American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review 2022
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Overview of the
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card comes with no annual fee for the first year (then $95). It offers one of the highest rewards rates available for groceries at 6%. While there is a cap of $6,000 in this category to receive the 6% bonus rewards, you can still rake in $360 annually by meeting the maximum threshold each year. Plus, you’ll still get 1% on all your grocery purchases above and beyond $6,000 annually. The card also features other rewards categories, including streaming subscriptions, gas and transit purchases, which are all unlimited.
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 bonus of $300 if you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card within the first 6 months of membership.
A 0% promotional APR is available for the first year (then ), but no balance transfer option is available.
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 bonus rewards on groceries, making this card well worth the $95 fee. Likewise, if you subscribe to 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 and generous rewards, Blue Cash Preferred could be a good option for you. And unlike American Express Green, Gold, or Platinum, the Blue Cash cards are credit, not charge cards.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to make a balance transfer, you’ll want to consider other cards, as Blue Cash Preferred doesn’t provide that option.
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.
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. Unfortunately, according to the terms and conditions of the card, superstores, such as Walmart and Target, and warehouse clubs, such as Costco and Sam’s, are not considered supermarkets.
The card also offers 6% back on 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.
Travel and Transit
The card also offers three additional rewards categories: 3% cash back on transit, 3% back on gas and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.
Transit rewards include purchases with your card for parking, tolls, taxis, rideshares, buses, trains and more. Airfare, car rentals and cruises are not eligible.
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 average APR for credit card accounts that incur interest is 16.13%, according to a recent GOBankingRates.com article, so a starting purchase APR under 15% is good if you can qualify for the lowest rate. If you don’t, you could end up paying much more than the national average for any debt you carry on the card.
The standard sign-up bonus for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred is extremely generous, giving new Card Members $300 in bonus rewards if they spend $3,000 within the first six months.
The $300 welcome offer beats out the Chase Freedom Flex credit card, which offer a sign-up bonus of $200. However, you only need to spend $500 within the first three months to collect $200 in bonus cash from Chase Freedom Flex.
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 Amex 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.
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 a 0% introductory APR for your first year as a Card Member.
What Sets American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Apart
The industry-high 6% cash back on groceries sets American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card apart from other cards in its class. 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.
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.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs. Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex stands out in a few ways against American Express Blue Cash Preferred. And Chase Freedom Flex did make the list of GOBankingsRates’ Best Rewards Credit Cards. But it did not beat out the Blue Cash Preferred Card.
Chase Freedom Flex offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months, compared to 12 months for Blue Cash Preferred. The card also offers a 0% intro APR for balance transfers, while the Blue Cash Preferred Card doesn’t have any balance transfer capabilities at all.
But the bonuses and rewards are hands-down better with Blue Cash Preferred, including 6% back on groceries and that hefty $300 bonus for new Card Members.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs. American Express Blue Cash Everyday
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 for 15 months, 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 groceries and streaming services, 3% cash back at gas stations and on transit, and 1% cash back everywhere else. By comparison, American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card offers 3% cash back on groceries — also, up to $6,000 annually, just like Blue Cash Preferred — 2% at gas stations and select department stores and 1% everywhere else.
Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Right For You?
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is ranked GOBankingRates’ No. 1 spot for Best Rewards Credit Card. Its high rewards rate of 6% for both groceries and streaming subscriptions is impressive. Plus, you can also earn 3% back on gas and transit expenses.
Additionally, the card features a 0% introductory APR for the entire first year, and its lowest regular APR is below the national average for credit cards.
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 after the first year because that’s when the card’s $95 annual fee kicks in. However, as mentioned, if you earn the $350 in sign-up bonuses, that amount will cover the annual fee for the next three years after the introductory offer expires.
Rates and fees are accurate as of March 9, 2022, and are subject to change.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
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