Why the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card’s Welcome Offer Is a Sleeper Hit
On the heels of Amex loosening its credit card limit policy a few days ago, a fellow hobbyist and I were talking over our new Amex card alternatives. As we stepped through their card portfolio, we eventually got to the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. I had held the card years ago, and I hadn’t given it much thought since then because of the supermarket bonus earning cap. However, I decided to pursue it again based on the unique combination of circumstances below. Here’s why I decided to go after the Amex Blue Cash Preferred now. Perhaps you should consider it, too, before the current offer expires on May 5th!
Amex Blue Cash Preferred Welcome Offer
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card’s current welcome offer is $300 cash back after $3k spend in the first six months of holding the card. This heightened offer for $300 back on all $3k spend is relatively rare. More often, I’ve seen lower welcome offers, or offers that only apply to specific spend categories (restaurants, for instance). The current high cash back welcome offer on all spend grabbed my attention.
$200 Back in Statement Credits
My offer included $200 back in statement credits for purchases at certain home furnishing stores. This category also includes home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. That’s all I needed to hear – I’ll have no problem using the credits there. Hello, gift card kiosk!
Amex Referral Bonus
In my opinion, Amex has the best referral bonus program of any bank out there, by far. Those of you in two player mode with a spouse or domestic partner can obtain even more rewards on new Amex card approvals. My wife referred me from her Gold card and obtained a 30k Membership Rewards bonus for doing so.
No Annual Fee
Even better, Amex is currently offering the Blue Cash Preferred with no annual fee for the first cardmember year. In the past, I’ve largely seen that the $95 annual fee is included in the first year. No doubt, this annual fee normally takes a significant bite out of any cash back earned, so its exclusion right now is huge.
I obtained this card in close proximity to the middle of the calendar year. This gives me more flexibility to maximize 6% cash back in the supermarket category (up to $6k spend annually) both this year and early next year. By doing so, I’m benefiting twice from the annual limit in one (free) cardmember year.
The current offer also comes with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening. I don’t take advantage of these promos often, but it’s nice to know it’s there if/when I feel like using it.
Crunching the Numbers, and My Overall Take
Fun with Cash Back Math
Taking all of the above into account, I’ll step through the cash back numbers. The math made picking up this card a slam dunk.
- Welcome Offer: $300
- Home Furnishing Credits: $200
- Amex Referral Bonus: $375 (30k Membership Rewards via Schwab cashout at 1.25 cents per point)
- 2021 Supermarket Cash Back: $360 (6% cash back, up to $6k annual spend)
- 2022 Supermarket Cash Back: $360
- Total Cash Back: $1,595
My Overall Take
Prior to crunching the numbers, I hadn’t given the Blue Cash Preferred serious consideration as my next Amex credit card. I was originally focused on Amex’s Hilton and Delta cards. But I quickly realized about $1.6k in cash easily outweighed anything the other current welcome offers could provide in the next 12 months. No other rewards currency from viable Amex credit cards could offer me even close to that amount.
I’m looking at the Blue Cash Preferred as a one year rental. It will not be a long term keeper, as I’ll want to move on to other credit card welcome offers that provide more rewards than $360 cash back annually.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred – Conclusion
This experience reminded me of something that I easily forget in the credit card rewards hobby – always challenge my long-held beliefs and preconceived notions. I can unearth more lucrative rewards which are better customized for my situation by doing so. It may be more work, but I’ll compare available welcome offer alternatives even when faced with what seems to be an upfront winner. Have you obtained the Amex Blue Cash Preferred recently? What other Amex credit cards have you pursued lately?