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

Blue Cash Preferred® Card review – July 2018

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

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
Card TypeAmerican Express
Annual Fee$95
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases14.74% to 25.74% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee3% or $5 (whichever is greater)
Cash Advance Rate26.99% variable
Cash Advance Fee$5 or 3% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee2.7% of the transaction amount
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Minimum Interest$0
Late Payment Fee$38
Returned Payment Fee$38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome BonusEarn 250 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Reward Value per Dollar1% cash back
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card 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. You’re also eligible for a welcome offer of $250 in statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three 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 may be for you.

The perks

  • 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 14.74% 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

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 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 offers 6% cash back at US grocery stores. 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. 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 cash back credit cards

Name Product APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
17.49% to 25.49% variable
Up to $75 annual fee for the first year (up to $99 thereafter)
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
12.90% to 22.90% variable
0% for the first 6 months (then 12.9% to 22.9% variable)
$0
3% cash rewards on gas, grocery, drugstore for first 6 months, 1% cash rewards on virtually all other net purchases.
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Online $150 cash rewards bonus after making at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
$95
Earn $250 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $250 back in the form of a statement credit.
14.99% to 24.99% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$0
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
15.24% to 25.24% variable
0% for the first 18 months (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
$0
Earn 1% cash back for payments on purchases, on top of the 1% cash back on purchases. No annual fee.
13.65% to 27.65% variable
$0
Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions. Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees.
16.74%, 22.49% or 25.49% variable
$0
Get 4% points back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% on Uber rides and online shopping and 1% on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
13.65% to 27.65% variable
$0
Earn $150 bonus after you make $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, 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.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

What do customers say about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card?

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?

  1. Go to the American Express website.
  2. Select the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from the list of cards. Click Apply now.
  3. Complete the application form with all required information.
  4. 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?

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 14.74% to 25.74%.
  • Avoid paying fees. Late and returned payments will cost you a penalty APR as high as 29.99% 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.

Bottom line

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card 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

Images: AmericanExpress.com

Kliment Dukovski

"Kliment Dukovski is a writer for finder.com. He specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information that will 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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