Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review [2024]: Easy Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets & on Streaming Services

CREDIT CARDS - CASHBACK CREDIT CARDS
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® can be a powerful cash back card for your wallet, but be sure it lines up with your spending habits.
Updated Feb. 20, 2024
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When it comes to earning rewards with a cash back credit card, people often look for opportunities to earn rewards on routine expenses. If you’re in the same boat and looking to earn rewards on everyday expenses, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express might be the perfect choice for you.

In this review, we’ll find out how the card works and what unique benefits it offers to justify the annual fee.

Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets

5.0

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Current Offer

Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$95 (waived first year)

Rewards Rate

6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this American Express Blue Cash Preferred® review:

Who should get the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express?

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® allows you to earn a significant amount of cashback rewards on routine purchases. With 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases, this card can help you earn rewards fast if these areas contribute a decent amount to your recurring monthly expenses. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® is considered one of the best credit cards for groceries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, households spend an average of $4,363 at grocery stores. If you paid for all that food with your American Express Blue Cash Preferred® at U.S. supermarkets, you could earn a whopping $261.78 in cashback rewards — more than double the cost of the annual fee.

That being said, the card may not be right for you if you have a large family or high monthly food costs; you only receive 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services. If you regularly spend more than that limit, it may make sense to use this card in tandem with another Amex rewards card within the Amex Trifecta to maximize your rewards.

Card basics

Card type Cash back
Credit card issuer American Express
Annual fee $95 (waived first year) (terms apply)
Welcome bonus Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
Reward rate 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee 2.7%
Intro APR 0% on purchases for 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable

0% on balance transfers for 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® benefits and perks

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® offers many valuable benefits that can help you when you travel or shop. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Strong welcome offer: New cardholders can earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Rewards that add up fast: With the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®, you'll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.
  • Intro APR offer: With this card, you'll have the opportunity to pay down large purchases and balance transfers over time. You'll have a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months after account opening, then an ongoing APR of 19.24% - 29.99% Variable.
  • Car rental insurance: Cardholders receive secondary coverage on car rental loss and damage insurance. Just be sure to use your card to pay for your car rental and turn down the rental company’s insurance.
  • Purchase protection: Nothing is worse than dropping and breaking your new $1,000 phone. But with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®, you get purchase protection. That means you’re covered for up to 90 days after making a purchase for up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 in a calendar year.
  • Statement credits for the Disney bundle: Get $7 back each month 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 from American Express. Enrollment required.

Drawbacks to the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

  • Annual fee: The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® has a $95 (waived first year). If you're looking for a no-fee card, this one is not your best option.
  • Foreign transaction fee: While this card does offer valuable cashback rewards and other benefits, it has a foreign transaction fee. If you use this card to make purchases while traveling abroad, those fees can add up.

Maximizing your cash back with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,218 in the form of a statement credit

Year two earnings: $873 in the form of a statement credit

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

Best ways to earn

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® offers a higher rewards rate on routine purchases than you’d get with other credit cards. Here's a look at what you'll earn:

Categories Rewards rate
U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services 6%
U.S. gas stations and eligible transit 3%
All other eligible purchases 1%

With the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®, you can earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

Maximizing your redemptions

When you use your card, you earn cash back in the form of Blue Cash Rewards Dollars. You can redeem these dollars for statement credits or at Amazon.com checkout. Keep in mind that you can’t use your Blue Cash Rewards Dollars to pay your minimum monthly payment; you can only use it as a statement credit after paying your minimum.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® FAQs

Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® worth it?

If you are interested in a cashback rewards card for everyday purchases, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® is a fantastic option. It offers a generous 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

If much of your spending is outside the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® bonus categories or you're looking for a card with lower fees, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card may be a better value. Comparing the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash cards can help you decide which best fits your needs.

What credit score do you need for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®?

You'll likely need a good to excellent credit score in order to get approved for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®. According to FICO, a good credit score falls within the 670-739 range.

Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® a charge card?

While certain American Express cards were charge cards — which means their balance had to be paid in full each month — the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® is a credit card. It has a revolving line of credit, and you’ll have a minimum monthly payment, so you can spread out the cost of purchases over the course of several months if needed.

How does the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express fare against the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express?

While the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® does have a $95 (waived first year), it offers higher rewards than the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. With the American Express Blue Cash Everyday®, you'll earn up to 3% cash back rather than up to 6% cash back.

With the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express — which has a $0 annual fee — you’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

What U.S. supermarkets can I earn 6% cash back at with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®?

You can earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at select U.S. supermarkets. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® eligible supermarket list includes:

  • Gristedes
  • Foodtown
  • Meijer
  • Shoprite
  • Stop and Shop
  • Trader Joe's
  • Vons
  • Whole Foods
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Online supermarkets such as FreshDirect

Specialty shops, superstores (such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart), and warehouse clubs (such as Costco) are not eligible for the 6% cashback rate.

What U.S. streaming services are eligible for the 6% cashback rate with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred®?

As of May 2020, the following U.S. streaming subscription services qualify for the 6% cashback rate:

  • Amazon Music Unlimited
  • Apple Music
  • Apple TV+
  • AT&T Now
  • Audible
  • Disney+
  • ESPN+
  • Fubo TV
  • HBO
  • Hulu
  • iHeartRadio
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • Luminary
  • Max
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA League Pass
  • Netflix
  • NHL.TV
  • Pandora
  • Paramount+
  • Prime Video
  • Showtime
  • Sling TV
  • SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • YouTube Music Premium
  • YouTube Premium
  • YouTube TV

What do I need to know about adding an authorized user to my American Express Blue Cash Preferred® account?

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® authorized user policy is fairly straightforward. You can add an additional card for anyone who is 13 years old and up, and you’ll earn the same cashback rate on their purchases that you do on your own transactions.

American Express allows you to set spending limits on authorized users. If you don’t set a limit, the authorized user can charge up to your total credit limit.

Other cards to consider

While the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® offers a lot of value, its annual fee may be prohibitive for some. If that’s the case for you, consider a different card such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee, and cardmembers earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. 

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express card has a $0 annual fee, and cardmembers earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets

5.0

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why We Like It

Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months

See rates and fees | Terms Apply

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)
  • Bonus rewards on eligible travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months
  • Introductory APR offer for purchases and balance transfers
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%)
  • Annual fee of $0
  • See rates and fees | Terms Apply

Author Details

Kat Tretina Kat Tretina is a personal finance expert focusing on practical financial matters, including student loans, debt repayment, side hustles, insurance, and healthcare. Drawing from her personal experience, she aims to simplify complex financial topics and provide individuals with the information they need to make informed decisions.

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