American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review 2022
- Welcome bonus
- Introductory APR for the first year
- Robust rewards rate for grocery and streaming purchases
- Higher-than-average rewards rate for gas and transit purchases
- Annual fee
- American Express is not accepted everywhere.
Overview of the
The , Member FDIC, offers one of the highest rewards rates available for U.S. supermarkets at 6% cash back. While there is a yearly cap of $6,000 in purchases for this category, you can still rake in $360 annually by meeting the maximum threshold each year. Plus, you’ll still get 1% on all your U.S. supermarket purchases above $6,000 annually.
You’ll get cash back in the form of reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit once your rewards total $25 or more. You can also receive a welcome offer bonus of .
A 0% promotional APR is available for purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, then a APR will apply. The card also has a .
Who It’s Best For
If you spend at least $500 monthly in groceries — and who doesn’t with prices these days? — you’ll easily max out your cash back rewards at U.S. supermarkets, making this card well worth the annual fee. Likewise, if you subscribe to U.S. streaming services, you’ll earn even more cash back.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use cash-back rewards card with the prestige of American Express, flexibility to pay off your balance over time and generous rewards, Blue Cash Preferred could be a good option for you. And unlike American Express® Green, Gold or Platinum, the Blue Cash card is a credit card, not a charge card.
As far as rewards cards go, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred credit card is a front-runner.
It offers 6% cash back on up to $6,000 worth of groceries purchased at U.S. supermarkets each year. After that cap is reached, a 1% cash back rate will be earned.
For example, if you spend approximately $116 every week on groceries for 52 weeks, you could earn the maximum reward of $360. Whether this will be worth it for you depends on where you shop for groceries.
U.S. Streaming Services
The card also offers 6% back on U.S. streaming subscriptions from select providers, including, but not limited to: Apple Music, Audible, Disney+, HBO Max, SiriusXM, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Spotify and YouTube Premium.
The catch is that if your streaming subscriptions are bundled with another product or service or billed to you by a third party, such as a cable or internet provider or a car manufacturer, they may not be eligible for rewards.
U.S. Travel and Transit
The card also offers three additional rewards categories: 3% cash back on transit, 3% back on gas at U.S. gas stations and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.
Gas rewards include gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S. Gas purchases at superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs are not considered gas stations and are not eligible for rewards.
For the first 12 months, a 0% introductory APR applies, which will save you money on interest if you don’t pay off your bill in full each month. After the first year, however, American Express will assign your card a purchase APR of , depending on your creditworthiness and other factors.
The standard welcome offer for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred is extremely generous, giving new Card Members .
American Express offers robust travel benefits on its charge cards, including the American Express® Green, Gold and Platinum. Some of those benefits are also available on the Blue Cash line of cards, including American Express® Blue Cash Preferred.
You’ll enjoy dispute resolution; fraud protection; access to exclusive concerts, shows and events through American Express® Experiences; and the Global Assist Hotline if something goes wrong and you are more than 100 miles from home.
The Blue Cash Preferred card also offers purchase protection when you use your card, including cell phone protection for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
You also get return protection, so that if you make a purchase in the U.S. or U.S. territories and the merchant won’t take it back within 90 days from the date of purchase, American Express will refund the purchase price up to $300 per item. You can make up to $1,000 worth of such claims per year calendar year. But you won’t get your shipping and handling back. And you must have used your card for the full purchase price.
American Express also offers Blue Cash Preferred® Card Members a $120 Equinox+ credit, delivered as a $10 credit each month that you pay for your gym membership at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred card.
Good To Know
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card is a credit card, not a charge card. Best of all, you’ll enjoy generous introductory APR as a Card Member.
What Sets American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Apart
The industry-high 6% cash back on groceries from U.S. supermarkets sets American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card apart from other cards in its class, though this cash-back rate is capped at $6,000 per year in purchases. After that cap is reached, a 1% cash back rate will be earned.
Also, you’ll have the stellar customer service and prestige of American Express behind you when you carry the card. American Express ranked No. 1 amongst national issuers in 2020 and 2021 for customer satisfaction.
The 0% intro APR and better-than-average interest rate for customers with excellent credit also make the card a value if you are going to carry a balance. Whether you’re paying for a vacation, home improvements or just treating yourself to something special, you’ll have a full 12 months to pay it off with no interest charges. After the introductory rate, a APR will apply.
The American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card series also has another feature that’s growing in popularity but not yet widely available: A buy now, pay later program with American Express Plan It®. You can select any purchase greater than $100 and make a purchase plan to pay it off over a set time limit. For the first 12 months, these purchases have no fees attached. After the first year, you’ll pay 1.33% of each purchase amount on a plan.
Chase Freedom Flex stands out in a few ways against American Express® Blue Cash Preferred.
Chase Freedom Flex offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a APR. The Blue Cash Preferred card offers a shorter introductory period of 12 months for purchases and balance transfers.
But the overall bonuses and rewards are better with Blue Cash Preferred, including 6% back on groceries at U.S supermarkets up to $6,000 — then 1% — in purchases each year and that hefty $250 welcome offer for new Card Members when they spend $3,000 in purchases in the first six months. Chase Freedom Flex does offer a competitive 5% cash back on grocery store purchases up to $12,000 for the first 12 months after account opening (then 1% cash back after that), plus a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.
Those who are considering the Blue Cash Preferred card may also look closely at the Blue Cash Everyday® card from American Express. With no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months — followed by a APR — the Blue Cash Everyday card might be better for cardholders on a budget who want to forego the annual fee or need more time to pay for purchases.
The features and benefits of both cards are very similar. But the choice of which is better might come down to rewards. And in that regard, Blue Cash Preferred wins with 6% back on U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases a year — then 1% — 6% back on U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% cash back everywhere else.
By comparison, American Express® Blue Cash Everyday card offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on U.S. online retail purchases and at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 per year in each of those categories. After the category caps are reached, you will earn 1% back and will also earn 1% back on all of your other eligible purchases.
Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Right For You?
The American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card offers impressively high rewards in specific categories, plus 3% back on gas and transit expenses. Additionally, the card features a generous introductory APR.
Whether this card is worth it to you depends on where you regularly grocery shop and buy gas, the APR you’ll receive and whether you’ll get enough value from the rewards to offset the annual fee, which is waived for the first year. However, as mentioned, if you earn the $250 in welcome offer bonus after spending $3,000 in your first six months, that amount will cover the annual fee for the next three years.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card.
- Is it worth upgrading to American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card?
- If you are willing to pay the annual fee, the benefits, rewards and welcome offer bonuses you'll receive with Blue Cash Preferred make it a logical upgrade from American Express® Blue Cash Everyday card.
- What credit score do you need to get American Express® Blue Cash Preferred card?
- American Express does not publish the credit score required to qualify for the Blue Cash Preferred credit card. However, the card is designed for individuals with good to excellent credit, which would mean a credit score of 670 or above. You can see if you pre-qualify for the card, or for another American Express card, on the American Express website.
- Does the Blue Cash Preferred card have a credit limit?
- Blue Cash Preferred has a credit limit. American Express doesn't publish that limit, but it is based on your creditworthiness, income and other factors.
Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of October 11, 2022.
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