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American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card: BiggerPockets Review

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The American Express Blue Cash Preferred rewards credit cards offers excellent cash-back benefits on groceries as well as entertainment streaming services, so it’s ideal for real estate pros responsible for stocking up properties with these services and inventory items.


Quick facts

CASH BACK
The Blue Cash Preferred credit card from American Express is notable for its high cash-back rewards on groceries: You’ll get an impressive six percent cash back at supermarkets—up to a max of $6,000 in spending annually—which can pay off big for real estate investors stocking up for rental properties. 

Cardholders also get six percent back on qualifying entertainment streaming service subscriptions, which can also be a boon to real estate pros responsible for setting up and paying for such services in rental units. 

Blue Cash Preferred card holders also get a solid three percent cash back on transit purchases, including gas, and one percent back on all other eligible purchases. Redeem for a statement credit with a minimum reward balance of $25.

CARDHOLDER BENEFITS
Cardholder benefits include additional perks like a hotline for traveler needs, as well as presale ticket opportunities for concerts and shows and cardholder-only event access.

ANNUAL FEE
For those significant cash-back bonus opportunities, you’ll pay a $95 annual fee.

SIGN-UP BONUS
Up from a more typical $250 cash-back introductory bonus, now American Express is offering a heftier $300 cash back for sign-up. Get it in the form of a statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months after opening the account. New card holders also get 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months.

CREDIT REQUIREMENTS
You’ll need good or excellent credit to qualify for this card, with a minimum of about 690.


The stats

  • APR: Intro APR is zero on purchases for 12 months after account opening. Then, it moves to a variable APR ranging from 13.99 to 23.99 percent.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Balance transfer fee: N/A
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7 percent of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars



PROS

  • The sign-up bonus on this card is attractive—even more so while the cash-back offer remains $300.
  • At six percent, AmEx Blue Cash Preferred offers some of the best supermarket cash-back rewards available.
  • Cardholders also get six percent cash back on entertainment streaming services, and three percent back on transit purchases—including gas.
  • Entertainment perks allow access to cardmember-only events as well as exclusive access to ticket presales for shows and concerts.
  • Cardholders get access to the Global Assist Hotline for help with unexpected travel issues and emergencies.

CONS

  • There is a $95 annual fee (although for certain users, the cash-back rewards will easily cancel out that fee).
  • If you’re not paying your balance in full each month, the APR can make finance charges steeper than you could find elsewhere (after the 0% introductory period).
  • You’ll need a minimum available reward dollars balance of $25 to redeem for statement credits.



What BiggerPockets users say...

BiggerPockets forum investor Benjamin C. writes this card “can’t be beat” for cash back on groceries and gas, especially in combination with another card that gives a higher percentage of cash back on everyday purchases.

Be aware, however, that the card might not come easily, especially for people with credit blemishes. “AmEx is notoriously harder to get approved with” compared with other types of cards, writes Brie Schmidt.
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