If you’re spending hundreds of dollars each month on groceries and gas, consider the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® credit card, which rewards cardholders with a whopping 6% cash back on groceries and 3% back at gas stations.

When it comes to the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card, the rewards alone are enough to turn heads:

  • 6% back on groceries (up to $6,000 annually) and select streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% back at gas stations and transit (taxis, rideshares, tolls, etc.).
  • 1% back on everything else.

If you sign up now, you’ll also earn a fantastic welcome bonus: a $400 statement credit (recently increased from $350) when you spend $3,000 on your card within the first six months from opening your account.

But before you take the bait, make sure you understand this card’s pros as well as its cons. For example, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® has an annual fee of $95, which is more than some competitors. As well, cash back rewards only come in the form of statement credit.

Even still, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card has a lot to offer. Let’s take a look.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card Overview

  • Best for – Groceries and gas.
  • Sign-up bonus – Earn $400 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months from account opening.
  • Cash back – 6% back on groceries (up to $6,000 annually) and select streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit and gas, and 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Intro APR – 0% APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • Regular APR – 15.49% to 25.49% variable.

Other Features

American Express also offers a program called Plan It®, which enables cardholders to split up large purchases ($100 or more) into monthly installments, interest-free. Instead of paying interest during the plan period, you’ll be given a fixed monthly fee (up to 1.33%), which is shown to you upfront.

If you opt into Plan It® for a purchase, Amex will offer you three different plan durations, dependent on your creditworthiness and account history.

For plans made within the first 12 months from account opening, you’ll get an intro offer of zero fees. After that, it’s the regular fixed fee of up to 1.33%.

In-Depth Analysis of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred®

Rewards

Foodies, listen up. Perhaps the greatest benefit available through the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card is the competitive cash back offer for grocery purchases. There is, however, a $6,000 annual cap, after which you’ll earn 1% on groceries.

On top of the generous 6% back on groceries, cardholders earn 6% back on select streaming services, 3% back on gas and transit purchases, and 1% back on everything else.

Read more: Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Bonuses

New cardholders can earn $400 when they spend $3,000 in the first six months after opening their Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card. This reward comes in the form of statement credit.

Read more: Best Credit Card Sign-Up Offers

APR

Along with the $400 statement credit, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® includes an intro APR of 0% for the first 12 months. After the first year, the APR increases to a variable rate of 15.49% to 25.49%.

Annual Fee

As you may have suspected, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card does have some drawbacks — in this case, an annual fee of $95.

Read more: Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Other Fees

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card also comes with some additional fees:

  • Balance transfer fee – Either $5 or 3% (whichever is greater).
  • Cash advance fee – Either $10 or 5% (whichever is greater).
  • Foreign transaction fee – 2.7%.
  • Late fee – $40.

Other Benefits

On top of this card’s impressive rewards system, cardholders can also boost their rewards through Amex Offers.

Amex Offers rewards you for purchases made at a variety of stores and services. You’ll have the option to select featured deals, which you can redeem by spending a set amount before the listed expiration date.

For example, recent Amex Offers have included getting a $25 statement credit when you make a single purchase of $99 at hbomax.com, or a $30 statement credit for spending $150 at Ray-Ban.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card Pros & Cons

Pros

Attractive Rewards

You’ll earn 6% back on groceries (up to $6,000 annually) and select streaming services, 3% back on transit expenses (such as rideshare and parking), as well as 1% back on everything else.

Excellent Welcome Bonus

Receive 0% APR on purchases made in the first 12 months from account opening, as well as $400 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in the first six months.

Amex Offers

Earn more rewards through Amex Offers, which allows you to “clip coupons” within your account for popular brands like HBO Max, Ray-Ban, and more.

Buy Now, Pay Later

Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments.

Cons

Annual Fee

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card has an annual fee of $95, which is hefty compared to some alternative cash back cards.

Rewards Redeemed as Statement Credit

The cash back you earn using your Amex credit card is received in the form of Reward Dollars, which cardholders can redeem as statement credit.

Credit Requirements

To be approved for this credit card, you’ll need an excellent credit score, such as 700 or higher.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® vs. the Competition

 Amex Blue Cash Preferred® CardCiti® Double Cash CardChase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee$95$0$0
APR15.49% to 25.49% variable17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)18.74% - 27.49% Variable
Intro APR0% intro APR for the first 12 months N/A0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Cash back6% back on groceries (up to $6,000 annually) and select streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit and gas, and 1% back on all other purchases2% back on every purchase (unlimited 1% back when you buy, 1% back when you pay for those purchases)5% back on travel (purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®), 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus$400 statement credit when you spend $3,000 within your first six monthsN/AEarn an extra 1.5% back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent in the first year)

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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In A Nutshell

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer includes one of the best everyday cash back rewards rates available for cardholders. Earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay for your purchases.

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (regular APR of 17.74% – 27.74% Variable)

  • Earn 2% cash back on new purchases; unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

  • No annual fee

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 17.74% - 27.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases N/A , 0 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers , 18 months

Apply Now >>

Instead of offering high rewards rates for varying categories, the Citi® Double Cash Card provides a competitive cash back offer for everything.

Many popular cash back credit cards today offer 1% back, or occasionally 1.5%, on everyday purchases, but the Citi® Double Cash Card ups the ante with 2% cash back across the board.

However, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card does have Citi beat when it comes to welcome offers, since the intro bonus is slightly larger.

Read more: Citi® Double Cash Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® opens up with a terrific intro offer; earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back! Tack on a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (standard 18.74% – 27.49% Variable APR) add to that a strong everyday rewards program and it’s a terrific option for anyone looking to save a ton of money on everyday purchases.

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; then a variable APR of 18.74% – 27.49%.

  • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 18.74% - 27.49%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
18.74% - 27.49% Variable
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months , 15 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months , 15 months

Apply Now >>

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® provides excellent rewards for travel (5%), dining (3%), and drugstores (3%), as well as a blanket 1.5% back on everything else.

But thanks to their generous welcome offer, every category earns an additional 1.5% in the first year (up to $20,000 in purchases). In other words, you won’t receive just 1.5% back on groceries and gas, but actually 3% in the first year.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders also receive 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months. And there’s no annual fee.

Read more: Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review

Should You Get the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card?

If you know you’ll spend $3,000 during the first six months after opening your card, at least $125 every two weeks at U.S. supermarkets, and/or you’re looking for a credit card that offers excellent cash back for gas, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card is a great option.

This said, keep in mind that your rewards come in the form of statement credit, and you’ll have an annual fee of $95.

How to Apply for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card

First of all, you’ll need an excellent credit score to apply for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card — 700 or higher. After that, the rest is a piece of cake.

You’ll need to provide some basic personal details first, such as your name, date of birth, and contact information. The application will also request your Social Security number and information about your income, so American Express can review your credit history.

American Express will then review your application and reach out to let you know if you’ve been approved.

The Bottom Line

Do you spend hundreds of dollars on groceries each month? What about gas for your work commute or road trips? If either (or both) of these sound like you, you may want to consider applying for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card.

Keep in mind, however, that this cash back card does come with a $95 annual fee, it requires excellent credit to be approved, and your rewards come in the form of statement credit.

Featured image: Mix and Match Studio/Shutterstock.com

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About the author

Photo of MoneyUnder30 writer Kate Van Pelt
Total Articles: 51
Kate Van Pelt is a writer and editor based in the Pacific Northwest. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management and English and has established her professional career in marketing and research writing. Since 2015, Kate has created educational materials covering a variety of financial topics, from home loans and credit cards to retirement accounts and estate planning. She spends her free time thrift shopping, making cocktails, and enjoying the outdoors with her dogs, Vira and Elmer.