American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred Card provides 6% cash back on groceries, helping offset its $95 annual fee while adding even greater value. Plus, additional perks make this card even more desirable!
These tips can help you maximize the rewards and benefits of an American Express card, including access to VIP event access like pre-sale tickets and exclusive events exclusively for cardholders.
1. Use the Card on Everyday Purchases
The Blue Cash Preferred card is an all-around great card to keep handy for everyday spending, offering returns on many common purchases as well as unique perks.
Use Amex Travel with your card and you could earn a statement credit of up to $100 when paying for airfare, hotel stays and restaurant meals; save with Hertz car rentals when booked with Amex Travel; get discounted Hertz rental cars when booked through Amex Travel using your card; purchase protection will help protect against items not arriving as expected or being damaged during shipping; plus many more benefits that make life simpler than ever!
Maximizing your Blue Cash Preferred depends entirely on how you spend and where. For instance, if your spending patterns include spending at U.S. supermarkets (on average around $6,000 annually), the card offers up to 6% cash back rate on up to that amount (then earn an additional 1%), providing enough rewards to cover its annual fee ($95 currently).
If your annual spending falls under this amount, the Blue Cash Preferred may not be the right card for you. A more suitable option would be Amex EveryDay which offers up to 2% rewards (then 1%) with no annual fee and has similar features.
Another method for comparing cards is using our credit card rewards valuation model, which takes into account your spending patterns and the rewards accrued on each card – helping you to determine whether Blue Cash Preferred or flat rate cash back cards would be best suited for you.
2. Use the Card on U.S. Gas Station Purchases
The Blue Cash Preferred card stands out among competing cards with its generous rewards structure and access to Amex Offers (enrollment required), making it an attractive option for people seeking to maximize the value of their spending.
This card’s main benefits are supermarket, streaming services, gas and transit. If you invest a significant portion of your budget into these areas, this card could easily cover its annual fee quickly.
If you purchase groceries frequently, the 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 annually in purchases; then 1% cash back) should more than cover its annual fee. And if streaming services or public transit form part of your commute routine, then the 3% cash back can add up.
Gas station purchases (including groceries and convenience store purchases) can be an expensive part of life for many Americans. Luckily, the Blue Cash Preferred offers 3% cash back on gas station purchases without an annual cap – though this does exclude warehouse clubs or those only selling food products.
As noted above, this card comes with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee which could prove problematic if you frequently travel internationally or make purchases outside the U.S. If this is your situation, consider finding another card without these additional costs instead.
3. Use the Card on U.S. Transit Purchases
The Blue Cash Preferred card’s bonus categories of supermarkets, gas stations and transit are an attractive draw for large or small households alike, providing ample incentive for everyday spending. Plus, its fees are competitive with industry standards.
Due to these benefits, it has become one of our go-to cards for grocery and gas spending, commuters, streamers and commuters. Additionally, this card offers up to 6% cash back on certain U.S. streaming subscriptions (up to an annual spend cap), as well as earning 1% cash back for all other purchases made with another credit card.
Blue Cash Preferred’s straightforward redemption process makes redeeming your Reward Dollars straightforward; simply apply them towards future purchases as statement credits or transfer them to another American Express or Chase account. Redeemed Reward Dollars can even be used towards merchandise and gift card purchases; though for maximum value we recommend conducting price research online to make sure you’re receiving the best price available.
Cardholders gain access to the Amex Offers & Benefits portal, featuring discounts and offers with popular retailers. If there is something that catches your eye, simply add it to your Blue Cash Preferred card (terms and conditions may apply).
4. Use the Card on U.S. Streaming Services
If your purchases fall into any of the Blue Cash Preferred’s bonus categories, this card could prove extremely advantageous. For instance, by maxing out supermarket purchases up to the annual cap of $6,000 annually and charging all streaming subscriptions and transit to it on an ongoing basis, you could earn an impressive 6% back – enough to easily cover its $95 annual fee!
Other benefits of membership include shopping discounts, exclusive entertainment access and two-day shipping via ShopRunner. In addition, car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty coverage and purchase protection3 are also provided as additional perks.
Like with any credit card, it’s crucial that your balance be paid in full each month to avoid incurring interest charges, and if managing multiple spending categories is becoming challenging for you, Blue Cash Preferred’s Plan It feature offers a solution by creating payment plans for expenses of $100 or more using American Express Online Account.
The Blue Cash Preferred card is a NerdWallet favorite due to its industry-leading 6% cash back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent each year) and certain streaming subscriptions, in addition to generous cash back of 3% at transit stops and gas stations and 1% elsewhere. But it may not suit every situation: for those who prefer less complicated credit card calculations or prefer simpler earning structures there are alternatives such as Amex EveryDay Gold cards available that could provide greater returns over time; further information regarding all these cards can be found using our credit card comparison tool.
5. Use the Card on U.S. Travel
Blue Cash Preferred offers households that make frequent purchases a solid return and rewards redemption is straightforward. Plus, its additional perks and protections may provide even more value – something many consumers may overlook!
As an example, this card offers travel assistance benefits like accessing Amex’s Global Assist hotline on most trips that cover more than 100 miles from home and providing access to its global concierge, medical referrals and cash wire services (when applicable). Furthermore, Hertz car rental benefits can help save you money with discounted pricing and free additional driver fees (restrictions may apply).
Amex Offers can provide valuable discounts in the form of statement credits on various shopping and dining brands, which often target coronavirus pandemic outbreaks – providing substantial value to both large households as well as smaller households alike.
The Blue Cash Preferred also offers many additional perks, such as generous 3 percent cash back on all U.S. transit purchases – such as rideshares, tolls, buses and parking – making this card ideal for households that rely heavily on mass transit and commuter passes as it can offer substantial savings for these expenses. Furthermore, this card makes earning returns on daily transportation expenses easier with its generous 3 percent return, unlike competing cards which offer only limited cash back rewards on these expenses.