How do I use my Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card?

I am a complete credit card fanatic and juggle at least five cards daily, optimized for earning, reward currency and benefits categories. I also got my partner involved in my obsession by strategically pairing his card apps with mine so we have a balanced home.

I have cashback cards, flexible travel cards and cards for special loyalty programs. I receive rewards in at least four different currencies. But with so many postcards to my name, how do I choose a favorite?

To be honest, my credit card changes with my priorities. At this point, there is no doubt that the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® card is the winner.

They say nothing is guaranteed except death and taxes. But let’s be honest – products make up the bulk of almost all of our budgets. Even if you prefer to eat out, you can stock up on all sorts of household items at grocery stores. Why not earn some money back at the same time?

Amex Blue Cash Preferred, with its outstanding shopping rate at US supermarkets, is a great opportunity. Just last year, I made $500 cash on food that I would have bought anyway.

Blue Cash Preferred Card: An Overview

Blue Cash Preferred is best known for its generous earning rates on US supermarket purchases, select US streaming services, and transit. Here’s what else it has to offer:

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card

Why should you get this card?

Despite the high annual fees after the first year, the Blue Cash Preferred card is one of our favorite cards for families. It helps eliminate queues and long commutes by offering a generous reward rate for spending at gas stations in the US and also offers one of the highest cash back bonuses you can get using your card at US supermarkets.

Read full review

Interest rate

  • 6% cashback at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 on purchases per year, then 1%)
  • 6% cashback on select US streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cashback at gas stations in the USA and in transit
  • 1% cashback on regular purchases
  • Terms apply

welcome bonus

  • Get a $350 credit after you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months.

Annual fee

What else do you need to know

  • Free ShopRunner membership for expedited shipping (registration required)
  • Extended Warranty, Purchase and Return Protection for eligible purchases
  • Access to Pay it Plan it payment plans

How do I use Blue Cash Preferred

Most of my cash back on this card comes from grocery shopping, though I’ve set it as the default for any eligible streaming subscriptions. Since I live in a family of only two people (and two cats), spending more than the US supermarket shopping limit doesn’t bother me too much. If you break it down, you can spend $500 a month on groceries before you reach the limit that I was able to reach almost exactly last year. (I resorted to buying gift cards once or twice, but overall I didn’t need to change my budget.)

With an economical car, petrol and transit are also not high consumption categories for me. That’s what makes my Blue Cash Preferred earnings so impressive – it really is one of the categories that does the hard work.

Groceries made up about half of my card spending last year, with the other half spread across additional earning categories and a few strategic big purchases to get cashback from Amex deals.

In addition, cash back is incredibly flexible and allows you to cover other purchases on your card with a credit statement. Blue Cash Preferred doesn’t require any savvy in the rewards program or finding deals like many points-based programs do.

Other Reasons I Love Blue Cash Preferred

Considering the reward level, it’s easy to see why Blue Cash Preferred could be a valuable card for grocery shopping, but that’s just one of the reasons I love this card. Here are a few more:

it’s contactless

Like many other Americans, I use one-touch payments. Not only is contactless payment incredibly secure, but being able to pay with the touch of a button saves time (no need to swipe or dip) and means I touch fewer dirty surfaces.

It’s valuable after the first year

As you can see from my $500 earnings last year, I made a lot of money back without relying on the initial welcome bonus I earned in my first year. Not many cashback cards can boast such a high yield. Blue Cash Preferred does charge a $95 annual fee, but I easily make up for it with my earnings.

Amex has great customer service

I have cards from Capital One, Chase, and American Express, so I have a good grasp of the issuer’s applications and customer service lines to get answers to questions. While I can’t speak for every cardholder, I can say that I’ve had the most hassle-free experience when I had to use American Express.

Whether it’s increasing my credit limit, requesting a new offer, or correcting an address error in my account, communicating with American Express representatives by phone or online chat has always been quick and painless. This seems to be a common experience too – American Express was ranked #1 for customer service among major card issuers in a 2021 JD Power survey (and not for the first time).

Additional benefits to help you save

The benefits of the American Express card are known to be among the most complete and cost effective benefits on the market. While my American Express® Gold Card is now my go-to for additional perks, the cheaper Blue Cash Preferred is not without its valuable benefits; I was able to save some money on them before adding gold to my wallet. For example, I saved on shipping with a free ShopRunner membership and tried out apps like Calm and obé for free for a limited time (some of these deals are no longer available).

It keeps me active with my passion

Cooking and baking are my favorite hobbies and Blue Cash Preferred rewards me for their commitment. I make a lot more from groceries than I do from dining out, and sometimes it’s the little boost of motivation I need to try something new for my foodstagram (instead of taking the easy route and ordering takeout).

bottom line

If you’re a big spender on groceries, streaming, and gas, you can expect a huge cashback from the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. You can use this cashback for loans, charitable donations, gift cards or online shopping.

With my $500 cash last year, I was able to buy Christmas presents for my partner and still have some money left to make myself something special. It’s so nice to see these rewards pile up and pamper yourself at the end of the year. And I didn’t even have to change my spending habits to do it!

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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