Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review | finder.com

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review – November 2018

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A cashback card for families that spend on groceries and gas.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

30-second take

  • Get this card if you spend a lot on groceries and gas.
  • Pick something else if you’re looking for a travel rewards card.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameBlue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Card TypeAmerican Express
Annual Fee$95
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases14.99% to 25.99% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee2.7% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$3 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
Reward Value per Dollar1% cash back
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

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 select US department stores and 1% on all other purchases.

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 $200 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.

There are cards that come close. The Chase Freedom® credit card and Discover it® Cash Back offer strong cash back in rotating categories. And the U.S. Bank Cash+ ™ Visa Signature® Card offers 5% cash back on up to $2,000 per quarter in combined purchases in two categories of your choice, and 1% after that.

The perks

  • Cashback rewards.

    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 and select US department stores 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:
  • Gristedes
  • Foodtown
  • Meijer
  • ShopRite
  • Stop & Shop
  • Vons
  • Whole Foods
  • Winn-Dixie
  • 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. A 14.99% to 25.99% 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.

  • Welcome offer.

    Spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open to get $200 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.

Here’s the cashback you might earn based on this hypothetical budget:

  • $500/month at US supermarkets x 6% = $360 cash back a year
  • $300/month at US gas stations x 3% = $108 cash back a year
  • $500/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.

The difference maker 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.

You’ll also like …

  • Purchase benefits.

    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.

  • Fraud protection.

    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.

  • Travel insurance.

    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.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    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 $38.

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.

Consider other cards if …

Compare Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express to Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Compare cash back credit cards

Name Product Filter values Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
$95
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit. Rates & Fees
$0
14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
$0 to $99
19.99% to 25.99% variable
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.

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Best American Express Cash Back Cards — November 2018

What should I know before I apply?

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.

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

  1. Click apply now.
  2. Complete the application form with all required information.
  3. 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?

Once approved, your card will arrive by mail in seven to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • 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 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • Avoid paying fees. Late and returned payments will cost you a penalty APR as high as 29.99% variable with fees of up to $38. 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 rewards?

Head to your American Express online account and click Use Reward Dollars. You can redeem for statement credits 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.

Bottom line

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.

These two categories may not what you’re looking for, however. To find a card that better matches your needs, compare other American Express cards and learn about other card providers.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

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.

Images: AmericanExpress.com

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Kliment Dukovski

Kliment Dukovski is a writer who specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decision. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi stories.

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