Blue Cash Preferred Receives New Bonus Categories

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Amex has unveiled some positive changes to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which is already one of the best cash-back cards on the market. The card receives new cash-back bonus categories for select streaming services and ground transportation, and takes on a fresh new look. The changes apply to both existing cardholders and new applicants.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
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Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Welcome Bonus Earn 20% back on purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership (issued as a statement credit).
  • Earn 20% back on purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases
  • Cash back is issued as a statement credit.

Updated Blue Cash Preferred Cash Back Bonus Categories

As of May 9, 2019, the Blue Cash Preferred now earns an unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services (see the full list below), plus 3% cash back on select ground transportation. The new bonus categories layer on top of the existing Blue Cash Preferred earning categories, which now include:

  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year; then 1%
  • 6% back on select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% back on transit, including trains, taxi cabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% back on everything else

For existing cardholders, Amex is removing the 3% cash back at U.S. department stores category on July 1, 2019. The new bonus categories are a great addition to the Blue Cash Preferred, cementing it as one of the best cash-back cards available to U.S. consumers. The full list of streaming services added to the 6% category includes:

  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Music
  • Audible
  • CBS All Access
  • Direct TV Now
  • ESPN+
  • Fubo TV
  • HBO Now
  • Hulu
  • iHeartRadio
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • MLB.TV
  • NBA League Pass
  • Netflix
  • NHL.TV
  • Pandora
  • Prime Video Unlimited
  • Showtime
  • Sling TV
  • SiriusXM Streaming and Satellite
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • YouTube Music Premium
  • YouTube Premium
  • YouTube TV

The 3% back on transit purchases is restricted to ground transport, so airfare and airline purchases are not included. Amex gives the following examples of purchases that should qualify for this category:

  • Trains
  • Taxi Cabs
  • Rideshare services
  • Ferries
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Buses
  • Subways

Our Take

Overall, these are positive changes to the Blue Cash Preferred. The card already ranked high on our list of best rewards cards for supermarkets and grocery spending and the best credit cards for gas and fuel, so the addition of 6% back on streaming services, plus 3% back on transit, cements the card's position as one of the best cash back cards on the market.

If you pair the Blue Cash Preferred with a no-annual-fee, cash-back card that earns at least 2% back on all purchases, you have the foundation for a strong cash-back rewards strategy.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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  • Looks good, but is it worth the Annual fee? Not sure it would pay off for me.

  • Streaming services are a good way to pull from a new market area.

  • It is hard to keep up with all the creativity being expressed by the various card issuers 🙁

  • As far as I’m concerned, this is fabulous news. I’ve had the card for a few years and get value out of the grocery benefit alone. Adding this card to my Uber/Lyft accounts for another 3% is great.

  • I was on the fence with keeping this card till this new change evolved. So I’ll hold onto it for now.

  • Fine by me – I spend way more on streaming than Dept store. I can usually buy gift cards to cover but this is nice to get a nice cash back for those months I forget.

  • What a positive change. I would go with this card if I’m not bothered by 5/24 rule. Probably my next card if I fill up my 5 slots soon.

  • Agreed with the comments about the high annual fee.

  • do these apply to the older card going forward or does one need to cancel their old card and apply for this newer version?

  • Good categories, but not sure it’s worth the annual fee

  • This card looks like it could be a good deal if you can spend a lot.

  • Patrick B. says:

    Looks like a card with great bonuses for its users, but the annual fee looks a bit excessive. Still, a strong contender for those that can use t to its full potential.

  • Good updates to the card, however not sure the $95 fee is worth the incremental cash back benefits.

    • Assuming one doesn’t have the Amex Gold, the $95 fee on the preferred pays for itself over the no AF card with just over $3k in groceries per year which I think is a pretty low threshold.

  • Maryjane says:

    If I was into cashback, this would be a great card. For now, I prefer to get Amex points to fund my travels.

  • Interesting card design and wide category for cash back.
    Sounds like a good choice for daily spend.

  • Cash back cards nowadays are just more attractive to people who never bother to study in order to extract the maximum value of the loyal programs.

    • And, that’s a key idea behind every loyalty program. The majority never studies up. If everyone used AwardWallet to learn the ins and outs like we all do, the cards would not be able to afford any generous offers! 🙂

    • To be fair, maximum value is all perception. Sure you can get a first class ticket for 100,000 miles when retail cost may be $18,000 and get a whopping 18 cents per mile (all made up numbers just to make my point) but I value getting my family of four to take a vacation more than blowing everything on one extravagant trip for one (maybe I’ll talk to my wife about doing a special anniversary trip or something down the road).
      Likewise with hotels, sure I can use 30,000 points to stay in a nice room that retails for $450 but I’m fine staying in a $90/night hotel.

      All this to say, you’re not wrong, I’m not wrong, it’s just personal preference in how you perceive value.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    This card is a real player for category everyday spend in the grocery, stream and local travel areas. Thank you.

  • Great earnings possibilities with this card.

  • decent card but annual fee is high.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    i always welcome AME and how I’ve been able to use it overseas. Sounds like a good deal. Also like the insurances provided.

  • Why, oh why did Chase have to put into place the 5/24 rule? It’s so difficult to hold back on good offers like this ?

  • Amex is finally getting with the times. Love the streaming category. The sign up bonus is great too. Would love to see others get with the times as well.

  • I’m really excited about the changes to this card but I will miss 3% back at Department Stores. Do you think any of these options will also be added to the AMEX Everyday and Everyday Preferred?

  • charles j says:

    Thanks. I still don’t know if the new category makes it worth keeping after the first year vs. using my BOA Preferred Rewards card with the 75% bonus (bringing supermarkets to 3.5% back).

  • arshi007 says:

    AmEx has certainly upped their game on this card. I’ve had this card for 10 years and just recently got the AmEx gold as it seemed a better card for groceries. But this is now certainly a good well rounded card

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I’ve long considered it as one of the best cash-back cards available to U.S. consumers.

  • Great card if you can make up the annual fee. Very pleased with the category changes.

  • Thoughts on Blue Preferred vs. Everyday cash back?

    • If you spend at least $3,166/year on groceries, you come out ahead with the preferred. I imagine any family does that four or five times over.

  • I find it a bit odd they have a separate category for streaming services.

    • I believe they said they did research and the end result is this category is geared towards millennials. I’m not complaining.

  • This makes the card quite attractive. One could realistically rack up ~ $1,000 cash back between the different categories.

    • Potentially true, but the sign-up bonus ($155 net, if I’m reading it right) is hugely underwhelming…