- $300 statement credit initial bonus offer
- Low intro APR on purchases
- High rewards rate
- No membership fees first year
- Membership fees in the second year
- Spending caps on rewards
- 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 spending categories. In addition to high ongoing rewards rates, Blue Cash Preferred offers a $300 statement credit as an initial bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months.
The card has financing chops, too, offering 0% introductory interest rates on new purchases for the first 12 months. Plus, the standard $95 annual fee for Blue Cash Preferred is waived the first year.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at the ins and outs of this offer, 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 a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- 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.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 14.74% to 24.74%
- See More Details & Reviews About Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred Highlights
Up To 6% Cash Back
At 6%, Blue Cash Preferred’s maximum cash-back earning rate certainly is high – roughly six times higher than what the average rewards card offers. This rate applies to U.S. streaming subscriptions and to purchases from U.S. supermarkets, for your first $6,000 in supermarket purchases each year.
3% Cash Back on Gas and Transit
Blue Cash Preferred cardholders earn 3% cash back on purchases made at U.S. gas stations as well as on transit-related purchases. This includes everything from parking and tolls to trains, taxis and rideshare services.
All purchases that don’t qualify for Blue Cash Preferred bonus categories get you 1% cash back.
$300 Initial Bonus
Spending at least $3,000 during the first 6 months that you have the Blue Cash Preferred Card will earn you a $300 statement credit. That’s more than the average initial cash-back bonus, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
0% Intro APR
New cardholders enjoy an introductory APR of 0% for 12 months on purchases. That could help you avoid interest entirely on big-ticket purchases. Just bear in mind that the card’s regular APR- 14.74% - 24.74% (V) - will apply to any balance remaining at the end of the intro period.
Numerous Secondary Benefits
In addition to rewards and a low intro APR, cardholders can take advantage of benefits such as rental car insurance and instant card numbers.
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 14.74% - 24.74% (V), depending on your exact creditworthiness. The high end of this range is above 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.
Rewards Fine Print
Superstores, warehouse stores and wholesale clubs (e.g., Costco, Walmart and Target) do not qualify as supermarkets or gas stations for rewards purposes.
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.
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 1.44% 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 Offer||$300||$200||N/A||75,000 miles|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 6% Cash Back||1 - 3% Cash Back||2% Cash Back||2 - 5 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% intro fee ($5 min) for each transfer in first 4 months, after that 5% ($5 min) for each transfer
|Regular APR||14.74% - 24.74% (V)||14.74% - 24.74% (V)||14.74% - 24.74% (V)||16.24% - 24.24% (V)|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
Rates & Fees
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