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American Express Blue Cash Preferred Review

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

The ideal card for those spending a lot on groceries.

This is the card that is considered to be one of the best in terms of the elite cash back rewards. The card will be advantageous for those making big purchases at gas stations and grocery stores.

The card promises as much as 6% cash back on the purchases made at the US supermarkets. Besides, you get 3% cash back for purchases at gas stations and the US department stores that you choose beforehand. For all the rest purchases the rewards rate of 1% applies. However, you need to pay attention to the fact that the card comes with the annual fee of $95. That’s a very steep fee to pay especially considering the fact that there are credit cards with no annual fee available.

Even though there is a high annual fee, the card is very popular among those who spend a lot on groceries. For example, it’ll help big families save a considerable sum of money. In order to find out whether the card is ideal for you or not, ask yourself the following question – “Will I be able to spend enough to offset the annual fee?” We aim to help you find the answer for the question. That’s why we provide the up-to-date and detailed information on the card below.

General information on the card


  • One of the highest rewards rates in terms of the purchases at the US supermarkets.
  • A very appealing sign-up bonus.


  • No APR “bonus” period.
  • You’re expected to pay a rather high annual fee. Still, if you spend at least $31 on the groceries at the US supermarkets, you’ll easily make up for it.
  • You can have problems when trying to use the card outside of the US.
  • The minimal sum of money you can request for redemption amounts to $25.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

  • APR Special Offer: There is no fee on purchases and balance transfer operations you carry out during the first 12 months.
  • Standard APR amounts to 13.99 – 24.99%. The rate varies. Cash Advance APR amounts to 26.24% but can also vary. A different APR applies in case you don’t pay off for the purchases made on time. The rate amounts to up to 29.99% but it can also vary.
  • The fee you have to pay each year is $95.
  • Special Offer: If you manage to spend $1,000 during the first 3 months of using the card, you’ll get $200 statement credit. Pay attention to the fact that the offer is a subject to certain terms and conditions.

More information on the card:

  • If you meet all the necessary requirements, you can get $200 statement credit.
  • If you manage to spend the sum of $6,000 during a year, you’ll get a cash back of 6% for the purchases made in the US retail stores. If you don’t spend that much, you’ll still get a cash back of 1%.
  • If you have a car, this card will be also useful for you. You can get 3% cash back for the purchases made at the US gas stations. For any other kinds of purchases, you’ll earn 1% cash back.
  • No APR for the purchases and transfer operations carried out during the first 12 months is a huge advantage of the card.
  • The number of stores and places in the US where you can pay using this card is constantly increasing.
  • Each year you have to pay the fee of $95.
  • You can request your reward as a gift card, statement credit or merchandise.
  • The offers and rates concerning the card are subjects to certain terms.

The reasons for you to consider applying for the card

For many of those looking for a good cash-back card, the annual fee of $95 may be a reason to doubt whether it’s beneficial to apply for the card. There is no reason for a doubt here. The only thing you need to consider is whether or not you can spend enough per one week to easily and quickly make up for the fee. If you manage to “qualify” for the Special Offer that’s valid during the first year of you using the card, you’ll offset all the costs on the card that occur during the first year. So what exactly make this card ideal for you?

Very appealing rewards to earn for the purchases at the US supermarkets. The card promises a truly amazing rewards rate for the sums spent on food at the US supermarkets. You’ll be rewarded a cash back of 6% on the total sum of up to $6,000 that you spend within 1 year. Once you exceed this “limit” the rewards rate of 1% will apply. As a rule, a family of 4 spends at least $5,800 on groceries per year. Apart from this, there are also big sums spent on personal care products, housekeeping supplies and other items a family may need. It means that it’s quite easy for a relatively big family to get the 6% cash back.

Our tip: If you want to get a cash back of 6% for other kinds of purchases, you can buy gift cards at the supermarket using this card.

At this point, the card may seem just perfect to you. However, there is one thing that makes it not that great – the high reward mentioned applies only to the purchases made at supermarkets. American Express’ definition of the term differs from the common one. Wholesale clubs, Sam’s Club, Target, Wal-Mart specialty food stores and a couple of other stores are not considered to be a supermarket according to the definition. Consequently, if you decide to get the card, you’ll have to buy your food at certain places to be able to get the rewards promised.

Rewards for purchases at gas stations and department stores. The card is ideal for those spending a lot on gas as well as those buying items at department stores very often. The rewards rate promised amounts to 3% and the number of rewards you can earn isn’t limited. At the same time, there are also some things to consider:

  • You get the highest rewards only for making purchases at traditional stand-alone gas stations. It means that you need to forget going to warehouse clubs, superstores and supermarkets that sell gas.
  • There is a list of qualifying department stores as well. Only those purchases made at the stores will bring you the highest reward possible. The AMEX card doesn’t imply any rewards for the purchases at Target and Wal-Mart, but promises to reward you for buying at a number of well-known places. For example, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Sears. Still, if you prefer making purchases at one of the stores that refers to your regional department store chains, you may not be able to get cash back on them.

A great sign-up bonus. In case you manage to spend $1,000 during the first 3 months of using the card, you’ll get $200 statement credit. Not all the credit cards available offer sign-up bonuses. The bonus will offset the annual fee you have to pay for the card.

The reasons for you to consider a different card

Even though the card stands out due to its high rewards rates and a very appealing special offer, it won’t suit anyone. Below, you’ll find information on disadvantages that may serve as reasons for you to refuse applying for the card.

A rather high annual fee. In case you decide to get the card that comes with an annual fee, it means that you’ll have to pay some money even before you start to actually using your card. Consequently, there is a need for you to earn enough rewards to make up for the sum spent. Of course, cash back cards are much easier and straightforward in their systems of crediting rewards to clients. Unlike the special airline rewards cards or some cards offering you an access to lounges all over the world as a reward, with cash back credit cards it all comes down to dollars. Well, this card promises you a very advantageous rewards rate of 6% on the sums spent on groceries. Make some simple calculations and you’ll find out that you need spend only $31 per week. If your family is big, you’re very likely to exceed the limit. The majority of those who have the card have no problems with offsetting the annual fee. A sign-up bonus that’s also easy to get only contributes to their success. Still, these facts are not enough for those who just don’t want to pay any fees. Such like people, most often, end up applying for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. It implies no fee to pay each year but offers almost the same rewards rates.

Some people wonder what sum they should spend to not only make up for the annual fee, but also get some value. If you want to earn with the card, you need to spend at least $61 per week.

Apart from the no fee cash back card mentioned above, there are other worth-considering options. For example, there is the Citi® Double Cash Card that offers you the total of 2% cash back – 1 % for purchasing with the card and 1% for paying your purchases off. If this is not what you’re looking for, you may apply for either the Chase Freedom® or Discover it® – Cashback Match™. The cards come with bonus categories that you’ll need to activate every quarter of a year. When making purchases in the bonus categories you chose, you’ll get 5% cash back. The lists of bonus categories are constantly expanding.

Citi Double Cash Card               Chase Freedom               Discover it - Cashback Match

A limit in terms of the sum to that the cash back rate applies. Remember that once you exceed the sum of $6,000, all your future purchases will bring you only 1% cash back. The offer becomes valid again at the beginning of the next year. However, there is also a solution here. You can buy gift cards and use them to your advantage.

The card is not accepted everywhere. The AMEX cards are not accepted widely. This also refers to their international acceptance. Consequently, you’d better not take this card with you when going to travel. Even if you succeed in finding a place where you can pay with the card, be ready to pay extra 2.7% for the purchases made abroad.

Summary: Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred your ideal option?

If you’re fine with the restrictions implied by the card and you agree to pay the annual fee of $95, don’t hesitate applying for the card.

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Comments: 3
  1. ScottLarry

    Hello. I want to know if it’s possible to use the rewards earned with the card to buy at Amazon? I tried to do it but failed. I got a message saying that I need to have a Membership Rewards account to be able to buy with the rewards. I called the customer support service. They said I can’t get the status for my card.

    1. Mike

      Hello there! Everything is right. The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred allows you to redeem your rewards as statement credits.

  2. HopeSanders

    I don’t recommend anyone to even bother considering to apply for this card. The benefits promised are never given to you as a matter of fact. I really regretted my decision to get the card. As it turned out, to get the reward on gas you should come to buy at “one of the participating members” places. I re-read my agreement several times and failed to find the information. The same goes for a number of other restrictions that you’ll find out about when using the card.

    This is the worst credit card I’ve ever had so far. Fortunately, I managed to cancel it very fast.

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