[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]
When using a rewards credit card, the name of the game is to earn the highest return on your spending. While some cards offer as much as 2% cash back on all purchases, others offer much higher levels when cardholders shop at select types of merchants. American Express offers its Blue Cash Preferred card that features major cash-back bonuses.
Introduction to the American Express Blue Cash Preferred
This card offers impressive rewards in the form of 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. New cardholders also receive 12 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers requested within 30 days of opening the account. After that, the go-to APR is a variable 13.74% to 23.74%.
This card comes with numerous shopping benefits, including extended warranty coverage and a purchase protection policy that covers purchases against accidental damage or theft within 90 days of sale. Other benefits include a roadside assistance hotline and a global assistance hotline for travelers. The standard interest rate is a variable 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness when you apply. There is a $95 annual fee for this card and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee for any charges outside the U.S.
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What’s the Current Sign-Up Bonus?
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months until May 3rd, 2017.
(Note: Sign-up bonuses are subject to change.)
The Advantages of the American Express Blue Cash Preferred
The 6% cash back at supermarkets is a strong rate of return for a cash-back credit card. Its 3% returns at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores is also competitive. The current sign-up bonus is a powerful incentive, as well as the 12 months of 0% APR financing on new purchases and balance transfers (then variable 13.74% – 23.74%). Finally, cardmembers have access to several valuable benefits from American Express, such as travel insurance and purchase protection.
The Disadvantages of the American Express Blue Cash Preferred
The main weakness of this card is its $95 annual fee. While this fee may be worth the high rate of rewards, cardholders with modest spending requirements may not be able to justify it.
Thankfully, American Express also offers Blue Cash Everyday, a similar card with lower rates of cash back and no annual fee. And while 6% cash back at grocery stores is an amazing rate of return, cardholders must always keep in mind that they will only receive this rate on their first $6,000 of qualified spending each calendar year (then 1%).
Another disadvantage is the 2.7% foreign transaction fee. While many reward cards marketed to travelers no longer have this fee, it is still common among cash-back cards.
Who Is This Card Right For?
For many households, groceries, gas and department stores comprise a large share of their budget, and they will be able to earn hundreds of dollars of cash back each year. Finally, those who can use the 12 months of interest-free financing will find this card valuable long after the promotional offer has expired. (Then variable 13.74% – 23.74%.)
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred FAQ
What are the select U.S. department stores where cardholders will be able to receive the 3% cash back?
This offer is only available at the following stores:
- Bon Ton Stores
- Century 21 Department Stores
- JCPenney (JCP)
- Lord & Taylor
- Neiman Marcus
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Stein Mart
Which stores are considered supermarkets for the purpose of receiving 6% cash back?
American Express considers U.S. supermarkets stores that offer a wide variety of food and household products such as meat, fresh produce, dairy, canned and packaged goods, household cleaners, pharmacy products and pet supplies. Superstores, convenience stores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets for this purpose.
Which gasoline retailers are included in the 3% cash-back offer?
Gas stations are defined as merchants in the primary business of selling gasoline to consumers. Gas stations may sell other convenience items, but their primary business must be selling gasoline. Superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs that sell gasoline are not considered gas stations for this purpose.
How does the extended warranty coverage work?
On eligible purchases, you can get up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty if it’s five years or less. Be sure to note important exclusions and restrictions in the cardholder agreement.
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At publishing time, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.