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Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express: Maximum Rewards for Gas and Grocery High Spenders

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If you're looking to cash in on maximum rewards for purchases on groceries and gas, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express offers some of the highest rewards available.

Pros:

  • High rewards rate for U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations
  • 0% intro annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months

Cons:

  • High APR
  • Some merchants do not accept American Express
  • Reward redemptions have $25 minimum

Experian Review

If you and your family are high spenders on groceries and gas, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card could give you the highest rewards available. You'll get a whopping 6% cash back for purchases at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year and 3% back at U.S. gas stations. Although the $95 annual fee is higher than most cash back cards, if you spend close to $6,000 per year—which breaks down to approximately $115 per week—your annual rewards can add up to $360. Add your gas rewards to that total, and the annual fee is well covered.

Supersized Rewards for U.S. Supermarkets

You'll get 6% cash back at many major U.S. supermarkets—one of the highest reward rates around. But not all stores that sell groceries qualify for that rate: Wholesale clubs such as Sam's Club and Costco, as well as superstores including Target, Walmart and Amazon, earn 1%. Specialty food stores, such as meat, cheese and wine shops, also net you 1% in rewards. Consider where you do most of your shopping when you're calculating your break-even point for covering the annual fee.

Getting Gas Gets Rewards

If you have commuters in your family—or you're just on the road a lot—this card will help you cash in on that drive time. Gas rewards are some of the best you can find at 3% with no cap. There are restrictions, however. The 3% rewards are available only at traditional gas stations (such as Shell, Exxon and Mobil). Warehouse clubs, superstores and supermarkets that sell gas don't count. Gas purchases at those locations will be rewarded at 1%. For other restrictions on supermarket and gas rewards, see the American Express definitions for the retailers and gas stations to find out whether the retailers you use earn the highest rewards.

Extra Perks That Add Up

New American Express Blue Cash Preferred® cardholders have an additional lucrative incentive. American Express is offering a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months. If you are maximizing your rewards at the grocery store checkout line and the gas pump, chances are you will get to that $1,000 pretty quickly.

How to Redeem Rewards for American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card

There are a few ways to redeem your cash back for this card. It comes in the form of Rewards Dollars, and you can redeem them in multiples of $25. This can be used for statement credits or gift cards from a variety of merchants. If you want your cash back in the form of a check, your account balance needs to be paid in full first. Then you can call American Express to request a check. It usually takes five to seven business days for you to receive a check by mail.

Caveats and Considerations

If paying an annual fee is a deal breaker for you, American Express offers a similar card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card From American Express, with lower rewards rates but no annual fee. This card gives 3% in rewards at U.S. supermarkets, also up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that; 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% for purchases everywhere else. Keep in mind that both Blue Cash cards have a foreign transaction fee, so if you are leaving the U.S., leave this card at home.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.

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