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A few days ago I compiled a list of the best credit cards to use for different spend categories (i.e., supermarkets, gas, hotels, department stores, etc.). While putting the post together it reminded me that I hardly speak about one of the best credit cards out there for purchasing groceries.
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card gives you 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spending per year, then 1% cash back). This is a great return, especially because the average person is not able to get nearly close to a 6 cent per point return when using their points and miles. And, I’d much rather cash in my pocket now.
While unfortunately there is a $6,000 cap on the cash back, that means a $500 grocery bill per month which is probably doable for the average household family. And, if you do not think you’ll meet that $6,000 cap towards the end of the year, see if your store sells other random items that do not typically fall into the “grocery” category.
This particular card does come with a $95 annual fee (although waived the first year) and is not a card I’d sign up on solely for the sign up bonus, but rather for your food purchases. While there is a no fee version of this card, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday, most people will probably come out ahead by using the Preferred even though it comes with an annual fee. As long as you spend $2,500 or more at participating U.S. supermarkets throughout the year you’ll get more cash back by paying an annual fee.
While a $95 annual fee is on the higher end (in my opinion) for a card that I’d personally only use for one type of purchase, it does have other worthwhile benefits. Because it is an American Express card you are able to take advantage of the Amex Offers promotions and potentially earn enough statement credits back in the year to make up for the annual fee (related post).
Keep in mind that this is only valid at U.S. Supermarkets that are coded “supermarket” in the system. You will not earn the 6% cash back at speciality stores (i.e., fish markets, wine markets, etc.), Superstores (Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, etc.), and Warehouse Stores (i.e., Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.). You can read more about which stores are included and not included on this Amex site.