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They say cash is king, and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a cash-back king. The card’s generous earning rates in popular spending categories — like 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases — exceed those of many other cash-back cards on the market. Terms apply.
Although the card charges an annual fee starting your second year, it’s easy enough to offset it by making purchases in bonus categories. Let’s review the many reasons why you might need this AmEx credit card.
The well-known reasons
Welcome bonus: Earn up to $350 in statement credits: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits. Terms Apply.
Rare rewards at U.S. supermarkets: With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll earn 6% cash back on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per calendar year. The earning rate drops to 1% after you reach the limit. By meeting the limit alone in this single bonus category, you’ll earn up to $360 back per year. Terms apply.
More ways to earn cash back quickly: Earn 6% cash back per dollar spent on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit expenses. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Terms apply.
» Learn more: AmEx Membership Rewards: How to earn and use them
The underrated reasons
Earn rewards on transit and gas
Those who take public transportation to work or commute in a gas-guzzler will earn 3% cash back on qualifying purchases at U.S. gas stations and on transit. Using the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express on everything else will result in 1% cash back. Terms apply.
First year’s annual fee is waived
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. Terms apply. The waived annual fee in your first year is a truly underrated perk as it gives you an opportunity to try out the card and evaluate your annual rewards earnings. To break even with the fee in your second year, you only need to spend an average of $132 per month on groceries, which isn’t hard to do for most households. The rest of your spending will earn cash back straight into your pocket.
Opportunity to save cash with AmEx Offers
AmEx Offers is a feature available to all AmEx cardmembers. Simply enroll in available offers and shop at the partnering merchant’s store or online with your enrolled card, then receive a rebate in the form of a statement credit. With some offers, you get a set amount of money back, while with others you get a percentage of a transaction amount back to your card. This can be a nice way of saving money on purchases you already plan on making. Terms apply.
» Learn more: How to add money-saving travel offers to your AmEx card
Free ShopRunner membership
American Express offers free ShopRunner enrollment to cardmembers. ShopRunner users are eligible for free two-day shipping and returns at more than 100 online retailers. Registering your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express with ShopRunner will save you money on shipping costs whenever you shop with the participating merchants. Terms apply.
The bottom line
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a useful cash-back card for families with a large grocery and gas/public transit bill. Although it has an annual fee, implementing the right strategy will help you offset it easily. Spend with ease and automatically get money back, no redemption needed. Terms apply.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card