Great Categories for Everyday Spending: AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Review

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Great Categories for Everyday Spending:  AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Review

DevonGreat Categories for Everyday Spending:  AMEX Blue Cash Preferred ReviewMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Groceries, gas, and clothing 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, gas stations, and select department stores.  And when you apply, you’ll earn a $200 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.

The Blue Cash Preferred Is Ideal for Grocery Shoppers!

Let’s see who the Blue Cash Preferred Card is best suited for and if it’s right for you!

The Blue Cash Preferred Card Has a $200 Welcome Bonus!

Apply Here:   Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you’re looking to take the sting out of rising fuel prices and expensive grocery bills, the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred should be in your wallet.

With the Blue Cash Preferred, you can earn a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee.  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 can earn cash back in 3 ways:

  •    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

The average family in the US will spend several hundred dollars per month on groceries.  And you’d only need to spend ~$132 a month on groceries 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.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
You Will Earn 6% Cash Back at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 in Spending per Year (Then 1%)

Remember, grocery stores offer you much more than just food.  You can buy necessities such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. all while earning 6% cash back!

Note:   Grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s qualify for the 6% cash back, but Walmart and Target do not qualify.

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 US Department Stores

You will earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores with mo maximum limit!

Gas is just as much as a necessity for some folks as groceries and earning 3% cash back is a nice cherry on top.

Some department stores that qualify for the 3% cash back are:

  •   J.C. Penney
  •   Macy’s
  •   Saks Fifth Avenue
  •   Bloomingdale’s

For those folks who do a lot of shopping during the holiday season, this card might be a great fit for you!

Free Shipping With ShopRunner

So long as you have your card, you’ll also get ShopRunner membership.  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.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Get ShopRunner for Free With the Blue Cash Preferred Card, Worth $79!

Roadside Assistance Hotline

You can call 855-431-1156 if you need assistance with things like a flat tire, towing, gas refill, 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 premium 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.

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.  I always use my credit cards to purchase things like vacuums or electronics that I know I’m going to have for many years.

Return Protection

Didn’t like that vacuum?  If a merchant won’t take back an eligible item and it hasn’t been 90 days since 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 hasn’t been 120 days since your purchase date, then you could get up to $1,000 back per claim up to $50,000 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 in a year (~$1,583 in groceries 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 US department stores.  I drive a lot for work and see myself using this card when I’m not using cards like the Chase Freedom during 5% cash back quarters.

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

Yes.

Who Is Eligible for the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred?

Welcome bonuses on AMEX cards have a once per card lifetime limit to them.  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.

Credit Cards Similar to the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred

Credit cards usually 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 card for beginners!

You earn 50,000 amazing Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account.

Here are some tricks to get $1,000+ worth of travel from those 50,000 points.  Or instead, you can get $625 worth of travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal with no brain-work whatsoever.  Or…turn the 50,000 points into $500 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 3 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.

Bottom Line

The AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great card for folks who want to earn premium cash back when grocery shopping and on expenses like gas and clothing.

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 grocery spending per month, which is less than the average household in the US.

You can also earn $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  And 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores.

You can apply for the Blue Cash Preferred here.

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • $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 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • 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

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Neighborhood Walmarts do get the 6%