Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Details and benefits
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express has gotten an upgrade, now offering a stellar rewards structure. You’ll earn:
- 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (after that, you’ll earn 1 percent)
- 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming services
- 3 percent cash back on transit purchases (which includes rideshares, tolls, parking, taxis and more)
- 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations
- 1 percent on all other purchases
While there is an annual fee of $95, the impressive rewards potential easily makes it worthwhile for anyone who spends a significant portion of their budget in those categories. Adding to this card’s appeal are zero percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (14.49 percent – 25.49 percent variable APR thereafter) and an opportunity to earn a $250 intro bonus as a statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months on purchases.
In addition to these benefits, cardholders can enjoy shopping perks like extended warranty, return protection and purchase protection, plus travel and entertainment perks like a roadside assistance hotline, global assist hotline, travel accident insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance. Plus, thanks to American Express providing special access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events, you can be the first in line for the hottest happenings. Finally, a complimentary ShopRunner membership will let cardholders enjoy free 2-day shipping on eligible items purchased from a network of 100+ online stores.
Is the Blue Cash Preferred worth it for you?
The card’s new bonus categories target millennial spending habits, but that doesn’t mean the card is limited to that generation. Supermarkets, streaming services, transit and gas are all common spending categories, and you can earn some lucrative cash back rewards whether or not you spend a significant portion of your budget in all four bonus categories.
The $250 intro bonus opportunity after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months and introductory APR and balance transfer offers are also big pluses.
The biggest possible obstacle most people will run into with this card is the annual fee. If that’s a deal-breaker, you should know that it has a sister card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which earns similar, though lower, rewards and has no annual fee. It’s also important to consider where you shop most frequently for food – American Express excludes superstores (e.g., Target and Amazon), warehouse clubs (e.g., Sam’s Club) and specialty stores (e.g., wine shops, fish markets, etc.) and convenience stores.
However, with so many other bonus categories and earning possibilities with this card, this isn’t a dealbreaker for most cardholders.
Get the most value from the Blue Cash Preferred
Six percent cash back on U.S. supermarkets and streaming services (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) is much more generous than you’ll see with other cash back cards, and 3 percent on transit and U.S. gas stations is also comparatively high. You can’t go wrong with this card as long as you’re using it across those bonus spending categories.
This card can also be paired with a no annual fee card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited to maximize cash back earnings in categories where the Blue Cash Preferred doesn’t offer outstanding rewards.
Despite its $95 annual fee, this card is a cash-back machine with its high earning potential at U.S. supermarkets. It’s the perfect card for both millennials and large families, and its lengthy intro APR period and generous intro bonus are definitely worth taking advantage of.
How much are the Blue Cash Preferred rewards worth?
Let’s assume your monthly credit card spending breaks down to something similar to this:
- $300 at U.S. supermarkets
- $150 on transit
- $100 at U.S. gas stations
- $50 on select streaming services
- $300 on other purchases
You’ll earn around $378 by the end of the year in cash back. With a flat-rate card that earns 2 percent cash back, you’ll only earn around $216 with the same spending breakdown.
How to redeem rewards
Cash back is earned as “Rewards Dollars,” which are paid as a percentage of the dollar amount you spend each month. You can redeem your Rewards Dollars for a statement credit, gift cards or merchandise through American Express, starting in increments of $25.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Card, please click here.