American Express Blue Cash Preferred Review: Earn Big on Groceries

american express blue cash preferred review

For most of us, our grocery budget is a decent chunk of our monthly budget. Wouldn’t it be great to get some of that cash back?

In our American Express Blue Cash Preferred review, we highlight one of the best cash back credit cards out there for grocery shoppers across America.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred review

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express can be a great fit for applicants who:

  • Want to enjoy one year of sign-up bonuses, worth up to $350.
  • Want to earn serious cash back rewards, with up to six percent back.
  • Want a cash back card for groceries and everyday purchases. The Blue Cash Preferred Card grants six percent back at grocery stores, three percent back on gas and one percent back on all other purchases.
  • Value competitive annual percentage rates (APRs) that beat those offered by many other rewards cards, including a 0% APR introductory rate for the first 12 months.
  • Have excellent credit to meet the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card requirements.

However, if you’re squeamish about credit card fees, you might be better served by a lower-cost option. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred has fees for foreign transactions, cash advances, and balance transfers.

The card also has a higher-than-average $95 annual credit card fee. Although rewards earned can easily offset this annual cost, take a look at your monthly spending habits and do the math before deciding if this card is right for you. If you charge at least $133 of groceries a month ($1,600 a year) in the six percent cash back category, you’ll come out ahead of the $95 annual fee.

Check Out the Blue Cash Preferred Card Today

Amex Blue Cash Preferred rewards breakdown

If you’re looking for a card that will lower your costs on everyday items, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred delivers.

While most cash back cards cap out rewards at three to five percent back, the Blue Cash Preferred card offers up to six percent back. Here is a breakdown of the card’s cash back rates:

  • Six percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 worth of purchases annually (this excludes warehouse stores and superstores).
  • Three percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores.
  • One percent cash back on all other purchases, including any supermarket purchases above $6,000.

Additionally, American Express pays out rewards you earn as Blue Cash Reward dollars. Cardholders claim these rewards dollars as statement credits whenever they accrue $25 or more.

However, keep in mind card users cannot apply these statement credits toward their minimum due payment. And they can only earn rewards on new purchases, not balance transfers or cash advances.

Sign-up bonuses with American Express Blue Cash Preferred

These sign-up bonuses can boost your cash back rewards during your first year as a Blue Cash Preferred cardholder. Here’s what you can get:

  • 10 percent cash back at U.S. restaurants for the first six months of membership, up to $200 in rewards.
  • $150 cash back bonus when you spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months.

Overall, you could get up to $350 in sign-up bonuses. Keep in mind that these bonus offers are valid for credit card applications submitted through May 3, 2017.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred interest rates and fees

Cardholders should expect some fees with the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. However, the costs of this card are on-par with those charged by other rewards and cash back credit cards.

When it comes to this credit card’s interest rates, the APR will be a variable rate. Based on your creditworthiness and other factors, you will have an APR of 13.49 to 23.49% (as of March 2017)

Yet, these credit card interest rates start well below the average 15.61% APR for cash back cards, according to CreditCards.com. The card does carry higher APRs for cash advances and penalty interest rates on late payments.

Other Blue Cash Preferred Card fees are levied on a transaction or as a penalty. This gives the cardholder complete control over whether they pay theses costs. Fees for this card include:

  • Balance transfer fee of either $5 or three percent of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash advance fee of either $5 or three percent of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2.7 percent after conversion to U.S. dollars.
  • Late payment fee of up to $38
  • Returned payment fee of up to $38
Sign up for the Blue Cash Preferred Card

Applying for an Amex Blue Cash Preferred card

The American Express website is easy to use and navigate. And for card shoppers, its card comparison feature makes it easy to see how different Amex offers match up.

You can click “Add to Compare” for the cards you’re interested in and select up to five cards. Then click “Compare Cards” at the top of the screen and the site will generate a table comparing features and terms (pictured below).

blue cash preferred card from american express

Once you’ve selected the card you want, like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, you can select “Apply Now.” This will take you to a page with a credit card application.

The American Express credit card application asks for the following information (pictured below):

  • Identifying information like name, birthdate and Social Security number.
  • Contact information including email, phone number, and residential address.
  • Income amount and source.

amex blue cash preferred

Once you hit submit, the application will process in 60 seconds and you’ll know right away if you’re approved for the credit card. You will be able to view the full credit card details and terms, and agree to them. Then you should get your credit card in just a week or two by mail.

If you prefer, you can call American Express at 1-800-243-3888 and apply for a credit card over the phone.

Cardholders can use the company’s site to log in, view, and manage their account. They can also do this through the American Express mobile app, available for iOS and Android. The app offers features like real-time alerts and Amex rewards offers.

Eligibility and credit requirements for the Blue Cash Preferred Card

Before you apply for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, you should know that not every applicant will qualify.

Amex requires an excellent credit score prior to approval for this card. You’ll probably need a credit score at least in the mid-600s, but your chances will be best if it’s above 700. You should check your credit score before you apply.

Your income might also impact your Amex Blue Cash Preferred application or the terms you’re offered, such as the APR or credit limit.

If you fall short of the credit requirements for the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, you might be approved for another, less-exclusive card from Amex.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred customer service and experience

Overall, Blue Cash Preferred cardholders like this credit card and give American Express good ratings, according to Credit Karma.

Most say the Blue Cash Preferred is the ideal grocery rewards card, and love the cash back and bonus offers they earn on everyday purchases. However, some cardholders also say they didn’t get as much cash back as they expected.

One thing to remember is that American Express is not as widely accepted by businesses as other credit cards, like Visa or MasterCard. This, combined with restrictions on store selection, keep some customers from taking full advantage of the six percent cash back at supermarkets.

While the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express can deliver cash back savings above and beyond other cards, only you can tell if they will outweigh the annual fee attached to it. Always keep your spending habits top of mind when deciding on the best credit card for you.

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How to contact American Express

You can log in at AmericanExpress.com to chat live with a representative whenever you want.

The company also has a toll-free, 24/7 line at 1-800-528-4800. Or you can reach out to their Twitter account @AmericanExpress or Facebook page.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with Citizens Bank at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, Citizens Bank checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
5.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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