Card, you will pay an extra $13.50.
If you want to compare the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express to other cards, look at the rewards rate and annual fees. This can be found on your online account or the card provider’s website. Alternatively, you can also look at the credit card agreement database, which is maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card?
Other Considerations for American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
Saving on everyday expenses is easy with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, but your financial habits and situation will determine whether the card is best for you.
Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
As your sole credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred Card can offer significant savings — especially if you often cook at home and commute frequently. By spending just $31 per week on groceries, you can break even on the annual fee. Keep in mind that a good to excellent credit score is needed to qualify for this card, which is common for rewards credit cards but makes it difficult to get for those without impressive credit.
Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
The practical rewards of the Blue Cash Preferred Card make it a great addition to your current credit cards if you often visit the supermarket and subscribe to multiple streaming services. If you travel frequently, you can use this card for practical expenses in tandem with a travel rewards card to get maximum savings.
The MoneyGeek review process for credit cards involves examining each card’s specs and weighing it against other cards using standardized data points. Afterward, we factor in bonus rewards and welcome offers to get the total value of the card for consumers. Monthly reviews and re-rankings are also conducted to account for any changes.
How American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Compares to Other Cards
[Subnav: Quick Comparison] The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card benefits are some of the highest in these categories and typically outweigh the annual fees, but how it stacks up against other cards will depend on your financial needs.
For instance, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is often compared to the Blue Cash Everyday Card. Both offer rewards in similar bonus categories, but each comes with its own unique offers.
In-Depth Credit Card Comparisons:
Quick Comparison of American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
- Cash Back Rewards Rate: 6% at U.S. supermarkets for the first $6,000 spent in a year, 6% on select streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit and at U.S. gas stations and 1% for all other purchases
- Regular APR: 13.99%–23.99%
- Annual Fee: Waived for the first year, then $95
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
- Mini Verdict: Best for families who want to save on daily expenses
American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card
- Cash Back Rewards Rate: 3% at U.S. supermarkets for the first $6,000 spent in a year, 3% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% for all other purchases
- Regular APR: 13.99%–23.99%
- Annual Fee: None
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
- Mini Verdict: Best for people who frequent department stores
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express may suit many consumers — but this ultimately depends on your financial situation. MoneyGeek answered a few frequently asked questions below to help you determine if this card is right for you.
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The opportunity to save on several bonus categories makes the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express an enticing card to have — but it doesn’t mean everyone will benefit from it. If you feel that another card may suit you, take a look at MoneyGeek’s credit card reviews to find one you can benefit the most from.
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Learn more about credit cards in general
- American Express. "How Amex Protects You Against Credit Card Fraud." Accessed September 2, 2021.
- American Express. "Open Up Your Possibilities with the Amex® App." Accessed September 2, 2021.
- American Express. "Purchase Protection." Accessed September 2, 2021.
- American Express. "Purchase Protection Plan Documents." Accessed September 2, 2021.
- American Express. "Check to see if you Pre-Qualify for Offers." Accessed September 2, 2021.
- J.D. Power. "While Many U.S. Credit Card Issuers Struggle to Meet Evolving Customer Expectations, Some Bright Spots Exist, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed September 2, 2021.
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