American Express trumpets Blue Cash Preferred as the “leading cash back rewards” credit card for groceries, and this is not an exaggeration. The payoff at the supermarkets is a whopping 6 percent — a territory where few credit cards have gone before. The 6 percent cash back rate is limited to the first $6,000 in purchases annually. After that, your rate drops to 1 percent for all purchases.Blue Cash Preferred also offers 3 percent cash back on gas and purchases at select department stores.

Unlike the grocery category, this cash back is unlimited. In addition, you will get a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in three months. And even though American Express says its 3 percent bonus is available only at “select” department stores, the list of eligible department stores is quite extensive.This is not a credit card for people who hate an annual fee, though. The yearly fee stands at $95. Still, one could argue that the $150 sign-up bonus alone takes care of the annual fee for the next two years.
No rotating categories
Unlike many credit cards with rotating categories, using the Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express is remarkably easy. There is no registration, and you get cash back in the form of a statement credit. American Express also has a neat cash back tracker feature that allows you to set goals and see how close you’ve come to achieving them.
Excellent sign-up bonus
The Blue Cash Preferred card comes with a very generous sign-up bonus of $150 for cardholders who spend at least $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership. This is a generous amount for a cash back card, but unfortunately comes with a high annual fee. If you’re goal is simply to obtain a cash back card with a large sign-up bonus, you can find many no-annual-fee cards that offer similar or even higher bonus amounts.
Massive 6 percent bonus at U.S. supermarkets
For many families, groceries rank as the second-highest expense after rent or mortgage payments. So, the 6 percent cash back that the card offers on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, even capped at $6,000 annually, is no small matter. If you are like many people, you won’t find it hard to earn $360 a year just for using the Blue Cash Preferred card to put food on the table. (Note: Superstores such as Target and Walmart are not included in the supermarket category.)
Unlimited 3 percent bonus at gas stations
Even with relatively low gas prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that an average U.S. household will have spent $1,916 by the end of 2015 for filling up. Your mileage may vary, but if you spend as much as an average consumer, you will get almost $60 for using Blue Cash Preferred at U.S. gas stations.
Best U.S. department stores are on the ‘select’ list
American Express also offers unlimited 3 percent cash back at select U.S. department stores. There are actually 16 stores in this list, including Sears, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and more. The cash back you earn depends on how much you spend.
Reasons to sign up for it:
  • You’re looking for a cash back card with a high rate on bonus categories.
  • You want a card with a large sign-up bonus.
  • You spend a lot at gas stations and popular department stores.
  • You’re searching for a card with bonus categories that is relatively simple to use.


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