Cashing in at the Supermarket: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Review

By Jason Steele. Last updated 8 November 2016. 5 comments

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Earning rewards from your credit cards is a lot like earning interest on your investments. Cardholders should look for the highest returns possible considering the amount they spend and the type of merchants they frequent. They then need to balance these rewards against any fees assessed on their cards. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers as much as 6% cash back rewards for your spending at a time when many reward cards only offer 1%-2% cash back. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Why We Like This Card

  • $150 cash back bonus offer + 10% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200 (must apply by 1/11/17)
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (with limits and restrictions)

How This Card Works

Like many credit cards, customers earn 1% cash back on purchases from most retailers, but it is the bonus categories that make this card stand out.

A whopping 6% cash back is earned from purchases from U.S. supermarkets, not including wholesale or discount stores. How good is that? Let's just say that some people were taking this discount so far that American Express recently imposed a $6,000 annual cap on eligible purchases. Cardholders will earn 1% on subsequent purchases. The annual fee is $95.

Bonus offer: Earn $150 back after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit. Plus, you earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, and as a special offer, you can earn 10% back on purchases at Amazon.com in the first 6 months, up to $200, if you apply by 1/11/2017. Cash back terms and limitations apply.

Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. (See also: Best Credit Cards that Offer Bonus Cash for Sign-Up)

Other Benefits

Because Blue Cash is an American Express card, you can expect a wide range of other benefits beyond simple cash back.

Return Protection: If a merchant refuses to accept a return within 90 days, American Express may refund the full purchase price (up to $300 per item, $1,000 maximum per year). (See also: 4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card)

Extended Warranty: Get up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer's warranty, if it is 5 years or less. (See also: How to Take Advantage of Free Extended Warranty from Your Credit Card)

Purchase Protection: Protect your purchases against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days. (See also: 14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About)

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: You can decline the extra fee car rental companies charge for insurance. Use your AMEX card to pay for your rental and be covered if the car is damaged or stolen. (See also: What Does Car Rental Insurance On Your Card Really Cover?)

Important Note: Exclusions and restrictions apply on benefits.

Costs

  • $95 Annual Fee
  • 13.24%-23.24% APR (0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months)
  • 3% Balance Transfer Fee ($5 minimum)
  • 2.7% Foreign Transaction Fee

Considerations

Foreign transaction fees. This card has a transaction fee for foreign purchases, which makes it not ideal for spending abroad. If you plan to use your card for foreign transactions, you should instead choose a card with no foreign transaction fees. (See also: Best Cards with No Foreign Fees)

Annual cash back limit. The 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets is only for the first $6,000 in purchases. After that, the cash back percentage drops to 1%.

Competitors

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™: The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card also awards gas and groceries but you can earn cash back on wholesale club shopping as well. This card awards 3% cash back on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery, wholesale club, and gas purchases each quarter. Other purchases earn 1% unlimited cash back. This card also offers a 10% customer bonus each time you redeem your cash back in a Bank of America® checking or savings account. There is  a 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 12 billing cycles before a variable APR of 13.24% - 23.24% based on your credit worthiness, is applied. There is no annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited℠: The Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ card awards an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. New cardholders can earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months of account opening. There is a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the variable APR of 14.24% - 23.24% will apply. There is no annual fee.

Who This Card Is Best For

This card is best for those who spend between $3,500 to $6,000 per year on groceries. That will allow you to get between $115 to $265 cash back after paying the annual fee. If you spend less than that on groceries, you might want to consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express which offers lower rewards but with no annual fee.

Terms and conditions apply.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express today!


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Guest's picture
Kg

Although I am a Dave Ramsey follower, I won't give up this card for groceries and gas. With a family of 6, I've made over $500 in cash back this year, and will do even better next year, even with the cutoff coming. I pay it off weekly online.

Guest's picture
Ashley

I recently opened a Blue Cash Preferred AMEX account, and they offered me a 0% APR introductory rate for the first 12 months. Although there is an annual fee (which I usually don't like paying for), I feel like the perks you get from having the card more than pay for it (especially if you maximize the cash back).

Guest's picture

I have been using the amex blue cash for several years now. I use it to pay for gas, groceries, restaurants & etc... As you mentioned in your post, Amex cards are really great for renting cars because their insurance policy is probably the best if something happened to your rental car.

Guest's picture
James @ Panda CashBack

6% cash back is pretty sweet deal for grocery and the highest I ever seen for in store rebate.

Since it is applied on the first $6000 of purchases in grocery, i doubt majority of people would ever exceed that amount ( unless they purchase in bluk )

Guest's picture
Guest

Most people would exceed that amount. $500 per month in groceries is nothing for a family. Nothing. Groceries are crazy expensive.