Personally, I love earning points for my credit card spending, though understandably a lot of people prefer to earn cash back. After all, you can spend cash back for anything you’d like, including travel. While American Express is known for its excellent points earning cards (especially those earning Membership Rewards points), the issuer also has several great cash back cards.
In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at one of those cards, which is a great fit for many consumers, especially families that spend a lot at supermarkets. The card has even recently undergone some positive changes.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card Basics For November 2022
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a premium cash back credit card that has a great welcome offer, offers up to 6% cash back, and gives you access to some other potentially useful perks.
However, this card isn’t for everyone, so let’s take a closer look at who should and shouldn’t consider the Blue Cash Preferred for their spending.
$250 Statement Credit Welcome Offer
The Blue Cash Preferred offers a welcome offer where you can earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 within the first six months.
Card Eligibility & Approval
The welcome offer on the Blue Cash Preferred is only available to those who haven’t had the card before. I find that Amex cards are fairly easy to be approved for, for those with excellent credit. Just make sure you know that:
- You can be approved for at most two Amex cards in a 90 day period
- You can have at most five American Express credit cards at any point (this doesn’t include hybrid cards)
2.7% Foreign Transaction Fees
I wouldn’t recommend using the Blue Cash Preferred outside of the U.S. (or for purchases in foreign currencies), given that the card has foreign transaction fees of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars (Rates & Fees). There are lots of other great cards with no foreign transaction fees.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card Rewards
If you’re considering getting the Blue Cash Preferred Card, the reason to do it is because of the excellent cash back bonus categories that the card offers. With this card you can earn anywhere from 1% to 6% cash back, depending on the category that you’re spending money in.
Let’s take a closer look at how that works.
6% Cash Back At U.S. Supermarkets
The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 of spending every calendar year. After that, you earn 1% cash back. As far as I’m concerned, this is the single best cash back credit card for grocery store spending.
6% Cash Back On Streaming
The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. For those wondering what U.S. streaming subscriptions are eligible for 6% (subject to change), here is the current list:
- Amazon Music Unlimited
- Apple Music
- Apple TV+
- DirecTV Stream (formerly known as AT&T TV or AT&T TV NOW)
- Fubo TV
- HBO Max
- HBO (standalone streaming subscription only, formerly known as HBONow)
- Kindle Unlimited
- NBA League Pass
- Prime Video
- Sling TV
- SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
- TIDAL Music
- YouTube Music Premium
- YouTube Premium
- YouTube TV
3% Cash Back On Transit
The Blue Cash Preferred offers 3% cash back on transit, including taxis, ridesharing, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. This is one of the best cash back credit cards for ridesharing.
3% Cash Back On Gas
The Blue Cash Preferred offers 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations with no caps. Note that this doesn’t include gas purchased from superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs that sell fuel. That makes this one of the better cards for gas station purchases.
1% Cash Back On Other Purchases
For any purchases not in the above categories, the Blue Cash Preferred offers 1% cash back. While the bonus categories offer some great returns, the 1% cash back is disappointing. There are other cards that offer 2%+ cash back on all your spending.
Up To $120 Equinox+ Credit Annually
The Blue Cash Preferred now offers up to $120 in Equinox+ credits annually (enrollment required) — use your Blue Cash Preferred to pay for Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com and receive $10 in monthly statement credits. Obviously this isn’t for everyone, but if you were otherwise going to pay for Equinox+, then this will more than cover the annual fee on the card right there.
Up To $84 Disney Bundle Credit Annually
The card offers up to $84 back annually toward The Disney Bundle (enrollment required); Get a $7 monthly statement credit after using your enrolled Blue Cash Preferred Card to spend $13.99 or more each month on a subscription to the Disney Bundle. Valid only at Disneyplus.com, Hulu.com, or Plus.espn.com in the U.S
Redeeming Blue Cash Preferred Rewards
With the Blue Cash Preferred, you earn Blue Cash Rewards Dollars. You can redeem these Dollars for statement credits whenever your available balance is $25 or more. You cannot use cash back to pay your minimum due.
The Blue Cash Preferred gets you access to the phenomenal Amex Offers program, which can save you money on purchases with a variety of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many Amex cards as possible, so that you can get these offers on multiple cards. Across cards, this benefit saves me hundreds of dollars per year.
Is The Amex Blue Cash Preferred Worth It?
If you’re someone who is looking to earn cash back and spends a lot at supermarkets, then the Blue Cash Preferred Card is an exceptional choice, in my opinion — 6% cash back will add up quickly.
The 6% cash back on streaming, and 3% cash back on transit and gas stations, will add up quickly as well. If you’d otherwise pay for Equinox+, then this alone would be a reason to get the card, as the up to $120 in equinox and $up to $84 in Disney bundle annual credits could be worth more than the annual fee.
However, this isn’t the card I would be using for your everyday spending, as you’d only earn 1% cash back in the categories that aren’t eligible for bonuses. So I’d acquire this card specifically with the intent of using it in the categories offering bonuses.
So, let’s take a look at what other cards you should potentially be considering.
Showdown: Blue Cash Everyday Vs. Blue Cash Preferred
- The Blue Cash Everyday has an ongoing $0 annual fee (Rates & Fees), compared to a $95 annual fee you’ll pay on the Blue Cash Preferred after the first year
- The Blue Cash Everyday has an up to $250 welcome offer (Earn up to $150 back when you shop with PayPal. Earn 20% back as a statement credit on purchases when you use your new Card to check out with PayPal at merchants in the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back as a statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.), versus a $250 welcome offer on the Blue Cash Preferred
- The Blue Cash Everyday offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (on up to $6,000 of spending per year per category, then 1%), and 1% cash back on other purchases
In my opinion, the Blue Cash Preferred is well worth the ongoing annual fee, as the 3% bump in cash back at U.S. supermarkets will add up quickly. The only exception is if you value some of the unique Blue Cash Everyday bonus categories, like 3% cash back for U.S. online retail purchases. The card was recently improved, making it more competitive.
Furthermore, you could always apply for the Blue Cash Preferred, and if the card isn’t working for you after a year, you can downgrade it to the Blue Cash Everyday.
Simple No Annual Fee Cash Back Card
If you’re just looking for the simplest cash back credit card, it’s tough to go wrong with the Citi® Double Cash Card (review). The card offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase. That’s a solid return on everyday spending.
If you spend a lot on groceries and want to earn cash back, then the Blue Cash Preferred is for you. Personally, I don’t have this card because I value earning rewards toward travel, but for those who don’t want to get involved in the complexities of miles & points, this is an excellent card. After all, you can always redeem cash back for travel if you want.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).