Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review

This page includes analysis of our favorite cards from The Simple Dollar's advertisers and the marketplace. Visit our advertiser disclosure to learn more.

Partner Offer

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express lets you earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) and 6% on U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% at U.S. gas stations and transit and 1% on everything else. If you routinely charge everyday purchases to your credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express gives you the ability to earn hundreds in cash back every year.

The card also comes with all the features typically offered by American Express, including car rental loss and damage insurance, fraud protection, the Global Assist Hotline, complimentary membership in ShopRunner and Pay It Plan It, which lets you break big-ticket items down into smaller payments.

Despite the $95 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee, you’ll rack up big cash back rewards with Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

What we like about Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and transit-related purchases, including taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, buses and trains.
  • $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months
  • Terms Apply

Things to consider

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee.
  • American Express credit cards are accepted by fewer merchants than Visa or Mastercard.
  • Superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets, so you won’t earn cash back when you use the card to shop there. The offer is also restricted to U.S. supermarkets.
  • Airfare, car rentals and cruises are not considered transit; you can’t earn 3% cash back when you purchase these items with the card.
  • There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. (See Rates & Fees)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card cash back details

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offer caps the 6% at U.S. supermarkets cash back award at $6,000 (then 1%), which roughly corresponds with the amount a family of four spends on groceries a year. There is no cap on either the 6% cash back for U.S. streaming services, like Hulu and Netflix, or the 3% cash back at U.S. gas station purchases and transit. If you commute by bus or train to work each day or own a gas-guzzling vehicle, you can potentially earn hundreds of dollars in cash back in the 3% category alone.

Worried that you won’t spend $6,000 a year at U.S. supermarkets? There are several ways to maximize the grocery spend category. Depending on how your store handles this transaction, gift cards purchased at U.S. supermarkets may be eligible for the cash back reward as well, giving you a discount on movie tickets or dining. You should also keep in mind that many common household items are sold in grocery stores, including household cleansers, toiletry and over the counter medications.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee that isn’t waived the first year. The balance transfer charge is $5 or 3% of the total amount, whichever is more. Late payment fees are up to $40; there is no over-limit fee (See Rates & Fees).

This card has a foreign transaction fee — 2.7% on each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars. Given the fact that you can’t get cash back rewards for foreign grocery store purchases, this is not a good card to use when traveling.

How does it compare to other cash back cards?

When stacked up against Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® — two other easy-to-use cash back cards for people with great credit —Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers the greatest potential for cash back rewards earned each year in spite of the annual fee. However, Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the best deal for people who regularly spend in a variety of categories, while Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card offers superior rewards for people who spend big in one single category, like gas stations or home improvement stores. Both Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card let you redeem points anywhere the cards are accepted, not just in the U.S.

Card Ongoing Purchase APR Annual Fee Intro Bonus Credit Needed Key features
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 13.99% - 23.99% Variable (See Rates & Fees) $95 (See Rates & Fees) $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. Excellent
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card 15.49% to 25.49% None $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening Good to Excellent
  • 3% cash back on the category of your choice; limits apply.
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs; limits apply.
  • 1% cash back on everything else.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® 14.99% - 23.74% Variable $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening Good to Excellent
  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • No minimum redemption amount for cash back.
  • Rewards never expire.

The bottom line

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a premier family card, offering cash back rewards on the things that families tend to purchase the most. When you use it regularly to buy groceries, gas and streaming services, you can potentially earn hundreds of dollars of statement credit even after you factor in the annual fee. The one flaw? It’s not a great card to travel with outside the U.S.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

Valerie Fulton
Valerie Fulton
Contributing Writer

Valerie Fulton is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, real estate, higher education, home improvement and business copy. Her work has been published at Veros Real Estate Solutions, Bluehost, Sears, UPS, Movoto, Peak Communications and the University of Tennessee. Every summer, she travels from Austin, Texas to the coast of Maine with her two standard poodles in order to manage the vacation property she bought for a steal several years ago.

The responses below 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.

Loading Disqus Comments ...