AMEX Blue Cash Preferred
The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card is one of the best cash back cards on the market. It earns a whopping 6% cash back on all supermarket/grocery purchases and also features the bonus categories of streaming, gas stations, and transit purchases. It's no annual fee counterpart, The Blue Cash Everyday, earns a lower rate of 3% cash back on supermarket purchases. Which one is better? The Blue Cash Everyday is better for people who generally spend less than $270 per month on grocery. If you spend more than that, the return on the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred will be better.
The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred has four bonus categories which consist of supermarket, streaming services, gas station, and transit purchases. Using the card for these categories will earn you additional cash back. There is a $6,000 cap on the supermarket category. All of the remaining bonus categories do not have a cap. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn with the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred. Below are the details on each bonus category.
6% U.S. Supermarket/Grocery
The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred earns 6% cash back per $1 spent on all U.S. supermarket purchases. There is a cap of $6,000 per year on this bonus category. Once you surpass that amount, all supermarket purchases will earn 1% cash back for the remainder of the calendar year. American Express considers a supermarket as being a place that offers a wide variety of food and household products such as meat, fresh produce, dairy, canned and packaged goods, household cleaners, pharmacy products and pet supplies. This includes place such as, but not limited to, Meijer, Vons, Giant Eagle, Winn-Dixie, and Foodtown. Some online supermarkets are also included such as FreshDirect. Like lots of other credit cards with grocery/supermarket bonuses, superstores and warehouse clubs are not included. This includes the usual victims: Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Sams's Club.
When it comes to earning 6% back on supermarket purchases, the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred cannot be beat. Now it's worth noting that this card has an annual fee so while you are earning 6% cash back, it will be less than that if you factor in the fee. If you spend up to the maximum of $6,000 a year, you'll earn $360 cash back. Subtract the fee of $95 and you're looking at $265 total which is a return of 4.4%. That rate is one of the best in the market for supermarket spend.
6% Streaming Services
The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred earns 6% cash back per $1 spent on streaming services. This includes Amazon Prime, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, Apple Music, Audible, HBO, Netflix, Pandora, and YouTube. That makes this one of the best cards for those who spend a lot of money on various streaming services. When it comes to the annual fee, you would have to spend around $132 per month or $1,584 per year to break even which I'm betting most people do not spend on streaming services. I wouldn't recommend picking up the card for streaming alone, but if you're making use of the other 3 categories, then this uncapped bonus category will definitely help you rake a good amount of additional cash back.
3% Gas Stations
Gas station purchases made on the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card will earn 3% cash back per $1 spent. This is not capped like the supermarket category, so you can earn an unlimited amount of 3% cash back on gas. Gas station purchases are going to be places that specialize in gas. This will be places such as Hess, Shell, Mobil, and Exxon. Gas stations that are part of supermarkets or warehouse clubs, such as GetGo or Walmart gas station, will not be eligible.
3% cash back on gas station purchases made with the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred is a nice addition to the supermarket category. This can matched by the no annual fee Bank of America Cash Rewards Card and outdone by the PNC Cash Rewards Card which earns 4% cash back on gas purchases and also has no annual fee.
The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred earns 3% cash back on transit purchases. This will apply to ride-shares (e.g. Uber, Lyft), tolls, parking, and any other form of transportation related charges. This is the closest category that AMEX has to anything related to general travel which gives this card great value for those who deal in this category. Spending $264 per month or $3,167 per year in transit alone would make up for the annual fee. For anyone who travels and/or uses ride-shares on a daily to weekly basis, this would not be hard to hit. This is a nice addition to the Blue Cash family.
All non-category purchases made on the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred will earn 1% cash back per $1 spent. This is a very low return and can be better spent on the AMEX Cash Magnet Card which earns 1.5% cash back for all purchases. It pairs nicely with the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred if you want to keep all your cash back under one umbrella. If you wish to put your cash back filled eggs in different baskets, both the Citi Double Cash and Paypal Cashback Mastercard offers 2% cash back on all purchases for an even better return. It also has no annual fee!
Perks and Benefits
Standard AMEX Benefits
There are no special benefits or bonuses specific to the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card. It does come with the standard AMEX perks such as AMEX offers, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, shoprunner membership, return protection, and more.
Sign Up Bonus
The standard AMEX Blue Cash Preferred signup bonus is $300 after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. This sign up bonus is given back to the cardholder in the form of a statement credit.
Credit Card Fees
|Authorized User Fee|
|Foreign Transaction Fee|
The annual fee for the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred is $95. It will take about $132 between grocery and streaming spend per month to break even at $0. If you spend less than $270 a month in grocery and don't really run much spend through the streaming category, you will want to look at the no-fee AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Card.
Authorized User Fee
There is no fee to add authorized users to the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card. If you have friends or family that spend in the categories on this card, I would recommend adding them as additional users so that you can maximize your cash back earned with American Express.
Foreign Transaction Fee
The foreign transaction fee for the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred is 2.7%. This fee will eat away your rewards and the overall value of the card. Do not use this card overseas. If you're looking for some good reward cards to use overseas, I recommend the Capital One Quicksilver, Capital One SavorOne Card, or Barclay Uber Card. All of these reward cards offer a great return on spending and they all have no annual fee, no authorized user fee, and no foreign transaction fee.
You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the card based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees. You can click the Compare A Card button to compare this card against another card in the same calculator.
All category spend entered in the primary card's column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site so you don't have to re-enter the same information over again.
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