The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best credit cards for everyday purchases and commuting. It includes a generous cash-back percentage that families, shoppers and commuters can benefit from. While it has a minimal annual fee, this can be quickly offset by cash-back rewards with a few small purchases.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card is mostly for local travelers and those with large families. It’s also ideal for those who do a lot of grocery shopping and commuting and use streaming services. It’s not ideal for overseas travelers as the rewards only include stores and services within the United States. However, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is from American Express, and it includes lucrative membership advantages and other reward privileges.
The Essentials of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card
- Introductory Offer: 0% APR for 12 months. After that, there is an APR of 14.49%-25.49% variable.
- Annual Fee: $95.
- Primary Feature: 6% cash-back rewards for up to $6,000 annually in U.S. supermarket purchases. It then drops to 1% cash-back rewards. Cardholders receive 3% cash-back rewards on transit services.
- Introductory Bonus Offer: Cardholders can earn $250 in cash-back rewards if they spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months. They can then receive the $250 in statement credit.
What’s Interesting about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card
American Express is appealing to millennial shoppers and cord cutters with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card. It includes rewards for U.S. streaming services, shopping and transit. Transit purchases can include tolls, parking and ride-share services while streaming services can include Hulu, Netflix, ESPN, Pandora and other services.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card has a few incentives that separate it from the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card has no annual fee, but its rewards are slightly lower than those of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card. The 0% introductory APR lasts for 12 months. When the introductory period ends, the variable APR starts at a range of 14.49% – 25.49% variable. Cardholders will find that if they spend about $33 on groceries every week or $132 a month, they can quickly offset the annual fee. They also have several options for redeeming their reward dollars. They can receive a statement credit or a check by mail, or request a gift card.
Things to Consider
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card is not ideal for shoppers who prefer specialty markets, warehouse clubs and superstores. These stores aren’t considered supermarkets. Additionally, stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are not eligible for the 6% cash-back rewards. Cardholders would only receive a 1% cash-back rewards at these locations. However, the associated store chains include Whole Foods and Vons.
Another concern with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is that the cash-back rewards are location-based. Rewards aren’t available at stores and gas stations outside the U.S. or gas stations at superstores and warehouse clubs. Cord cutters with Amazon accounts might also have concerns. While not a deal breaker, streaming services don’t include Amazon Prime fees unless they are stand-alone accounts.
Cardholders will also find that there’s a 2.7% foreign transaction fee if they use their American Express overseas. Hence, local travel and shopping with this card will give cardholders more cash-back rewards and fewer fees.
The other concern is the annual fee as some cardholders prefer no annual fee. If this is the case, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card, which involves no annual fee, might be a better alternative.
How to Get the Most from This Card
Cardholders with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card have strategic ways they can maximize their savings. They can combine their card with other savings cards and by shopping at discount U.S. supermarkets. The spending limit is $6,000 at 6% rewards before it switches to 1% rewards. Hence, cardholders can expect to receive a maximum of $360 in cash-back rewards. If cardholders reach the $6,000 spending limit, they might then switch to a different American Express card with cash-back rewards over 1%.
Options might include the Blue Cash Everyday® Card, which has a $150 cash bonus offer when spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Another option would be to switch to the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, which also has the same cash bonus offer and spending limit as the Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
Other Card Options That Might Interest You
Consumers who prefer budgeting their groceries might enjoy the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card. It includes 5% cash back rewards for Walmart.com & Walmart app, Grocery Pickup and Delivery at Walmart stores, 2% cash back rewards for Walmart & Murphy USA Fuel Stations, Restaurants & travel and 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted.
For families who shop in bulk and don’t want to stop shopping at superstores and warehouse clubs, Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi might be an option. Cardholders who are Costco executive members can earn 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter. They can also earn 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Another selling point with Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is that it includes 3% cash-back rewards for restaurants. While there’s no annual fee for that particular card, a Costco Gold Star membership is $60 annually and executive membership is $120. However, cardholders who do a lot of shopping can quickly earn this back in cash-back rewards.
The Final Word
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card is ideal for shoppers, cord cutters, large families and commuters. As American Express creates more flexible cash-back rewards, this card offers rewards streamlined for their shopping preferences.
A cash bonus offer and a lucrative 6% cash-back reward incentive make this a go-to card for daily purchases. However, consumers who travel abroad can’t tap into the cash-back rewards because this card is only for U.S. stores and streaming services. Despite this, cardholders will find that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card gives them enough cash-back rewards to cover the $95 annual fee.
Given that there are several advantages with having an American Express card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card adds value for cardholders who want a go-to card as rewards can quickly add up.