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Credit cards are a great way to earn a return on purchases that you have to make, like gas and groceries. One of the best ways to use a credit card is by letting it work for you without having to alter your spending habits to fit the card. If you don't have a gas or grocery rewards card, you're missing out on easy rewards.
The Blue Cash Preferred from American Express is potentially the most rewarding card when it comes to supermarkets and select streaming services in the U.S., in addition to earning a strong rate for purchases at U.S. gas stations.
Here's why the Blue Cash Preferred would make a welcomed addition to any consumer's wallet.
The Blue Cash Preferred is incredibly rewarding. While it does have an annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year), the rewards you'll earn from purchases at U.S. supermarkets (excluding Walmart, Costco, and Target) will likely have you forgetting about the fee, which is something I can personally attest to.
For example, just by spending as little as $1,600 on groceries annually cardholders will earn $96 back, which is enough to cover the fee. That works out to only about $133 in grocery spending each month, which is less than what most families spend in a single week. Cardholders also will earn much more than that after considering the card's other bonus categories.
And take note, consumers can earn that strong 6% cash back rate at other retailers by using the Blue Cash Preferred to purchase gift cards at the grocery store.
In addition to the strong grocery and gas rewards, cardholders can earn something back for all of their binge-watching needs. Most streaming services are covered, including Netflix, Spotify, HBO Max, and Hulu. Even lesser-known services like Peacock and Stitcher are covered.
Once you've put away your groceries, filled the tank, and have the latest episode of your favorite show queued up, redeeming is easy. Cardholders can redeem rewards for:
Statement credits will reduce the overall balance of the account. Just keep in mind that it won't cover the required minimum monthly payment should you revolve a balance. By paying off your statement balance in full each month, you'll avoid any interest charges, so it's recommended that consumers get in that habit.
While the true draw for the Blue Cash Preferred is its impressive rewards, cardholders also will find value in its benefits and protections:
Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
Head over to American Express's website, where you can securely apply. Fill out the required information including but not limited to, contact information, income, and monthly rent or mortgage payment. American Express will likely get back to you instantly with its decision or it will contact you if further information is required.
The Blue Cash Preferred is designed for consumers with good to excellent credit. To be considered for that credit range, your FICO score must be at least 670, or your VantageScore must be at least 661.
The Blue Cash Everday doesn't have an annual fee, but it offers half of the rewards. Cardholders will earn 3% cash back (on the first $6,000 spent annually in each category, then 1%) at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, U.S. online retail purchases and 1% for everything else. It's a bit simpler than the Blue Cash Preferred, and less rewarding.
While the lack of an annual fee may seem enticing, you'll actually get more for your money by choosing the Blue Cash Preferred.
No, the Blue Cash Preferred is not a metal card. Instead, it's a sleek, plastic design.
If you spend just $1,600 on groceries per year, you'll earn $96 back, which is enough to cover the fee. If you take into account the card's other bonus categories, such as streaming, gas, and transit, cardholders will earn much more than that.
Check out our page on the 5 best credit cards for groceries to see how it stacks up to the competition.
If you don't have a credit card that earns rewards for necessary purchases like gas and groceries, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option. The Blue Cash Preferred offers one of the highest rewards rates for groceries, if not the highest, among consumer credit cards.
While it does have an annual fee, it doesn't take much spending at all to cover it, and then some. The grocery rewards add up quickly, before even considering its other bonus categories. Where the card is lacking is in the benefits, but there are still a handful of perks that cardholders can appreciate, such as rental car insurance, Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Return Protection, and a ShopRunner membership.
The biggest draw is earning a return on spending you're doing anyway. Earning rewards for purchases you have to make should be an easy choice for most consumers.
If you need a card that rewards you for gas and groceries, choose this one. It's simple to use and the rewards add up quickly. I've had the card for a number of years now, and have hardly noticed the annual fee. I spend about $400 on groceries each month, so the card pays for itself in just four months, without considering the return on gas and streaming. That means the cash back accrued over the other eight months of the year is simply money that goes back into my account.
The benefits of Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty give cardholders added security when making purchases with the card, and the ShopRunner membership cuts down on shipping time if you can take advantage of it.
The Blue Cash Preferred offers one of the highest cash back rates for grocery spending, so in terms of a grocery credit card, this is your best bet. However, for consumers who maybe don't want to have multiple credit cards or are put off by the annual fee, there are a handful of other reward cards worth considering.