The Blue Cash Preferred card offers rewards for cash back on groceries, but it can also provide much more to the cardholder.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is well known for its standout cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases – 6% on up to $6,000 in spend per year, then 1%. That’s the main reason why the card is my favorite credit card of the pandemic.
But the Blue Cash Preferred actually has so much more to offer, and to truly maximize this card you should take advantage of each and every perk. Read on to learn more about the lesser-known benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred and how they can offer you even more value.
Non-grocery bonus earnings
In addition to 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spend per year, then 1%), the Blue Cash Preferred offers:
- 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 3% back on transit and at U.S. gas stations
- 1% back on general purchases
Since groceries make up a larger portion of the typical budget than gas, it’s clear why the bonus on U.S. supermarkets is the main draw for this card. But the 3% rate on U.S. gas station and transit purchases is actually pretty good, too.
With a few exceptions, most of the other best credit cards for gas only offer 2% when you fill up. That extra percentage with the Blue Cash Preferred can make a difference on any road trip.
And if you don’t drive, you can earn the same rate on transit purchases – which includes bus fare, taxis and ride-shares.
Fans of retail therapy rejoice: The Blue Cash Preferred also comes with a free ShopRunner membership. Typically $79 per year, this membership offers free, two-day shipping from more than 100 popular online merchants – including brands like American Eagle, Kate Spade and Under Armour.
The list of participating retailers isn’t the most comprehensive, but this benefit can still save you quite a bit in shipping charges if used strategically.
Like with all other Amex Cards, the Blue Cash Preferred comes with Amex Offers, a card-linked offer program that can help cardholders score extra cash back on everyday purchases.
Listed in the American Express app (or desktop site), offers can include statement credits or a higher rate of cash back on certain purchases and are tailored to a user’s location and purchase preferences.
American Express entertainment offers
Fan of music festivals, invite-only dining experiences or sports events? Your Blue Cash Preferred card has you covered with access to presale tickets, exclusive events, special entrances and more. With American Express Experiences, you’re also privy to cardmember-only perks.
It’s a good idea to make major purchases on your Blue Cash Preferred because it comes with several shopping protections that can save you money should things go wrong. The card comes with the following benefits:
- Extended warranty: On eligible warranties of five years or less, you can add an additional two years to the original manufacturer’s warranty.
- Purchase protection: For items purchased with your card, you can be covered for 120 days in the case of accidental damage or theft.
- Return protection: If you try to return a purchase made with your card in the first 90 days and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express will refund the price up to $300 per item (max of $1,000 per year).
Pay It Plan It
The Blue Cash Preferred card also comes with the American Express Pay It Plan It program, which allows eligible cardholders to pay off select purchases over time for a flat fee.
When you qualify for a plan (on purchases over $100), you won’t be charged any interest for the allotted repayment period. Instead, you’ll pay a flat rate that is determined based on the purchase amount and your creditworthiness.
This can be particularly beneficial when you have large purchases to make, like new furniture or an expensive flight. But make sure you do the math and consider if the fee is worth what you’d save in interest – you might be better off with a 0% APR credit card instead.
Other limited-time promotions
American Express keeps its customers happy, and that often means extending limited-time promotions to cardholders.
Past examples include a free one-year membership to the Calm meditation app, a two-month trial with obé fitness and statement credits for Equinox+ classes. While these particular offers are all expired, it is a good indication of the kinds of deals your Blue Cash Preferred card can score you. Be sure to keep a close eye on the Amex website for current promotions.
The Blue Cash Preferred card may come with a $95 annual fee, but its repertoire of perks and benefits can more than offset this cost if used strategically.
Beyond the high rewards rate on U.S. supermarket purchases for which its known, the card’s shopping protections and access to Amex benefits can also be a draw.