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The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR18.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95 Worth it?

    $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95

  • $250 $250Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn a welcome bonus of $250 once they spend $3,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership

The Blue Cash Preferred offers outstanding rates of cash back on common household purchases like groceries, streaming services, gas stations and transit. If you have significant spending on these categories and care about cash back, then this card is for you.

A Powerful Cash-Back Card With A Modest Annual Fee

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers outstanding rates of cash back on common household purchases like groceries, streaming services, gas stations and transit. While the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card has a lot going for it, it’s still not a perfect fit for everyone, and the main deciding factor will likely be your daily lifestyle.

Some credit cards reward users for exploring the world with bonus categories centered on travel and eating out, while others are best used for purchasing household necessities like groceries or gas.

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card definitely fits the second bill, as it rewards you most for homebody activities like eating in and using entertainment streaming services. This card also offers impressive rewards for buying gas and paying for transit and commuting expenses.

4.5/5 Rating How our ratings work

It’s rare for a cash-back credit card to charge an annual fee, but it’s even more unexpected to earn a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and with select streaming services. Big families will undoubtedly offset the cost of the annual fee without having to stride outside their normal spending habits. Many large households will naturally spend $6,000 annually at supermarkets, and with 6% cash back — the card returns $360 of your budgeted grocery bill. That’s nearly four times the annual fee. This credit card may also be ideal for families who spend a lot of time commuting around the city and who also have multiple U.S. streaming subscriptions, too. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is definitely designed to help busy households maximize their cash-back earnings.

Pros

  • An extensive array of category bonuses including up to 6% back at U.S. supermarkets
  • $0 annual fee the first year, then $95
  • An array of purchase and travel protections

Cons

  • Rewards are earned as pure cash back with no ability to transfer to Amex's travel partners
  • There's an annual fee after the first year

Welcome Offer

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card features three valuable offers for new applicants.

First, new account holders can earn $350 as a statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership. Additionally, it offers 0% APR introductory financing for purchases made within the first 12 months of account opening. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card also offers special intro rates for its Buy Now, Pay Later Plan It program. This offer includes $0 Buy Now, Pay Later Plan It fees on plans created during the first twelve months after account opening.

Requirements To Receive Welcome Offer

The terms state that the welcome offer isn’t available to applicants who have or have had this card. This also applies to the intro APR offer and the intro plan fee offer. American Express may also consider the number of other American Express cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors when making a decision on your welcome offer, intro APRs, and intro plan fee eligibility.

It’s also worth keeping in mind Amex’s once-per-lifetime rule, which prohibits users from earning a welcome bonus for an Amex card more than once, with a few exceptions.

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Rewards Rate

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 in spending per year.
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3% cash back on transit.
  • 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Terms apply.

While many cash back rewards credit cards offer bonuses for groceries, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is the only credit card that offers you 6% cash back for purchases made at U.S. supermarkets. Just note that the 6% cash back that you earn at U.S. supermarkets is limited to the first $6,000 you spend each calendar year, and you’ll only earn 1% cash back after that. 

And when you want to stay in and watch movies and tv shows on your favorite entertainment streaming service, you’ll earn unlimited 6% cash back on content offered by companies like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Spotify and others. This card also offers you unlimited 3% cash back for purchases from U.S. gas stations and for transit. Qualifying transit purchases include taxis rideshare, parking, tolls, trains and buses.

And like most cash back cards that offer bonuses, you earn 1% cash back everywhere else that doesn’t qualify for a bonus. 

Redeeming Rewards

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card provides cash back in the form of Reward Dollars. As long as your American Express card is active, any cash back Reward Dollars you have earned do not expire. Reward Dollars can be redeemed as a statement credit to your account. Simply log in to your account to see how much cash back you’ve earned and redeem it in the form of a statement credit. You need a minimum of 25 Reward Dollars to redeem for a statement credit. 

Regular APR

The standard interest rate for purchases varies based on your creditworthiness at the time of application. Annual Fee

This credit card has an annual fee of $95 each cardholder anniversary. An annual fee is a set charge that occurs yearly, on your card anniversary. If you don’t pay the annual fee in the billing statement you receive it in, you’ll start to pay interest on it. 

Other Fees to be Aware of

Other fees include a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. There are late payment and returned payment fees of up to $40, and a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%. This fee is imposed on all charges processed outside of the United States, and is somewhat unusual for a premium rewards card like this with an annual fee of nearly $100. 

Benefits

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers some benefits to help offset the card’s $95 annual fee. These benefits do not have a monetary value, so it is up to you to determine what the benefits are worth to you. 

However, this card’s most valuable feature is its earning rate on groceries and streaming purchases. You will be hard pressed to find another card that gives you a better cash back rate.

Plan It by American Express

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers a special introductory Buy Now, Pay Later APR and Plan It fees. This offer includes $0 Buy Now, Pay Later Plan It fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that, will have a plan fee that amounts to a small percentage of each purchase amount moved into a plan. The APR will be based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

A valuable benefit when you are traveling is rental car insurance. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card provides car rental theft and damage insurance when you use your American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card to reserve and pay for your car rental, and decline the optional collision damage waiver. This provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Covered territories do not include vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. As always, it’s important to read the exclusions and restrictions to find out exactly what you’re covered against. 

Global Assist Hotline

Another travel-related card benefit is the Global Assist Hotline. The Global Assist Hotline can help with coordination and assistance services like lost passport replacement assistance, translation services, missing luggage assistance and emergency legal and medical referrals. Global Assist Hotline can also help you prepare for your trip with things like customs information. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

Purchase Protection

Don’t you hate it when a new purchase is damaged or stolen? When you use your American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card to make an eligible purchase, your card will cover theft and accidental damage to that purchased item through Purchase Protection. Purchase Protection provides coverage of up to 90 days and $1,000 per occurrence. There is a maximum of $50,000 per calendar year per card. 

Return Protection

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card provides a return protection policy, which can be helpful when dealing with a difficult merchant. If a merchant will not accept your attempted return within 90 days of purchase, American Express’s purchase protection provides a refund of up to the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling for eligible items. The maximum purchase protection provided is $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card account. The item(s) must be purchased entirety with your American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, and purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories.

Dispute Resolution

If there is a fraudulent or incorrect charge on your credit card statement, American Express will work with you to help resolve the issue. Although dispute resolution is offered by many credit cards, it can come in handy. 

Amex Offers

Amex Offers gives cardholders additional rewards for purchases at featured stores or merchants. Amex Offers are essentially coupons or additional cashback offers for select restaurants, stores, hotels and even airlines. Amex Offers can be found in your online account or in the Amex Mobile App. To use an Amex Offer, you select the Offer that you want to add to your Card, and then use your enrolled American Express card to pay the merchant or vendor. Rewards will be added directly to your statement. Amex Offers are free for cardholders.

Comparing the Blue Cash Preferred Card to Other Cards

While it’s hard to beat the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card’s rewards rate for groceries and select streaming services, it’s still worth considering some other cash back cards that offer similar rewards or benefits. Since some cash back cards do not carry an annual fee, you may find the overall value to be greater even if the rewards rates are lower.

Compare Cards Top Competitors at a Glance

  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Right For You?

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is great for people who spend heavily on its bonus categories of supermarkets, streaming services, gas and transit. Combine that with shopping perks and protections, and it’s easy to see why this card is often touted as the best all-around family credit card on the market today.

While at least some bonus categories likely already factor into your budget, you should still consider how much you actually spend on each annually before signing up. For example, if you work from home and mostly order delivery food, you may not spend enough on gas and groceries to justify the card’s $95 annual fee.

People like this may want to consider the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card, which has no annual fee but features less generous rewards. 

On the other hand, larger households could easily earn enough cash back to cover the annual fee. Thanks to the generous 6% cash back rate for groceries and select streaming services, you only need to spend $1,600 annually on these categories to earn the required amount.

Wherever you fall between these categories, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card will still reward you with some of the highest cash-back rates available.

LP

Louie Patterson

Louie Patterson is a Finance Content Manager who specializes in banking topics such as account bonuses and CDs. With over seven years of professional editorial experience, their work has appeared in several publications, including USA Today and Consumer Affairs.