The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers an amazing return on points. This outstanding return is only in a few categories but, it includes basic necessities that everyone needs: groceries and gasoline at 6% and 3%, respectively. This is huge! Another way to think about this: 60 cents discount for every ten dollars spent on groceries or 30 cents discount for every ten dollars spent on gasoline.
- Excellent cash back rates on supermarket (excludes superstores and warehouse clubs) and gasoline purchases, 6% and 3% respectively.
- 3% cash back on department store purchases.
- All other categories earn 1% on spending.
- No limits on cash back.
- $75 annual fee.
- Card acceptance. The American Express payment network has about half the card acceptance of cards from the Visa or MasterCard payment network.
Use the card wherever American Express cards are accepted. American Express calculates the correct bonus points based on the retailer’s merchant classification. This is an important point. For example, the cash back rate from buying a banana at a grocery store versus a coffee shop is not the same, due to merchant classification.
Every billing period, American Express breaks down the points earned, totals the sum, and makes it available to the card holder in the form of reward dollars available. These can then be used for cash redemption, statement credit, or redeemed for products and services from participating merchants advertised on the American Express Blue Cash Preferred network.
Cash redemption can only be accomplished once a minimum threshold has been reached. For the Blue Cash Preferred Card, this is $25.
The Annual Fee
Does the $75 annual fee feel too high? With a generous category bonus on basic necessities (gas and food), surpassing the break-even point on the annual fee should be painless and quick for most. For instance, spending just $1250 per year on just groceries would fully recover the annual fee; that’s only $105 per month.
Who might benefit from this card
Everyone can benefit from the 6% and 3% cash back on basic necessities. Yes, there’s a $75 annual fee. But, the break-even level should be easily surpassed by most; $105 in supermarket expenses per month is all it takes.