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By Jason Steele
September 4, 2020
Courtesy of American Express

Not going anywhere these days? Then maybe a travel rewards credit card makes less sense for you than it had in the past.

Perhaps you should now be considering a credit card that offers cash back for things you do at home, rather than for purchases you make when travel traveling or going out. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred isn’t a new card, but it’s one that seems to work well with many people’s spending habits and lifestyles in 2020.

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American Express Blue Cash Preferred: Key Terms

  • Welcome bonus: New applicants can earn $250 in cash back after using their card to spend $1,000 within three months of account opening.
  • Rewards: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets. (also on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. entertainment streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit and gas station purchases and 1% elsewhere.
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Promotional Financing Offer: 12 months of 0% APR financing on new purchases.
  • Standard APR: 13.99% to 23.99%

How the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card Works

To start off with, you can earn $250 in cash back when you spend $1,000 within three months of account opening. New accounts will also receive 12 months of 0% APR financing on new purchases.

The key to the Blue Cash Preferred card offer is its rewards, especially if you routinely make dinner at home and chill out with your favorite streaming services. First off, you’ll earn 6% cash back on your first $6,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets. You also receive 6% cash back on your purchases from select U.S. entertainment streaming subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple Music, plus 3% back on transit (including rideshare, buses and trains) and gas station purchases, and 1% on other purchases.

Benefits include car rental insurance and return protection. There is a $95 annual fee for this card.

Advantages

The two biggest advantages of this card are the 6% cash back at supermarkets and streaming services, and the $250 welcome bonus. Plus, the 3% rewards on gas and transit purchases are at least as valuable as you’d find on other competing cards.

Disadvantages

The $95 annual fee is an obvious issue for many people — especially when there are so many other good cash back cards with no annual fee out there. However, when you do the math, you’ll realize that the $95 annual fee might be worth it. When you factor in this card’s great cash back possibilities, you could come out ahead compared to similar cards with no annual fee, such as the American Express Blue Cash Everyday. Also, one other downside is that the Blue Cash Preferred only offers 1% cash back for restaurants and delivery services (and all other purchases), at a time when takeout and delivery orders are more popular than ever.

Alternatives: Great Cash Back Cards With No Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited. In addition to offering 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no limits, Chase Freedom Unlimited‘s current offer also includes 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. There’s no annual fee for this card.

American Express Blue Cash Everyday. This no-fee card offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent each year), 2% back at gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back elsewhere.

Citi Double Cash. Instead of bonus categories, Citi Double Cash offers up to 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limits. You earn 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of up to 2% cash back. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Bottom Line: Is the Blue Cash Preferred Card Worth It?

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred has always been a great rewards card for those who stay home a lot of the time. Now that seemingly everyone’s a homebody, maybe it’s time to give this card a look.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Money has partnered with CardRatings.com and ConsumersAdvocate.org, among other companies, for our coverage of credit card products. Money, CardRatings.com, and ConsumersAdvocate.org may receive a commission from card issuers. For example, Money receives a commission from Citi when you apply and are approved for a Citi product through the links on this site.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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