The Blue Cash Preferred is one of the two cards American Express released to replace the old version of the Amex Blue Cash card
that we all know and love.
The old version had a $6,500 spending threshold that you had to meet before you could earn the maximum rewards, but then it paid a great 5% rate on gas, groceries, and drugstores. This new version will be a nice improvement for those that didn't spend quite enough annually to fully take advantage, since the threshold has now been eliminated, but the lower rewards rate on gas will probably be disappointing to a number of road warriors.
The $75 annual fee will probably annoy quite a few users too, which is why American Express also offers another version, called the Blue Cash Everyday
, which pays lower bonus rewards rates and has no annual fee. This version pays 2% on gas and department store purchases, rather than 3%, and only 3% on groceries instead of 6%.
For most cardholders, however, I suspect that the addition of bonus rewards on department stores in lieu of drugstores, and the improved 6% reward rate on groceries will be a welcome change. A family really only needs to spend $50 a week on groceries to make up for the annual fee, and that doesn't count the higher rewards on other categories.
Another improvement over the old Blue Cash, is that it previously only paid out the cash back rewards once a year, as a statement credit. The new Preferred and Everyday versions offer more flexibility, allowing users to redeem their rewards whenever they want, in increments of $25 or more.
The only issue to be aware of is that gas and grocery purchases don't earn the higher bonus reward rates at Wholesalers. So if you buy your gas and groceries primarily from Costco, you won't earn the full 3-6%. So if that's your main reason for considering a card like this, you may want to look into the Costco American Express Card
, where you will earn 3% on the gas instead of just 1% with Blue Cash, and you'll earn the same 1% base rate on all other Costco purchases.