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 come with this card, including shopping benefits and protections for purchases you make with your card. This guide highlights the top benefits you’ll receive when you sign up, as well as a few tips to maximize your Amex Blue Cash Preferred rewards.

As a reminder: Details of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers generous rewards in several everyday categories, including a top rate that makes it one of the best cards for grocery purchases. Card details are listed below:

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

  • Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months.
  • Earn 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3 percent back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases and 1 percent back on everything else.
  • Annual fee of $95.

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.

Travel protections and benefits

Several travel perks come standard with the Blue Cash Preferred, some of which can help you save money or resolve emergency situations during a trip away from home.

Global Assist hotline

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.

Car rental loss and damage insurance

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.

Card protections and insurance benefits

This card also offers cardholder benefits and protections that can help you save money or replace a lost item, for example. These include:

Purchase protection

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.

Return protection

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, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year and per account. Only purchases made within the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible.

Additional card benefits

A final benefit to understand is this card’s introductory APR offer. Once you sign up, you’ll get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 16.24 percent to 27.24 percent. This temporary waiver of interest charges can make it easier for cardholders to make a large purchase and pay it off over time.

See Related: Is the Blue Cash Preferred card worth it?

Is it hard to get approved for the Blue Cash Preferred?

It can be hard to qualify for an Amex Blue Cash Preferred card if you don’t meet its high credit score requirements. To improve your odds of being approved, you need to have a good-to-excellent credit score (a 670 to 850 FICO score or a 661 to 850 VantageScore). If you meet the Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit score requirements, you shouldn’t have too much trouble qualifying for this card as long as you aren’t currently holding or applying for too many credit cards from this issuer.

American Express limits how many Amex cards you can have at the same time. In May 2020, the company confirmed this limit was four Amex credit cards and 10 Amex charge cards. However, as of spring 2021, Amex has allegedly changed this limit from four to five cards. Regardless, if you meet Amex’s card limits, you won’t be approved for the Blue Cash Preferred card.

If you’re going to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred, it’s also best to limit your applications for other Amex credit cards. You can’t be approved for more than one Amex card every five days or more than two cards in any 90-day period.

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

The Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee. 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, including the following:

Earn the welcome bonus

One of the most important Blue Cash Preferred Card benefits offered is the welcome bonus you can earn. Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months.

Max out bonus category spending

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).

Take advantage of Amex offers

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.

Save your receipts

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 sign up 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 bonus 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.

However, it’s worth remembering that the required credit score for Amex Blue Cash Preferred cards is pretty steep. To qualify, you need to have a FICO Score of 670 to 850 or a VantageScore of 661 to 850.

Considering the Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95, this offer is well worth exploring. That said, make sure you compare this card to other Amex cards (for example, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express), including cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards points and cash back cards from other issuers.