American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review: Now Earn 6X on Streaming, 3X on Rideshare

amex blue

Beginning May 9th, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express will come with two exciting new bonus categories that totally appeal to Millennials.

To sweeten an already pretty decent credit card, Amex is adding 6X on select U.S. streaming subscriptions (assuming the likes of Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and 3X on transit, including popular rideshare like Uber and Lyft.

The company noted that older Millennials (ages 31-38) spend the most day-to-day on groceries (67%), streaming (36%) and commuting (34%), per a joint survey with Wakefield Research.

So they’re making sure they’ll earn the most cash back where it matters most.

Despite these additional benefits, American Express is keeping the annual fee at a reasonable $95.

The one loss is 3X at department stores, which will be removed as a benefit for cardholders after July 31st, 2019.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Bonus Categories

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions [NEW]
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% cash back on transit, including parking, tolls, trains and rideshares [NEW]
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Once the changes are implemented, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred will come with a whopping four bonus categories, which is quite a lot on a year-round basis.

They’re basically hitting every major category with 3% back on gas and 6% back on groceries.

The only obvious missing categories are restaurants and recurring utility charges, like internet, cell phone, etc., which Capital One Savor (or Uber Visa) and Chase Ink happen to offer, respectively.

$250 Welcome Bonus for New Applicants

On top of the category bonuses, new applicants will receive a $250 opening bonus when they spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.

That is up from the usual $200 bonus, yet another reason to apply for this revamped version of American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card.

There’s also an even higher $300 bonus for those who are referred to the card from a friend or family member.

It’s a pretty easy minimum spending requirement and offers a decent return.

The downside is that the $95 annual fee is not waived the first year, so it cuts into the bonus fairly heavily.

The other obvious downside is the card only earns cash back, not American Express Membership Rewards points, which could be a lot more lucrative if transferred to travel partners.

But if you value cash above all else, this card might offer some decent value if the majority of your spending takes place in the bonus categories mentioned.

Hypothetical Cash Back with American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

Monthly Spending

  • $500 at grocery stores @6X = $360 cash back annually
  • $50 on streaming @6X= $36 cash back annually
  • $300 on gas @3X = $108 cash back annually
  • $250 on transit @3X = $90 cash back annually
  • $500 elsewhere @1X = $60 cash back annually

Total cash back: $654

Opening bonus: $250

Annual fee: $95

Net cash back in first year: $809

Not a bad deal if there aren’t better cash back alternatives and/or credit cards you haven’t already applied for that come with bigger sign-up bonuses.

The two downsides of American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, as mentioned, are the annual fee and the fact that it earns cash back as opposed to points.

If you can look past those two issues, it’s certainly worth your consideration.

By Colin Robertson

Colin created this blog after spending several years in a job that required him to scour credit reports on a daily basis. His goal is to help individuals better understand their credit and get the most out of credit cards.

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