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Amex Blue Cash Preferred card review: A big bonus and 6% cash back at supermarkets is hard to beat

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 23 Feb 2021


<bi-shortcode id="disclaimer" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="pointsguy">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="credit-card" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432" data-type="undefined">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-shortcode><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><bi-shortcode id="table-of-contents-sticky" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="h2">Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky</bi-shortcode><h2>Review: Is the Blue Cash Preferred the best card for you'</h2><p>If you spend a lot on groceries, streaming, or commuting, the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> is one of the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-cash-back-credit-cards" target="_blank" rel="noopener">best cash-back credit cards</a> for getting the biggest return for your purchases.</p><p>Along with offering a <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode>, the&nbsp;<bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> earns 6% back on your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending each year (then 1% back), which is the best of any cash-back card on the market. You'll also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back on U.S. gas stations and transit, and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.</p><bi-shortcode id="related-article-module" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="5bc9ee63f5d5cc2b815cb8eb" data-title="The best cash-back credit cards of February 2021" data-url="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-cash-back-credit-cards" data-thumbnail="https://i.insider.com/5ea73ecc5bd7a52abc19b6e4" data-shortcode-display-text="Related Article Module: The best cash-back credit cards of February 2021">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><p>The card does come with an annual fee of <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d"> $95 (waived the first year if you apply by 12/10/2020)</bi-inline-shortcode> <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="(See Rates)" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express - Rates &amp; Fees</bi-inline-shortcode>, but it's well worth it if your expenses match with the card's bonus categories. If you max out the U.S. supermarkets 6% cash-back category by spending $6,000 per year (or $500 a month, on average), you'd earn $360 in cash back from those purchases alone.</p><p>Before you decide if the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> is right for you, be sure to consider other cash-back cards with bonus categories that might also fit your spending habits. For example, the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">Chase Freedom Unlimited</bi-inline-shortcode> offers a bonus of <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">Chase Freedom Unlimited</bi-inline-shortcode> and has a <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">Chase Freedom Unlimited</bi-inline-shortcode> annual fee, and it earns 5% back on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-ultimate-rewards-travel-portal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">travel booked through Chase</a>, 3% back on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% back on everything else with no spending caps.</p><aside class="quick-tip headline-regular"><p><strong>Bottom line: </strong>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> is an excellent cash-back card for consumers who spend a lot of money at U.S. supermarkets, use streaming services, or have lots of commuting and gas expenses. The annual fee of <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d"> $95 (waived the first year if you apply by 12/10/2020)</bi-inline-shortcode> is worth it if your typical spending lines up with the card's bonus categories.</p></aside><aside class="quick-tip headline-regular"><bi-shortcode id="disclaimer" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="pfifinancialresponsibility">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode></aside><h2>Comparison: American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs other Amex cards</h2><table style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 100%; height: 229px;" border="1"><tbody><tr style="height: 97px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82478e671de00a8c34aec2">Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e8df52315ea4b38727243c8">Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Annual fee</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d"> $95 (waived the first year if you apply by 12/10/2020)</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82478e671de00a8c34aec2">Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb26b78dac123946900c5">(See Rates)</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e8df52315ea4b38727243c8">Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Rewards earning</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets*</p><p>6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions</p><p>3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit</p><p>1% back on all other purchases</p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets*</p><p>2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores</p><p>1% back on all other purchases</p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>3x points at U.S. supermarkets*</p><p>2x points at U.S. gas stations</p><p>1 point per dollar on all other purchases</p></td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Welcome bonus</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82478e671de00a8c34aec2">$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">15,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening</td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Foreign transaction fee</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>Yes <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="(See Rates)" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express - Rates &amp; Fees</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Yes <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb26b78dac123946900c5">(See Rates)</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Yes</td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Intro APR offer</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="(See Rates)" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express - Rates &amp; Fees</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months, then <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82478e671de00a8c34aec2">Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb26b78dac123946900c5">(See Rates)</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e8df52315ea4b38727243c8">Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td></tr><tr><td style="width: 25%;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 25%;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="Learn more" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="Learn more" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82478e671de00a8c34aec2">Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%;"><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/amex-everyday-preferred-card-review" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Learn more</a></td></tr></tbody></table><p>*6%/3% cash back/3x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1% back/1 point per dollar</p><h2>Comparison: American Express Blue Cash Preferred vs other cash-back cards</h2><table style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 100%; height: 229px;" border="1"><tbody><tr style="height: 97px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">Chase Freedom Unlimited</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 97px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e67d8a184159f65c42a8e05">Citi&nbsp;Double Cash Card</bi-inline-shortcode></td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Annual fee</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d"> $95 (waived the first year if you apply by 12/10/2020)</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">$0</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e67d8a184159f65c42a8e05">$0</bi-inline-shortcode></td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Rewards earning</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets*</p><p>6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions</p><p>3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit</p><p>1% back on all other purchases</p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards</p><p>3% cash back (3x points) on dining and drugstore purchases</p><p>1.5% cash back (1.5x points) on everything else</p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>1% cash back when you buy, plus 1% cash back when you pay your bill&nbsp;</p></td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Welcome bonus</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">$200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode>&nbsp;</p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">&nbsp;N/A</td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Foreign transaction fee</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;"><p>Yes <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="(See Rates)" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express - Rates &amp; Fees</bi-inline-shortcode></p></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">&nbsp;Yes</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Yes&nbsp;</td></tr><tr style="height: 22px;"><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">Intro APR offer</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, then <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months, then a <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">14.99%23.74% variable APR</bi-inline-shortcode>&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 25%; height: 22px;">0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e67d8a184159f65c42a8e05">13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)</bi-inline-shortcode> APR&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td style="width: 25%;">&nbsp;</td><td style="width: 25%;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="Learn more" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="Learn More" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e74250bc4854077bd14edb4">Chase Freedom Unlimited</bi-inline-shortcode></td><td style="width: 25%;"><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="Learn More" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e67d8a184159f65c42a8e05">Citi&nbsp;Double Cash Card</bi-inline-shortcode></td></tr></tbody></table><p>*6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1% back</p><h2>How to use rewards from the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card</h2><p>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> is a straightforward <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/best-cash-back-credit-cards" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cash-back credit card</a> that doesn't offer a lot of options for redeeming your rewards.</p><bi-shortcode id="related-article-module" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="5f15db521918246b603e1c72" data-title="Blue Cash Preferred versus Blue Cash Everyday: We compare two of the best Amex cards for cash back" data-url="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/blue-cash-preferred-vs-blue-cash-everyday-card-comparison" data-thumbnail="https://i.insider.com/5f16fc5119182438ac2a5014" data-shortcode-display-text="Related Article Module: Blue Cash Preferred versus Blue Cash Everyday: We compare two of the best Amex cards for cash back">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><p>The cash back you earn from the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> is issued in the form of reward dollars, which you can apply to your account as a statement credit once your balance is $25 or more. However, you can't use your rewards toward the minimum payment due.</p><p>You can't redeem your rewards directly for travel like you could if you had an <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-american-express-cards" target="_blank" rel="noopener">American Express card</a> that earns Membership Rewards points, like the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e78ea42671de024d00cf6b6">American Express Gold Card</bi-inline-shortcode>, or <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/american-express-membership-rewards-points-transfer-partners" target="_blank" rel="noopener">transfer them to airline or hotel partners</a>.</p><aside class="quick-tip headline-regular"><p><strong>Quick tip: </strong><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/transferable-credit-card-points-best-rewards-to-earn" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Transferable points</a>, like <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/amex-membership-rewards-points-ways-to-use" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Amex Membership Rewards</a> or <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/guide-earning-using-chase-ultimate-rewards-points" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Chase Ultimate Rewards</a>, are a good pick if you want the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/flexible-credit-card-points-non-travel-uses-2020-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener">flexibility to redeem rewards</a> for statement credits, merchandise, gift cards, or travel (when you're ready).</p></aside><p>If you prefer to only earn cash back, the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode><a href="https://thepointsguy.com/card-details/blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express/'utm_campaign=hj_120318_blue-cash-preferred-review&amp;utm_source=referral"></a> is a star. Not only do you earn 6% back on your first $6,000 spent in U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%), but you also earn 6% back (with no caps) on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-credit-cards-streaming-services" target="_blank" rel="noopener">streaming services</a>, including Hulu, Netflix, and Spotify. You'll also earn an unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, which includes everything from <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-credit-cards-earn-points-cash-back-rideshares" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lyft and Uber</a> to train fares, tolls, and subways.</p><p>Suppose you are the average family who spends a lot more than $6,000 per year (or $500 per month) at the supermarket. In fact, you spend $10,000 per year at Kroger or Whole Foods. With the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode>, you would earn $360 in cash back on the first $6,000 you spent and another $40 back earning 1% beyond the $6,000 cap each year. That's $400 already in the bank.</p><bi-shortcode id="related-article-module" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="5ff89fcbf01d69432573d2f3" data-title="I don't regret redeeming credit card rewards for cash back during the pandemichere's why I'm sticking to this strategy in 2021" data-url="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/credit-card-strategy-cash-back-pandemic-2021-1" data-thumbnail="https://i.insider.com/5f0c96ad3ad8617079005511" data-shortcode-display-text="Related Article Module: I don't regret redeeming credit card rewards for cash back during the pandemichere's why I'm sticking to this strategy in 2021">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><p>Now imagine you spend another $100 per month at U.S. gas stationsat 3% back, that's another $36 per year. Put $30 per month ($360 per year) in streaming services on the card, and you're approaching $500 per yearand that's not counting any other regular spending on the card or the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode>. <em>This&nbsp;</em>is why the annual fee is worth itespecially the first year.</p><p>If you maximize the 6% back at U.S. supermarkets, you'll get $360 in rewards every year at a bare minimum. That's more than enough to make up for the annual feeand a lot more than you'd earn with a standard 1% cash-back credit card.</p><aside class="breakout-box headline-regular"><h2>Alternatives to the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card</h2><ul><li><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e67d8a184159f65c42a8e05">Citi&nbsp;Double Cash Card</bi-inline-shortcode>: <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e67d8a184159f65c42a8e05">$0</bi-inline-shortcode> annual fee, 2% cash back on all purchases1% cash back when you buy, plus 1% cash back when you pay your bill (read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/citi-double-cash-card-review" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Citi Double Cash card review</a>)</li><li><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f5922dd1ad83a1b384746e3">Chase Freedom Flex</bi-inline-shortcode>: Earn a <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5f5922dd1ad83a1b384746e3">Chase Freedom Flex</bi-inline-shortcode>, $0 annual fee, 5% cash back on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-ultimate-rewards-travel-portal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards</a>, 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-freedom-card-quarterly-bonus-categories-calendar" target="_blank" rel="noopener">each quarter in rotating bonus categories</a> when you activate, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, 1% cash back on everything else (read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-freedom-flex-credit-card-review" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Chase Freedom Flex card review</a>)</li><li><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e83b2632d654f4045786176">Wells Fargo Propel American Express card</bi-inline-shortcode>: Earn <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e83b2632d654f4045786176">20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening</bi-inline-shortcode>, no annual fee, 3% cash back on travel, dining, and select streaming services, 1% back on all other purchases (read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/wells-fargo-propel-amex-review" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wells Fargo Propel card review</a>)</li><li><bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e8399cd487c226fc85f360d">Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card</bi-inline-shortcode>: <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="intro_bonus_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e8399cd487c226fc85f360d">Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card</bi-inline-shortcode>, <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="annual_fee_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e8399cd487c226fc85f360d">Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card</bi-inline-shortcode> annual fee, 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, 1% cash back on all other purchases (read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/capital-one-savor-card-review" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Capital One Savor card review</a>)</li></ul></aside><h2><strong>Amex Blue Cash Preferred card benefits and features</strong></h2><p>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> doesn't offer a long list of features like <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e78df992d654f251532f27d">The Platinum Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> and other <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-premium-credit-cards" target="_blank" rel="noopener">premium cards</a>, but it does offer a handful of helpful perks.</p><h3>Intro APR offer</h3><p>The card offers a 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months of account opening, followed by a <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">13.99% to 23.99% variable APR</bi-inline-shortcode> <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">(See Rates)</bi-inline-shortcode>.</p><bi-shortcode id="related-article-module" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="5edfd35b5af6cc6e1e7fb84e" data-title="The best 0% APR and low-interest credit cards of 2021" data-url="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-low-interest-credit-cards" data-thumbnail="https://i.insider.com/5edfddf74dca6807ee342ba3" data-shortcode-display-text="Related Article Module: The best 0% APR and low-interest credit cards of 2021">&nbsp;</bi-shortcode><p>This is helpful if you have big purchases coming up you'd like to pay for over time without racking up big interest charges, but make sure you have the means and a plan to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/should-you-use-0-apr-credit-card" target="_blank" rel="noopener">pay off the balance before the introductory period expires</a>. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a lot of <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/what-is-high-interest-debt" target="_blank" rel="noopener">high-interest debt</a>.</p><h3>Travel coverage and assistance</h3><p>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> isn't the card to use if you want <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-credit-cards-travel-insurance" target="_blank" rel="noopener">comprehensive travel coverage like trip delay protection</a>, but it does feature the following benefits:</p><ul><li><strong>Car rental loss and damage insurance </strong> This is secondary coverage, not <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/credit-cards-with-primary-rental-car-insurance" target="_blank" rel="noopener">primary car rental insurance</a>, so it kicks in after your own car insurance policy</li><li><strong>Global Assist Hotline </strong> You can contact this hotline for Amex cardholders for help coordinating assistance like medical referrals, translation services, and other urgent needs when you're on the road, but you're responsible for any third-party charges</li></ul><h3>Shopping benefits</h3><p>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> features a handful of protections that can come in handy when you shop with the card:</p><ul><li><strong>Return protection</strong>If you purchase an item with this card and the original seller won't accept a return, this coverage can get you up to $300 per eligible item (with a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year) for up to 90 days from the purchase date</li><li><strong><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/credit-card-purchase-protection-benefits-best-cards" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Purchase protection</a></strong>If an eligible item you purchased with this card is stolen or damaged, you can get reimbursed, up to $1,000 per purchase and up to 90 days from the purchase date (up to $50,000 per calendar year)</li><li><strong>ShopRunner membership</strong>You can get a free membership to ShopRunner, which gets you two-day shipping and returns with a wide variety of online retailers</li></ul><h3>Amex Offers</h3><p>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> offers access to the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/what-are-amex-offers-available-now" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Amex Offers program</a>. Amex Offers can get you cash back or bonus points when you shop with specific retailers and travel brands. You can view all your available offers by logging into your card account and scrolling down. Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming</p><aside class="quick-tip headline-regular"><p><strong>Quick tip: </strong>Amex Offers are targeted and vary by customer (and even card account). Be sure to click "enroll" to activate an offer, and use the Amex card associated with it to make an eligible purchase and earn the bonus points or cash back.</p></aside><bi-shortcode id="commerce-link" class="mceNonEditable" data-cardtype="credit-card" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432" data-type="undefined">American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-shortcode><h2>American Express Blue Cash Preferred fees and costs</h2><p>Aside from the annual fee, the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> has a few other fees you'll want to be aware of, though most of them are avoidable if you pay your balance off in full each month.</p><p>The <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases in the first 12 months of account opening, but after that you'll pay a <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="regular_apr_display" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="false" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">12.99% to 23.99% variable APR</bi-inline-shortcode>.</p><p>As with most other cards, the <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5e82417314f18f5a843aa432">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</bi-inline-shortcode> charges fees for late payments, returned payments, and cash advances <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">(See Rates)</bi-inline-shortcode>. It's not a good choice for international purchases because it adds <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-credit-cards-no-foreign-transaction-fees" target="_blank" rel="noopener">foreign transaction fees</a> <bi-inline-shortcode id="commerce-link" contenteditable="false" data-fields="product_editorial_name" data-customtext="" data-shouldlink="true" data-pid="5f4fb2a7eec8fb21075d530d">(See Rates)</bi-inline-shortcode>.</p><bi-shortcode id="related-content-module" class="mceNonEditable" data-type="more-credit-card-coverage" data-sheetname="More Credit Card Coverage">Related Content Module: More Credit Card Coverage</bi-shortcode><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/american-express-blue-cash-preferred-review#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p>
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