Key takeaways

  • If you spend a lot on groceries, transit and gas, The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could certainly be worth it for you
  • This card also comes with purchase protection, return protection, a welcome offer, intro APR offers and access to Amex Offers, among other perks
  • If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, or if you’re looking for more redemption options, this card might not be worth it for you

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is frequently considered one of the best credit cards for groceries, and for good reason. This card gives you 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back), as well as an unlimited 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Cardholders also receive 3 percent cash back on transit purchases and U.S. gas station purchases and 1 percent cash back on other purchases. That’s on top of a generous welcome bonus, too.

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred is worth holding due to the grocery-related category alone. If you max out this rewards category — by spending $500 per month on U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent back) — you can earn $360 in cash back rewards per year in this category alone.

When is the Amex Blue Cash Preferred worth it?

If you want high rewards potential

One of the biggest reasons to sign up for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is its lucrative rewards structure, which lets you earn 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back), 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3 percent cash back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases (including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1 percent cash back on other purchases. When you take the time to run the numbers, it’s easy to see where this card can be worth it, even after accounting for the $0 intro annual fee for the first year (then an annual fee of $95).

To get a better idea of your rewards potential with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, let’s say you use your card for $1,108 in U.S. supermarket spending each month ($13,296 per year). Meanwhile, let’s say you spend $1,568 per year on gas. To round things out, you also spend another $1,000 on miscellaneous purchases on your card each month ($12,000 per year).

In that case, you would earn:

  • $360 in rewards on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year
  • $72.96 in rewards on U.S. supermarket purchases after the $6,000 limit is reached
  • $47.04 in rewards on U.S. gas station purchases
  • $120 in rewards on all other purchases

This amount equals $600 in rewards within a year, which is considerably more than the ongoing $95 annual fee you’ll pay. Also, this amount does not include the generous welcome bonus you can earn.

If you want to earn a welcome offer

As mentioned, this card comes with a generous welcome bonus — you can earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on your card within the first six months of account opening. If you have a large purchase coming up — such as for holiday shopping this season — this welcome bonus could help to significantly offset your spending.

If you’re looking for an intro APR offer

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred also lets you enjoy a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent. This makes this card an attractive option for cardholders who need to make a large purchase and pay it off slowly over time.

If you’re interested in other cardholder perks

There are other cardholder perks you get when you sign up for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, including car rental loss and damage insurance, access to a Global Assist hotline, Amex purchase protection, return protection and the Amex Pay It Plan It features. Make sure to consider the full list of Amex Blue Cash Preferred benefits and whether you’ll use them before you commit.

If you want to earn additional rewards through Amex Offers

Amex Offers is a free benefit that comes with your eligible American Express credit card. This program includes limited-time deals that you can activate in your account in order to earn cash back on qualifying purchases with select retailers and brands. And remember, the cash back you can earn with Amex Offers is separate from the rewards you earn with your credit card.

When is the Amex Blue Cash Preferred not worth it?

If you want more redemption options

One major factor to consider with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is its very basic rewards program. This card offers cash back on eligible purchases in the form of “reward dollars,” which can be redeemed for statement credits with no minimum redemption amount.

If you want a credit card with rewards you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, travel or other flexible options, you may want to consider a different cash back card option or even a travel credit card.

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then an annual fee of $95. While the rewards potential can make this card worth the annual fee, keep in mind that there are other American Express credit cards with similar rewards structures and no annual fee.

For example, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express doesn’t charge an annual fee and you can earn 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases in each category (then 1 percent back), and 1 percent cash back on other purchases.

Like with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, you can redeem cash back in the form of statement credits. The Amex Blue Cash Everyday also includes a welcome offer in the form of a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months.

Should you get the Amex Blue Cash Preferred?

While the Amex Blue Cash Preferred could work for almost anyone, some customers might love this card more than others. Here are some reasons you should sign up for this card, as well as some reasons the Blue Cash Preferred may not be worth it:

Who should get the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

  • Anyone who spends at least $6,000 at U.S. supermarkets each year
  • Commuters who spend a lot of money on U.S. gas station or transit purchases
  • People who want a low introductory APR offer on purchases
  • Anyone who wants to redeem rewards for statement credits only
  • People who don’t mind paying an annual fee for a credit card after the first year
  • Consumers with good to excellent credit

Who should not get the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

  • People who rarely spend money on groceries, gas or transit
  • People who are averse to paying credit card annual fees
  • Travel enthusiasts who prefer to earn and redeem rewards for travel-related purchases
  • Someone who wants a card with travel benefits, such as annual travel credits, elite hotel status or airport lounge access

The bottom line

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred is one of the most popular cash back credit cards on the market today, and it’s worth considering if you spend a lot of money on groceries, gas or transportation. Using your card for all of your regular spending will help you to rack up more cash back throughout the year, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you focus on using this card in as many bonus categories as you can.

Still, there are plenty of other top rewards credit cards to consider, including American Express credit cards with different earning structures, rewards programs or fees. It’s always best to shop around for a card that’s right for you and your financial needs. Make sure to compare several top credit cards from different issuers before you decide, and consider pairing a few cards that offer complementary benefits and perks.