Review: Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express

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Most cash-back cards offer a paltry 1 percent rebate. Here's one that, depending on how you spend, can earn you six times as much.

This post comes from Logan Abbott, editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com. 

Cash-back credit cards are great because money back is easy to compute and understand. Some card issuers, however, muddy the water by advertising big cash-back bonuses, but only for expense categories you don’t often use, like specific online stores or movie theaters.

While bonus bucks are always nice, you want a card that offers them on common spending categories, like groceries, department stores, and gas stations.

If that sounds good, you’ll like the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.

Advantages

  • Earn huge cash back at supermarkets. Cardholders earn a whopping 6 percent cash back at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets.
  • Earn sizable cash back on gas and department stores. Cardholders earn 3 percent cash back on gasoline at all U.S. stand-alone gas stations and certain major department stores. The 3 percent on gas is more than many gas rewards cards offer.
  • Earn cash back on all purchases. While 6 percent back on groceries and 3 percent cash back on gas is great, the Blue Cash Preferred Card also offers 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cardholders are eligible to earn a $150 statement credit. If you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of membership, you’ll earn a $150 statement credit.
  • Zero-percent introductory APR on purchases. Cardholders receive a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for a full 12 months. After the introductory period, the APR reverts to a variable APR of between 12.99 percent and 21.99 percent, depending on your credit. The card carries a standard 3 percent balance transfer fee.

Disadvantages

  • There’s a limit on the cash back you can earn. The 6 percent cash back that you get on groceries is delicious, but after spending $6,000 at supermarkets in a calendar year, it’s over. Amounts exceeding $6,000 only earn the usual 1 percent. If you spend less than $6,000 at supermarkets annually – and most American households do – this won’t be a concern.
  • There’s an annual fee. The Blue Cash Preferred Card comes with a $75 annual fee. Remember, however, that if you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll earn a $150 statement credit – enough to offset two years of fees.  After that, however, if you’re not using the card to make enough purchases to more than offset the annual fee, you’re losing ground.
  • Cash earned comes in the form of a statement credit. This isn’t a huge deal, but the cash back you earn comes in the form of a credit on your next statement rather than a check mailed to you.

Bottom line

Get it if: You have fair to excellent credit, spend a decent amount of money at gas stations, supermarkets, and department stores, and like the idea of a cash-back card.

Forget it if: You have poor credit and won’t use the card enough to earn the $150 statement credit or otherwise offset the annual fee.

Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page

Like this article? Follow Logan Abbott on Google+

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