The Blue Cash Preferred dominates the field in cash back for gas and groceries
- 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 Name||Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express|
|Intro APR for Balance Transfer||0% 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|
|Cash Advance Rate||26.49% variable|
|Card Type||American 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 Score||Fair (660-699)|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|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 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.
- 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.
- You’re looking for travel rewards. There are many great travel cards, but the Blue Cash Preferred isn’t one of them. Instead, look for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.
Compare other American Express credit cards
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.
2. Fill out the application form. Provide information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.
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.
- Customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 1-800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.
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.