American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review 2021

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express has a boosted cashback rewards for grocery shopping, gas, and transit. However, you can also earn even more cashback on popular streaming services like Netflix.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review 2020

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is a cash back rewards card that offers rewards on a variety of everyday purchases.

The card earns 6% cashback on up to $6,000 spent annually at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 6% cash-back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash-back on transit and at U.S. gas stations, and 1% cash-back on all other purchases.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express has an annual fee of $95, and it offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on purchases and any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening the account (then a 12.99% to 23.99% variable APR).

New cardholders can earn a bonus $250 cash-back after making $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months.

Pros and Cons of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card 

Pros

  • Outstanding cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming services
  • Generous welcome offer for new cardholders
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

Cons

  • $95 annual fee, where many cards in this category have none
  • 2.7% fee on foreign transactions
  • Cashback rewards on groceries are capped, and some chains are excepted
  • American Express isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard

Smart Features

Up to 6% cash-back — This card has stellar cash-back rates, as you earn:

  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets, capped at $6,000 per calendar year
  • 6% back on select streaming subscriptions
  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% cash-back on transit including taxi/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more
  • 1% back on all other spending

A 6% cash-back rate is the highest I’ve seen, and what’s even better is that it’s for one of the bigger expense categories consumers have. Most cards with 5% cash-back offer it for bonus categories that change every quarter, so there could be quarters where you can’t take full advantage.

You won’t run into that problem with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. If you spend $500 a month at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll max out that 6% back each year for $360 total cash-back.

$250 welcome bonus – The spending minimum for this bonus statement credit is $1,000 within the first three months. As far as cash-back cards are concerned, this is one of the biggest bonuses available.

0% intro APR – You’ll have a 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases and balances transfers. There are cards out there with longer intro periods if you’ll need more time to pay everything off, but the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express still does well here, given that cards with high cash-back rates and bonuses often don’t even have 0% intro APRs.

Travel and purchase protections — American Express has put together a nice list of protections, including rental car insurance, accidental damage and theft coverage, return protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Read Also: Visa Signature Credit Cards 2020: What Are The Benefits?

Card Fees

Annual Fee

  • $95

Foreign Transaction Fees

2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Interest Rates

  • 0% on purchases for 12 months, from the date of account opening
  • Ongoing APR: 12.99%-23.99% Variable

Late fees

  • 29.24% Variable
  • Fee: Up to $40

Balance Transfers

  • 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, from the date of account opening
  • Ongoing APR: 12.99%-23.99% Variable

Cash Advance APR

  • 25.24% Variable
  • Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Benefits

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express cardholders receive several free benefits. These benefits include:

  • Access to the global assist hotline that offers 24/7 help if an emergency situation arises while the cardmember is more than 100 miles away from home
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Exclusive access to entertainment event tickets through American Express
  • Fraud liability coverage, which protects cardholders from paying for unauthorized charges on the card
  • The ability to easily and quickly track cashback rewards online or via mobile device
  • A detailed year-end summary of spending and rewards

Maximizing Rewards

The welcome offer available to new cardholders is the best and quickest way to maximize cashback rewards with the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. As long as you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months, you’ll receive a $250 statement credit.

In addition to the welcome offer, cardholders have the option to earn 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets for the first $6,000 in spending each year, then 1% after that.

You can use the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express to earn 6% cash-back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis, ride-hailing services, parking and buses). All other purchases earn a flat 1% cashback.

Suggested Credit Score

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a credit card for good credit, and it will significantly help your chances of approval if your credit score is 670 or higher.

That’s not a requirement, though, as credit scores aren’t the only thing American Express uses in their decision, and applicants have reported approvals with scores in the low 600s.

Security Features

Credit cards from American Express come with a slew of security benefits. Cardholders have access to free credit reports, credit report alerts, and credit score updates.

This card also has pre-purchase verification to confirm that your use of the card on certain purchases is authentic, as well as benefiting from Amex alerts for irregular account activity.

If you lose your card, American Express will replace it for free. It will be delivered within a few days, and sometimes the next day.

American Express offers Social Security Number monitoring, dark web monitoring, and other identity monitoring services for a cost.

Virtual credit card numbers can be made through the American Express Go portal, and international travelers can set up a PIN for additional security while on the go.

Who This Card is Good For

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could be particularly fruitful for three types of people.

  1. People who like to cook at home
  2. People who subscribe to certain streaming services
  3. Commuters who drive to work or take public transportation

If you spend a lot of money on groceries, streaming and commuting, the cash-back could add up quickly. But if that’s not where you spend your money, other cash-back credit cards could benefit you more.

Blue Cash Preferred Card Alternatives

If the annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is too expensive, here are a few other cards that might be a better fit for your wallet.

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: This card is a great option for grocery shoppers on a budget.
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: If you enjoy streaming movies or music, this card is worth checking out.
  • Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: This card could be a good option if you eat out a lot instead of cooking at home.

FAQs

1. Is the Blue Cash Preferred Card worth it?

The card is marketed to the non-traveler or family-type buyer. Those who frequent U.S. gas stations will benefit by earning 3% Cash Back on purchases there and, when you shop at U.S. supermarkets, you can earn 6% Cash Back on up to $6,000 in purchases, then 1%.

2. Is there an annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred Card?

Yes. The annual fee is $95 per year.

3. Does the Blue Cash Preferred Card offer car rental insurance? What about extended warranty?

Yes, a variety of insurances come with the card. These incl de car rental insurance, extended warranty ($10,000 per occurrence), travel accident insurance (up to $250,000), and purchase/return protection.

Bottom Line

The high rewards rate in this card’s main categories—groceries, streaming services, transit, and gas—makes it a stand-out card for day-to-day spending, as opposed to cards whose most generous rewards are in travel or entertainment categories.

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