Key takeaways

  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers cash back rewards on common, everyday categories for a $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee the first year).
  • Along with a handful of entertainment, travel protection and insurance benefits, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred features an introductory APR offer on both purchases and balance transfers.
  • Maximizing all this card has to offer comes down to hitting the welcome offer spending requirement, maxing out the yearly bonus category and familiarizing yourself with the various benefits available.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is considered one of the top cash back cards on the market today, and it’s easy to see why. Cardholders earn a whopping 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back) as well as 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services. They also earn 3 percent back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases and 1 percent back on everything else they buy.

A surprising number of perks are included, such as shopping benefits and protections for purchases you make with your card. This guide highlights the top benefits you’ll receive as a cardholder, as well as a few tips to maximize your Amex Blue Cash Preferred rewards.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred dining and entertainment benefits

The Blue Cash Preferred isn’t too heavy on benefits within dining and entertainment, but cardholders do get exclusive access to ticket presales and cardholder-only events through American Express Experiences. This can make it easier to get in the door for Broadway shows, concerts, sporting events and other popular activities.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred travel protections and benefits

  • Being a cardmember lets you access a 24/7 international hotline any time you travel at least 100 miles from home. Experts on the line can help you line up emergency, legal or medical referrals, replace a lost passport or locate your luggage. The help you need is just a phone call away.
  • The Blue Cash Preferred also gives cardholders car rental loss and damage insurance, which will provide secondary coverage behind one’s individual insurance.

    This type of coverage does not include liability. To activate this secondary protection, you must pay for the entire rental cost with your American Express card.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred card protections and insurance benefits

The Blue Cash Preferred also offers cardholder benefits and protections that can help you save money or replace a lost item. These include:

  • This benefit protects your purchases against damage or theft, provided you pay with your card. Coverage is good for up to 90 days and $1,000 per occurrence, although the total benefit is capped at $50,000 per calendar year.
  • The Blue Cash Preferred also comes with a guaranteed returns feature that will refund your purchase when a merchant won’t take it back. This coverage is good for the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling, with a maximum benefit of $300 per item. There is also a maximum limit of $1,000 per year and per account. Only purchases made within the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible.
  • If you find a fraudulent transaction or incorrect charge on your card, American Express has your back. Simply dispute the charge on your card and American Express will attempt to resolve the issue for you. Keep in mind, however, that not all disputes work out in the cardmember’s favor.

Additional Amex Blue Cash Preferred benefits

A final benefit to understand is this card’s introductory APR offer. Once you’re approved, you’ll get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent. This temporary waiver of interest charges can make it easier for cardholders to make a large purchase and pay it off over time.

How to maximize the perks and benefits offered by the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

The Blue Cash Preferred has an introductory $0 annual fee, after which you’ll pay $95 per year. You’ll also earn cash back rewards during this time, which can be worth hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

Still, there are other ways to make the most of your new card.

  • As a cardholder, you have the chance to earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. That’s $500 in spending per month for 6 months in a row — spending that many cardholders would do regardless.
  • Be sure to maximize bonus category spending — and, particularly, grocery spending — since you’ll earn 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent with U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back). If you’re able to spend $500 per month at U.S. supermarkets with this card, you’ll earn $360 in rewards in this category alone each year.

    Also, make sure you use your card for gas station and transit purchases (3 percent back) and that you set it as the preferred form of payment on all your streaming accounts like Netflix and Hulu (6 percent back).
  • Make sure to check your account or the American Express app frequently for Amex Offers, which can help you earn cash back on eligible purchases. Amex Offers are free to add to your account, and they let you earn more rewards on top of the cash back you earn for paying with your card.
  • With Amex purchase protection and return protection as cardholder benefits, you’ll want to save receipts for major purchases you make. This will make it easier to file a claim if an item you bought is damaged or stolen, or if you want to return an item and the store you bought it from won’t take it back.

The bottom line

There are plenty of reasons to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred, including the amazing Blue Cash Preferred benefits you receive. Not only do you get the chance to earn a generous welcome offer and ongoing rewards, but you get to enjoy some travel perks and protections for your purchases. Plus, the Blue Cash Preferred is a solid cash back credit card.

That said, make sure you compare this card to other Amex cards (for example, the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express) and top cash back credit cards from other issuers.