There is no longer an Amex Blue Cash Preferred department stores bonus. The card used to offer 3% cash back at select department stores, but it ended that bonus category in July 2019. Currently, the card gives cash back in several other bonus categories. Cardholders get 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent per year at U.S. supermarkets, unlimited 6% back on streaming services, 3% back on transit and gas purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases. The Blue Cash Preferred Card also has an annual fee of $0 intro 1st yr, $95 after.
If you want a card that offers bonus cash back at department stores, consider the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card. It gives 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores, including J.C. Penny, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and 9 others. The card also offers bonus cash back on gas and supermarket purchases. The Blue Cash Everyday Card has a $0 annual fee.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred supermarkets list includes Gristedes, Foodtown, Meijer, Shoprite, Stop and Shop, Vons, Whole Foods and Winn-Dixie. These U.S.-based supermarket chains all earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 in combined purchases charged to the Blue Cash Preferred card each calendar year. Online supermarkets such as FreshDirect also get 6% cash back, up to the combined limit. To qualify, purchases must be classified with the merchant category code for supermarkets and grocery stores.… read full answer
According to the Amex website, the Blue Cash Preferred supermarkets list is not exhaustive, meaning that similar supermarket chains located in the U.S. may also earn 6% cash back. Retailers such as Target and Walmart, however, are not considered supermarkets, making them ineligible for the bonus rewards. Other excluded merchants include warehouse clubs, specialty food stores, gourmet stores, convenience stores and more.
To find out if a merchant qualifies for 6% cash back, take a look at a recent billing statement and check the merchant category code listed with each transaction. On the Blue Cash Preferred card, you should see “Grocery Stores” under each eligible purchase.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred is worth it for cardholders who spend enough to recoup the value of the card’s $95 annual fee (waived the first year) in rewards earnings. The easiest way to do that is by spending $3,000 within 6 months of opening an account. That will trigger the Blue Cash Preferred card’s $150 initial bonus, which will pay for the annual fee for a couple of years.… read full answer
The Blue Cash Preferred card will continue to be worth it if you consistently charge purchases to the card after meeting the initial bonus, especially in its bonus rewards categories. To break even on the annual fee, you could spend $1,584 on groceries and streaming services per year, $3,167 on gas and transit, or $9,500 on purchases not in those categories. Of course, your spending will probably be a mix of all those categories.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out if Blue Cash Preferred is worth it is to figure out how much you spend in each category per year, determine how much you would earn in rewards based on that, and then compare the rewards value to the annual fee. If you break even or make money, the card is worth it. If not, you should consider a cheaper card.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit score requirement is 700 or higher. That means applicants need at least “good” credit for approval. Some forum posts online report getting approved for American Express Blue Cash Preferred with scores as low as 665.
Your credit score is not the only thing American Express considers, however, annual income, existing debt, and derogatory marks on your credit also matter. The good thing is you can see if you’re pre-qualified for an American Express card by using their online … read full answerpre-qualification tool.
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