22 Benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Grocery store produce

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Everyday spending can add up quickly. A few trips to the grocery store, fill up the gas tank, take an Uber ride out to dinner, then add the cost of that Netflix subscription, and you’ll easily have hundreds of dollars in purchases.

We’re all about earning rewards, especially on purchases you make on a daily basis. Earning rewards on these purchases can add a lot of extra cash to your household.

One way to ensure you receive all the rewards you deserve is to select a credit card that earns the highest rewards on your greatest expenses.

If your highest expense categories are those everyday purchases, you may find that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could be a value-added asset to your daily life.

Let’s talk about how easy it is to earn rewards on the Blue Cash Preferred card, look at card’s redemption options, and peruse the travel and shopping benefits/protections that come with the card.

We’ll also look at a couple of alternative cards that could be a potential fit if you’re looking to make sure your everyday purchases, and more, get rewarded appropriately.

Blue Cash Preferred Card Overview

Earning Rewards

1. An Introductory Welcome Bonus

Jumpstart your earnings with a welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.

2. Earning at Supermarkets

Earn up to $360 cash-back each year when you spend at U.S. supermarkets. You’ll earn 6% cash-back on up to $6,000 in purchases each card anniversary year. After that, supermarket purchases earn just 1% cash-back.

Note that warehouse clubs and stores such as Walmart and Target are not considered grocery stores.

3. Earning on Streaming Services

Streaming Apps Google Play
Most streaming services qualify for 6% cash-back bonus category earning. Image Credit: Google Play

For every dollar you spend on U.S. streaming services, you’ll receive 6 cents in cash-back Blue Cash Reward Dollars. Examples of streaming services that earn this 6% cash-back include Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, CBS All Access, Pandora, Spotify, Prime Video, and many more.

There is no limit on 6% cash-back earning for streaming services.

4. Earning on Transit and at Gas Stations

For those who spend a lot at gas stations and on transit, you’ll enjoy the unlimited 3% cash-back for every dollar you spend. Transit includes ride-sharing services (like Uber and Lyft), buses, subway transport, parking, tolls, and much more.

5. Earning on Every Purchase

Every purchase you make that doesn’t fall into 1 of the bonus earning categories earns 1% cash-back.

Bottom Line: With several bonus earning categories and up to 6% cash-back, earning lots of rewards dollars with the Blue Cash Preferred card for everyday purchases at grocery stores, on streaming services, at gas stations, and on transit, is a simple process.

Redeeming Rewards

6. Redeem for Statement Credits

Simplicity also rules when it comes time to redeem your Blue Cash Preferred card rewards dollars. The cash-back you’ve earned can be used as a statement credit towards purchases — it couldn’t be easier.

Rewards dollars must be redeemed in $25 increments.

7. Redeem for Merchandise and Gift Cards

While you have the additional option to redeem your rewards dollars for merchandise and gift cards, always compare prices elsewhere.

For example, for merchandise, check other retailers to ensure the price you’re offered is a good one. You can always redeem your rewards dollars for cash and purchase the item where you found the best deal.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Amex Car Rental Insurance
Cardholders have access to premium car rental coverage for 1 low fee that covers your entire rental period. Image Credit: American Express

You’ll find a nice collection of travel perks and protections on the Blue Cash Preferred card. Here are some of the core travel benefits you can expect.

8. Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee

If you book your prepaid hotel with American Express Travel using your eligible card and find the same room advertised online for less, you could receive the difference in price (restrictions apply).

9. Rental Car Program Benefits

Cardholders receive Hertz car rental benefits including discounted pricing, additional driver fees waived, and a 1 car class upgrade for rentals 5 days or more.

Use your eligible card and code 705500 at booking.

10. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

Use your card to reserve and pay for your rental car, decline the agency’s collision damage waiver coverage, and receive secondary rental car coverage for damage, theft, and loss of use. Rentals of 30 days or less are covered, up to $50,000 per rental agreement.

Secondary coverage means that you must first file a claim with any other applicable insurance company.

11. Access to Premium Car Rental Protection

Blue Cash Preferred card members qualify to purchase Premium Car Rental Protection for a flat rate of $12.95 to $24.95 per rental period of up to 42 consecutive days in length.

Premium Car Rental Protection is primary car rental insurance, offering up to $100,000 in benefits. You do not have to file a claim with your own insurance company first when you purchase this coverage.

12. Concierge and Travel Assistance

Receive help planning your trip or assistance services 24/7 when you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home.

13. Global Assist Hotline

Get help anytime of the day or night with services that include legal and medical referrals, translation services, help replacing a lost passport, making emergency arrangements, and much more. Referral services are complimentary but cardholders are responsible for the cost of actual services.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

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Purchases made with your Blue Cash Preferred card may qualify for shopping benefits and protections. Image Credit: Dylan Ferreira via Unsplash

Using your Blue Cash Preferred card for shopping can save you plenty of money and offer protection for eligible items. Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive when shopping with your card.

14. 0% Introductory APR Period for Purchases

Have a large purchase, or several large purchases, coming up? Charge the purchases to your Blue Cash Preferred card and receive an interest-free 0% APR period for repayment that lasts for 12-months from the date of account opening. After that, normal interest rates apply, which are shown in the overview above.

15. Amex Offers

Amex Offers allows you to receive special offers posted to your online card account that can save you hundreds (even thousands) of dollars each year.

16. American Express Auto Purchasing Program

The Amex auto purchasing program saves members money by offering discounted pricing on new car purchases. In addition, you may be able to pay for up to $2,000 or more of the purchase price when using your Blue Cash Preferred card.

17. Purchase Protection

It can be frustrating when a new item you purchased gets damaged or stolen. If you purchase a covered item with your Blue Cash Preferred card, you will have coverage for damage or theft for 90 days from the purchase date. Benefit amounts are $1,000 per item, up to a maximum of $50,000 per eligible card.

18. Return Protection

Purchase an item with your eligible card and if within 90 days of purchase the merchant will not accept the return, you could receive up to $300 per item, maximum of $1,000 in a calendar year per account.

19. Extended Warranty

Eligible items purchased with your card will have the manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years or less extended by 1 additional year. Benefit amounts are $10,000 per item, up to a maximum of $50,000 per account.

20. VIP Entertainment Access

Cardholders receive access to pre-sale ticket availability before the general public, member-only exclusive events, and priority event seating.

21. Complimentary ShopRunner Membership

Receive free 2-day shipping and free returns with your complimentary ShopRunner membership. Just use your card to shop at over 100 different stores. Membership has a regular value of $79.

Bottom Line: The Blue Cash Preferred card comes with travel assistance benefits, car rental coverage, money-saving shopping benefits, protections for eligible items purchased with your card, and more. A list of all benefits and protections can be found in the card’s guide to benefits. 

Additional Benefits

Man Making Business Purchase With Credit Card
There is no additional fee for adding an authorized user to your card and their purchases earn rewards in your account. Image Credit: WAYHOME studio via Shutterstock

22. No Fee to Add Additional Users

You can earn more cash-back at a faster rate by adding additional cardholders at no charge.

Alternative Cards to the Blue Cash Preferred Card

If you are considering the Blue Cash Preferred card because of its earnings on everyday purchases such as U.S. grocery stores, you may find the American Express® Gold Card a viable alternative.

American Express® Gold Card

While earning cash-back rewards on the Blue Cash Preferred card is simple, if you’re a traveler who enjoys earning elevated rewards on both everyday spending and on your travel purchases, the Amex Gold card could offer better value.

The Amex Gold card also earns valuable Membership Rewards points that can offer the potential for greater value when redeemed for travel via Amex Travel or by transferring points to airline and hotel travel partners.

Can’t decide which card might be a better fit for you? Check out our comparison of the Blue Cash Preferred and the Amex Gold.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Prefer a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee but still earns rewards on everyday purchases? The Blue Cash Everyday card earns 3% at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases each card year), at U.S. gas stations, and at U.S. department stores.

All other purchases earn 1% cash-back.

Final Thoughts

If you spend $6,000 a year at U.S. grocery stores, you’ll more than maximize the value of having the Blue Cash Preferred card. The additional cash rewards dollars you earn at U.S. gas stations, on streaming services, and on transit, would be a plus and add even more value.

Keep in mind that this card does have an annual fee so you’ll need to make eligible bonus category purchases to offset that cost or the card may not be worth it for you. It would take $1,584 in 6% cash-back purchases to offset the current annual fee.

While the card pairs well with those who want to earn rewards on everyday spending, it falls short for frequent travelers. If you travel often, the foreign transaction fees, lack of bonus earning on general travel purchases, and no flexible travel transfer or redemption options means this card may not be the best fit if you spend a lot on travel.

However, the Blue Cash Preferred card could make an appropriate companion card to a travel rewards credit card.

Frequent travelers may want to check out our recommendations for the best travel rewards cards.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Blue Cash Preferred card worth it?

If you spend more than $1,584 at supermarkets and on streaming services each year, the Blue Cash Preferred card is worth it. This is because the card charges an annual fee and you’ll need to spend that much on the card in 6% cash-back bonus categories to offset the current annual fee.

If you spend the maximum $6,000 at U.S. supermarkets, you will earn $360 in cash rewards. Additionally the card earns unlimited 6% on streaming services, and 3% on transit and at gas stations.

How does cash back on the Blue Cash Preferred card work?

Cash back is earned on the card in the form of Blue Cash Rewards Dollars. Once you have $25 in Rewards Dollars accumulated in your account, you can redeem the dollars for cash-back statement credits.

Reward dollars must be redeemed in increments of $25.

You can also redeem your rewards dollars for gift cards or merchandise.

Does the Blue Cash Preferred card earn Membership Rewards points?

The Blue Cash Preferred card does not earn Membership Rewards points. The card earns cash-back in the form of Blue Cash Rewards Dollars.

The Blue Cash Everyday card and American Express Cash Magnet® card also earn reward dollars that can be redeemed for cash-back as a statement credit.

What credit score do I need to get the Blue Cash Preferred card?

You will need a good to excellent credit score to be approved for the Blue Cash Preferred card.

According to Experian, one of the nation’s major credit bureaus, a good credit score is defined as a score of 700 or above.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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