I had another full year of using the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express as my primary card of choice for supermarket purchases. In my first full year of usage, I was able to achieve the maximum 6% cash back rewards. Could I duplicate this feat in year two?
The results are in, and since I’ve hyped this card a lot in the past, I wanted to share them with you. It was another successful year of getting the maximum 6% cash back reward on my largest expense category – groceries.
In reviewing my year end spend analysis within my account, I was able to isolate that I spent $6,100 on supermarket (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Kroger, Aldi, and Meijer) purchases. My wife and I spend less than the average 2-person household on grocery items, for comparison. If you’re in a one-person household, I provide an analysis later in this post on whether this card will pay off for you.
The Blue Preferred Card caps your 6% cash back on the supermarket category at $6,000 in spend ($360 cash back). Every dollar spent beyond the $6,000 per year threshold receives 1% cash back.
Outside of the 6% cash back at US supermarkets, this card also receives 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Updated Perks for New Cardmembers
Outside of the hefty ongoing cash back rewards in categories that don’t change, the Blue Cash Preferred Card also has an updated perk for new cardholders. You can earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.
Does the Blue Cash Preferred Card Make Sense for you?
It is worth noting that this card has a $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee in the first year).
Because of that, the Blue Cash Preferred card might not make the most sense for 1-person households that don’t spend nearly as much on groceries as 2+ member households do. If that more accurately describes your household, the Blue Cash Preferred Card has a sister card with no annual fee (and lower cash back rewards) – the Blue Cash Everyday® Card (review here).
Last year, I did a Blue Preferred vs. Blue Everyday cash back comparison to a typical common no-annual-fee/1% cash back card on $6,000 in supermarket purchases. Here is what I found:
Blue Cash Preferred:
- year 1: $360 cash back + $250 bonus – $0 annual fee = $610
- subsequent years: $360 cash back – $95 annual fee = $265
Blue Cash Everyday:
- year 1: $180 cash back + $250 bonus = $430
- subsequent years: $180 cash back = $180
Generic 1% Cash Back card:
- year 1: $60 cash back = $60
- subsequent years: $60 cash back = $60
In this scenario, you can see the obvious benefits in having one of these 2 cards to If you make gas station purchases, the comparative cash back rewards could be even higher.
If you don’t have either card, and you responsibly pay off your full credit card balances each month, both cards are excellent options because of how much groceries cost these days. I would opt for the Everyday version in 1-person households and the Preferred version in 2+ member households. You could also do a “double-play” with 2 card applications with 2 household members for very large families that buy a lot of groceries, to double the 6% cash back per year maximum from $6,000 to $12,000.
Bonus: the Blue Cash Preferred card often has lucrative AmEx offers for Kroger and other grocery store chains.
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