Special offer: Blue Cash Preferred waives annual fee for first year
By Tracy Brackman | Updated: August 12, 2017
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American Express has launched a special introductory offer for the Blue Cash Preferred card. During the first year of card membership, cardholders will not be charged the usual annual fee of $95.
In addition to the complimentary first year, Blue Cash Preferred cardholders receive a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months, along with cash back on everything they buy, including:
- 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets – on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1 percent.
- 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores.
- 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
Cash back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars, which can be redeemed as statement credits in increments of $25. At times, American Express may also give cardholders the option of redeeming reward dollars in other forms, such as gift cards and merchandise.
Get cash for buying groceries
In general, a 6 percent cash back rate is a generous offer – but it’s especially generous when it applies to a popular category like groceries. The Blue Cash Preferred card pays 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 in grocery purchases per year – which averages out to approximately $500 per month in groceries. At that rate, you can earn $30 back each month, for a total of $360 per year. If you combine that amount with the $150 sign-up bonus, you have the potential to earn over $500 in the first year of card membership – all without paying an annual fee.
Once you reach the $6,000 cap, you will continue to earn 1 percent back on groceries for the remainder of the year.
Additionally, the Blue Cash Preferred card pays 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases. There is no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn on these purchases.
No annual fee the first year
With its new introductory offer, the Blue Cash Preferred card joins several cards that pay cash back without charging an annual fee during the first year or longer. Take a look at the chart below to see how the Blue Cash Preferred card compares to similar cash back rewards cards.
|COMPARABLE CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
|Blue Cash Preferred||Blue Cash Everyday||Bank of America Cash Rewards||Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa|
|Annual fee||$0 first year, then $95||$0||$0||$0|
|Sign-up bonus||$150 after $1,000 spend in first 3 months||$100 after $1,000 spend in first 3 months||$150 after $500 spend in first 90 days||$200 after $1,000 spend in first 3 months|
• 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
|• 3% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%)
• 2% at U.S. gas stations and select department stores
• 1% on general purchases
• Terms apply
|• 3% on gas
• 2% on groceries and wholesale club purchases
• 1% on general purchase
|• 1.8% on Android Pay and Apple Pay for 12 months
• 1.5% on general purchases
|Introductory APR||None||0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months||0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles||0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months|
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of the offer.
As you can see, the Blue Cash Preferred card charges an annual fee of $95 after the first year, while the other cards never carry an annual fee. However, because the Blue Cash Preferred card also offers the highest cash back rate among these cards, you can easily cover the $95 annual fee with the amount of cash back you earn each year.
Note that the update to the Blue Cash Preferred card includes one other major change: American Express has eliminated the card’s introductory APR for balance transfers and new purchases. While the Blue Cash Everyday, Bank of America Cash Rewards and Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa cards all offer a 0 percent introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, the Blue Cash Preferred card does not. So if you plan to carry a balance from purchases or transfer a balance from another card within the first year of card membership, the Blue Cash Preferred card may not be your best bet.
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