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Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express: A Must-Have for Groceries

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • What we think: The Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express is one of our favorite cash-back cards. Its reward rate at U.S. supermarkets is top-notch and could be incredibly beneficial to families who spend a lot on groceries. We don’t love the annual fee, but it’s easy enough to make up for with the high-earning cash-back categories.
  • Cardholders can take advantage of various partner benefits, travel perks, and shopping protections.
  • The $95 annual fee ($0 the first year, see rates and fees) and cap on rewards at U.S. supermarkets are two potential drawbacks of the Blue Cash Preferred Card.
  • We recommend having a good to excellent credit score before applying for the Blue Cash Preferred Card, for your best chances of qualifying. You can also try to pre-qualify for this card through American Express.
SUMMARY

The Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express offers generous cash back in everyday categories, making it ideal for users who want to earn rewards based on their daily spending habits.

We created this guide to help you determine if Blue Cash Preferred is a good fit for your lifestyle. Find out what benefits you get when you’re approved for the card, how much it costs to maintain your account, and how to earn rewards without overspending.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, transit and more
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time
  • Don’t need to activate categories

Cons

  • Rewards can only be redeemed for a statement credit or at Amazon.com
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Has an annual fee
Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express
LEARN MORE
Key Information
Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other eligible purchases. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express: Review

Is the Blue Cash Preferred Card worth it?

The Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express is worth it for people who spend a lot on groceries and streaming services, as its cash-back rate in those categories is insanely good, earning 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1%) and 6% back on select U.S. streaming services.?

While most cash-back cards don’t have an annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred does ($95; $0 the first year), meaning it has a yearly cost to make up for. However, the lucrative welcome bonus and useful bonus categories make it so even a single person with no dependents can earn enough in rewards to cover the annual fee and then some.

??? See: Best cash back credit cards with no annual fee

Amex Blue Cash Preferred: Highlights

Who is the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card best for?

The Blue Cash Preferred card is best for individuals who want to maximize their cash back on everyday purchases and don’t mind paying an annual fee to do so. This card would be ideal for families who spend a significant amount at traditional U.S. supermarkets.?

For example, if you spend $500 per month on groceries (only about $115 per week), that adds up to $360 in cash back over the year. With today’s grocery prices, it’s easy to spend $115 a week without even thinking about it (unfortunately), so this level of cash-back could be seriously beneficial.

Blue Cash Preferred? Card: Rewards

Earning rewards

Redeeming rewards?

When you use your Blue Cash Preferred Card, you earn Blue Cash Reward Dollars, which are applied to your account as statement credits or at Amazon.com checkout. Once you redeem your rewards, you can use them to offset your regular expenses or defray the cost of planned purchases.?

For example, if you plan to make a $1,000 purchase and you have $500 in rewards dollars banked, you can use your statement credit like a 50% discount. Instead of paying $1,000 out of pocket, you’ll pay just $500 for your purchase.

Reward potential

Here’s an example to show you how much you might earn with Blue Cash Preferred. Assume you spend $500 per month on groceries, $20 on streaming subscriptions, $200 on gasoline, $60 on tolls and $400 on all other purchases.?

You’d earn the following rewards:

This adds up to $516 in cash back for the year.

Maximizing your rewards

Tips to ?maximize your earnings with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card:

??? See: Best credit cards for rewards on groceries

Welcome offer?

With your Blue Cash Preferred Card, you can earn a $250 statement credit after you spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases within six months of opening your account.?

It usually takes eight to 12 weeks to receive your statement credit once you reach the spending threshold. Additionally, your account must be in good standing if you want to earn the welcome bonus.

Blue Cash Preferred?: Benefits

Travel benefits

Shopping benefits

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Other perks

Blue Cash Preferred Card: The fine print

Interest rates

Fees

Credit limit

The credit limit on your Blue Cash Preferred? Card is set based on your income and credit history. If your score falls into the good range, you may start out with a limit of $1,000. If you have an excellent credit score and a long history of responsible credit card usage, you may qualify for a much higher limit.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred: Drawbacks

There’s an annual fee

At $95 ($0 the first year), the Blue Cash Preferred’s annual fee can’t be ignored. While it can be easy to justify this fee if you’re able to maximize the cash-back categories, if you don’t spend heavily in these categories, a no-fee alternative may be more suitable.?

Cap on supermarket spending

The 6% back at U.S. supermarkets is one of the defining characteristics of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, offering tremendous potential for earning cash-back. However, there’s a caveat. This 6% rate only applies to the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year, then the reward rate drops to 1%. You may be thinking “But $6,000 is a lot, I’ll never meet that cap.” If you do the math (we’ll do it for you), $6,000 per year only equals a little bit over $115 per week. Most families spend far more than that, so consider your spending habits before applying for this card.

If you spend more than $6,000 at U.S. supermarkets each year and don’t want to deal with the subpar 1% rate after you meet the cap, you can always supplement with an additional card to cover the rest of the year. For example, the Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express earns 3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%; see rates and fees) and the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart? and Target?).

Not great for international travel

If you’re planning on traveling internationally, the Blue Cash Preferred Card is probably not the best card to take with you, as it has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. That can add up quickly— if you spend $100, you’ll incur $2.70 in fees, meaning you’re essentially paying $102.70. Not ideal.

American Express is also not as widely accepted overseas as Visa or Mastercard, so even if you can get past the foreign transaction fee, there’s still a chance you wouldn’t be able to use it to pay for your purchases anyway.

??? See: Best credit cards for international travel or best cards with no foreign transaction fees

How the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express compares

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

? Blue Cash Preferred Blue Cash Everyday
Reward rate at U.S. supermarkets 6% back on up to $6,000/year, then 1% 3% back on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%
Rewards earned on $100/week at the supermarket $6/week ($312/year) $3/week ($156/year)
Annual fee $95 ($0 the first year) $0 (see rates and fees)
Rewards minus annual fee (after the first year) $217/year $156/year

It’s easy for the Blue Cash Preferred to win against the Blue Cash Everyday, even after subtracting the annual fee from the value of rewards earned

??? Read more: Blue Cash Everyday review

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express vs. American Express? Gold Card

? Blue Cash Preferred Amex Gold
Reward rate at U.S. supermarkets 6% back on up to $6,000/year, then 1% 4X Membership Rewards points
Rewards earned on $100/week at the supermarket $6/week ($312/year) 400 points/week (20,800 points/year): Worth approx. $124/year when redeemed for statement credits
Annual fee $95 ($0 the first year) $250 (see rates and fees)
Rewards value minus annual fee (after the first year) $217/year -$126/year

The Amex Gold card is primarily a travel card, as the most redemption value comes through transferring to Amex travel partners. Redeeming for cash-back (via statement credits) is worth only about 0.6 cents per point. If you’re looking for a cash-back card, the Blue Cash Preferred wins by a landslide.

??? Read more: Amex Gold card review

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other eligible purchases. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Show More Show Less

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. $0 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

American Express? Gold Card

American Express? Gold Card
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) and restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on other eligible purchases. $250 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

Should you get the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express?

You should get the Blue Cash Preferred card if you have high grocery and transit expenses. For example, this credit card is ideal for commuters who pay daily tolls or take public transportation to and from work several days per week. This card is also great for families, as it rewards you for ordinary purchases.?

If you prefer to earn rewards on travel or dining, some cards offer better rewards in those categories.

Note: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express: FAQ

Is the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express hard to get?

To get the Blue Cash Preferred credit card, you must have good to excellent credit. It’s a little easier to get than some Amex cards, but it’s not available to consumers with low credit scores.

What credit score do I need for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card?

For the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, we recommend having a good to excellent credit score (at least a 670 FICO score) for your best chance of qualifying. Note, however, that your credit score isn’t the only factor American Express uses to determine if you qualify for this credit card.

How do I get the Blue Cash Preferred? Card?

To get the Blue Cash Preferred card, complete the application on the American Express website. It’s somewhat difficult to get approved, as you must have good credit. Aim to have a score of at least 670 before you submit your application.

If you’re confident you meet the eligibility criteria, you can learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred Card and apply online.

What is the credit limit on the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express?

Some Blue Cash Preferred customers start with a limit of $1,000, while others qualify for limits exceeding $20,000. Amex sets your limit based on your credit history and income.

How do I get cash back on the Amex Blue Cash Preferred?

Blue Cash Preferred offers 3% cash back on transit expenses (including gas), 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), 6% on select U.S. streaming services, and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. To get cash back, all you have to do is use Blue Cash Preferred to pay for eligible purchases. You can maximize your benefits by using Blue Cash Preferred for parking, tolls, bus fare, train fare, ride-sharing apps, groceries and your favorite streaming services.

Is the American Express? Gold Card or Blue Cash Preferred Card better?

Gold has better travel benefits, but Blue Cash Preferred gives you a higher percentage of cash back in the grocery category. If you travel frequently, the Gold card may be a better fit for your lifestyle. If you’re more concerned with earning cash back on everyday expenses, then Blue Cash Preferred is the better option.

Is the Blue Cash Preferred Card metal?

No, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express is not a metal credit card, it’s made of plastic.

Does the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card earn points?

No, unlike some American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points, the Blue Cash Preferred earns cash back in the form of Reward Dollars.

American Express is more than just a credit card issuer

The first step in growing and maintaining consistent savings is to understand your personal finances through checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.

If you want to save and grow your money, consider the following Amex products:

About the Author

Leigh Morgan
Leigh Morgan Personal Finance

Leigh Morgan is a seasoned personal finance contributor with over 15 years of experience writing on a diverse range of professional legal and financial topics. She specializes in subjects like navigating the complexities of insurance, savings, zero-based budgeting and emergency fund development.

In the last five years, she’s authored over 300 articles for credit unions, digital banks, and financial professionals. Morgan is also the author of “77 Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse,” a book focused on helping caregivers protect the elderly from financial scams.

In addition to her writing skills, she brings real-world financial acumen thanks to her previous experience managing rental properties as part of a $34 million real estate portfolio.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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