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The American Express Blue Cash Preferred is a cash back rewards card that offers one of the largest cash back rewards for grocery purchases. If you’re looking for cash back on life’s day-to-day purchases, this card can be the groceries and gas credit card for many consumers. The Blue Cash Preferred comes with an annual fee. American Express has recently stepped it up and has increased their footprint by adding 1.6 million places that now accept American Express.
AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card
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Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card – Benefits
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers a $200 sign-up cash back bonus after you spend $1,000 on your new card in the first 3 months. This bonus can help cover the annual fee of $95.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in total purchases. This can be up to $360 cashback up to the $6,000 limit. Once that limit is hit, grocery purchases are 1%.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred also offers a 3% cash back at all U.S gas stations. The gas cash back reward does not have a limit, so you can earn 3% on all gas purchases.
If you are looking to save money on interest, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers a 0.00% introductory rate for 12 months on balance transfers. If you have a credit card that you are trying to pay down, you can transfer the account and pay no interest on the transfer for 12 months.
You can also charge up the card and pay no interest for 12 months. This is great if you have a big purchase in mind and want to pay over time, but there are other cards that offer longer 0.00% APR introductory periods.
You can redeem your cash back as a credit on your card. You can also use it on merchandise and gift cards.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred has an extended warranty on purchases of items even after the manufacturer warranty has expired, up to 5 years. It includes purchase protection up to 120 days after purchase for broken or stolen items.
It also includes return protection, meaning that if a merchant does not take back an item within 90 days, American Express will refund the card holder. American Express will also work with card holders on disputed charges.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred holders have access to a roadside assistance hotline, so if you have an emergency on the road you can take comfort in the fact that you can call the hotline for help. Card holders also have rental car loss and damage insurance.
Travel accident insurance is included when travel costs are paid with the American Express. They also have a global assistance hotline that can help you if have issues abroad, from legal issues to losing your luggage.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card – Drawbacks
Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of the Blue Cash Preferred card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee. This fee eats into some of the cashback rewards. Many cashback credit cards do not have annual fees.
The APR for American Express Blue Cash Preferred is a 15.24%-26.24% variable rate, which is high for a card that requires borrowers with good credit histories. Cash advance is 27.49%. It also has a 29.99% penalty APR.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred has a 12 month 0.00% APR introductory rate but there are other cards that have longer introductory rates. If you are looking to transfer some debts and pay them down or have a large purchase in mind that you want to pay over time, you may want to look at other cards with longer 0.00% APR introductory rates.
There is a balance transfer fee required if you want to take advantage of the introductory 0.00% APR rate. The fee is incurred when you transfer debts from one or more credit cards to your American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
This fee is $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is bigger. This fee is upfront and will be added to your debt load when transferred and must be used within 60 days of opening the card to take advantage of the 0.00% APR intro rate. This fee is the same for any transfer before or after the introductory rate.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred has a 2.7% fee for each transaction in another country. If you are traveling outside of the U.S. you may want to leave this card at home.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred has minimum redemption amounts of $25 for credit toward your credit card or to use on other rewards. There are other cards that do not have a minimum redemption amount and cashback rewards can be used at any time.
American Express is not as widely accepted as competitors like Visa and Mastercard. There may be merchants who do not accept the American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
Alternatives to American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
There are other credit cards that do offer comparable cash back rewards – we’ve summarized the most popular cards which can use as an alternative to the Blue Cash Preferred:
American Express offers a card very similar to the American Express Blue Cash Preferred called the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card is somewhat like the little brother of the American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card has a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months. American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card has a cashback bonus of 3% on groceries, 2% on gas and department stores and 1% on everything else. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card offers a longer 0.00% introductory rate of 15 months and it also does not have the $95 annual fee.
CitiBank Double Cash card is another comparable cashback card. It does not have a sign-up bonus but does offer a longer introductory 0.00% APR for 18 months. The CitiBank Double Cash card offers 1% cash on all purchases and 1% cash back after paying for those purchases.
You could make 2% back on all purchases as long as you pay your credit card bill. CitiBank Double Cash rewards does not have an annual fee. This card’s cash back is on all purchases, no special categories, unlike the American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
The Discover It Cashback card is also an alternative credit card to the American Express Blue Cash Preferred. Discover It has a little longer introductory 0.00% APR rate of 14 months. The Discover It card does not have a foreign transaction fee or an annual fee. The Discover It card has 1% cash back on purchases and 5% back on rotating purchases.
It also has a $1,500 cap on the quarterly purchase category. Even with the rotating purchases categories of 5%, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred is higher on groceries and is all year. American Express Blue Cash Preferred rewards are the same and do not change every quarter, which is easier for consumers to track.
Is the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card Right for You?
American Express Blue Cash Preferred is a great card for large families that have large grocery expenses. This card also has 3% cashback on gas and department stores that can help with clothing costs and driving around a large family. This card does have limits in that it only offers 1% cash back on all other purchases, so it should be used with other cashback cards to maximize benefits.
This card should be used strictly for groceries, gas, and at a few select department stores. It comes with an annual fee that will eat into your cashback rewards. Consumers that do not have large grocery bills may want to look into other cashback cards that do not have an annual fee. Also consumers looking to pay off debt may want to look for a card with a longer 0.00% APR introductory rate.