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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review

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

finder.com’s rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you want to earn the highest cashback rate on groceries.
  • Pick something else if you want to earn rewards on take out or at restaurants.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

$150

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 OfferUp to $350: 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months for up to $200 back, plus $150 statement credit after you spend $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 (redeem as statement credit)
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
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Review by


Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards and investments 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 as statement credit US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases and 1% after that. Spending $500 each month on groceries can earn you $360 annually only in this category, which is the highest reward rate on groceries you can get with a credit card.

What’s more, this isn’t the only high cashback rate category. Earn 6% back on select US streaming services and 3% back at US gas stations and transit purchases. Everything else earns 1% back.

And that’s the only major downside: a $95 annual fee from the second year onward. But don’t let this deter you. You can easily offset the annual fee not only with the welcome offer — which can be up to $350 — but even with everyday spending. For example, spend $134 each month on groceries and the rewards offset the fee. Everything else you buy above that is a pure reward in your account.

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.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express card image

Apply now

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express benefits

  • Rewards. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can net value on groceries from US supermarkets, unlike any other card. With 6% cash back as statement credit on up to $6,000 annually, reverting to 1% after reaching the cap, this is the highest rate you can earn in this category. You also earn 6% back on select US streaming services and 3% back at US gas stations and on transit purchases. We’ve created a full list of included services for easy reference on what these categories include.
  • Welcome offer. Earn up to $350 as a welcome offer. You can earn a $150 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in your first 6 months. You’ll also earn 20% back on Amazon purchases made with your card, up to $200 total within the same time frame. Most welcome offers give you three months to earn the bonus. The extra time 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 after enrollment.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express drawbacks

  • Rewards cap. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express‘s US 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

Terms apply, see 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 (redeem as statement credit)

Welcome offer

Up to $350: 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months for up to $200 back, plus $150 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

Terms apply, see 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

3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on all other purchases (redeem as statement credit)

Welcome offer

Up to $250: 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months for up to $150 back, plus $100 statement credit after spending $2,000 within the first 6 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)$500$30
US gas stations and transit (3%)$200$6
US streaming services (6%)$50$3
Other purchases (1%)$2,000$20

Total cashback in one month = $59. If you keep the same spending amounts, that’s $708 back in one year.

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 US supermarkets, 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 US 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.

What’s changed in 2021

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express increased its welcome offer and changed its annual fee.

Before, you could earn $250 after you spend $1,000 in your first three months, and the card charged $95 each year.

Now, you can earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in your first 6 months. Plus, the annual fee starts from the second year. We don’t know whether this will change in the future, which makes it a great time to grab the card while these benefits last.

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 financial 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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