How Families, Foodies, and Fashionistas Earn More Cash Back: Blue Cash Preferred from American Express 

By Kira Brecht, Updated on Jun 19, 2017

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express


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If you spend more than $75 per week on groceries and gas, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could be the best way for you to maximize your cash back and get more bang for your buck.

This card offers an extraordinary 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to the first $6,000 spent each year and then 1% cash back. If you spend $500 per month on groceries, over the course of a year, you'll earn $360 cash back for food you are already buying. You will also get a sizable 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, plus 1% cash back on everything else.

These premium rewards come at a cost: a $95 annual fee. Sounds steep, but many families can earn substantial cash-back rewards well beyond that. This card is one of the cases where the benefits can significantly out weigh the annual fee. You can easily do the math to find out if this card is right for you.

For starters, there is a $150 welcome offer after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months, this offer alone pays for the annual fee for almost two years.

Cash-Back Rewards You Earn*
  Weekly spend Year 1 Year 2 Total
Welcome Offer   $150 $0 $150
Groceries $150 $378 $378 $756
Gas $28 $43 $43 $86
Department Stores $25 $39 $39 $78
Other Spending $100 $52 $52 $104
Annual Fee   $95 $95 $190
  Total Cash Back: $567 $417 $984

*(This chart is for informational purposes only. Your actual cash back levels could be more or less depending on your spending levels.)

6% Cash-Back on Groceries at U.S. supermarkets. First, let's look at the massive 6% cash back reward. If you've got a couple of mouths to feed you could easily spend $150 a week on groceries. That's $7,800 a year. Your total grocery rewards from U.S. supermarkets for the year will be $378 ($360 for the first $6,000 at 6%, plus $18 for the next $1,800 at 1%). It's worth noting, specialty stores and superstores like Target and Wal-Mart don't qualify. If you are shopping organic, Whole Foods does count as a supermarket.

3% Gas Rewards. According to, the average motorist will spend $1,494 on gasoline in 2017. This means with 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, the average motorist will earn $44.82. 3% cash back  is one of the highest cash back rates you can earn for gas. If you are filling up two cars with gas, your rewards could be even higher than on our chart.  There are restrictions, warehouse clubs like Costco that sell gas aren't considered U.S. gas stations, so pump purchases there will earn 1% cash back rather than the full 3%.

3% Department Store Rewards. The impressive department store rewards are sometimes overlooked on this first-rate gas and groceries card.  The 3% cash back at select national department stores is also one of the highest you can earn with no caps. Over 15 popular stores qualify, including Nordstrom, Macy's, Kohl's and Bloomingdale's. Depending on how much you spend on clothes per year, your cash back rewards could be significantly higher than on the chart shown above.

Turbo Charge Your Cash-Back. There are ways you can strategically use this card to boost cash rewards. Supermarkets typically sell gift cards for a wide range of stores, companies, restaurants and online retailers. Increase your 6% cash back by using your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express at the supermarket to buy these gift cards and then use them yourself. Or, are you buying gift cards for birthday, graduation or wedding gifts?  Buy them at the supermarket to maximize your cash-back rewards.

Say you are looking at a $300 lawn mower at Home Depot. You can go to the supermarket, buy six $50 gift cards for Home Depot with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, and use those gift cards for your new mower. If you haven’t hit the $6,000 per year cap, once your cash-back rewards hit your statement, it will be like you had gotten the mower for $282 because of the $18 in cash back rewards you earned. Just think, the bigger the price tag, the more you can save.

This Card is Best For

If you are a big spender on groceries, gas and buy clothes at the popular department stores on this list, you can generate significant cash back rewards far beyond the annual fee. The high rewards on this cash-back card propel it to the top of its class.

You won't have to spend time remembering rotating bonus categories to earn your cash back. This is a streamlined card, which offers constant cash-back rewards that can make a practical impact on your budget.

Why this Card?

Consistently high levels of rewards, no rotating categories. You will pay a $95 annual fee, but you will earn premium reward rates that are unmatched in the industry. The $150 welcome offer only sweetens what is already a great deal.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express


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*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Picture of Kim Johnson Busbea

By: | Feb 8, 2017

What is the credit card with the best flight rewards?

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Feb 14, 2017

Finding the "best" credit card will depend a lot on your specific situation and vary from person to person. That said, a few of the most popular travel rewards credit cards are the Capital One Venture, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards. All of these cards offer flexible travel redemptions so you're not tied down to one airline or hotel!

Picture of Gillian Giordano

By: | Sep 25, 2016

I have excellent credit. I also have been carrying high debt which I would like to pay off on a low rate card than all at once. Optimally I'd like a card with a long 0% balance transfer that also has some type of rewards for purchases...thanks!

2 Replies

By: CompareCards | Sep 27, 2016

If you have excellent credit, there are a number of credit cards that can offer you a great intro APR on balance transfers and generous rewards on future purchases. The Citi Double Cash is an excellent option as it comes with 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months and also earns 1% cash back on purchases and another 1% on payments. Another great choice is the Discover It , which also comes with 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. This card earns 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back in special rotating categories.

By: Tim Hoang | Feb 12, 2017

Check out Chase Slate VIsa, which offers 15 months 0% interest on purchase and balance transfer. It also waive balance transfer fee if the transfer occurs within the first 60 days. However, you cannot transfer balance from one Chase account to another Chase account.

Picture of Kimberly Raymond MacQuesten

By: | Jan 10, 2016

Hi, i am looking for a card that has a long 0% transfer of balance and has travel rewards. What would you suggest? My credit is good. Thanks!

1 Reply

By: Irene Turla LoRusso | May 16, 2016

Citibank Simplicity Card. 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 21 months. No late fees or a penalty rate.

Picture of Louanna Nerland

By: | Jan 4, 2016

My credit is very bad. I need a credit card to consolidate all of my bills so I have only one payment per month.. I have had no luck in finding a card that would help me.

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Jan 6, 2016

Hi Louanna,

If your credit is very bad, you probably won't be able to find a credit card that will allow you to transfer your balances to a lower interest rate. You could try calling your credit card issuer and attempting to negotiate a lower interest rate, but I would mainly focus on paying your your debt as quickly as possible. This will help your credit score go up, and once you're score is in the mid 600s, you can try applying for the Capital One QuicksilverOne.

Picture of Robin DuFrene

By: | Jan 2, 2016

I do not have Excellent Credit and I can not get approve for anything can someone help me out

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Jan 6, 2016

Hi Robin,

There are credit cards available for everyone, even if your credit score is less than excellent. In fact, we have entire pages of credit cards dedicated to people with no credit history, poor credit, fair credit, good credit, and excellent credit ; be sure to check them out!

Picture of Pam Veino Dillashaw

By: | Dec 28, 2015

Never had a credit card that earned points. Need some help deciding which one to apply for.

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Dec 28, 2015

Hi Pam,

There are a number of credit cards that earn rewards, so if you have good credit, it really comes down to your preference. Cash back credit cards like the Capital One Quicksilver offer simple rewards programs that allow you to earn a flat cash back rate on all purchases. Some cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Citi ThankYou Premier, earn points that can be redeemed in a number of ways including travel, cash, gift cards, and more.

Picture of Kevin White

By: | Dec 12, 2015

Make sure you have an up to date copy of your credit score and that you monitor it frequently. Those are the best things you can do to help with your credit aside from spending wisely.

Picture of Larry King

By: | Nov 28, 2015

hello, please is there any credit card that I can redeem my reward point as cash back or direct deposit into a different bank. I want to use the reward point as a gift or donation. I know about chase, which one allow this.

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Nov 29, 2015

Hi Larry,

You are correct that the Chase allows you to redeem your points or cash back as a direct deposit into your bank account. The person credit cards that allow this would include the Chase Freedom and the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Most other cash back credit cards only allow you to redeem your rewards as statement credits towards your account, or to wipe away purchases made with your card.

Picture of Brenda Sue Shirley

By: | Nov 26, 2015

I applied but when it came to put in your information it asked for your social security card number and didn,t dot it out like some so i didn,t do it. my identity was stolen once,and don,t care how secure the site says it is. hackers can still go in there and get your social security number and wipe you out!

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Nov 27, 2015

Hi Brenda,

When you apply for a credit card through, you are actually direct to the website of the bank that issues that specific card for the online application. That means that never has access to your Social Security Number or any of your other personal information. You can rest assured that the online applications at all of our banking partners are 100% secure and your personal information is completely safe.

Picture of Deborah Morris

By: | Sep 30, 2015

good morning i am trying to get a credit card to used for emergencies and to shop on line. i am working on getting my credit clean up.

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Oct 1, 2015

Hi Deborah,

Check out this article about best credit cards for emergencies. Overall, the main things you'll want to look for are low interest rates and few fee. However, if you're trying to rebuild your credit, you might not be able to get approved for the best offers. We have pages dedicated to credit cards for consumers with fair credit and poor credit, so be sure to check those out as well!


These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.