American Express Blue Cash Preferred Review: Earn Big on Groceries

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american express blue cash preferred review
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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.

Click Here for the Blue Cash Preferred Card

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.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 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. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% 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.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. 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 Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), 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 us 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, our 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 Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan 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. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.