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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review
Kliment Dukovski is a writer for finder.com, working on credit cards, money transfers, home loans and more. He aims to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decisions. Before joining Finder, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi.
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. You can also earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and 1% on all other purchases.
But that’s not all: Amex recently refreshed this card, introducing two additional earning categories. Now you’ll also earn 6% cash back on select US streaming services and 3% on transit purchases. This solidifies the card as a premier option for families while also making the card more appealing for the younger crowd and city-dwellers.
Great cash back isn’t the only reward you can get with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. You’re also eligible for a welcome offer of $250 in statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months your account is open and a low introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.
If you find the bulk of your budget goes toward groceries and fuel, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may be for you.
Are there other 6% cashback credit cards?
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express occupies a unique position in the credit-card industry, as it’s the only card that offers 6% cash back.
Get 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, with your rate reverting to 1% after. You’ll also earn 3% cash back at US gas stations, 6% cash back on US streaming services, 3% on transit purchases and 1% on all other purchases. Earn cashback rewards faster by adding authorized users for your family to your account.
Which supermarkets give 6% cash back?
You can earn 6% cash back at US grocery stores (on up to $6,000 in purchases annually, and 1% after) that include:
Stop & Shop
Online supermarkets such as FreshDirect
Unfortunately, you’re excluded from earning cash back at:
Fish markets, cheese shops, wine shops and similar specialty food stores.
Superstores like Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Warehouse clubs like BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Get a valuable 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months your account is open and 0% intro APR in that same 12 months on balance transfers you make within 60 days of opening your account (see rates & fees). A 14.74% to 25.74% variable APR applies after the promotional period ends. If you’re planning to make a large purchase or transfer a balance from another card, the intro period could help you avoid paying unnecessary interest.
Spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open to get $250 in statement credit. Relatively easy to obtain, the welcome offer can offset your annual fee for two years.
How much cash back can I earn with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is incredibly valuable if you spend just within $6,000 a year on US supermarket purchases and a large amount on gas from US stations.
Here’s the cashback you might earn based on this hypothetical budget:
$500 per month at US supermarkets x 6% = $360 cash back a year
$300 per month at US gas stations x 3% = $108 cash back a year
$500 per month on other purchases x 1% = $60 cash back a year
In total, you’d earn $528 cash back in a year. If you factor in the card’s annual fee, you effectively earn $433 cash back.
What really makes a difference is the excellent rewards rate you’ll get at US supermarkets. Evaluate your grocery budget; if it comes out to around $6,000 a year, you’ll earn excellent rewards.
Get free two-day shipping on purchases from more than 100 online retailers with a complimentary ShopRunner membership. You can also extend warranties on covered purchases, and if you damage your phone or another eligible item, it’s covered for up to $1,000 per item.
If you notice fraudulent activity on your card, call the number on the back of your American Express immediately and you won’t be held responsible for the unauthorized charges.
Car rental insurance.
You may not have to worry if something happens to your rental car while driving on vacation. You’re covered from theft and damage when you pay for a car rental with your card.
Roadside and global assistance.
When stranded on the road, call the roadside assistance hotline for help with towing your vehicle, changing a tire or charging your battery. When traveling more than 100 miles from home, you’ll have 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial and other emergency services you may need. However, you’ll have to pay for any third-party services.
Keep your mind at ease knowing you’re covered for up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment when traveling with a common airline.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a $95 annual fee.
International transaction fees.
When traveling abroad, you might want to keep this card at home: It has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Limit on 6% cashback tier.
You get 6% at US supermarkets — but on up to $6,000 in purchases only. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back. Also, not every market qualifies for the 6% cash back. Ask American Express customer service or your favorite market to find out whether the place you shop at most often qualifies for the 6% cash back.
Not widely accepted overseas.
Because this card is backed by American Express, you may find it difficult to use internationally, where Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted.
Don’t pay late.
Late or returned payments could saddle you with a penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable. Not to mention that each late and returned payment fee can cost up to $39. (See rates & fees.)
How to make the $95 annual fee worth it
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% cash back at US grocery stores on up to $6,000 in purchases (then 1%). To break even with the annual fee, you’ll need to spend some $1,600 a year on groceries — or about $30 a week, which is an easy bar to clear for almost anyone looking for a rewards credit card.
You’ll need gas to get to work and take the kids to soccer practice. If you’re like the average American family that spends around $2,500 a year on gas, you can expect about $75 cash back from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Add the 1% cash back you’ll get from all other purchases, and the card’s annual fee will likely pay for itself a few times over when used regularly.
To apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States.
When you apply, you’ll have to provide such information as your:
Full name and contact information.
Email and phone number.
Date of birth and Social Security number.
Annual income and income source.
What credit score do I need?
You can apply with a fair credit score of 570. But to get the lowest APR on purchases and balance transfers and a high credit limit, apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
What’s my likelihood of being approved?
To increase your chances of approval, apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
What do customers say about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?
Negative customer reviewers generally complain of the low credit line they received and the 6% cash back not available at all supermarkets. Positive customer reviews praise the overall cash back potential and solid customer service.
American Express is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with a rating of A+ and a composite score of 3.78 out of 5 stars. Trustpilot, on the other hand, scores the credit company a 3 out of 10.
Complete the application form with all required information.
Review your application and submit it.
How long will it take to be approved?
American Express can get you a decision on your application within minutes if the information you provide is accurate. Applications that need additional review may take several business days to process.
How long will it take to get my Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?
Set up autopay. Never miss a payment with autopay. Sign up through your online account or download the Amex mobile app to set up automatic payments.
Enroll in ShopRunner. Enroll to get free two-day shipping and returns at more than 100 online retailers with ShopRunner.
Avoiding paying interest. At the end of each statement cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance without interest. After that, you’ll pay a variable APR on purchases and balance transfers of 14.74% to 25.74%.
Avoid paying fees. Late and returned payments will cost you a penalty APR as high as
with fees of up to $39. You’ll also pay fees on balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions.
Customer service. Call American Express customer service 24/7 at 1-800-528-4800. You can also reach them through online chat.
How do I redeem my Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express rewards?
Head to your American Express online account and click Use reward dollars. You can redeem for statement credit when your reward dollars balance is $25 or more.
Occasionally, American Express will let you redeem your balance for other rewards such as gift cards or merchandise.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is strong in two categories: gas and groceries. If you spend up to $6,000 a year at eligible US supermarkets and at least $3,000 on US gas, you’ll benefit from the card’s excellent cashback features.
Yes. After you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, you’ll get $250 in statement credit.
Yes. The annual fee is $95.
No, these are not considered to be US grocery stores that qualify for earning rewards.
You’ll receive your statement credit eight weeks after you reach the spending threshold.
You’ll be stuck with the penalty APR for at least six months. If you pay your balances on time and have no returned payments within that period, American Express may be willing to lower your APR.
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.
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