Blue Cash Preferred from American Express Card: Big Cash Back, Small Annual Fee

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express Card: Big Cash Back, Small Annual Fee

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Editor's Rating

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Great cashback option for individuals spending at least $1,000 per month at supermarkets.

Good For

  • Generous cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; Wide variety of other bonus categories, including transit and streaming services; Large welcome bonus for new cardholders; Purchase protections

Bad For

  • $95 annual fee; Bonus on U.S. supermarket purchases is capped at $6,000 each year.
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Editor's Rating

?
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}

Great cashback option for individuals spending at least $1,000 per month at supermarkets.

Good For

  • Generous cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; Wide variety of other bonus categories, including transit and streaming services; Large welcome bonus for new cardholders; Purchase protections

Bad For

  • $95 annual fee; Bonus on U.S. supermarket purchases is capped at $6,000 each year.
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The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of our favorite cashback credit cards. Compared to other outstanding cashback cards, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has the potential to net even more rewards for your spending.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

$95

13.99%-23.99% Variable

Good/Excellent

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: great if you can maximize the spending categories

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a high rewards rate on two categories that make up most of people’s budgets. You earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

The U.S. supermarket rewards rate is the highest bonus percentage we’ve seen for that category. While the 6% can only be earned on the first $6,000 of U.S. supermarket spending in the year, it’s still an exceptional rate for U.S. supermarket purchases compared to other credit cards. A 3% cash back rate on U.S gas stations is above average as well.

The card also offers 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back on transit including taxis and rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. These accelerated bonuses more than make up for the card's $95 annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express benefits and features

In addition to the cashback earnings, the card comes with other notable benefits, such as a generous welcome bonus and lifestyle benefits.

Great welcome offer

When you are approved for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you will have the opportunity to Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

This is one of the largest cash-based offers currently available, making the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express a great competitor against other cashback credit cards.

Shopping benefits

When you shop with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you can purchase with confidence knowing you have return and purchase protection from American Express.

Return protection will cover eligible purchases if the merchant will not accept the return up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund up to $300 per item, up to $1,000 per year per account.

Purchase protection covers eligible items for 90 days if they are stolen or damaged. American Express covers up to $1,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per eligible card.

Also, you receive complimentary Shoprunner membership. Shoprunner earns you free two day shipping and returns on eligible items from over 100 retailers, like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

Alternatives to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

We've picked out a few other top cashback credit cards to help you pick the right cashback credit card for your wallet.

Earn 5% back on rotating categories

The Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter, up to a quarterly maximum each time you activate. The quarterly categories for 2020 are:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs
  • Q3 (Jul-Sept): Restaurants and PayPal
  • Q4 (Oct-Dec): Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com

These categories are accessible to nearly all consumers. However, the 5% cash back has a limit of $1,500 in spending, which means that you will maximize this category at $75 each quarter. Anything past the $1,500 threshold each quarter will earn 1% cash back.

The Discover it® Cash Back also matches all cash back earned in the first year of card membership. For example, if you earn $300 in the first year, Discover will match that $300 to total $600 in cash back.

If you can remember to activate the categories each quarter and the categories fit your spending patterns, you can earn a high rate of cash back with the Discover it® Cash Back card.

Customizable cashback categories

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is another great selection for consumers interested in a cashback credit card with tiered rewards.

The Bank of America gives the following cash back, with a bit of added flexibility:

  • 3% cash back on one of the following selected categories: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1% cash back on everything else. The 3% category can be manually selected, or it will automatically default to gas.

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card also comes with a large $200 after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening

Good earning categories and consumer protections

Similar to the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, the Chase Freedom® lets you Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The categories for 2020 are:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): Gas stations, internet services, phone services and select streaming services
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): Grocery stores (Walmart and Target not included), fitness club and gym memberships
  • Q3 (Jul-Sept): TBD
  • Q4 (Oct-Dec): TBD

Plus, the purchases you make with the Chase Freedom® card come with great consumer protection policies, like purchase protection and extended warranty protection. These policies will protect you against damage, theft and faulty products.

On the downside, the Chase Freedom® categories aren’t posted until two weeks prior to the beginning of a quarter, so it can be hard to estimate the cash back you could earn. However, the categories do not change significantly from year to year. Check out our Chase Freedom® cash back categories guide to see what categories have been posted in the past.

The information related to the Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Comparison Tool

Our comparison tool can help you evaluate how each credit card works for your budget and spending habits. Check out the different options below and click on the gear icon to adjust the spending amount in each category.

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Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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