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2020 Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Review…

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card offers the cash back rewards that many families look for in a credit card. It pays 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in supermarket purchases per year, plus 6% on U.S. streaming subscriptions. And, it features a generous 12-month 0% interest introductory offer, as well as a $300 statement credit when you use the card to make $1,000 worth of purchases in the first three months. Cardholders also enjoy 3% cash back on gasoline and transit purchases, making commutes more affordable.

While the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card charges a $95 annual fee, it offers some impressive benefits, like exclusive access to concert ticket presales and manageable payment plans for expensive purchases. Cardholders can also enjoy free two-day shipping on items purchased through American Express’ ShopRunner website and free collision and comprehensive insurance on rental cars.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Overview

Rewards Rate 1% to 6%
Sign-Up Bonus $300 statement credit when you make $1,000 worth of purchases in the first three months.
Annual Fee $95
APR 14.49% to 25.49%, based on creditworthiness. Rate varies, based on the Prime Rate.
Additional Fees
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of the transaction, after conversion to USD
  • Recommended Credit Score N/A
    Features
  • Pay it Plan It® enables you to make fixed payments on large purchases.
  • No cost two-day shipping on purchases from stores enrolled in the ShopRunner program.
  • Pros

    • No interest on balance transfers and purchases made in the first 12 months.
    • 6% cash back on streaming subscriptions and 6% on up to $6,000 in supermarket purchases per year. Excludes superstore and warehouse club purchases.
    • 3% cash back on all gas station purchases. Purchases made at supermarkets, superstores and warehouse clubs do not qualify.
    • 3% cash back on transit purchases, including bus fares, parking, taxi fares and tolls. Excludes airfare, automobile rentals and cruises.
    • No cost rental car collision coverage and exclusive access to concerts, family events, theatre performances and sporting events.

    Cons

    • Annual fee
    • Foreign transaction fees
    • Can only redeem rewards for statement credits and for occasional gift card and merchandise offers.
    • American Express is not as widely accepted as Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.

    Who Should Get Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express?

    Best for: The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great choice for families that like to enjoy their meals and entertainment at home. A family of four that spends $700 per month on groceries can earn more than $500 cash back annually.

    Not for: The cash back benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred Card fall short for folks who like to dine out, enjoy live entertainment, and travelers. The card offers just 1% cash back on purchases such as airline tickets, restaurant tabs, and theatre tickets, making it a poor choice for most singles and frequent flyers.

    Main Benefits

    Global assist hotline

    When you travel more than 100 miles from home, the American Express Global Assistance Hotline offers 24/7 assistance for financial, legal, and medical emergencies, as well as lost luggage, passport replacement, and wire transfers. The service provides foreign exchange rates, customs information, and weather reports in your destination. While the benefit can help coordinate the assistance you need, it does not pay for third-party costs such as medical expenses or passport fees.

    Rental car loss and damage insurance

    Reserve and pay for a rental car using the Blue Cash Preferred Card and receive no-cost collision and comprehensive coverage. The feature does not apply when renting a vehicle in Australia, Italy, or New Zealand. American Express does not provide liability coverage. The benefit is not available to cardholders who live in certain U.S. territories and does not cover all types of automobiles, including off-road vehicles, and antique cars.

    Entertainment access

    Blue Cash Preferred Card members have exclusive ticket presales access to all types of entertainment. The benefit includes events worldwide, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Wimbledon tennis tournament. Use the feature to purchase tickets to Broadway musicals, children’s shows, concerts, food festivals, and museums.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Acceptance

    Not all merchants accept American Express credit cards. American Express charges merchants higher fees than Discover, Mastercard and Visa does, so some businesses choose not to accept their cards. If you like to use one card for all your purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred Card could leave you frustrated at some checkout stands.

    Annual fee

    If you use the Blue Cash Preferred Card to buy $700 worth of groceries each month, you can earn more than $500 cash back. But with a $95 annual fee, you essentially lose nearly 20% of your savings. Many other credit cards like Chase Freedom offer similar – and in some cases better – rewards structures, with no annual fee.

    The Competition

    All information accurate as of 02/26/2020.

    Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Compared to Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

    Although the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card does not charge an annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred Card offers higher cash back benefits. The Bank of America card pays 1% to 3% cash back rewards, while the American Express card offers 6% cash back in two spending categories.

    However, the Bank of America Cash Rewards card has a few advantages over the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. With the Bank of America card, you can choose a category to receive the highest reward, 3% cash back. That’s a great benefit if you spend a lot of money on purchases such as airline tickets or dining. The Bank of America card also comes with a better introductory offer, 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 billing cycles, compared to the American Express offer of 0% interest for the first 12 months. Also, Bank of America gives you more redemption options, including a cash deposit to your checking or savings account, which American Express doesn’t offer.

    Earning Rewards

    Earning perks on your everyday purchases is easily achievable with this card. With the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, you can earn cash back by:

    • Earn 6% cash back when you use the Blue Cash Preferred Card at your favorite grocery store.
    • Use the Blue Cash Preferred Card to purchase gas and earn 3% cash back.
    • Pay for your monthly streaming subscriptions with the Blue Cash Preferred Card to earn 6% cash back.
    • Purchase your monthly transit card with the Blue Cash Preferred Card and earn 3% cash back.

    For more information on how to redeem your rewards, check out our American Express Membership Rewards redemption guide.

    The Bottom Line

    The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great choice for families on the go. With 6% cash back on grocery store purchases and 3% cash back on gasoline and transit expenses, you can earn some serious rewards. But for singles and couples who like to try new restaurants, go to shows, and jet away on holidays, this card doesn’t offer the best benefits for cash back rewards.

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