The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. It offers 6% cash back on groceries—up to $6,000 per year—and 3% cash back at gas stations. For the average family, this card makes a ton of sense. The rewards rack up quickly based on your most common spending, and you’ll easily offset the card’s $95 annual fee if you spend as little as $133 on groceries per month.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Quick Review
Here are the highlights of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express:
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% APR for 12 months, then 14.99% to 25.99%
Sign-Up Bonus: $200
- Earn 6% cash back at grocery stores
- Earn 3% cash back at gas stations
- 0% intro APR
- Redeem for cash, gift cards, merchandise and more
- Save more with Amex Offers
- Return protection
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- If your balance is less than $35, then the full statement balance.
- Otherwise, the greater of:
- 1% of the new balance plus any interest, fees, and over limit amount
- Up to $38 for late payments
- Up to $38 for returned payments
Why Apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
There are a few reasons to consider the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card.
Earn a high rewards rate in common shopping categories
Almost everyone buys groceries and gas on a regular basis. Earning a higher cash-back rate on these categories makes it easy to pile rewards. In fact, the average American family spends $364 per month on food at home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which will net you $262 in cash back a year, just from groceries. The cash back you’ll get from gas and other purchases is just gravy.
Strong sign-up bonus and future savings potential
The whole reason you want to sign up for a cash back card is to earn rewards or save money. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers a sign-up bonus of $200. That’s a great place to start.
Once you have the card, you’re also eligible for Amex Offers. These deals come in the format of “spend $X at a retailer and get $Y back.” You can frequently find deals from popular retailers, including Amazon, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cheesecake Factory, and Crate and Barrel. Amex Offers save you even more money—and that’s not even considering the cash back you’ll earn!
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Drawbacks and Downsides
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express does have drawbacks to consider before you apply.
Bonus categories add complication
The downside to credit cards with bonus categories is that they can complicate the check out process if you have more than one card. You’ll have to remember which card offers the best rewards at which places to maximize your rewards. While using the wrong card and earning a lower cash-back rate isn’t the worst thing in the world, you might find yourself puzzling over which card to use when it comes time to pay.
Low cash-back rate for generic purchases
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express—like most category-based cards—offers a poor cash-back rate on purchases that don’t fall into its bonus categories. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express’s standard 1% cash back is half of what you could get on most purchases on a fee-free credit card. In other words, you should only use it in places where it offers bonus rewards.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Alternatives
Discover it® Card
If you want a card that offers bonus rewards on categories, that change regularly, consider the Discover it® Card. While most people spend a lot of money on gas and groceries, not everyone does. If you don’t, then the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Expresswon’t do much for you. The Discover it® Card offers 5% cash back on bonus categories that change every three months. Eventually, a bonus category will better align with your spending.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If you want a card that pays a high rate everywhere, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card. This card pays 2% cash back on everything you buy, regardless of where you shop. You’ll earn 1% cash back at the time of purchase and another 1% back when you make your payment. This also offers additional incentive to pay your bill, which might make it easier for you to avoid carrying a balance.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express FAQs
Here are other things to know about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
Do you have to pay the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express in full every month?
No, but that doesn’t mean carrying a balance is a good idea. Many American Express cards charge cards, which require you to pay your bill in full each month. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a normal credit card. While you can carry a balance, you’ll pay a lot of interest. That’s not a good idea.
Do American Express points and cash back expire?
No. The rewards you earn with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will not expire. You can redeem them at any time up until you close your account.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best category-based cards on the market. It offers some of the best bonus rewards on two popular spending categories, and it charges a reasonable annual fee. It’s definitely worth considering as part of a multiple-card rewards earning strategy.