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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Here’s an interesting deal for folks who like cash back and spend a lot on wireless phone service!
With the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred, you can earn up to $350 back. And up to $300 back with the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday. But to earn the full bonus, you’ll have to spend $2,000 at US wireless phone providers by the end of 2016!
Let’s see if it’s worth signing-up!
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll earn $150 back (as a statement credit) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
And you’ll earn up to an additional $200 back by getting 10% back at US wireless telephone service providers, on the 1st $2,000 in purchases made on the your card, until December 31, 2016.
So this is only a better deal if you can spend a lot on your cell phone bill before the end of the year.
To get the offer, apply by June 15, 2016. The annual fee is $95 ($75 if your application is received by August 3, 2016) and is NOT waived the first year.
With this card, you’ll also get:
- 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
- 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores
- 1% cash back on everything else
- Terms and restrictions apply
This isn’t a good card to use overseas, because it adds a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a similar deal. Until June 15, 2016, you’ll earn $100 back (as a statement credit) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
And the same bonus structure applies. Earn up to an additional $200 back by getting 10% back at US wireless telephone service providers, on the 1st $2,000 in purchases made on the your card, until December 31, 2016.
This card has no annual fee. But it also adds foreign transaction fees.
You’ll also get:
- 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
- 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores
- 1% cash back on everything else
- NO annual fee
- Terms and restrictions apply
Note: American Express limits folks to 1 sign-up bonus per lifetime, per card. So if you’ve had either card in the past, you can’t earn the bonus again.
Remember, these are AMEX cards, so you’ll be eligible for discounts through AMEX Offers.
Is It Worth It?
Only if you’ll spend a significant amount on US wireless service by the end of the year. And if you don’t already have a card that earns a bonus on cell phone service!
For instance, you could pay your monthly bills through December 31, 2016, and pre-pay future bills to reach the maximum $2,000 in spending (to earn $200 back).
Suppose you spend $100 per month on cell phone service. If you got the card in April, and used it to pay your monthly bill until the end of the year, you’d spend $800 ($100 per month X 8 months).
By earning 10% back on those purchases, you’d get $80. You’d have to spend another $1,200 at US wireless providers to reach the $2,000 maximum and earn the full $200 cash back.
If your wireless provider allows you to pre-pay your bill for the next year, you could reach the limit. But then you’d have your money tied up with your cell phone company!
Another option could be to purchase a new phone directly from your wireless provider to earn 10% back. The terms don’t specify it has to be your monthly bill. So a direct purchase of a new phone from a US wireless provider should qualify (but I haven’t tried this myself!).
The terms clearly say that “purchases from third parties and resellers are excluded.” So you’d have to be 100% sure you’re purchasing directly from the wireless company (some wireless stores are franchises, so be careful!).
An Alternative Offer for These 2 Cards
If you’re not a big spender on wireless service, there are other offers for these cards which include an extra $50 statement credit on the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred, or a $25 statement credit on the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday after meeting spending requirements.
Other Cards Are a Better Deal
If you don’t already have a card that earns a bonus on cell phone service, you’ll likely do better signing-up for 1 of them.
- Chase Ink Plus – earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) on the 1st $50,000 spent per year in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
- Chase Ink Cash – earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) on the 1st $25,000 spent per year in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
- American Express SimplyCash – earn 5% cash back at US office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers (up to $25,000 per year)
All of these cards have a better sign-up bonus after completing minimum spending requirements. And the bonus on cellular purchases is an ongoing perk!
But they’re small business cards, and while many folks qualify, you may not.
So if you’re looking for a personal cash back card that also earns bonus cash back at supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores, it might be worth considering the new offers on the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred and AMEX Blue Cash Everyday.
But to earn the full bonus, you’ll have to meet minimum spending requirements and spend $2,000 at US wireless providers by December 31, 2016.
Most folks won’t spend that much, and there are small business cards that offer bonus cash back or points for wireless service.
But if you spend a lot on cellular service, and are looking for a personal cash back card which also earns bonus cash back at supermarkets, gas stations, and department stores, these cards could be worth considering.
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