Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Jocelyn Baird  in  Cash Back Advertising Disclosure
American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for cash back on groceries

Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% on balance transfers for 12 months
Regular APR:
15.24%-26.24% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees
Bankrate Score: 92 out of 100

Commonly used for: Cash Back, Excellent Credit, Rewards.

If you’re a big spender at the supermarket, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a no-brainer, as its bonus categories give it high earning potential.

Here are the details:

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express cardholders can earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (after that, you’ll earn 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations as well as 1% on all other purchases. There is an annual fee of $95 (See Rates & Fees), but the hefty rewards potential could make it worthwhile for grocery champs. Adding to this card’s appeal are 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months (15.24% – 26.24% variable APR thereafter) and an opportunity to earn a $200 intro bonus as a statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months on purchases (See Rates & Fees).

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. And 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.

Worthy addition to your wallet?

As with many rewards credit cards that earn in specific categories, whether the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is a worthy addition to your wallet or not is going to heavily depend on what kind of spending you do in a typical month. This card earns heavily in the grocery and gas arenas, which means that suburban families are most likely to find it appealing. Families who hope to maximize their cash back potential may want to add it to their collection of cards, rather than making it the sole card in their wallet since it doesn’t earn in other popular categories like travel, entertainment or dining. The $200 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® from American Express, which earns similar, though lower, rewards and has no annual fee (See Rates & Fees). 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. If this will cut heavily into your earning potential, you might want to reconsider applying for this card.

Advantages
  • You don't have to enroll to earn in any of the major categories this card offers.
  • If you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership, you get a $200 intro bonus as a statement credit.
  • The introductory APR offer can help if you have high-interest balances on another card or want to finance a big purchase cheaply.
  • Terms apply.
Disadvantages
  • Most wholesale clubs and specialty grocers don’t typically count toward the 6% rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets. If you spend heavily in either of these areas you may want to consider a dedicated rewards card for those stores instead.
  • There’s a high penalty APR that will last for at least six months if you’re late or miss a payment.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Card, please click here.

How much are the rewards worth?

You will earn 6% cash back on your first $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets during the calendar year. Once you reach the $6,000 cap, U.S. supermarket purchases will earn the standard 1% cash back until the calendar year comes to an end. Purchases at U.S. gas stations earn 3% cash back, and all other purchases will earn 1%.

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. If you prefer to reap your rewards in the form of cold, hard cash, you’ll want to give another card a try.

Fees and APR

  • The annual fee is $95.
  • There’s a welcome offer of 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%.
  • The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.
  • You’ll pay a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside the U.S.
  • See Rates & Fees.

How to get the most value from this card

The most significant value from the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express comes from its high earnings at U.S. supermarkets – 6% cash back is much higher than you’ll see anywhere else. To reach the $6,000/year maximum, you’ll need to spend an average of $500/month on groceries. That might seem unfathomable to some people, but those with large families or gourmet tastes will be able to make the most out of this card’s cash back potential easily. Add in the ability to earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations (with no earning cap), and you can more than make up for this card’s $95 annual fee without straying too far from your everyday purchases.

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 the family wallet, and its lengthy intro APR period and generous intro bonus are definitely worth your while.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Card, please click here.