Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Learn More

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review

Earn a $250 bonus in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months!

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Learn More

Earn a $250 bonus in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Introduction

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express stands out in the crowded field of rewards credit cards, particularly for those who prioritize cash back on everyday purchases. Renowned for its generous cash back rates in categories like U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, this card appeals to a broad range of consumers, from families managing household expenses to individuals seeking to maximize rewards on their daily spending. Not only does it offer an attractive rewards structure, but it also provides a suite of benefits characteristic of American Express, a leader in the credit card industry.

In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the specifics of the welcome bonus, reward earning potential, redemption options, and the unique perks and benefits that make the Blue Cash Preferred® Card a top contender in its class.

Welcome Bonus

One of the most enticing features of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is its welcome bonus, a hallmark of the card’s appeal to new cardholders. Typically, the card offers a substantial cash back bonus after reaching a specified spending threshold within the first few months of card membership. This bonus is designed to reward new users right off the bat, providing a significant boost to their cash back earnings.

To put this into perspective, let’s consider an example. Suppose the welcome bonus is set at $300 cash back after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. This goal is achievable for many, considering the spending includes everyday categories like groceries and gas. The strategic allocation of regular expenses to the card can help reach this threshold without unnecessary spending.

Furthermore, the welcome bonus period is an excellent opportunity for cardholders to familiarize themselves with the card’s features and benefits, while also getting a substantial return on their regular spending. It’s important to note, however, that welcome offers can vary and it’s crucial to check the latest details at the time of application.

In addition to the cash bonus, the introductory period often includes other benefits like a reduced or 0% introductory APR on purchases, which can be particularly beneficial for those planning larger purchases or looking to manage their finances more effectively during the initial months of card ownership.

The welcome bonus is not just a one-time perk; it sets the tone for the ongoing value that the card offers, making it a critical component of the card’s overall value proposition.

Earning Rewards

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a powerhouse when it comes to earning rewards, making it a top pick for those who want to maximize their cash back on everyday spending. The card’s reward structure is centered around categories where many people spend regularly, ensuring that cardholders can reap significant benefits from their usual expenditures.

Firstly, the card offers an unparalleled cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets, which is one of its standout features. This high rate applies up to a certain spending cap annually, after which the cash-back rate reverts to a standard percentage. For families or individuals who spend a significant portion of their budget on groceries, this feature alone can lead to substantial annual savings.

In addition to groceries, the card also provides an impressive cash-back rate at U.S. gas stations, making it an excellent choice for commuters or those who frequently travel by car. This benefit is not capped annually, allowing consistent savings throughout the year.

Furthermore, the card offers elevated cash-back rates on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, providing additional value in the increasingly digital and subscription-oriented world we live in. This feature resonates well with those who utilize various streaming services for entertainment or education.

For all other purchases, the card provides a standard cash-back rate, ensuring that every dollar spent on the card works harder for the cardholder. This comprehensive reward structure ensures that whether you’re buying groceries, filling up your tank, paying for streaming services, or making everyday purchases, you’re earning cash back at competitive rates.

The ease of earning rewards with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is a significant advantage. There’s no need to enroll in rotating categories or track changing rewards structures – the card keeps it simple and efficient, ensuring cardholders can effortlessly earn rewards on their everyday spending.

Redeeming Rewards

The flexibility and value of redeeming rewards are where the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express truly shines. The cashback earned is straightforward to redeem, adding to the card’s appeal for those seeking simplicity and practicality in their rewards program.

The cashback earned with the card is accumulated as Reward Dollars. One of the most straightforward ways to redeem these Reward Dollars is as a statement credit, which can directly offset your card balance. This method of redemption is incredibly convenient, allowing cardholders to effectively reduce their monthly credit card bill using the rewards they’ve earned.

Another aspect of the card’s redemption process is its threshold for redemption. Cardholders can start redeeming their Reward Dollars once they’ve accumulated a minimum amount, which is typically a modest figure. This low threshold ensures that cardholders can begin enjoying their rewards relatively quickly without having to wait for a large balance to accrue.

It’s important to note that while Reward Dollars can significantly offset card expenses, they cannot be used to pay the minimum due on a credit card statement. This distinction ensures that cardholders are still responsible for their basic payment obligations while enjoying the benefits of their rewards.

Furthermore, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card keeps the redemption process simple and free of convoluted point systems or confusing conversion rates. The cashback you see is what you get, making it easy for cardholders to understand and appreciate the value they’re receiving.

The ease and straightforwardness of redeeming rewards with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card underscore its position as a practical choice for everyday use, offering tangible benefits without the hassle or complexity that can sometimes accompany rewards credit cards.

Perks and Benefits

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is not only about cash back; it also comes with a suite of additional benefits and perks that enhance its value proposition. These benefits cater to a wide range of needs, from travel conveniences to shopping protections, making the card a well-rounded choice for many consumers.

Travel Benefits:

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: When you use your card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter, you can be covered if the car is damaged or stolen. This adds a layer of comfort and protection for travelers who frequently rent cars.
  • Global Assist® Hotline: Offers 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial, and other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles from home.

Shopping and Entertainment Benefits:

  • Return Protection: If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price.
  • ShopRunner: Complimentary membership to ShopRunner, which offers free 2-day shipping on eligible items at participating online stores.
  • Entertainment Access®: Provides exclusive access to ticket presales and member-only events, including concerts, theater productions, and more.

Security and Convenience:

  • Fraud Protection: The card comes with advanced security features to protect against fraudulent charges.
  • Amex Mobile App: Manage your account, track rewards, and access services easily through the app.

Family-Friendly Benefits:

  • No Overlimit Fees: American Express doesn’t charge over-limit fees, providing peace of mind for families managing their budget.
  • Year-End Summary: An annual statement that categorizes your spending, which is extremely helpful for budgeting and tax purposes.

These benefits ensure that cardholders can enjoy not just financial rewards but also a sense of security, convenience, and exclusivity in their day-to-day life. The inclusion of these perks underlines American Express’s commitment to providing a comprehensive cardholder experience that goes beyond just transactions.

While these benefits offer significant value, it’s always important for potential cardholders to read the terms and conditions to understand the coverage limits and exclusions. This way, they can fully utilize the benefits and make informed decisions based on their lifestyle and needs.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. High Cash Back Rates: Exceptional cash back rates at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, ideal for everyday spenders and families.
  2. Welcome Bonus: Attractive welcome offer for new cardholders, providing a significant initial boost to cash back earnings.
  3. Additional Perks: Includes various benefits such as car rental loss and damage insurance, global assist hotline, and entertainment access, adding value beyond just cash back.
  4. Family-Friendly: With features like no overlimit fees and year-end summaries, it’s tailored to family budgeting needs.
  5. Simple Rewards Redemption: Cash back is easy to redeem as a statement credit, with a low minimum threshold for redemption.

Cons:

  1. Annual Fee: The card comes with an annual fee, which might offset some of the rewards for those who don’t spend heavily in the high cash back categories.
  2. Reward Dollars Limitation: Reward Dollars can’t be used to pay the minimum due on a credit card statement, requiring cardholders to manage their payments separately.
  3. Spending Cap on Grocery Rewards: The elevated cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets is capped annually, after which the rate drops to a lower percentage.
  4. Limited Appeal for Low Spenders: For individuals who spend minimally in the card’s bonus categories, the benefits might not outweigh the annual fee.

In conclusion, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a strong contender in the cash back credit card market, especially for those who frequently spend on groceries and gas. However, its value is most pronounced for those who can leverage the high cash back rates, making it less suitable for low spenders or those with different spending patterns.

Comparison to Other Cards

When evaluating the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, it’s helpful to compare it with similar credit cards in the market to understand its relative standing. This comparison will focus on key aspects such as rewards, fees, and additional benefits.

Comparing Rewards Structures:

  • Citi® Double Cash Card: Offers 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy, plus 1% as you pay). While this is a simpler reward structure, it doesn’t match the Blue Cash Preferred® Card’s higher cash back rates in specific categories like U.S. supermarkets and gas stations.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Provides a mix of fixed-rate cash back and higher rewards in specific categories. However, its cash back rate on supermarkets and gas stations is generally lower than that of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card.

Annual Fees and APR:

  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card has an annual fee, which might be a consideration for some. In contrast, both the Citi® Double Cash Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® do not have annual fees.
  • All these cards offer introductory APR periods, but their regular APRs and the length of the introductory periods can vary, impacting the overall cost of carrying a balance.

Additional Benefits:

  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a broader range of bonus categories and redemption options, including travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • The Citi® Double Cash Card, while lacking in special category bonuses, is strong in its simplicity and universal cash back rate.

In summary, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card excels in providing high cash back rates in everyday spending categories like U.S. supermarkets and gas stations, making it an excellent choice for those who spend heavily in these areas. Its annual fee is justified by these higher reward rates and additional benefits. In contrast, cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer lower or no annual fees but with less lucrative rewards in these specific categories.

Each card has its strengths, and the best choice depends on individual spending habits and preferences.

Conclusion

In summary, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an outstanding choice for individuals and families who spend a significant portion of their budget on groceries and gas. Its high cash back rates in these categories, combined with the welcome bonus and additional perks, offer substantial value that can easily offset the annual fee for the right cardholder. However, its appeal may be limited for those with different spending habits or lower overall expenditure. Ultimately, this card is best suited for those looking to maximize cash back on everyday purchases, offering both immediate and long-term rewards for savvy spenders.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the cash back on groceries work with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card?

  • The card offers a high cash back rate on purchases at U.S. supermarkets up to a certain spending cap annually. Once this cap is reached, purchases at supermarkets earn cash back at a standard rate. This makes it an excellent option for regular grocery shoppers.

2. Can the rewards earned with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card be converted to travel points?

  • No, the rewards earned on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card are in the form of Reward Dollars, which can primarily be redeemed as statement credits. They cannot be converted into travel points.

3. Are there any specific exclusions or limitations to the U.S. gas station cash back with this card?

  • The elevated cash back rate at U.S. gas stations applies to most purchases at gas stations located in the U.S., but it may not include purchases at gas stations that are part of supermarkets or warehouse clubs.

4. How does the introductory APR offer work, and what happens when it ends?

  • The card often comes with a 0% introductory APR on purchases for a certain period after opening the account. Once this period ends, the standard APR applies to any remaining balance.

5. What should I consider when deciding if the annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is worth it for me?

  • Consider your spending habits, especially in the card’s high cash back categories like U.S. supermarkets and gas stations. If your annual cash back earnings and the value of additional benefits outweigh the cost of the annual fee, the card is likely a good fit.
Leave A Reply