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- Excellent rewards credit card for common purchases like gas, groceries, and Netflix
- Appealing sign-up bonus with relatively low spending threshold to qualify
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
- Features American Express services and benefits like travel accident insurance and car rental damage waivers
- $95 annual fee
- Reward dollars are only redeemable with an available balance of 25 reward dollars or more
- Grocery rewards are limited up to $6,000 a year, then they revert to 1%
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Is the Amex Blue Cash Preferred the Best Card for Groceries and Gas?
Groceries and gas are two things people, and in particular, families often spend the majority of their money on. The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers high cash back rewards on these purchases, as well as money spent in other categories, such as streaming services.
Of course, while this card does have some attractive features, it also has some downsides, such as spending caps and the $95 annual fee. Keep reading to see if the card makes sense for you.
In this review:
- Amex Blue Cash Preferred Benefits
- Downsides of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
- How It Compares to Similar Cards
Amex Blue Cash Preferred Benefits
The Blue Cash Preferred comes with similar perks offered by most rewards credit card companies—including things like access to the Global Assist Hotline, personalized travel planning assistance, roadside assistance, and return protection. However, the card’s biggest perks come from its rewards program and bonus categories.
If you spend a lot at the grocery store and on gas, the Blue Cash Preferred Card will serve you well.
The credit card offers three tiers of rewards:
- 6% cash back at U.S. Supermarkets and on streaming subscriptions, such as Netflix, Spotify, or Hulu
- 3% cash back on transit expenses—such as taxis, ridesharing apps, or metro tickets—and at U.S. gas stations
- 1% cash back on everything else
The cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars. Those Reward Dollars can be redeemed as a statement credit once you’ve accrued at least 25 of them. Cardholders can also redeem Reward Dollars for gift cards, or they can use them to shop at retailers.
If you were to spend just $60 a week at supermarkets, you would earn more than $180 cash back each year from grocery purchases alone.
Blue Cash Preferred Supermarkets List
To be eligible for the highest-tier rewards, the supermarket has to be located in the U.S. Superstores (e.g. Target), warehouse clubs (e.g. BJs), and convenience stores (e.g. CVS) are not considered supermarkets. Specialty stores such as wine shops or cheese shops are also not eligible for bonus rewards (aside from the general 1% cash back).
Examples of eligible supermarkets include:
- Stop and Shop
- Whole Foods
- Certain online supermarkets like Fresh Direct
For the 3% gas cash back rewards, only stand-alone gas station purchases are eligible. If you buy gas at superstores, supermarkets or warehouse stores, such as Walmart, it doesn’t count for the 3% rewards tier.
New cardholders can earn a $250 statement credit if they spend $1,000 in the first three months of opening their account. This is a relatively low spending threshold compared to other welcome offers, so it should be easy to reach.
Downsides of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
There are some downsides to the Blue Cash Preferred Card. First, the $95 annual fee.
To offset the annual fee, cardholders would only need to spend a little more than $30 a week at supermarkets. If you’re a light spender (at least on groceries) and you don’t spend that much, the Blue Cash Preferred may not make sense when there are other cash back credit cards with no annual fee.
Also, if you regularly shop at superstores or wholesale clubs such as Walmart or Costco, you’re not going to earn the 6% cash back on your grocery purchases. Before signing up, make sure your regular grocery store qualifies, and that it accepts Amex.
Finally, there’s a $6,000 annual spending cap on 6% rewards. If you spend more than $115 per week on groceries, you might want to pair the Blue Cash Preferred card with another rewards card, such as the free Capital One SavorOne card, to continue earning bonus cash back on groceries after you exceed the Blue Cash Preferred’s spending limit.
How It Compares to Similar Cards
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is one of the best American Express cards—especially when it comes to supermarket cash back. But the card also comes with store limitations and a high annual fee. If you don’t spend enough at eligible stores to warrant the fee, consider these alternatives.
Blue Cash Preferred Card vs Blue Cash Everyday Card
The Blue Cash Everyday Card is a similar cash back option from Amex, but with no annual fee. This card earns 3% cash back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then it reverts to 1%. The card also earns 2% cash back at not only gas stations but also select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
The Blue Cash Everyday Card also features a $150 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases in the first three months.
If you spend less than $60 a week on groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred Card may be a better option for you.
Blue Cash Preferred Card vs Capital One Savor Card
For people who dine out more than they cook at home, the Capital One Savor Card. The Savor card is a cash back card geared toward people who spend on dining out and entertainment.
The card boasts 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, including things like concert or amusement park tickets, and the opportunity to earn a $300 cash back bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of opening a new account.
Bottom Line: Is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Right for You?
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a good option for people who shop at supermarkets frequently. For anyone who dines out more than they eat at home, this card may not be an ideal option, particularly with the $95 annual fee. For a cardholder or family to find the optimal use of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, they should ideally spend more than $60 a week at eligible supermarkets and take advantage of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.