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American Express Blue Cash Preferred Critical Analysis
Last Updated Sep 1, 2023 by Molly Gaines
Maximize Your Cash Back
If you have good to excellent credit and are looking for a card that offers big-time rewards on everyday spending then this card from our partner will be tough to beat. It offers incredible cash back rates on groceries, streaming services, gas and transit too.
If you have good to excellent credit (usually considered a score of 670-850) and you are looking for a well-rounded card that makes it easy to rack up cash back while saving on interest look no further. With incredible cash back rates on groceries, streaming services, gas and transit expenses, it’s easy to see why Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (a CardCritics advertiser) is so popular. There is an impressive cash back welcome offer and even though there is an annual fee, which is $0 your first year, you only need to spend $30.44 on groceries a week for your cash back earned to surpass the cost of the annual fee. If that fee is a deal-breaker, we suggest its sister card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. If not, then we highly recommend applying for the Blue Cash Preferred Card.
Card Details From American Express
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
Low Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% – 29.99%. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.
6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
3% Cash Back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required.
Our Critical Analysis
Incredible cash back potential with a lucrative welcome offer and stellar ongoing cash back
The introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers helps you save money on interest
The added card member benefits and card member support are top-notch
Annual fee may be high for some
There is a spending cap on the grocery category
There is a foreign transaction fee so it’s not the best option for purchases outside of the U.S. (see Rates & Fees)
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers extraordinary cash back rates. You’ll earn a massive 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (this includes taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). All of your other eligible purchases will earn you 1% back.
To sweeten the deal, you can earn $250 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. The savings keep piling up since you will also pay no interest your first year with an amazing 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After that 12 months, a 19.24%-29.99% Variable APR will apply based on your creditworthiness and other factors. There is currently a foreign transaction fee so if that’s a deal-breaker we suggest checking out another compelling cash back option, the Discover it® Cash Back card.
If you’re worried about taking on a card with an annual fee, let us put you at ease. You only need to spend $30.44 a week on groceries to cover the cost of the $95 annual fee with your cashback earnings. Plus the fee is $0 your first year. The 6% you earn on that incredibly low weekly amount nets you $95 in cash back a year, basically canceling out the fee. That still leaves another $265 in cash back you can earn at the 6% rate if you max out that $6,000 spending cap (you’ll keep earning 1% after the cap is hit). Add in what you’ll earn with the other 6% and 3% categories and it makes it an even easier decision.
The generous cash back elements and the intro APR offer may be what excite you most about applying for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but it’s worth noting that the benefits don’t come close to stopping there. American Express offers great perks so click Apply Now to view the full list of benefits.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*CardCritics references a FICO® 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when evaluating your application.