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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review: Market-leading cash back on groceries + benefits

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers because of its top-of-market cash back on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, good rewards on gas, and extended warranty, purchase protection, and return protection benefits.

It’s one of our favorite credit cards and one that we think most consumers should have in their wallets.

Cards and Points rating: 4.5/5

Blue Cash Preferred® Card welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after $3,000 of purchases in 6 months. (Annual fee: annual_fees)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art

bonus_miles_full Get this welcome bonus.
(See Rates and Fees)

Decent bonus, and we like that the card gives you 6 months to complete the required spending. This car earns cash back rewards.

Increased rewards on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, gas at U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. streaming services, plus excellent consumer insurance benefits. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

Our 30 second review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is simultaneously one of the best cards to use for groceries and one of the best cards to use for gas. For most families, earning 6% on up to $6,000 of groceries at U.S. supermarkets (1% thereafter) will more than offset the card’s annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.) Many will also get plenty of value from the card’s 3% rewards at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. streaming services.

Get this card if you spend more than about $3,200 on groceries each year. At that point, the rewards you earn on groceries (above what you could earn with another card) will more-than offset the card’s annual fee. And you’ll likely get plenty of value out of the card’s other reward categories and consumer insurance protections.

Likes

  • 6% cash back on groceries (on up to $6,000 spent each year, then 1%)
  • 3% at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. streaming services
  • Purchase protection, extended warranty, and return protection.
  • $84 in annual credits for The Disney Bundle. (Enrollment required.)

Dislikes

  • 6% grocery rewards are capped at $6,000 of spending each year
  • Limited travel insurance benefits.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express at a glance

Here’s what you need to know about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Terms apply to all benefits.

Rewards

U.S. supermarkets
On up to $6,000 of spending per year, then 1%
6%*
U.S. streaming subscriptions6%
U.S. gas stations3%
Transit3%
Other purchases1%

Rewards are earned as cash back.

Benefits

Consumer insurance benefits
Purchase protection
Return protection
Extended warranty
Travel insurance benefits
Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance
Statement credits and partner offers
$84 Disney Bundle credit
$120 Equinox+ credit
ShopRunner
Amex Offers

Terms

Annual fee: annual_fees
Foreign transaction fee: foreign_transaction_fee
Balance transfer fee: balance_transfer_fees
Intro APR on Balance Transfers: balance_transfer_intro_apr,balance_transfer_intro_duration
Intro APR on Purchases: intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration
Regular APR: reg_apr,reg_apr_type

Helpful features
Friend referral program

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express new cardmember welcome bonus

If you get a new Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you may be eligible to get a new cardmember welcome bonus. Here’s the best public welcome bonus we know about on this card:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after $3,000 of purchases in 6 months. (Annual fee: annual_fees)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art

bonus_miles_full Get this welcome bonus.
(See Rates and Fees)

Decent bonus, and we like that the card gives you 6 months to complete the required spending. This car earns cash back rewards.

Increased rewards on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, gas at U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. streaming services, plus excellent consumer insurance benefits. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

My take on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a card that should be in most consumers’ wallets. This is my go-to card for groceries and gas. And I usually use this card for durable goods that have warranties. Amex has a good extended warranty benefit and this card is one that I plan to keep long-term, so I won’t have to deal with the hassle of making an extended warranty claim on something on a closed card.

The card’s return protection benefit has also come in surprisingly useful, especially with clothing. Although many retailers offer 90+ day return policies, some don’t. I’m tall, which means that I have to order clothes online, since my sizes aren’t typically carried in stores. This, unfortunately, means that I have to return items that are the wrong size or wrong cut as I’m finding clothes that fit me. Amex return protection has me covered, especially if something sold is non-returnable.

A benefit that I wasn’t taking advantage of until this year is the card’s $84 The Disney Bundle credit. (Enrollment required.) Switching my Disney+ subscription over to the card alone almost pays for the card’s annual fee.

Bottom line: If you buy a moderate amount of groceries, there’s plenty of value in having the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express in your wallet.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express rewards

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers increased rewards in everyday categories like U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Here are the details.

Earning rewards

U.S. supermarkets
On up to $6,000 of spending per year, then 1%
6%*
U.S. streaming subscriptions6%
U.S. gas stations3%
Transit3%
Other purchases1%

Rewards are earned as cash back.

Checking your cash back rewards

Because the Blue Cash Preferred® card caps its rewards at U.S. supermarkets to $6,000 of spending during a calendar year, you might want to be aware of how much you’ve charged on the card in this category. (After spending $6,000 on groceries, you may prefer to switch your grocery spending to another one of the best cards for groceries.) The easiest way to check your category bonus spending is through the American Express website.

After logging into your account on the Amex website, select your Blue Cash Preferred card and scroll down to the panel labeled “Reward Dollars.” Click on “Explore your rewards.” On the screen that follows, you’ll see how much you’ve earned in each of the card’s bonus categories. 6% on $6,000 of groceries equals $360 of cash back rewards. If you’re earned more than this on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, you might want to switch your grocery store spending to another card.

Refer a friend. Earn rewards.

Screenshot of Amex Refer a Friend panel from americanexpress.com. The panel displays the option to send a friend a referral link via email or copy a link to send to a friend or post on social media.
Amex Refer a Friend can earn you additional points or cash back on your card.

American Express offers some cardmembers the ability to earn additional rewards on some cards by referring friends to American Express cards. If you are eligible to refer a friend, you’ll likely see a “Refer a Friend. Earn Rewards” link when you log into your account on the American Express website. You can also find this under the “Membership” tab in the mobile app.

You can also go directly to the Refer a Friend page on americanexpress.com. When on the page, either log into your account online to or enter your card number, 4-digit security code, and last 4 digits of your social security number to check your referral eligibility and get your referral link. If you are eligible, you can send a link to your friend via email or you can copy and paste the link on the screen to post on social media or send directly.

If your friend is approved for a new American Express card using the link you sent, you may receive additional points or cash back. The amount of rewards you can earn is limited each year. Additionally, the offer you send to your friend may not be the best available offer.

Not all cards or cardmembers are eligible to refer a friend. And eligibility may change over time—I’ve personally see eligibility come and go on several of my own cards.

New cardmember welcome bonus: Get a new Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Although the new cardmember bonus on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is technically earned as a statement credit, rather than rewards,

Blue Cash Preferred® Card welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after $3,000 of purchases in 6 months. (Annual fee: annual_fees)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art

bonus_miles_full Get this welcome bonus.
(See Rates and Fees)

Decent bonus, and we like that the card gives you 6 months to complete the required spending. This car earns cash back rewards.

Increased rewards on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, gas at U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. streaming services, plus excellent consumer insurance benefits. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

Redeeming Blue Cash Preferred® rewards

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns its rewards as cash back. You can redeem your reward dollars for a statement credit or cash back at checkout at select merchants. Generally, the only reward redemption option you should consider is a statement credit.

Redeeming rewards online

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express reward dollars with Explore Rewards button.

You can redeem your rewards online through your account portal at americanxpress.com. Simply look for the panel labeled “Reward Dollars” and click on “Explore Rewards.” From that link, you can redeem your rewards for a statement credit, up to your total amount of reward dollars.

You will also see an option to redeem rewards at checkout with select merchants. We don’t recommend this option, since you’ll forego the opportunity to earn rewards on your purchase.

Rewards redemption panel in the Amex app on the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred Cards. The image shows $10.06 in rewards and a link to redeem rewards.
Redeem your cash back rewards in the Amex app.

Within the mobile app, select your account and click on the “Membership” tab. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a section labeled “Reward Dollars” and the option to redeem your rewards. Click “Redeem Rewards.” You’ll then be prompted to either redeem your entire reward dollars amount for a statement credit or redeem another amount.

While you can redeem your rewards at checkout at Amazon.com, we don’t advise using this option. You’ll give up the opportunity to earn points on your purchase and redeeming a statement credit is simpler.

Benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Here’s an overview of the benefits offered on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Consumer insurance benefits
Purchase protection
Return protection
Extended warranty
Travel insurance benefits
Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance
Statement credits and partner offers
$84 Disney Bundle credit
$120 Equinox+ credit
ShopRunner
Amex Offers

Consumer insurance benefits

Many cards offer consumer insurance benefits that can protect the things you buy. Here are the consumer insurance benefits offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Terms and restrictions apply to all benefits.

Extended warranty provides additional warranty coverage on items you purchase with your card. The extended warranty coverage of the Blue Cash Preferred® doubles the manufacturer’s warranty, up to one additional year, on purchases with warranties of five years or less. Extended warranty coverage is provided up to $10,000 per covered purchase, and up to $50,000 per year.

Purchase protection protects the things you buy with your card from damage or loss for a certain amount of time after you buy them. The purchase protection on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express provides protection on many items for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.

Return protection can give you a refund on an item if the store you bought it from won’t take it back. The Blue Cash Preferred® provides return protection for 90 days, up to $300 per item purchased, up to $1,000 per year.

Travel insurance benefits

Cards targeted toward travelers often offer travel insurance benefits that can protect you when you are traveling away from home. Terms and restrictions apply to all benefits.

Car rental loss and damage insurance – Car rental loss and damage insurance protects you against damage or theft to your rental vehicle. For coverage to apply, you need to reserve and pay for your vehicle using your card and decline your car rental company’s collision damage waiver. The coverage provided by the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is secondary to your personal auto insurance. This means that you will be required to make a claim against your personal auto insurance before this policy will pay. Additional terms apply. See your card’s guide to benefits for details.

Statement credits

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also features a number of statement credits and partner offers. Here’s what you need to know.

$84 The Disney Bundle Credit. Receive a $7 statement credit each month when you make a qualifying purchase at Disneyplus.com, Hulu.com or Plus.espn.com equaling $9.99 or more. A qualifying purchase is a Disney Bundle monthly subscription or any other monthly subscription, annual subscription, or add-on. You must enroll to receive this benefit. Terms apply.

$120 Equinox+ Credit. Receive $10 in statement credits each month for a standalone monthly subscription to the Equinox+ app. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

ShopRunner. Get a free ShopRunner membership, which provides free 2-day shipping at select specialty merchants. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

Amex Offers – American Express cardmembers receive targeted merchant-specific deals through Amex Offers. These targeted offers are offered in partnership with merchants and range in value from a marginal amount of to rebates upwards of 25%. Enrollment is required to take advantage of an Amex Offer.

Cards that pair well with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you’re getting the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, chances are you’re highly interested in the card’s rewards at U.S. supermarkets. But if you spend more than $6,000 on groceries, chances are you’ll want to pick up another card that earns excellent rewards on grocery purchases.

Of the cards on our list of best cards for grocery store purchases, we think that the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card works well. If you use the card exclusively for grocery purchases, you can get 5% cash back rewards (as ThankYou Points) on an additional $500 of grocery purchases per month.

We also think it’s worth adding a card that offers 2% cash back rewards everywhere to your wallet. The Blue Cash Preferred only earns 1% cash back on non-category purchases. Getting a 2% cash back rewards card will double the rewards on purchases you earn “everywhere else.”

Alternatives to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Paying an annual fee may not be appealing to everyone, even if the numbers on the rewards work out. For a no-annual-fee card offering rewards on groceries, there’s probably no better card than the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. As mentioned above, if you use the card exclusively for groceries, you’ll get 5% cash back on the first $500 of grocery store purchases each statement cycle.

If rewards on gas or the Blue Cash Preferred®’s $84 The Disney Bundle credit (enrollment required) attracted you to the card, you could downgrade to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. You’ll get fewer rewards at U.S. supermarkets and your rewards at gas stations will be capped, but you won’t pay an annual fee. (You’ll want to be sure you also have a card with an extended warranty benefit though—the Blue Cash Everyday card doesn’t have this benefit.

If one of those cards doesn’t appeal to you, you the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great choice for simplicity or you could check out our lists of the best cards for gas or the best cards for groceries.

When is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express right for you?

If you spend more than about $3,200 every year (about $270/month) on groceries, you’ll do better with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express than you will on a card that earns 3% on groceries with no annual fee. If that’s you, it probably makes sense to pick up the card.

If you subscribe to The Disney Bundle anyway, putting your monthly subscription on the Blue Cash Preferred is an easy $84/year in value—all you need to do is enroll and be sure you’re on a plan that’s $9.99 or more.

But the value doesn’t end with the card’s rewards at U.S. supermarkets. Consider that, with the Blue Cash Preferred, you’ll have a single card that can cover your spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, U.S. streaming services, transit and purchases where you’d value an extended warranty. There’s some value in simplicity and having the Blue Cash Preferred can fill the role of 2-3 other cards you might be carrying.

How to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

We always show you the best public welcome offer we know about and this is the best current offer on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after $3,000 of purchases in 6 months. (Annual fee: annual_fees)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art

bonus_miles_full Get this welcome bonus.
(See Rates and Fees)

Decent bonus, and we like that the card gives you 6 months to complete the required spending. This car earns cash back rewards.

Increased rewards on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, gas at U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. streaming services, plus excellent consumer insurance benefits. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

A few notes on applying for American Express credit cards

Here are a few things that you should know about applying for American Express cards.

  • Amex will let you know if you’re ineligible for the welcome bonus when applying. If you don’t qualify for a welcome bonus for any reason, American Express will inform you during the application process and let you withdraw your application before they perform a “hard pull” on your credit report. If you withdraw your application, the withdrawn application will have no impact on your credit score.
  • No hard pull if they deny you. If Amex denies your credit card application, they usually won’t issue a hard pull on your credit report. This means that your credit score won’t decrease because of the denied application.
  • One bonus per card per “lifetime”. Most Amex card terms say that you’re ineligible for a welcome bonus if you’ve ever had the card before. Some targeted offers do not have this lifetime language. Readers and other blogs have reported that Amex may internally define “lifetime” as 7 years—if it’s been 7 years since you’ve had a card, you might be eligible to get a welcome bonus again.
  • Some cards allow one bonus per card “family”. Some American Express cards, like the personal Platinum card or the Charles Schwab Platinum card have language that prohibits you from earning a welcome bonus if you’ve ever had a card from the same card family before.
  • Maximum 5 Amex credit cards and 10 pay-over-time cards. You can have a maximum of 5 American Express credit cards at one time. In addition, you can hold up to 10 American Express pay-over-time cards (like the Platinum, Gold, and Green cards.) These limits are known to occasionally be flexible for some cardmembers, some of the time.
  • You might be able to get a better welcome offer than the public offer. American Express offers some customers targeted offers. See our post on how to get the best welcome offers from American Express and try those methods before applying for an American Express card. You might be able to get an elevated welcome bonus.
  • Check your application status online. You can check the status of your American Express card application online through the Amex website.

Frequently asked questions

Does the Amex Blue Cash Preferred offer points or cash back?

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers cash back as its rewards. The rewards you earn are not transferable to airline or hotel travel partners.

Why should I upgrade to the Blue Cash Preferred?

If you have the Blue Cash Everyday card, it might make sense to upgrade to the Blue Cash Preferred for additional rewards on gas and groceries. The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending each year, plus unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations.

Does the Blue Cash Preferred have a digital entertainment credit?

The Blue Cash Preferred does not have the same digital entertainment credit that the Amex Platinum offers, but it does offer $84 in credits for The Disney Bundle annually.

American Express card disclosures

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this link: See Rates and Fees

Amex Extended Warranty benefit disclosure: When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase to an Eligible Card, Extended Warranty§ can provide up to one extra year added to the Original Manufacturer’s Warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your Card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Amex Basic Purchase Protection benefit disclosure: When an American Express® Card Member charges a Covered Purchase with their Eligible Card, Purchase Protection can help protect their Covered Purchases for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date if it is stolen or accidentally damaged. The coverage is limited to up to $1,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Amex Return Protection benefit disclosure: With Return Protection, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won’t take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories.   Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

Amex Basic Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance disclosure: Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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