Review: Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express - April 2018 | finder.com

Review: Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express – April 2018

The Blue Cash Preferred dominates the field in cash back for gas and groceries

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  • Get this card if… you spend a lot on groceries and gas.
  • Pick something else if… you’re looking for a general cash back card, or if you want travel rewards.

If you have a family, you’ll inevitably have large grocery and fuel bills. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is for you — it offers top-notch cash back at US supermarkets and gas stations.

Product NameBlue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Intro APR for Balance Transfer0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)14.24% to 25.24% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )14.24% to 25.24% variable
Annual fee$95
Cash Advance Rate26.49% variable
Card TypeAmerican Express
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 25 days
Returned Payment Fee$38
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
2.7% of transaction value
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$95
Returned Payment Fee$38
Late Payment Fee$38
Cash Advance Fee$5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater

The Basics

The Blue Cash Preferred is a busy family’s best friend. It’s a cash back credit card that offers 6% cash back —up to $6,000 each year— at US supermarkets, and 3% cash back at US gas stations and some department stores.

If you find the bulk of your budget going toward groceries and fuel, the Blue Cash Preferred is for you. To offset the card’s $95 p.a. annual fee, you need to spend about $1,600 a year in groceries — that’s just over $30 a week.

How to make the $95 annual fee worth it

The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back at US grocery stores. If you spend $1,600 a year, that’s $96 cash back. You’ll have to spend a bit over $30 a week on groceries — an easy bar to clear for almost anyone.

You’ll need gas to get to work and take the kids to soccer practice. If you spend around $2,500 a year on gas like the average American family, you can expect about $75 cash back from the Blue Cash Preferred. 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.

If cash back for groceries and gas isn’t what you’re looking for, consider a card like the Citi Double Cash, which offers 2% cash back on everything you buy.

The Perks

  • SIGNUP BONUS: Statement credit. Spend $1,000 in the first three months and you’ll get a generous $150 statement credit.
  • INTRO APR: A healthy introductory interest rate. 0% APR on purchases for the 12 months and APR on balance transfers for the 12 months.
  • CASH BACK: Best for groceries and gas. You get 6% cash back at US supermarkets ($6,000 max per year in purchases; 1% afterwards), 3% cash back at US gas stations and some US department stores, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases. Note that cash back is applied as statement credit.

You’ll also like…

  • Travel protection. You’ll have access to the American Express Global Assist Hotline and Roadside Assistance Hotline, which you can use if you find yourself in a pinch on vacation. Also, get complimentary car rental and travel accident insurance.
  • Purchase benefits. Get free two-day shipping at ShopRunner, as well as extended warranties and purchase protection on eligible items.
  • Cardmember-only entertainment. As a cardholder, you’ll have access to exclusive events and ticket presales.

What to watch out for

  • Annual Fee: The Blue Cash Preferred comes with a $95 p.a. annual fee.
  • There’s a limit on that 6% cash back. You’ll get 6% cash back on purchases at US supermarkets — but only up to $6,000. Afterwards, you’ll earn 1% cash back.
  • Not as widely accepted overseas. Because the Blue Cash Preferred is an American Express, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with a Visa or Mastercard. The Blue Cash Preferred also comes with foreign transaction fees.
  • It hurts to pay late. Making late or returned payments could saddle you with a penalty APR as high as 29.99%. You may also incur late and returned-payment fees as high as $38.

Consider other cards if…

  • You don’t spend much on gas and groceries. You’ll probably find the card’s cash back features underwhelming. Consider a general cash back card like the Citi Double Cash.

Compare other American Express credit cards

Rates last updated April 21st, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
15.24% to 23.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with $5 minimum, 5% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 thereafter)
20,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
14.24% to 26.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
20000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Blue from American Express® Card
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49%% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn rewards with no annual fee.
Blue Sky from American Express® Card
18.49%, 21.49% or 23.49% variable
18.4921.4923.49% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Flexible travel rewards and no annual fee.
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, 5% or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 50000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 or more in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
16.24% to 20.24% variable
16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$75
Earn 100000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
American Express Serve®
FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations nationwide.
The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express
16.49% variable
16.49% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards ® points after using your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Plenti® Credit Card from Amex
15.99% to 25.99% variable
15.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 5000 Plenti® points after you spend $250 in purchases on your Plenti® Credit Card from Amex within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs)
and 35000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
$450
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99% variable% Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
American Express® Green Card
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Shop with more confidence
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
More Points. More Rewards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$550
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
14.49% to 25.49% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$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.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
14.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for first 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card
16.49% to 20.49% variable
16.4920.49 % Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 25000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
USAA Secured Card American Express®
11.15% to 21.15% variable
$35
You can get travel benefits (no foreign transaction fees), retail benefits and collision damage waiver coverage on your rental car.
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
13.15% to 27.15% variable
$0
Get high cash back rewards on most purchases, including gasoline, groceries and military base purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

What to know before you apply

To apply for the Blue Cash Preferred card, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also be a resident of the United States.

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

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income, source of income and employment information
  • Social Security number and date of birth

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Blue Cash Preferred if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the card

1. On the American Express website, click the Apply Now button.

Blue-Cash-Preferred-Amex applying

2. Fill out the application form. Provide information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.

Blue-Cash-Preferred-Application image

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you can get a decision on your application within 60 seconds.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Making payments. Register an account at the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoiding interest payments. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance. If you do , you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoiding fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.

Bottom line

The Blue Cash Preferred is strong in two categories: gas and groceries. If you spend heavily in those areas, you’ll benefit from the card’s excellent cash back features.

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