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Two New Bonus Categories & a $250 Bonus – AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Review

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Two New Bonus Categories & a $250 Bonus – AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Review

Devon O'RourkeTwo New Bonus Categories & a $250 Bonus – AMEX Blue Cash Preferred ReviewMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

INSIDER SECRET: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is now the most rewarding cash back card to use for select US streaming services.

Groceries, gas, transportation and select streaming services are big expenses in most households. So why not use a card that earns you the most rewards for your spending?

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one the best cards to use in the US at supermarkets, US gas stations, transit, and select US streaming services. And when you apply, you’ll earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

You can apply for the Blue Cash Preferred here.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred review – this card is a great choice for earning cash back at US supermarkets

The Blue Cash Preferred Card Has a $250 Welcome Bonus!

Apply Here: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you’re looking to take the sting out of your fuel costs and expensive US supermarket bills, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred should be in your wallet.

With the Blue Cash Preferred, you can earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee (see rates & fees). But you can easily offset it if you spend a lot in the card’s excellent bonus categories!

How to Earn Cash Back With the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

It’s easy to earn cash back with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. You’ll earn cash back in the following categories:

  • 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% cash back)
  • 6% cash back on US 20+ streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Apple Music, Pandora, etc.)
  • 3% cash back at US gas stations & transit (including parking, tolls, ride share)
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • Terms Apply

The average family in the US will spend several hundred dollars per month at US supermarkets and streaming services. And you’d only need to spend ~$132 a month in these 6% cash back categories to have the annual fee “pay for itself” (~$132 X 12 months X 6%)! So, it’s easy to see how regular folks can easily benefit with this card in their wallet.

Remember, supermarkets offer you much more than just food. You can buy necessities such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. all while earning 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent per calendar year, then 1%.

Note:  Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s qualify for the 6% cash back, but superstores like BJs and Target do not.

How to Use Your Cash Back

It’s just as easy to redeem your hard earned cash back. You can redeem cash back in 3 ways:

  •    Statement credits
  •    Gift cards
  •    Shopping through the online portal
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
You can redeem cash back for statement credits, gift cards or for shopping

Note: You must have at least $25 in cash back in order to redeem it.

Benefits of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Unlimited 3% Cash Back at US Gas Stations and on Transit

You will earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and on transit with no maximum limit!

Earning 3% cash back at US gas stations and on transit is a useful category for those with even a reasonable commute.

Transit purchases that qualify for 3% cash back include:

  • Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft
  • Parking
  • Taxi cabs
  • Train fares
  • Tolls
  • Ferries
  • Buses
  • Subways

For those folks who spend a lot on transportation, this card might be a great fit for you!

Unlimited 6% Cash Back on Select US Streaming Services

You can earn 6% back for the following streaming services such as:

  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Music
  • Audible
  • CBS All Access
  • Direct TV Now
  • ESPN+
  • Fubo TV
  • HBO Now
  • Hulu
  • iHeartRadio
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA League Pass
  • Netflix
  • NHL.TV
  • Pandora
  • Prime Video Unlimited
  • Showtime
  • Sling TV
  • SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
  • Spotify
  • YouTube Music Premium
  • YouTube Premium
  • YouTube TV

If you purchase any of these services as part of a bundle or through a 3rd party you might not earn the bonus. For example, if you pay for HBO Now through your Amazon or iTunes account you aren’t guaranteed to earn the bonus cash back.

Free Shipping With ShopRunner

So long as you have your card, you’ll also get a ShopRunner membership, which requires enrollment. ShopRunner is like Amazon Prime but for over 100 retail stores! You get free 2-day shipping and free returns with your online orders through participating retailers. An annual membership for ShopRunner normally costs $79.

Roadside Assistance Hotline

You can call 855-431-1156 if you need assistance with things like a flat tire, towing, jump start, etc. Access to the hotline is complimentary with your Amex however, costs incurred for services are not. Hopefully you don’t need this service, but it’s nice to have access to safety services when you need them.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

When you decline your rental car agency’s rental coverage and pay your reservation in full with your Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, you’ll get secondary coverage for damage due to collision or theft for up to $50,000 per rental agreement.

Extended Warranty

When you purchase eligible items with your Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, you can get up to 2 additional years added to the original manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less. It’s smart to use a credit card with this perk to purchase things like vacuums or electronics.

Return Protection

Didn’t like that vacuum? If a merchant won’t take back an eligible item and it is within 90 days of the purchase date, Amex could reimburse you up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Get free Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection with the Blue Cash Preferred

Purchase Protection

Oops. Did you break that vacuum? Theft and accidental damage can be covered by purchase protection. If it is within 120 days of your purchase date (90 days for New York residents), then you could get up to $1,000 back per claim up to $50,000 per account per calendar year.

Is the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Worth the Annual Fee?

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred does have a $95 annual fee.

But you can earn $95 cash back if you spend as little as ~$1,583 at US supermarkets and US streaming services in a year (~$1,583 X 6% cash back). That’s less than $132 a month.

And that’s not even factoring in the 3% cash back at US gas stations and on transit. It’s likely that you spend $100s each month just getting to and from work, which is just gravy for most folks.

Does the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Have a Foreign Transaction Fee?

Yes. (See rates & fees)

Who Is Eligible for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred?

You can only earn the welcome bonuses on a specific Amex card once per card lifetime. Meaning, if you have ever earned a bonus for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred, you are ineligible for the welcome bonus.

The new terms say:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Amex online applications have also introduced a new system to let you know if you’re eligible for the welcome bonus during the application process. So if you aren’t eligible you’ll know before Amex pulls your credit.

Credit Cards Similar to the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Lots of credit cards can check off some of the same boxes when it comes to perks and benefits. Here are cards we’d recommend in addition to or in place of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred:

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

For folks that want to squeeze a little more value out their hard earned rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a great welcome bonus and is our favorite first credit card for beginners!

You earn 60,000 amazing Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review to learn tricks to get $1,000+ worth of travel from those 60,000 points. Or instead, you can get $750 worth of travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal with no brain-work whatsoever. Or…turn the 60,000 points into $600 if you love cash.

2. Chase Freedom

Apply Here: Chase Freedom

Read our review of the Chase Freedom 

With the Chase Freedom, you’ll get: 

  • 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating categories each quarter when you activate the bonus
  • 1% cash back (1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all other purchases

The card currently has a welcome bonus of $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months. And it’s great if you have a limited credit history, as many of our readers have been approved for this card with credit histories less than 3 years and credit scores around 680.

This card often has bonus categories that match the Blue Cash Preferred Card so it’s a great alternative with no annual fee!

Both cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule though, so if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from any bank in the past 24 months (excluding certain small business cards and Chase business cards), Chase will not approve you for many of their best travel rewards credit cards, including the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Bottom Line

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great card for folks who want to earn premium cash back at US supermarkets, select US streaming services and on expenses like US gas station purchases, and transit.

You’ll earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 in purchases per year made at qualifying US supermarkets (then 1%). This card does come with an annual fee of $95 but you can earn that back with ~$132 in US supermarket and eligible US streaming services spending per month, which is less than what the average household spends.

You can also earn $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

You can apply for the Blue Cash Preferred here.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

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

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Neighborhood Walmarts do get the 6%