Amex Blue Cash Preferred Reward Card – $350 Bonus

Amex Blue Cash Preferred Reward Card

As you’re likely aware, I’m always on the prowl for new and better credit card offers. My old standby used to be the Amex Blue Cash reward card, which eventually gave way to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express*.

The most recent card to catch my eye has been the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (more details here), which is like a super-charged cash back card. Yes, it has a $75 annual fee, but it also has a generous rewards structure.

First, the card pays a $150 bonus when new cardmembers spend $1, 000 on the card in the first three months. For a limited time, the card also pays 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200.

More specifically, you’ll get 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6, 000 per year in purchases, 3% cash back on gasoline at US gas stations and select US department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

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We have four growing boys, and we spend a ton on groceries, so that 6% looks particularly good — even with the annual fee. And the 3% on gas station and select major department store purchases isn’t too shabby, especially since you don’t have to sign up for these things on a quarterly basis.

If you have this card, I’d love to hear about your experiences. I’m not sure that I’m ready to give up my Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express given the various perks and upgrades that I’ve gained access to, but the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is making think about it.

Get more details here.

*Yes, I still carry my Chase Freedom card but I reach for the American Express first at any merchant that accepts it.

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31 Responses to “Amex Blue Cash Preferred Reward Card – $350 Bonus”

  1. Anonymous

    Each eligible purchase made in the U.S. shall qualify for 6%, 3%, or 1% cash back of the purchase amount as follows: 6% for the first $6,000 of purchases at stand-alone supermarkets in a calendar year (supermarkets do not include superstores and warehouse clubs).
    Well, I just get the card and regret doesn’t check the fine print earlier.

  2. Anonymous

    Paul: True, but if you buy at a grocery store it shows up as a grocery purchase, and hence the purchase gets favorable treatment. Try it yourself if you don’t believe me. Stores don’t report what you buy to the card processor.

  3. Anonymous

    For those who are buying gift cards at grocery stores, consider this fine print: “Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of American Express Travelers Cheques, purchases or reloading of American Express prepaid cards or purchases of other cash equivalents.” Does anybody know if this includes GC’s?

  4. Anonymous

    One thing to note about the Blue Cash Preferred is that the Rewards department is very picky about what they consider Department stores – they have a very small list of qualifying merchants.

    Even if your purchase is classified as “Department Store” in the American Express Online billing statement, this does NOT mean that a 3% reward rate will be provided. A case in point – I purchased physical merchandise from Amazon, and the purchase shows up in the online statement as “Department Store” purchase, but only the 1% reward rate is given.

    A call to Amex customer service confirmed they do not (and claim they never have) provided 3% reward rate for anything purchased from Amazon, regardless of the classification by their online billing statement.

  5. Anonymous

    I agree with John Eisenschmidt’s comment below. We’ve also been an original Blue Cash member since ’05, and it’s a better deal even with the initial lower cash back percentages on the first $6500. After $6500, it pays 5% on gas, groceries, and drugstores, and 1% on everything else (it just dropped from 1.25% with my April 2012 statement). We put everything on it and pay it off at the end of the month. Last year was highest cash back amount of $1000 (no annual fee), on about $60,000 in total purchases over 12 months. I don’t believe the terms of this card are still available. The no-fee version is now called Blue Cash Everyday, with 3% back on groceries, 2% on gas and department stores, and 1% everywhere else (no $6500 threshold).

  6. Anonymous

    “best card around” may be true for everyone who shops at the more expensive venues. I found out that none of our preferred shops/gas stations even accepts Amex. So in the end what’s the point of receiving 6% cash back when you have to do your shopping at stores or gas stations which are 10% more expensive than their competition? After I’ve done my research, this card seems quite useless at least for us…

  7. Anonymous

    Is there anyone here who can confirm that they’re getting the full 6% on the gift card purchases at the supermarket with this card… I don’t want to give up the guaranteed 3%…
    Just want to check first.
    Thanks,
    BnV

  8. Anonymous

    Love the Card. Im looking at getting back $1200 this year. Wife and I put
    EVERYTHING on this card and pay the balance off at the end of the month.
    Love the buying Gift Card idea. Im going to do that for sure.

  9. Anonymous

    I have been happy with my card
    $150 for signing up.
    My wife and I enjoy the 3% off gas (or 10-12 cents off a gallon) we both commute a bit. It has worked every where so far
    We use it when we go to the grocery store (6 bucks back every 100 dollars) we don’t use it when we go to walmart.
    Kohls counts as a department store.

    Interest rate stinks but we pay it off every month.

    150 dollars for every friend you refer ( I haven’t done this yet)

    overall beter than the 1-2 % I get on my other card ( which I use for other purchases)

    I think it is worth giving a shot even if for only the two free years covered by the $150 signing bonus

    Rick

  10. Anonymous

    I’ve had the Original Blue Cash card since 2005, so no annual fee. I used to mix rewards cards to maximize my cash back, but about 2 years ago just focused all my spending on my BC (I believe they paid me just shy of $1100 in 2009 to use that card). Knowing that I bought everything on one card has made it easy for me to quickly deal with Customer Service situations more than once:

    https://twitter.com/#!/jeisensc/status/170591681668857856

    I’ve done the math twice since the BC Preferred Card was introduced, but I receive greater rewards for my spending pattern on the old rewards program, even if I factor in the 6,500 initial spending and if I don’t factor the annual fee in. Every time AMEX’s website tells me I’m pre-approved to “upgrade” to the BC Preferred, I give it the finger.

    It’s still an amazing card. I’m hesitant to buy anything on a card other than my Amex because their customer service and warranty are so amazing. I’ve used the warranty a couple times, and I’ve been in customer service situations where it was not an idle threat that if they didn’t fix this situation, American Express would:

    https://twitter.com/#!/jeisensc/status/150412423344553984

    Their website, however, is a total stink-a-roo:

    https://twitter.com/#!/jeisensc/status/166905124592156672

    https://twitter.com/#!/jeisensc/status/166937125885984769

  11. Anonymous

    I’ve been unhappy with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred and I’ll probably cancel it next month.

    Several months back, I applied for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred after seeing a $100 bonus sign-up offer for spending $500 within 90 days. I was “approved” but Amex, without telling me, converted my older American Express account to the Blue Cash Preferred. (I had an old Blue card but not the Blue Cash version that pays 3% at grocery stores with no annual fee.) To my surprise, I did not receive the bonus for this reason. When I called to state that I felt baited-and-switched, that I was expecting a new card/account, that I did not realize my old account was being converted, and that I did not have the Blue Cash (that pays 3% at grocery stores with no annual fee) and thus did not expect to be converted, the were unwilling to give me the bonus or waive the annual fee for the misunderstanding. To make matters worse, they used the conversion as an opportunity to assess me a prorated annual fee of $50. And I’m expecting to be charged the full annual fee of $75 in May 2012 (if I don’t cancel sooner).

    Sure, I’ve received decent bonuses using the card for groceries, but the points never show up as quickly as I want and aren’t quite as versatile as some other rewards programs.

    I’ll stick with Chase.

  12. Anonymous

    I purchase MasterCard gift cards at my Kroger ($500 plus $5.95 fee and then 6% cash back). I also get 1 point from Kroger towards fuel for each dollar on this MasterCard gift card (2 points for all other gift cards). 1,000 points is $1.00 off a gallon of gas. I basically get a $500 MasterCard gift card for $475 and then use it to shop at Wal-Mart and other places.

  13. Frugallery: I’ve found that some cards treat some Super Walmart locations as grocery stores, but not others. It seems to vary not only across card issuers, but also across store locations — apparently different locations of the same store can be coded differently in the card issuer’s system.

    I wonder if your experience is true of all Walmart and Target locations, or if it’s specific to those that you frequent? It would be great to find a location where you could get 6% off on all purchases.

  14. Anonymous

    The only thing I don’t like about this card is that the 6% doesn’t apply to big box stores. I grocery shop at Wal-mart and Target and those don’t count. Depending on your shopping habits, this might be a good deal for you.

  15. Anonymous

    There is an Excel spreadsheet that allows you to put in your spending and see which card would be best for you… http://www.fatwallet.com/static/attachments/98527_bluecashcomparisonwithcostco.xls

    I recently switched over to using the Blue Cash Preferred from the original Blue Cash – most people don’t realize that to properly calculate their cash back on the old card, you need to account for all the purchases up to $6500 that you earned a measly .5 or 1%, when you could have been earning 6 or 3% the whole time… Good luck!

  16. Anonymous

    I have the Blue Cash Preferred and use it fairly often. I buy Amazon gift cards at my grocery store, as well as gas cards. I plan on trying to use gift cards for as much of my spending as possible.

    In addition, I get 1% back from my grocery store, and double that for gift cards. This essentially gets me 8% cash back for anything that I can buy with a gift card purchased at my grocery store. An excellent deal so long as I don’t go crazy and purchase more than I need.

  17. Anonymous

    I have the original Blue Cash card. But it took me almost 9 months to reach the $6500 amount, only above which I would then earn the higher percent. I was better off using the rotating 5% categories on other cards I had.

  18. Anonymous

    I just got sold on this preferred card 3 months ago. I have been using the regular Blue Cash for the last 4 yrs and have reaped substantial cash back, but since rolling over to the preferred I have noticed my cash back climbing exponentially every month even after deducting the annual fee.

  19. Anonymous

    @Steve,

    I used to use the original Blue Cash before the split. As I understood it, the 5% on groceries, etc. only applied to dollars spent _above_ $6,500 on the year. Purchases between $0 and $6,499 only earned 0.5% and 1%. I’m not even sure this card is still available.

  20. Anonymous

    The regular Blue Cash card pays 5% on groceries, drug stores, and gas once you pass $6,500 which should be pretty easy. So for me the question is if that additional 1% return is worth it for an annual fee. If my math is right I would need to spend an additional $1,250 on groceries to cover the annual fee, and I don’t think I could do that, not without buying a whole bunch of gift cards at the supermarket.

  21. Anonymous

    I’ve been using the card since it came out. What’s especially good is that Amazon is considered a department store. I’ve made only slightly more with the preferred than I would have with the everyday, but I’m only one person.

  22. Anonymous

    I fell in love with this card when I saw its perks a while ago. What kind of credit score is required to get the Amex? We’re quite new to the US (eight months) and still building a history. Just curious how long it’s going to take until I can apply for this one…

  23. Anonymous

    We have the Blue Cash Preferred, and it’s great. The only downside is that the 6% for groceries is only at grocery stores, not big-box stores like Walmart or Target. Still, that’s fully disclosed in the fine print. As an added bonus, the customer service is top-notch.

  24. Anonymous

    Very clever, Matt! I would never have thought of buying gift cards at the grocery store to take advantage of the higher cashback for purchases I intended to make elsewhere. (We do a bunch of shopping on Amazon, so that was an especially relevant example.)

  25. Anonymous

    We’ve been thrilled with the Blue Cash Preferred since receiving it last July. Our overall cash back percentage on this card is currently 3.89% after subtracting the $112.50 in fees we’ve paid from the cash back total (we had the old Blue Cash card with a January anniversary and had to pay half the annual fee when we first got the card and recently paid the fee for 2012). In addition to groceries, we also purchase a number of gift cards at the grocery store to extend 6% back to amazon.com, Shell gas stations, etc.

  26. Anonymous

    We’re using the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Rewards in conjunction with the Chase Freedom Card (rotating categories). For anything that doesn’t get a bonus over 1% between those two cards, we’re using the Delta Amex. We are also hub captive and the miles are worth more than 1% on the fare equivalents that we’ve paid lately.

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