Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is not a Visa or a Mastercard – it is on the American Express network. This means the Blue Cash Preferred Card has a bit less worldwide acceptance than a Visa or a Mastercard but should still be usable at most merchants within the U.S.
In general, it doesn’t matter much what network your credit card is on unless you’re focusing specifically on international travel. In that case, you’re best served by getting a Visa or Mastercard credit card with no foreign transaction fees. But for all other purposes, all four major credit card networks have comparable benefits and card offers. It’s best to compare individual cards on a case-by-case basis rather than focusing on a specific network.
The Blue Cash Preferred credit limit is based on American Express’s assessment of each application, so the card’s credit limit will be different for each applicant. American Express does not include any specific Blue Cash Preferred credit limit information in the card’s terms.
For the most part, Blue Cash Preferred credit limits depend on each applicant’s overall creditworthiness. Those with the highest income and best credit scores will generally be offered the highest starting credit limits.… read full answer
That said, the Blue Cash Preferred card credit limit that you start with isn’t necessarily your credit line forever. You can ask to get a credit limit increase by calling the American Express customer service number on the back of your card, but it’s best not to do that more than once a year. American Express will also evaluate your account periodically to determine whether you are eligible for a credit limit increase. Paying on time and keeping your credit utilization low are key for getting unsolicited credit line increases with American Express.
The stores that are supermarkets for Blue Cash Preferred include 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
Blue Cash Preferred Supermarkets List:
Kings Food Markets
Smart & Final
Stop & Shop
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.
American Express is often better than Visa and Mastercard for use in the U.S. by people with good or excellent credit who pay their bill in full monthly and redeem rewards for domestic travel or cash, depending on the Amex. But Visa and Mastercard are better than American Express when it comes to card acceptance and card variety.… read full answer
Credit cards on any of these card networks could deserve a spot in your wallet, though, depending on your creditworthiness and spending habits. As three of the four largest credit card networks in the United States, Visa, Mastercard and American Express are really quite similar.
One big difference, however, is that Amex is both a card issuer and a network, while Visa and Mastercard are strictly card networks. As a result, cardholders borrow money directly from American Express when they make purchases with an Amex-issued credit card, while people paying with Visa or Mastercard credit cards borrow money from a bank or a credit union. More than 300 different banks and credit unions issue credit cards on the Visa or Mastercard network. Cardholders also earn rewards directly from American Express, which is not the case with Visa or Mastercard.
Still, Visa and Mastercard are accepted by international merchants much more often than American Express. Amex credit card applicants also need good credit or better for approval, whereas applicants of any credit level can find a suitable Visa or Mastercard credit card.
Visa vs. Mastercard vs. American Express
10.6 million locations
10.7 million locations
10.7 million locations
160+ countries & territories
200+ countries & territories
210+ countries & territories
Credit Cards for Good/Excellent Credit?
Credit Cards for Below-Average Credit?
Despite these differences, American Express, Visa, and Mastercard all offer similar basic benefits, like $0 fraud liability and emergency card replacement. More advanced perks are often available, too, but those usually depend on the network tier of your credit card rather than the network itself. Visa and Mastercard both have three levels of credit card benefits, while Amex doesn’t officially have tiers but generally offers better benefits for cards with higher annual fees.
American Express can be better than Visa and Mastercard for cardholders who spend heavily, have good credit or better, plan to pay their monthly bills in full, and are able to justify paying any annual fees by earning more than enough in rewards. But an Amex probably shouldn’t be the only card in your wallet, especially if you like to travel internationally.
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