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Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Credit Card Review

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Apr 10, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Who the card is best for

The big draw of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). With the yearly $6,000 cashback limit in the U.S. supermarket category, it’s still one of the most generous among cashback credit cards.

New cardmembers receive a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. The $250 statement credit offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is among the higher cashback offers, but the $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months is also higher compared with other cards. The card has a $95 annual fee.

Where this card stands out in its category

It’s all about the cash back you earn for supermarket with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. If you spend up to the limit of $6,000 a year at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn back $360, which more than covers the card’s $95 annual fee.

You also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, which is one of the higher percentages in the cashback card category.

You’ll also earn NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

You receive cash back on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express in the form of reward dollars that you can redeem as a statement credit. You can redeem reward dollars for statement credits in increments of 25 whenever your total balance is 25 or more, at a credit of $1 for every reward dollar redeemed.

Where this card falls short in its category

After you spend $6,000 at U.S. supermarkets, the cash back you earn on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express drops from 6% to 1%. New cardmembers may not think it’s worth spending $1,000 on the card in three months just to earn a $250 statement credit, but it’s more than double the card’s $95 annual fee. That $250 credit is also higher than most of the other cards that offer a cashback bonus.

Unlike other rewards credit cards, you can’t transfer your reward dollars to an airline or hotel loyalty program. You have to redeem your cash back at American Express’ rewards website rather than the more popular Membership Rewards portal.

Here are a few other drawbacks to consider:

  • If you make purchases outside the country, you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • You need Excellent/Good credit to open this card.
  • You’ll lose your reward dollar balance if your account is canceled for any reason.

Additional Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express benefits

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance.
  • Roadside assistance.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • Access to a 24/7 global assist hotline for help with medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services.
  • Extended warranty protection.
  • Return protection on retail items.
  • Purchase protection.

Compare it with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer

Unlike the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer has a $0 annual fee. New cardmembers earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer you earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases  But if you spend $2,500 a quarter for a full year with this card, that totals $10,000, which is more generous than the $6,000 annual limit with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

While the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer doesn’t offer the same perks as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, it does allow you to earn a 25%-75% bonus every time you redeem your cash back into your Bank of America checking or savings account if you’re enrolled in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.

Your rewards don’t expire with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer and you don’t have to register every quarter to participate in the changing bonus categories.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer
Annual Fee $95 $0
Regular Purchase APR 14.74%-25.74% Variable 12.99% - 22.99% (V) Purchases & Balance Transfers
Rewards NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases
Welcome Offer / New Cardmember Offer $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. 3%

Bottom line

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers one of the most generous cashback rewards in the supermarket category. So if you spend a lot at supermarkets, this card is a great option. But remember: If you spend more than $6,000 a year, that generous 6% cash back for U.S. supermarket purchases decreases to 1%. Other credit cards have higher cash back and points without limits in the U.S. supermarket category. They also offer more cash back and points in key segments like travel and dining.

Before applying for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, decide whether the Welcome Offer is worth the spending — earn $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Compared with other cards that offer points for sign-up bonuses, the Welcome Offer for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may not make it worth your while, especially since the card comes with a $95 annual fee.

While the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer has a $0 annual fee, the cash back and perks aren’t as good as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. But you can earn bonus cash back on the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer if you’re a checking, savings or Preferred Rewards customer. And you don’t have to keep track of points offered in different categories.

If you do enough spending on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — specifically $1,584 a year at U.S. supermarkets — the $95 annual fee will be covered. So you have to decide whether the $95 annual fee, better cash back and perks of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express are worth it.


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