One of the absolute best cash back credit cards is one that I’ve never carried. And as I write this review, I’m wondering exactly why I don’t have this card. I’m talking about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, a credit card that most definitely ranks as one of the best credit cards available today.
This card actually comes in two flavors. One pays higher rewards but has an annual fee. The other has no annual fee, but lower rewards. Let’s look at both options.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Cardholders of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will receive one of the best cash rewards program ever created by AMEX. First, for a limited time earn up $350 back. Here’s how it works:
GET $150 BACK after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. PLUS, GET UP TO $200 BACK when you apply by 06/15/2016 by getting 10% back at US Wireless Telephone Service Providers on the first $2,000 in purchases made on the Card Account in 2016. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.†
Beyond the bonus cash, the card offers some of the highest cash back rewards available today:
- Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%);
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations;
- 3% Cash Back at select U.S. department stores; and
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months. There is a $75 annual fee for this card.
You can get more details and apply online here.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers a slightly lower bonus and rewards structure, but doesn’t charge an annual fee.
For a limited time you can earn a bonus of up to $300. Here are the terms:
Get up to $300 back. Offer Ends 6/15/2016. Here’s How: $100 BACK after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months. PLUS, apply by 06/15/2016 to get 10% back when you use the Card at US Wireless Telephone Service Providers in 2016, up to $200. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
The cash back rewards are also very nice:
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%);
- 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations;
- 2% Cash Back at select U.S. department stores; and
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.Terms and limitations apply.‡
Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
You can get more details and apply online here.
How Do They Compare?
So the question is whether it’s worth paying the $75 annual fee for the preferred version of this card. The answer depends on how much you’ll use the card. We’ve taken the typical spending of a family of four to compare the cards in the following table:
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express|
|Category||Monthly Spending||Annual Cash Back||Category||Monthly Spending||Annual Cash Back|
|Groceries (3%)||$750||$270||Groceries (6%)||$750||$390|
|Gas (2%)||$400||$96||Gas (3%)||$400||$144|
|Dining Out (1%)||$250||$30||Dinning Out (1%)||$250||$30|
|Other (1%)||$1,000||$120||Other (1%)||$1,000||$120|
|ANNUAL CASH BACK|
(No Annual Fee)
|$540||ANNUAL CASH BACK|
(-$75 Annual Fee)
*Other: $1000 (this might include big box stores, pharmacy, cell phone, cable, car repair, travel, and every other monthly expense that can be charged)
0% Introductory Rate
Both versions of the card offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12. Excellent credit is required to obtain this card but depending on your degree of excellence, you will receive one of the two intro time-lengths.
Additional Card Features
These cards are an upgrade from the previous Blue Cash version in a variety of ways. First, there is no spend limit or tier level that needs to be reached in order to receive the above cash back bonuses. Next, there is no limit to the amount of cash that can be earned and the cash never expires. Finally, cash can be redeemed as soon as you’ve earned at least $25 worth.
American Express offers dozens of perks that cardholders may not know exist and some of the coolest and most useful ones are:
- If you need to return an item and the store won’t take it back, American Express will usually refund the purchase price, up to $300
- Extend manufacturer warranties for up to one additional year
- $100,000 in travel insurance just in case something should happen during your next vacation
- Be the first to know about exclusive events using Entertainment Access
These cards from top to bottom are two of the best credit cards available to consumers today. If you buy groceries (which should be just about everybody) and use an automobile to get there, the savings can add up to hundreds a year.