Credit Cards

Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express Review - $350 Welcome Bonus

Overall Ranking

4/5

Overview

Rewards Program

5/5

Up Front Bonus

5/5

Annual Fee

3/5

Credit Needed

4/5

Added Perks

5/5

In our Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review, we see where you can earn up to 6% cash back and look at the $350 cash bonus for new card members.

Editor's Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

Having written about credit cards for a long time, it’s become easy to recognize the good cards from the bad. A good credit card will deliver in a variety of ways. Big perks, big bonuses, good rewards program, etc. A bad credit card wows you with one single feature, then takes advantage of you in every other way.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is a credit card I knew I always wanted. When it was first released many years ago, my credit score was in the tank (high 400′s) so I had no reason to apply. After a few years of saving and working hard to restore my credit, I finally had the opportunity to own this cash back credit card. Now I use this card for every single grocery store purchase, and easily save hundreds of dollars a year.

$350 Welcome Bonus + Cash Back Rewards Program

American Express is offering a $350 welcome cash bonus. To qualify you must spend $3,000 in purchases on the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express within the first six months.

If you’re worried about being able to spend that amount of money, don’t be. My cable bill + grocery bill each month is well over $700. After just a few months, I would have no trouble reaching the $3,000 hurdle. Toss in gas, department stores, restaurants, and other utility bills like your phone and oil bills, and getting there should be even easier. Last but not least, don’t forget you can pay for things like health insurance, life insurance, and auto insurance with a credit card.

Cash Back Reward Tiers

Beyond the $350 bonus, this credit card excels in one other major area, and that’s cash back. The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers an amazing set of tier levels to earn cash back on everyday spending.

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu, and others)
  • 3% cash back on ground transportation
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on everything else

If the 6% cash back category stands out, it’s because this is the only credit card that offers better than 5% on anything. And to have it on such a widely used category makes this card so very valuable to people that spend a lot of money on groceries. The other cash back amounts are also nice. I know when I don’t have a 5% gas cash back quarter available, this is the card I use at the pump.

Cash back from American Express comes in the form of Membership rewards dollars and they never expire so long as your account is in good standing. Rewards dollars can be redeemed for a statement credit, check, or things like gift cards through the American Express portal. There is never any limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

Blue Cash Preferred Pricing Details

New cardholders will receive a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. After the intro rate expires, the ongoing APR becomes 14.74% - 24.74% variable based on your credit history. Other interest rates and fees on the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express are as follows:

  • APR for cash advances - 25.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR when it applies - 29.99%
  • Cash advance fee -$10 or 5% of the transfer (whichever is higher)
  • Foreign transaction fee - 2.7%
  • Late payment and returned payment fee - Up to $40
  • Annual fee - $95

Paying an annual fee on a cash back credit card is generally a bad idea. In fact, of the other cash back credit cards available in the marketplace, the only one that charges an annual fee happens to be the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. If your plan is to use your credit card sparingly, look elsewhere. If you plan to use this card for most of your shopping and grocery purchases, the cash back earned is well worth the price of an annual fee.

Pros and Cons

  • Awesome $350 Welcome Bonus

  • Unparalleled 6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets

  • Great 3% Cash Back at U.S. Gas Stations


  • $95 Annual Fee

  • 2.7% Foreign Transaction Fee

Blue Cash Preferred Card and Blue Cash Everyday Card Comparison

There is also another version of this card---the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. The rewards program is a little bit smaller but the big selling point is that the card carries no annual fee. Assuming the same spending patterns for a family, what kind of annual cash back savings can you expect from each card?

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

CategoryMonthly SpendingAnnual Cash Back
Groceries (3%)$500$180
Gas (2%)$400$96
Dining Out (1%)$25030
Department
Stores (2%)
$100$12
Other (1%)$1,000$120
ANNUAL CASH BACK
(No Annual Fee)
438

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

CategoryMonthly SpendingAnnual Cash Back
Groceries (6%)$500$360
Gas (3%)$400$144
Dining Out (1%)$250$30
Department
Stores (1%)
$100$12
Other (1%)$1,000$120
ANNUAL CASH BACK$571

*Other: $1000 (this might include big box stores, pharmacy, cell phone, cable, car repair, travel, and every other monthly expense that can be charged)

If you use the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express often, it’s a better option than its no fee counterpart. The savings at the grocery store is simply too great a feature for people who shop there regularly.

Final Thoughts

I currently own 12 credit cards. When I browse through my wallet right now, I see that only two of them have an annual fee. One is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, which I have yet to pay the annual fee on. The other is the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. I despise annual fees but when you have a credit card offering a 6% cash back category year-round, you take advantage. With a family of four who spends 6-7 days and nights every week making food from home, the savings is tremendous.

Include a $350 welcome cash back offer, 0% interest rate for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening (after that the ongoing APR applies) and high cash back percentages on things like gas and at supermarkets and there’s little reason not to own the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.

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