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Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Review: Earn More Cash Back on Groceries and Gas

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*Review accurate as of 8/31/23.

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 $250 statement credit 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 ongoing 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.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Welcome Offer

Earn $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

Rewards

Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year; 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and; 1% Cash Back point on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee, then $95

Our Thoughts

An excellent credit card for families looking to earn top rewards for everyday spending.

Offer details accurate as of 9/6/23

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card Overview

  • Best for – Groceries and gas.
  • Sign-up bonus – Earn $250 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.

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.

Bonuses

New cardholders can earn $250 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.

APR

Along with the $250 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 the ongoing variable rate.

Annual Fee

As you may have suspected, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card does have some drawbacks — in this case, the ongoing annual fee is $95, but it does come with an intro annual fee of $0 the first year.

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 – Up to $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 $250 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 intro annual fee of $0, then $95.
  • 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.

The competition

  Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card Citi® Double Cash Card Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee $0 intro annual fee, then $95 $0 $0
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months 0% intro APR for the first 18 months on balance transfer 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months & 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (after that the ongoing rate of 20.49% - 29.24% Variable applies)
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 2% 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 (after the first year or $20,000 spent in purchases)
Sign-up bonus $250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 within your first six months N/A Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® vs Citi® Double Cash Card

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.

Card info has been independently collected by MoneyUnder30 to help consumers better compare cards. The financial institution did not provide or approve card details.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® vs Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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. This applies after the first year or once you spend $20,000 on the card. 

But thanks to their generous welcome offer, every category earns an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other 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 & 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (after that the ongoing rate of 20.49% - 29.24% Variable applies). And there’s no annual fee.

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 to pay an annual fee of $95 after the first year.

How to Apply for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card

First of all, you’ll need an excellent credit score to get approved 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 the $0 intro annual fee expires after the first year (then $95 annual fee applies), it requires excellent credit to be approved, and your rewards come in the form of statement credit.

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