Review: American Express Blue Cash Preferred

I review dozens of credit card offers each week to find the best deals. My goal is simply to help you use credit cards to build and protect your money and credit. Check out more on our credit card page.

When it comes to credit card rewards, I love cards that help me travel in style. But what if you just want the most cash back? American Express offers its Blue Cash Preferred Card with some of the highest cash back rewards available.

Key features

  • $150 cash back as a sign-up bonus. You earn $150 cash back when you spend $1,000 within three months of opening an account.
  • Cash back for spending. Earn 6 percent cash back at supermarkets, 3 percent at gas stations and department stores, and 1 percent on all other purchases.
  • Introductory APR. As a new cardholder, you get zero-percent interest on new purchases for one year.
  • Standard interest rates. You get a rate of 17.24, 20.24, or 22.24 percent, depending on your credit history.
  • Fees. There’s a $75 annual fee for this card, and a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee.

Advantages

  • $150 sign-up bonus. While the $75 annual fee isn’t waived, this bonus essentially covers it for two years.
  • Leading cash-back rates. 6 percent cash back on groceries is phenomenal, and 3 percent back on fuel is as good as many gas cards.
  • Promotional financing. You get one year of free interest on your purchases. This is a good deal – but only if you pay it off before the standard APR applies.

Disadvantages

  • Annual fee. $75 is steep. You could sign up for the Blue Cash Everyday card instead, which has no annual fee, but you get less cash back – 3 percent at supermarkets, 2 percent at gas and department stores, and the same 1 percent everywhere else. Do the math and you’ll find that in order to justify the $75 annual fee, you’ll have to spend more than $2,500 annually on groceries; three times that if you’re trying to recoup the fee with higher rebates at gas stations or department stores. Since the signup bonus covers the fee for the first two years, however, the Blue Cash Preferred is a better choice until the fee kicks in.
  • High interest rates. If you want big rewards, be prepared for big interest rates. So this is only a good deal if you pay off your card each month. If you don’t, you’re better off here: 5 Credit Cards With Low Interest Rates.
  • Foreign transaction fees. When you travel, these fees stink. I hate them. (See How to Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees.)

Bottom line

Get it if: You want big cash back. In fact, you can use this card to get 6 percent cash back all over town by purchasing gift cards at the grocery store – since all purchases there are subject to 6 percent cash back.

Forget it if: You carry a balance. Just focus on cards with the lowest interest rates, not rewards.

This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. Also note that any terms, rates or other features described in this article can change without notice. Always double-check everything with the issuer before applying for any credit card.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free movie streaming sites offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics. If you love free movies, online sites are where you need to look for the best list of features that are just one easy click away.

9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive
9 Purchases That Will Make You More Productive

These Amazon products can give you an extra edge at work and other parts of your life.

Brace to Pay More for These 26 Prescriptions in 2020
Brace to Pay More for These 26 Prescriptions in 2020

More than 600 drugs — including these commonly prescribed meds — have seen price hikes so far this year.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.