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Apply online for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressSponsored card
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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review

Pros & Cons

  • Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is our 2017 Editor's Choice pick for Best Tiered Cash-Back Rewards.
  • Take advantage of 12 months no interest on purchases and balance transfers (then, See Rates ).
  • This is a great card with outstanding benefits for those who spend a lot; however, if you don't spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets you may have a difficult time offsetting the annual fee. If this is you, consider the no annual fee version of this card, Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
Terms and Limitations Apply

Top Features

Cash Back on Gas
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores
Cash Back on groceries
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
Cash Back on other
1% back on other purchases. Terms Apply.
Annual Fee
$95

Full Review

Curtis Arnold Editor-in-chief

2017 Editor's Choice Pick: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express®

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser) is one of the most popular cards with our readers because of the generous cash back for everyday purchases. In fact, its popularity earned it a 2017 CardRatings.com Editor's Choice Award for Best Tiered Cash-Back Credit Card.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers:

  • 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1 percent)
  • 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • an opportunity to earn $200 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Blue Cash Preferred® has a $95 annual fee attached to the membership, but don't let this deter you. Think of it this way:  if you spend $1,585 at U.S. supermarkets annually, at 6 percent cash back you've already covered the annual fee (6 percent x $1,585 = $95.10)! If you’re an avid card user, the high rewards percentages allows you to quickly offset the annual fee, assuming you use your credit card for the categories honored by American Express like supermarkets and gas stations.

What Our Editors Like Most

The bonus categories aren't rotating so the cash back-eligible businesses are predictable. If you're more of a set-it and forget-it type of person who doesn't want to have to worry about activating bonus categories and missing out on extra rewards, this card is perfect - especially if you regularly spend money at supermarkets and gas stations. We love the high-rewards rate, and the simplicity of the rewards program.

The high rewards rate in the supermarket category lends itself to a unique opportunity cardholders may not think about: cash back for gift cards. Many supermarkets have racks filled with gift cards for popular restaurants and stores that may not fit within the American Express categories, but a gift card can be purchased at a supermarket, with the 6 percent cash-back rate. This concept is the definition of using credit cards as a tool.

Potential Downsides

Read the fine print. Some stores that may seem like "supermarkets" may not actually qualify for the rebate. Wholesale clubs, superstores and alcohol retailers are typically the culprits for this confusion.

This rewards card is excellent for particular categories. But if you’re a traveler who uses airlines frequently or a fine restaurant dining connoisseur, you may be missing the boat with the rewards offered with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.  If this is you, an excellent alternative is Chase Sapphire Preferred®.

This card is not great for traveling abroad. Cardholders will miss out on earning points valid for airline miles, hotel rooms, and other travel related purchases by using the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express over a credit card specific to travel rewards. And using this card internationally will come at a price. Foreign transaction fees for this card cost 2.7 percent each time you swipe your plastic abroad, which can really add up. That said, doubling up and having a card that you use for supermarket and gas station purchases, and another likeChase Sapphire Preferred® or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card for travel can help you optimize your different types of spending. 

How American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Compares to Other Cash Back Cards

Blue Cash Preferred® vs. Citi® Double Cash

Citi® recently rolled out an industry-changing program: Price Rewind (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser). Consumers are able to make purchases with their Citi® card and then ask Citi® if they’ve received the best deal. If they haven’t, Citi® will refund the cardholder the difference from what they paid, and the best deal. Couple that deal with Citi® Double Cash (1 percent on purchases, and 1 percent when you pay it back) and you’ve found a competitive card. If your spending patterns don’t align with the categories Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers, or if you shop online frequently, Citi® Double Cash may be a better card for you.  

Blue Cash Preferred® vs. Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom® offers 5 percent cash back for quarterly rotating categories. Crunch the numbers to see if 6 percent cash back at supermarkets or 5 percent cash back from restaurants or gas or any other future categories mean the most cash back for you.

Blue Cash Preferred® vs. Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express

These American Express cash back cards offer similar benefits: the rewards categories are identical even though the earn rates are slightly lower (3 percent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1 percent) 2 percent at U.S. gas stations and 1 percent on all else), and the ancillary perks of being an American Express member are similar. The decision between which of the two offers is right for you will boil down to how much you use your card. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card does not have an annual fee, so if you spend less than $50 a week on your credit card the Blue Cash Everyday® makes more sense. Spending over $50 offsets the annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred®, and the higher rewards rates will be more beneficial to you.

Who Should get This Card?

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is great for anyone who spends frequently at gas stations or supermarkets: Think soccer parents toting kids to and fro while simultaneously ensuring they have a home-cooked meal to keep their energy up or if you’re a do-it-yourself foodie or if you spend a lot of time in your car, this card is also great.

This page was last updated on December 13, 2017

This card compared to other cash back cards

Cash Back on Gas
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores
1-5%
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Cash Back on Groceries
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
1-5%
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Cash Back on other
1% back on other purchases. Terms Apply.
Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Purchase Intro
APR:
See Rates & Fees
Period:
APR:
0%
Period:
14 months
APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases
Period:
for 15 months
Purchase APR
See Rates & Fees
11.99% - 23.99% Variable 
15.99%-24.74% Variable 
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express details

Cash Back on Gas
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores
Cash Back on groceries
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
Cash Back on other
1% back on other purchases. Terms Apply.
Purchase Intro
APR:
See Rates & Fees
Period:
Purchase APR
See Rates & Fees 
Annual Fee
$95

What American Express says about this card

  • $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.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.

Credit Card Consumer Average Ratings:

Overall Ratings
Reward Program
Card Benefit
Customer Service

Credit Card Consumer Reviews:

  1. Overall Ratings:
    Reward Program:
    Card Benefit:
    Customer Service:
    Jeff B ( Jan 6, 2015 at 11:13 pm)

    One of the best card available out there. Cashback potential is just huge and love their customer service. Annual Fee is only negative point but it doesn't hurt if you plan it to use enough to offset annual fee. Also their promotional offer is great. Not sure how long will it last.


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Featured offers
Currently available on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$200 back
After you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
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Apply online for Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed:
Excellent/Good