- Offers great cash back on groceries, gas stations and department stores
- Gives a solid introductory APR promotion
- Provides travel benefits
- Earn up to 6% cash back on bonus category purchases
- Introductory APR for new cardholders
- Charges a high annual fee
- American Express isn't accepted widely overseas
The Blue Cash Preferred® credit card from American Express is a leading cash back credit card for personal use. The card offers up to 6% cash back on some bonus categories, an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, and a heap of travel and purchase benefits.
With this as your primary credit card, you’ll easily earn back the $95 annual fee and more. Let’s dive into the details of the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® credit card and whether it makes sense for you.
Blue Cash Preferred® review
If you want a premium but easy-to-use cash back credit card, Blue Cash Preferred® is the leader of the pack. This card offers a valuable cash back reward program that starts with a $250 bonus, enough to cover two years of annual fees, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account.
Cardholders earn 6% cash back and 3% cash back on some of the most popular purchase categories and an unlimited 1% cash back everywhere else.
Premium travel benefits include rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty. It even includes a free membership to ShopRunner for free two-day shipping at a giant list of popular stores.
If you spend about $10,000 per year on this card, you will break even on the annual fee, not including the bonus categories. When factoring those in, it is easy to see how you can quickly earn $95 or more each year to offset the annual fee.
Blue Cash Preferred® rewards
This card offers one of the most lucrative cash back rewards programs of any personal credit card. If you want cash back and premium benefits, this is the card for you. Keep in mind the rewards are simple cash rewards, and may not be as valuable as some travel rewards credit cards.
The card offers 6% cash back at US supermarket on up to $6,000 in annual purchases. Earn 1% after reaching that limit, which earns you up to $360 in annual bonus cash back shopping at grocery stores alone.
Earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and some US departments stores. There is no limit to this 3% cash back benefit, which is particularly valuable for frequent fuelers or those with a long commute.
You earn 1% on all other purchases with no limit. Cashback rewards show up in your American Express account as Reward Dollars. You can redeem Reward Dollars for a statement credit, which lowers your credit card balance on a future statement.
When you take into account your family’s annual spending, you may easily pass $95 in cash back, enough to pay for the annual fee. Everything beyond that is profit in your pocket!
Blue Cash Preferred® credit card benefits
Both regular travelers and regular shoppers get a handful of useful benefits from Blue Cash Preferred®. Many people don’t use their benefits. Don’t be that person. Keep your benefits guide handy so you can cash in on these big perks.
For travel benefits, this card offers travel rental insurance against damage and loss, global assistance and roadside assistance, and travel accident insurance.
For shopping, you get an automatic extended warranty, Return Protection, and 90-day accidental damage and theft coverage for new purchases including your cell phone.
This card includes free ShopRunner membership, which gives you 2-day shipping at over 140 online stores. Think of it like Prime Shipping for other stores.
Blue Cash Preferred® costs and fees
As mentioned above, this card has a $95 annual fee. But it is easy to earn that back and more in cash back if you use the card as your primary credit card for everyday purchases.
The card offers a promotional APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the promotional APR period ends, the card charges a variable rate APR based on your credit history and market interest rates. This interest rate applies to both purchases and balance transfers.
Balance transfers and cash advances both charge a 3% fee ($5 minimum). Using the card outside the United States incurs a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Late and returned payments cost up to $38 per occurrence.
Does the Blue Cash Preferred® make sense for me?
If you are someone who pays off your credit cards in full each month and wants to earn big cash back rewards, this is a great card for you. Using it at popular locations like the grocery store and gas station helps you earn big cash back. Plus, it offers additional benefits like rental car insurance, purchase protection, and an extended warranty.
From the $200 bonus to the valuable benefits, this is a top-notch cash back credit card. If you like cash back rewards and want the benefits sometimes reserved for elite travel credit cards, this is a great credit card for you.
Application Process: Apply online with American Express and get a response within 60 seconds.
Rewards: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit services, and 1% back everywhere else.
Annual Fee: $95.
- $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on all other purchases.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.74% to 25.74%.
- Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.