To apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll just need to do the following:
- Select Go to site.
- Fill out your personal information and choose Submit.
- 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.
- Rewards. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can net value on groceries from U.S. 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 U.S. streaming services and 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit purchases. For all other eligible purchases, you’ll receive 1% back. We’ve created a full list of included services for easy reference on what these categories include.
- Welcome offer. Earn up to $250 in statement credits as a welcome offer. Earn a $250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in your first 6 months. The six-month time frame for earning this bonus is notable since it’s helpful for families who might need the extra wiggle room because of financial strains and it’s a rare feature to find on many reward card signup bonuses.
- Intro APR. This card’s intro APR on purchases and balance transfers is another strong feature that helps make this card a strong choice for families. With 12 months to pay off your purchases and balance transfers under the intro APR, you can make some large or important purchases up front with time to comfortably pay it off.
- Plan It. Plan It is an interesting feature that lets you create payment plans to split up large payments into monthly installments. Creating this plan usually carries a fee of up 1.33%, but for the first 12 months of account opening you can create these plans with an intro 0% plan fee. (Terms apply, see rates & fees)
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership. Enjoy free two-day shipping and extended warranties on covered purchases through ShopRunner after enrollment.
- Rewards cap. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express‘s U.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 US. That means if you do happen to travel abroad and use this card, you won’t necessarily earn cash back on your purchases unless you find a merchant that accepts Amex.
- Gas and supermarket 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.
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.
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.
|U.S. supermarkets (6% on up to $6,000 annually, then 1%)||$500||$30|
|U.S. gas stations and transit (3%)||$200||$6|
|U.S. streaming services (6%)||$50||$3|
|Other purchases (1%)||$2,000||$20|
Total cashback in one month = $59 in statement credits. If you keep the same spending amounts, that’s $708 back in one year.
As of August 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 1.9 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 supermarket and gas station restrictions as a big point to watch out for — especially if you often shop at stores like Target and Walmart.
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 U.S. supermarkets, so take it for all its worth. Spending at least up to the $6,000 annual cap helps ensure you make the most of what the card offers and will more than make up for the annual fee. After you reach the cap, you’ll earn 1% back in this category.
- Don’t forget about streaming. This card also earns 6% back on select U.S. 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,supermarkets and gas stations. Review the card’s terms and conditions to make sure you’re not missing out.
Under transit, you’ll get rewards for:
- Rideshare services
Current supported streaming services include:
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- AT&T Now
- CBS All Access
- Fubo TV
- HBO Now
- Kindle Unlimited
- NBA League Pass
- Prime Video
- Sling TV
- SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
- YouTube Music Premium
- YouTube Premium
- YouTube TV
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 up to 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.
How we determined the value of Amex Membership Rewards points
To determine the average value of an Amex Membership Rewards point, we looked at the equivalent dollar value a redemption option would cost in the Amex Membership Rewards program. We calculated this average across all redemption options available through Amex to reach the approximate value you can expect when redeeming these points on average. In this case, the average value of a single Membership Rewards point came out to 2 cents per point.
Remember that your points could be worth more or less depending on what you redeem them on, so this value should be used as a general guide.
Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
Insurance benefit note: Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
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