Is the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card Worth It? Here’s the Number to Keep in Mind Before You Apply

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Is the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card Worth It? Here’s the Number to Keep in Mind Before You Apply

Harlan VaughnIs the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card Worth It? Here’s the Number to Keep in Mind Before You ApplyMillion Mile Secrets Team

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The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is geared toward folks who spend a lot on groceries, gas, and clothing – and like to earn cash back rewards.

Those are big expenses in most households, especially if you have a large family.  The biggest deterrent is the card’s $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees), which means you’ll have to spend at least enough to offset it each year to break even.

That said, you’ll earn a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, so that more than covers the annual fee for a couple of years.  And if you like the rewards setup, this card has one of the best returns in the most common spending categories.

That’s why we named it the best US supermarket credit card for cash back.

If Your Family Spends a Lot on Groceries, Gas, and at Department Stores, You Should Consider the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred – Especially If You Prefer to Earn Cash Back Rewards

I’ll help you decide if it’s worth picking up!

Should You Apply for the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card?

Apply Here:   Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our review of the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card

The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card comes with a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

And you’ll earn:

  • 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% cash back)
  • 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • Terms Apply
You Can Earn $360 in Cash Back on up to $6,000 per Year at US Supermarkets (Then 1%). If You Spend a Lot on Groceries, That’s Money Right Back in Your Pocket!

At US supermarkets, you can earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in spending each year.  At the maximum, that would mean $360 in cash back rewards ($6,000 X 6%).

And it breaks down to $500 per month, which is a low number for grocery spending.  And you’d only need to spend ~$132 a month on groceries to have the $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) “pay for itself” (~$132 X 12 months X 6%) – everything else is cash back in your pocket!

Plus, you’ll earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores, like JC Penney, Macy’s, and Saks.  These categories are uncapped!

If you spend a lot on gas, and shop at department stores for clothes, school uniforms, or anything else they sell, this can add up in a hurry.

Lots of folks prefer the simplicity of straightforward cash back rewards as opposed to earning miles or points.  We know there are lots of credit cards that reward grocery store shopping, so the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred is best if you like set, predictable rewards.

Take a look at our in-depth review of the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred to see everything you get with this card.

And Who Should NOT Get the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred?

If you’re new to miles & points, note this card will count against your Chase 5/24 status, which means you won’t be approved for most Chase cards if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank in the past 24 months (excluding Chase small business cards and certain other small business cards).

We recommend starting with Chase cards for this reason.  They have some of the most rewarding cards in the industry!

Also, AMEX is known for only approving most folks for ~5 credit cards – so this card will count for one of your slots.  AMEX also has a nice slate of rewarding cards, so consider if you’d like the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred to be one of your 5 card picks.

And obviously, if you don’t spend enough in the bonus categories to justify the annual fee, you should skip this card.  That said, if you spend enough to cover the annual fee, it’s a solid card worth adding to your collection.

Bottom Line

The break even point to cover the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred card’s annual fee is ~$132 per month in grocery spending per month, which most families easily exceed.  You’ll earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in spending per year at US supermarkets (then 1%), and an uncapped 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores.

If those bonus categories make up the bulk of your spending each month, this is an excellent card to consider for cash back rewards.  Remember, you’ll also earn a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, which will help offset the annual fee for the first couple of years.

And if you’re looking to earn miles or points rewards for your grocery spending, be sure to browse our list of the best grocery credit cards.

You can apply for the Blue Cash Preferred here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, please click here.

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn a $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. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

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This analysis is very faulty. You have to consider the marginal increase in earnings versus the marginal increase (or decrease, depending on your situation) in annual fee vs. other cards. For example, the BCP earns 3% more than the BC on groceries, so 3% is the earning rate you have to use in that comparison; you’ll also find that with the $6k limit, the spending range that makes the BCP worth it is very small.

Your cost analysis is skewed. Sure you break even with the AF after $1583 in spend ($131.94/month), but you have to spend $3167 ($263.89/month) to make the card more economic than the fee free version, which coincidentally is 2x the amount

I have the no annual fee version but recently got an offer to upgrade with a $250 credit for $2000 in 3 months spend….trying to figure out if I can just the annual fee. I’m currently using my gold card for groceries

Had the Blue preferred for a few years but recently downgraded to the non-annual fee version. I did like the card a lot, especially the 6% back on groceries. The issue I had was the annual fee went up (was 75) when I first got it. 2nd it locked me into having to use the card a fair amount of time to justify the annual fee. With all the cards out there the being locked into using the card became more of a hassle.

If your a newbie, the card is an easy one to earn cash back without having to do much.

Any chance the cash reward could also transfer to points instead of cash back? Thanks.

You need an MR-earning card:
The EveryDay earns 2X (2.4X if >20 transactions per month).
The EveryDay Preferted earns 3X (4.5X if >30 transactions per month. $95 AF.
The Gold Card earns 4X. $250 AF.