Updated on 09.21.17

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Review

Earn huge rewards on groceries and gas.

If your family spends a lot on groceries and gas, you could earn big rewards with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With this card, you’ll earn an amazing 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on the first $6,000 you spend every year (then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else.

And since rewards are redeemable for cash back in the form of statement credits, you won’t have to worry about navigating the complex world of travel rewards – or figuring out the best way to redeem your points. With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll earn cash back that you can use in any way you prefer.

Here are some of the key features this card offers:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Highlights:

  • $200 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%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: An Overview

With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll earn cash back that is redeemable for statement credits against future or current purchases. A family spending $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets – that’s $500 a month, in line with the average American family’s grocery budget – and earning the 6% cash back could feasibly redeem their statement credits for a flat $360 at the end of the year. For a lot of families, that means getting their last few weeks of groceries for free – which is a pretty sweet deal.

Obviously, families who spend a lot on gas could benefit from this card as well. Since you earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, the cash back you earn could add up quickly if you fill up often. An average family spending $200 per month on gas, for example, would earn $72 a year in gas rewards alone. And those rewards can be earned with little effort on your part, aside from making sure you use your card for all of your gas purchases.

Other perks offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express include a roadside assistance hotline, free car rental loss and damage insurance, a global assistance hotline for travel questions and inquiries, and travel accident insurance that will provide benefits to your family in the event of accidental death. Further, the card offers extended warranties on qualified purchases, merchandise return protection, fraud dispute resolution coverage, and purchase protection against accidental damage or theft. All of these perks are yours simply for signing up for the card and becoming an American Express credit customer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

While getting a Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could be beneficial for both heavy and light credit users, certain strategies can help you maximize its benefits. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your card:

Use your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express for U.S. supermarkets purchases up to $6,000 each year. You simply cannot beat the 6% cash back you earn at U.S. supermarkets with this card each year. After you reach that maximum, however, you might want to put your grocery spending on another one of the top rewards cards for more flexibility.

Use your card for gas. With 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers far better rewards in this category than most competitors. Use your card for all of your gas purchases, year-round.

Who This Card Is Good For

  • Someone who spends at least $6,000 on groceries each year
  • Those who drive for work or commute by car and spend a lot on gas
  • People who don’t want to deal with complex rewards programs

Who This Card Isn’t Good For

  • Someone who wants to transfer their rewards to different travel programs
  • Big spenders who might benefit more from a card with higher spending caps for top rewards categories
  • Someone who never wants to pay an annual fee

The Bottom Line

By offering 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is geared toward families who spend a lot in these common categories each year, yet don’t want to keep track of a messy rewards program. Since there is no enrollment required and no rotating categories to keep track off, earning and redeeming points with this card is a truly simple and painless experience.

The one caveat to watch out for, however, is that this card does charge a $95 annual fee. While most families can easily recoup that through their regular spending – and the sign-up bonus alone covers the cost of the first two years of membership – you will want to keep this fee in mind if you plan to keep this card for the long run.

A No-Fee Alternative: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

If you’re on the fence about paying an annual fee, you can also consider the no-fee alternative to this card – the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. With this card, you’ll earn 3% cash back on your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else.

The cash back you earn is good for statement credits that can cover any type of purchase. However, you won’t have to pay an annual fee for the privilege.

Here are some additional details for the no-fee version, so you can compare benefits and perks:

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Highlights:

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
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