American Express Blue Cash Preferred

Best for Everyday Spending

American Express Blue Cash Preferred

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Pros
  • Reward perks you don't need to be a traveler to benefit from
  • Get rewarded for feeding and transporting your family—this card earns 6% cash back on groceries, and 3% on gas purchases!
  • Signup bonus of $250 in statement credits when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
Cons

There's always a caveat, isn't there? The American Express Blue Cash Preferred has a fairly limited definition of “supermarket” and gas stations. Specifically, it does not include Walmart and Costco, as well as alcohol retailers.

"Gas stations" refers to stand-alone gas stations, not superclubs that sell gas, so you have to take note when using your card. Additionally, redemption options aren't quite as flexible as many others on this list.

Highlights
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
Details

Application Process: Online, with a nice card comparison feature. Get a decision in as little as 30 seconds.

Fees: There is an annual fee, and it's not cheap. Prepare to shell out $95/year for use of this card. However, if you don't want to pay annual fees, the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express is a more limited (but still great) option. 

If you travel frequently, you might prefer a card with zero foreign finance fees. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card charges a 2.7% fee for foreign transactions.

There's a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount to be transferred (whichever is higher), and the same rate applies for cash advances. Late payments and returned payments will set you back up to $38 per incident.

APR: 0% for the first 12 months (including balance transfers!). After 12 months, you'll be assessed a variable APR between 13.99% to 24.99%. In Student Loan Hero's review of this credit card, they specifically mention that the APR is competitive, even after the introductory rate expires.

RewardsRewards are redeemable as statement credits, with a minimum redemption value of $25 that only comes in $25 increments. Other rewards, such as gift cards and merchandise, come in variable amounts.

Cardholders collect a whopping 6% cash back on qualifying grocery purchases until they hit the $6000 reward limit. After that, you earn 1% cash back on approved grocery purchases. Purchases from participating gas stations and U.S. department stores qualify for 3% cash back.

Bonus Offers: Earn a $250 statement credit for a minimum spend of $1,000 within the first 3 months of card opening. Also included, American Express' return protection policy which refunds you up to $300 per item and $1,000 per year should you attempt to return an item and the merchant does not receive it.

Card attributes
  • Variable APR
    14.24% - 25.24%
  • Cash Advance APR
    26.49%
  • Bonus Offers
    $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.
  • Rewards Rate
    1.0%
  • Annual Fee
    $95
  • Intro APR
    0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months
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