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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Review

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Is the Blue Cash Preferred®‎ Credit Card from American Express a Smart Option?

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a popular cash back card available in the market today.  With up to 6% cash back in popular spending categories, you can earn big cash back every time you swipe your card.

Plus earn $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account.  That is essentially 16% to 21% cash back depending on where you spend your first $1,000 with this card. 

The card charges 14.49% to 25.49% variable rate APR based on your credit history and current interest rates.

Smart Features

$200 Signup Bonus – Get $200 in bonus cash back after spending $1,000 in the first three months after opening a new account. That is like earning 15% cash back on your first $1,000 in purchases!

  • Smart Tip: Bonus points do not preclude you from earning regular rewards. You can still earn 6%, 3%, or 1% cash back (depending on category, terms apply) in addition to the signup bonus.

Up to 6% Cash Back – Earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 in United States supermarket purchases, then 1% for the rest of the year. Earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores in the U.S. without restriction. Earn 1% on all other purchases, also with no limit to how much you can earn.

0% introductory APR for a year - New cardholders will be afforded a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of your account’s opening. Following this intro period your APR will be 14.74%-25.74% Variable, depending on your credit score and history.

ShopRunner – Get free 2-day shipping on purchases from over 140 online stores. Qualifying purchases from over 1,000 brands are delivered quickly to your front door. ShopRunner membership is complementary as long as you keep the card. ShopRunner membership normally costs $79 per year.

Rental Car Insurance – Use the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, when renting a car and you are covered for loss and damage to the vehicle if it is not your fault. Not valid for all countries and vehicle types. Just decline the rental car insurance at the car rental counter and you’re all set!

Global Assist Hotline – If you travel 100 miles from home, get free access to the Global Assist Hotline. Call 24 hours a day for access to help with medical, legal, financial, and other emergencies. Medical and legal referrals, access to cash in the event of a lost or stolen wallet, lost passport, missing luggage, and other travel nightmares. You are responsible for charges from 3rd party service providers.

Roadside Assistance – Don’t know the difference between a lug nut and a tire iron? Don’t worry about getting stuck with a flat tire, running out of gas, or a dead battery. Just make a quick call to the number on the back of your card and help will be on the way in most locations in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 3rd party charges may apply.

Travel Accident Insurance – Travel worry free when booking on major airlines, cruise and ship lines, buses, and trains with travel accident insurance. When the entire fare is charged to your Blue Cash Preferred® Card, you and your family are covered.

Extended Warranty – Doesn’t it always seem that electronics and appliances break just after the warranty runs out? When you use your Blue Cash Preferred® Card, the manufacturer’s warranty is doubled up to one year. Coverage is up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per year.

Return Protection – If you buy an item and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express will reimburse you for the cost up to 90 days up to $300 per item and $1,000 per year. Terms and conditions apply.

Damage & Theft Protection – New purchases are covered against accidental damage for up to 90 days after purchase. Dropped your new phone and stuck with a cracked screen? Damage protection will pay for the repair up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per year as long as it is within the first 90 days.

Exclusive Events & Presales – Get access to Amex® presales and cardholder only events including concerts, shows, sporting events, and Broadway musicals with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card.

How it Works

Earning up to 6% cash back is automatic with your new card. Cash back appears on your monthly statement and can be redeemed for statement credits. Statement credits lower your balance due. For example, if you have a $200 balance and have accrued $200 in cash back rewards, redeem your rewards and you don’t have to pay your bill for the month!

Just use your card for everyday spending anywhere American Express is accepted to take advantage of cash back rewards and protections.

What’s the Catch

You can only earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 in annual spending, or $360 in rewards. After that, earn 1% on supermarket purchases in the U.S. Either way, just that $360 alone makes up for the annual fee charged by this card.

The card charges 14.49% to 25.49% variable rate APR based on your credit history and market interest rates.

Just the Math Please

Rewards

Rewards are dependent on the category and how much you spend. There is no limit to what you can earn. If you spend $6,000 per year in the 6% category with this card at U.S. supermarkets, or $500 per month on average, you can earn $360 in cash back, enough to cover the annual fee more than three times over.

Balance Transfer

Using this card for balance transfers can lead to a significant interest savings. Even with the $5 or 3% balance transfer fee (whichever is greater), you can easily save hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest. However, it is important to consider the balance transfer fee and annual fee before signing up for any new card to take advantage of a balance transfer offer.

Rates and Fees

Annual percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases

0% on Purchases for 12 months.  After that, a 14.49% to 25.49% Variable APR rate will apply, based on your credit-worthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. 

APR for Balance Transfers

Pay 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months. After that, an APR of 14.49% to 25.49% Variable will apply, based on your credit-worthiness. 

APR for Cash Advances

26.99% Variable

Penalty APR and When it Applies

29.99% Variable

How Long Will the Penalty APR Apply?

Penalty APRs apply for at least six months. Accounts are reviewed periodically by American Express and an account with a six month satisfactory payment history may have the penalty APR rate removed.

How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases

Your due date is at least 25 days after the close of each billing period. American Express will not charge you any interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.

Minimum Interest Charge

This card does not have a minimum interest charge.

Annual Fee

$95

Transaction Fees

  • Balance Transfer: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. 

  • Cash Advance: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign Purchase Transaction: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars

Penalty Fees

  • Late Payment: Up to $38

  • Returned Payment: Up to $38 

See all Rates and Fees

Final Analysis

This is a great option to earn valuable cash back on your everyday purchases. Earn up to 6% cash back at places you shop everyday (terms apply), and the current $200 bonus is very generous after spending just $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can hold its own in the competitive market of cash back credit cards. Apply today to start earning cash back every time you shop in store, online, or anywhere else American Express is accepted.

 

 

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.

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