- Up to $350 initial bonus
- Up to 6% cash back
- Annual fee
- Above-average regular APR
- 2.7% foreign-transaction fee
Blue Cash Preferred Review Summary
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an elite everyday rewards credit card, giving up to 6% cash back in some of the most popular consumer spending categories. In addition to high ongoing rewards rates, Blue Cash Preferred offers an initial bonus of $150 statement credit for spending $3,000 during the first 6 months.
Blue Cash Preferred has financing chops, too, offering 0% introductory interest rates on new purchases for the first 12 months. Even if the card has no annual fee the first year, it charges $95 per year after that. This steep fixed cost means that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is ill-suited to someone who infrequently pays with plastic, as it would be difficult to earn enough rewards to cover the annual fee. But if you’re prepared to make it your primary spending vehicle, and groceries and gas are among your biggest expenses, then Blue Cash Preferred® certainly warrants a closer look.
And though it’s not necessarily an offer to seek out for financing purposes, it’s far from a liability and actually lends itself quite well to helping you both earn rewards and avoid interest on a big-ticket purchase that will take more than a few months to pay off.
We’ll take a closer look at the ins and outs of this offer below, in addition to seeing how the Blue Cash Preferred® Card compares to its no annual fee sibling, Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.
- Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
- Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- See More Details & Reviews About Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred Highlights
Up to $350 Initial Bonus
Spending at least $3,000 during the first 6 months that you have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card will earn you a $150 statement credit. That’s less than the average initial cash-back bonus, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. But you also earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases, up to $200 back, during the first 6 months.
Up To 6% Cash Back
At 6%, Blue Cash Preferred’s maximum cash-back earning rate certainly is high. This rate applies to U.S. streaming subscriptions and U.S. supermarkets, for the first $6,000 in supermarket purchases you make each year. When you factor in the 3% cash back earned at U.S. gas stations and on transit, as well as the 1% cash back you’ll get everywhere else, the average person is looking at earning more than $1,500 over the first two years of use, after subtracting the annual fee and assuming they manage to spend the full $6,000 at supermarkets.
By the way, superstores, warehouse stores and wholesale clubs (e.g., Costco, Walmart and Target) do not qualify as supermarkets or gas stations. It’s also worth noting that the cash back is technically received in the form of “reward dollars” that can be redeemed for statement credits. But that doesn’t really impact anything value-wise.
Blue Cash Preferred Lowlights
$95 Annual Fee Starting Second Year
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card’s most glaring weakness is the fact that it takes from you. It has no annual fee the first year, but it charges $95 per year after that. Sure, the rewards that you stand to earn will help you quickly recoup your investment in this plastic, but you’re still paying nearly 5 times more than the average credit card charges starting the second year on. That’s what prevents applying for this card from being a no-brainer.
If you get approved for Blue Cash Preferred®, you will be assigned an APR that could be 13.99% - 23.99% (V), depending on your exact creditworthiness. The high end of this range is roughly the same as the average for “fair-credit” credit cards, according to WalletHub Landscape Reports. The result is plastic that will prove quite expensive if you carry a balance from month to month.
Other Things To Consider About Blue Cash Preferred
Free ShopRunner Membership
Your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express scores you free two-day shipping for items purchased through the service, which offers products from more than 140 stores and thousands of brands. You can sign up for the benefit here. Ordinarily, a ShopRunner membership will cost you $79 per year.
2.7% Foreign Transaction Fee
American Express already has one strike against it when it comes to international spending, as its cards are accepted in fewer countries than Visa and Mastercard. The fact that it charges a fee equal to 2.7% of any purchase made outside of the U.S., whether you’re traveling abroad or just shopping from an internationally based merchant, is strike number two. It is higher than the 1.45% market-average foreign transaction fee and a deal breaker for any frequent traveler.
No Annual Fee For Authorized Users
Some rewards cards charge annual fees to authorized users in recognition of the fact that they have the same earning privileges as primary accountholders and should thus foot some of the bill. Blue Cash Preferred® is not among them. You can add an unspecified number of authorized users, whose spending will yield rewards for you, without paying extra. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should rush to add authorized users, as doing so still poses distinct risks, but it’s certainly a feature worth knowing about.
Blue Cash Preferred vs. The Competition
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
|Annual Fee||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after||$0||$0||$95|
|Rewards Bonus||Up to $350||Up to $250||N/A||60,000 miles|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 6% Cash Back||1 - 3% Cash Back||2% Cash Back||2 miles / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||0% for 12 months||0% for 15 months||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||0% for 18 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||13.99% - 23.99% (V)||13.99% - 23.99% (V)||13.99% - 23.99% (V)||17.24% - 24.49% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||4.7 / 5||4.2 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
Rates & Fees
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