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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review

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Earn up to 6% cashback with this family rewards card designed for 2021.

finder.com’s rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you want a very strong everyday rewards card that gives you six months to earn the excellent welcome offer.
  • Pick something else if you don’t want to pay an annual fee or you want to earn in other reward categories.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

$300

Welcome offer

Up to 6%

Cash back

$0

Annual fee

for the first year ($95 thereafter)

0%

Intro purchase APR

for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)

Details

Annual fee$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Welcome Offer$300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Rewards6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APRN/A
Recommended minimum credit score670
IssuerAmerican Express

Expert review

Kliment Dukovski

Review by


Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.

Expert review

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a busy family’s best friend. It offers 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases and 1% after that.

The card also now gives you more time to earn the card’s welcome offer. Rather than three months, you have six months to earn your offer. This is a fantastic help for families with tight finances as you won’t experience the pressure of needing to earn that offer within a short time span. This card also comes with an intro APR on purchases, further cementing it as a strong choice if you need a little financial leg up for a period of time. On top of the strong grocery rewards, you can also earn 6% back on select US streaming services, 3% cash back at US gas stations and transit purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. And the annual fee is no major concern when it comes to this card’s value: at only $95 from the second year, you should have no problem gaining enough cash back value to cover this card’s cost and more.

How to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

To apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll just need to do the following:

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. Fill out your personal information and click Submit.
  3. To qualify for the Blue Cash Preferred, you’re going to want to apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Apply now

Who is the Blue Cash Preferred best for?

Almost anyone can take advantage of this card’s earning categories. However, the spending cap on supermarkets along with the inclusion of streaming, gas and transit for rewards means this card will best fit your average-sized family.

This card is also a great fit for solo or duo-city dwellers who can take advantage of both the supermarket earnings as well as the transit earnings.

Who is the Blue Cash Preferred not best for?

While most could benefit from the Blue Cash Preferred considering it’s excellent rewards on everyday purchases, the card may not be right for you if you’ve got an especially large family or find that you spend well beyond $6,000 in a given year. If that’s the case, you might want to consider a rewards card without a spending cap. This card also isn’t the best choice for travel enthusiasts as it only earns rewards on local transit such as buses and taxis.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express benefits

  • Rewards. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can net value on groceries like few others. To maximize this value though, you’re going to want to shoot for the earning cap on groceries each year. This usually isn’t a big problem — spending even $150 a month on groceries can get you there with a few months to spare. What’s a bit trickier is squeezing value out of the card’s other categories. Transit and streaming services are a little open-ended, so it helps to get an idea of what is included in both categories. We’ve created a full list of included services for easy reference.
  • Welcome offer. Amex has recently extended the amount of time new cardholders will have to earn the welcome offer on this card from three months to six. This takes some of the pressure off of needing to spend as much as possible as soon as possible to earn that bonus. This is helpful for families who might need the extra time because of financial strains and isn’t a feature found on many other cards.
  • Intro APR. This card’s intro APR on purchases is another strong feature that helps make this card a strong choice for families. With 12-months to pay off your purchases interest free, you can make some large or important purchases up front with plenty of time to comfortably pay it off.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership. Enjoy free two-day shipping and extended warranties on covered purchases through ShopRunner.

What to watch out for

  • Rewards cap. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express‘s supermarket earning rate is great — until you spend $6,000 on groceries in a calendar year. After that, the rate falls to a paltry 1% cash back.
  • Not widely accepted abroad. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an Amex card, which means it isn’t as widely accepted overseas as a Mastercard or Visa. However, the earning categories on this card also work strictly within the United States. That means if you do happen to travel abroad and use this card, you won’t necessarily earn cash back on your purchases if you don’t find a merchant that accepts Amex.
  • Gas and grocery store limitations. One of the most important things to look at before applying for this card is the list of eligible supermarkets and gas stations. Under the American Express retail category information page, Target and Wal-Mart are labeled as “superstores” and not supermarkets, for example. Other types of specialty stores such as wine and cheese shops, or warehouse clubs like BJ’s Club are also not included. These fussy details pertain to gas stations too — only merchants that are “in the primary business of selling gasoline to consumers” are eligible for the increased earning rate. Mobil, Shell and Exxon are a few listed examples. This means if you won’t earn the 3% cash back if get your gas at Costco or Target.

Compare Blue Cash Preferred to similar credit cards

There’s a lot of competition in the everyday rewards space, so here’s a breakdown of the Blue Cash Preferred vs. two similar cards to give you a sense of how the Blue Cash Preferred stacks up.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

Rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)

Purchase APR

0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)

Balance transfer APR

N/A

Rewards

6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

Welcome offer

$300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

Rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0

Purchase APR

0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)

Balance transfer APR

N/A

Rewards

2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

Welcome offer

$200 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Apply now

How much money can you make with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?

Here’s a quick example of the kind of cashback you might in a month earn using the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, assuming some common spending values.

CategorySpendingCashback earned
US supermarkets (6% on up to $6,000 annually)$800$48
Gas and transit (3%)$200$6
Streaming services (6%)$50$3
Other purchases (1%)2,000$20

Total cashback in one month = $77

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express customer reviews and complaints

As of February 2021, American Express sports an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 1948. It has received 3,331 customer complaints, all of which the provider has addressed and closed out.

Trustpilot rates the provider a bit lower with a 2.0 out of 5.0. A majority of the negative customer reviews on the site mention American Express customer service as the primary pain point.

Users on social media, such as Reddit, tend to praise this card for the large earning rate and solid customer service American Express offers. Those less satisfied with the card point to grocery store and gas station restrictions as a big point to watch out for — especially if you often shop at stores like Target and Walmart.

How to make the most out of your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Amex makes it easy to make the most out of your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express so long as you spend it on the right categories. Here are a few quick tips for maximizing rewards using the card:

  • Spend up to the cap. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express‘s big claim to fame is the 6% back on groceries, so take it for all its worth. Spending at least up to the annual cap helps ensure you make the most of what the card offers and will more than make up for the annual fee.
  • Don’t forget about streaming. This card also earns 6% back on select streaming services. You probably spend considerably less on Netflix and Hulu than you do on groceries, but this value can still add up.
  • Review eligible merchants. To earn the cashback rate listed on the card, you’ll need to make purchases at eligible merchants, grocery stores and gas stations. Review the card’s terms and conditions to make sure you’re not missing out.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a superb cashback card designed for the modern day family, look no further than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. While there are other grocery and gas cashback cards out there, none offer a 6% rate like Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The raw earning power of this card across a variety of categories and flexible welcome offer make it a great choice for families who want a rewards card.

If you’re looking for more than just cash back on your rewards card, however, compare your other plenty of rewards card options to find one that best fits your finanical needs.

Frequently asked questions

  • Does the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express allow authorized users?
    Yes. Adding authorized users to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a pretty simple procedure that you can perform on your Amex online account. Since the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is pretty light on the extra perks, your main benefit for adding a user will come from making it easier to earn rewards to your account.
  • What services count as streaming and transit?
    Under transit, you’ll get rewards for:
    • Trains
    • Taxicabs
    • Rideshare services
    • Ferries
    • Tolls
    • Parking
    • Buses
    • Subways

    Current supported streaming services include:

    • Amazon Music Unlimited
    • Apple Music
    • Apple TV+
    • AT&T Now
    • Audible
    • CBS All Access
    • Disney+
    • ESPN+
    • Fubo TV
    • HBO Now
    • Hulu
    • iHeartRadio
    • Kindle Unlimited
    • Luminary
    • MLB.TV
    • NBA League Pass
    • Netflix
    • NHL.TV
    • Pandora
    • Prime Video
    • Showtime
    • Sling TV
    • SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
    • Spotify
    • Stitcher
    • YouTube Music Premium
    • YouTube Premium
    • YouTube TV

    Images: AmericanExpress.com

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