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Amex adds modern rewards for Blue Cash Preferred® cardholders

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Today American Express announced two new rewards categories for its Blue Cash Preferred® Card that cater to cardholders looking for modern benefits.

The update provides two new categories for the cash back card: 6% on select streaming services and 3% on transit. Transit options include trains, taxis, rideshares, ferries, tolls, parking and more — a welcome change for those who spend more on public transit than on gas.

Along with the update, new cardholders will now receive a $250 welcome bonus, up from the previous $200, after spending an initial $1,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account.

Want to know more?

What’s changing and what’s staying the same?

Some of the big changes with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express include the higher welcome bonus for new cardholders and the two additional rewards categories.

Other details remain the same. Cardholders still get 6% cash back on groceries at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 a year, then 1% after that), 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases. And the annual fee is still at $95.

Is the new offer worth it?

As long as you can offset the $95 annual fee by taking advantage of the rewards, you’re likely to get value from this card. Still, it’s important to make sure you’d typically spend enough on the card to get a cash back amount worth more than the annual fee (rather than spending more than you normally would to hit that mark).

Let’s consider the 6% cash back on groceries at U.S. supermarkets. This category has been capped at $6,000 in spending annually (after which you’d get 1% cash back). But if you spend at least $1,800 on groceries a year, or about $150 a month, you’d receive $108 in cash back each year — more than enough to offset the card’s annual fee.

And that’s not even considering how much cash back you could get from subscriptions you have for eligible streaming services, gas purchases at U.S. gas stations or any transit purchases, like taking a taxi, buying a train ticket or riding a subway.

What should you keep in mind?

A number of card issuers have been working to make their rewards cards more appealing in order to make them more profitable, which industry experts say may be to offset losses from rewards programs. So before you head out to sign up for new streaming subscriptions and more, it’s a good idea to think about whether this card’s (or any other card’s) rewards offerings are a good fit for you.