If you’ve read our article on the AMEX Blue Cash card (link), this is basically an upgraded version of the same card with significantly higher perks. If you don’t really care about traveling a lot or dealing with the points/miles game and want a no nonsense experience collecting cashback, admittedly this is the best credit card currently out there.
Open the link in incognito mode to see the $300 offer.
The Sign-Up Bonus
Currently, if you sign up using the public offer, you will receive a $250 back on $1000 spent in the first 90 days. However, using our link (View all Cards with a Referral Offer -> Cash Back), you will receive $300 back on the same spend. Keep in mind the card waives the $95 Annual Fee for the first year making this card a MUST HAVE.
The Cashback Categories
6% Cash Back
- Supermarkets (HEB, Kroger, Aldi’s, Trader Joes, etc…) on upto $6000/year
- U.S. streaming subscriptions (YouTube Premium, Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc…)
3% Cash Back
- Transit (e.g., taxis/ride-share, parking, tolls, trains, buses, etc…)
- US Gas Stations (Exxon, HEB Gas, Costco Gas, Shell, etc…)
1% Cash Back
On all other purchases.
The math (example)
In year one, you’re bound to come ahead if you spent the $3000 / 6 months to get the $300 by effectively getting $300.
However, to break even on the $95 Annual fee in the second year, you solve for X and Y:
$95 = 0.06X +0.03Y
where X includes the 6% cash-back categories and Y is for the 3% categories.
For example: If you spend $31/week on groceries from (say) HEB, that’s enough to put you in the positive:
Note: If you fill up gas a supermarket store’s gas station (for example: HEB Gas), you’re better off buying the supermarket’s gift card (HEB Gift card) and using that at the pump. That way you still earn 6% cash-back as opposed to the 3% if you swiped your card at the station.
Card Benefits to consider
Car Rental Insurance
This ONLY covers any physical damage to your car rental. Do note this is NOT primary coverage, but is rather secondary coverage. What does this mean? If your rental sustains damage of any sort, your car insurance coverage will take precedence. If your personal car insurance does not have rental coverage, then this automatically becomes primary. Keep in mind this does NOT cover liability coverage. It’s still better than paying for CDW at the counter as most rental companies charge a lot on a per day basis.
Cellphone Purchase Protection
Let’s say you bought a phone under or equal to $1000 – it is covered under damages (accidental). So if you accidentally spill water or drop and damage it, you can file a claim to get back your money. Do keep in mind, you have to had purchased the device using your AMEX card and within the past 120 days.
Travel Accident Insurance
This can provide coverage for accidental death and dismemberment while traveling on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when your entire fare has been charged to the Card.
Free Two Day Shipping
An equivalent (but smaller version) of Amazon, get free 2-day shipping on eligible items at a growing network of 100+ online stores with ShopRunner. You have to enroll in complimentary membership as it is a benefit of your Card.
Future Downgrade Path
If after the first year you feel like you’re not comfortable paying the $95 annual fee and would like to downgrade to the No-Annual Fee Blue Cash card, request the downgrade AFTER the annual fee posts. If you cancel/downgrade the Preferred card before the Fee posts, AMEX will claw back the $300 bonus from spend (as it is known to in past for people who try to game/abuse the system).
Worth it or not?
We think this card is one of those cards that rewards you more than it charges (and it’s free for the first year). Yes there is an annual fee associated with the card from the second year but as we showed you by example, it’s cost can soon be outweighed by the cashback multipliers it offers. Not to mention the other rental car as well as online shopping benefits it has to offer – this AMEX card is definitely worth it if you’re comfortable paying an upfront cost as it’s returns are greater than the Blue Cash Card for the same amount of spend.
If you do not wish to pay the annual fee for the second year, you can choose to downgrade or cancel the card – but do so only after 12 months of holding the card and seeing the annual fee in your statement. Do not cancel the card before completing one full year as AMEX could potentially clawback the bonus, cancel the card along with earned cashback and also blacklist you from future cards.
If you’re a family (2+) you’re bound to maximize the $6000/year limit on supermarkets and earn $360 in cash-back from this one category alone. If you’re one also of the digital age or life in a metropolitan, you save more per payment on online services and on transit purchases.