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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review

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What American Express says about this card

Apply online for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressSponsored card
  • Earn a $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. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • 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.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Apply Now

By Curtis Arnold Editor-in-chief  Updated Mar 22, 2019

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Essentials

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 2019 CardRatings.com Editor's Choice Award for Best Credit Card for Families.

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
  • 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 (See Rates and Fees) 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.

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Earn a $200 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
  • The 2019 Editor's Choice pick for Best Credit Card for Families and it made our Best Cash-Back Rewards Credit Card list.
  • Earn 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations. And, 1 percent cash back on other purchases.
  • 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

What Our Editors Like Most About the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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® Card 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 like Chase Sapphire Preferred® or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card for travel can help you optimize your different types of spending. 

Top Features

Cash Back on Gas
3% at U.S. gas stations
Cash Back on Groceries
6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
Cash Back on Other
1% cash back on other purchases

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

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express vs. Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

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 the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (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 Card - 18 month BT offer may be a better card for you. Furthermore, there's a nice 18-month 0 percent balance transfer offer with this card (then, 15.74% - 25.74%* Variable).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 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® Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Everyday® Card 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. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express does not have an annual fee (See Rates and Fees), so if you spend less than $50 a week on your credit card the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express makes more sense. Spending over $50 offsets the annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, 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.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees); Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express compared to other cash back cards

Card Name
Cash Back on Gas
Cash Back on Groceries
Cash Back on Other
3% at U.S. gas stations
6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
1% cash back on other purchases
Apply Now
Terms and Limitations Apply
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

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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