The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is frequently considered one of the top cash back credit cards on the market today, and it’s easy to see why. Cardholders earn a whopping 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back) as well as 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services. Meanwhile, they also earn 3 percent back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases and 1 percent back on everything else they buy.

A surprising number of benefits are also offered, which include shopping benefits and protections for purchases you make with your card. This guide highlights the top Amex Blue Cash Preferred benefits you’ll receive when you sign up, as well as a few tips to maximize your rewards.

As a reminder: Details of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers generous rewards in several everyday categories, including a top rate that makes it one of the best credit cards for grocery purchases. Card details are listed below:

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn a welcome bonus of $300 in statement credits when you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within six months of account opening
  • Earn 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1 percent back) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3 percent back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases and 1 percent back on everything else
  • $0 annual fee the first year, then $95

Dining and entertainment benefits

The Blue Cash Preferred isn’t too heavy on benefits within dining and entertainment, but cardholders do get access to American Express Experiences. This feature lets cardholders utilize exclusive access to ticket presales and cardholder-only events. This can make it easier to get in the door for Broadway shows, concert tours, sporting events and other popular activities.

Travel protections and benefits

Several travel perks come standard with the Blue Cash Preferred, some of which can help you save money or resolve emergency situations during a trip away from home.

Global Assist hotline

Being a cardmember lets you access a 24/7 international hotline any time you travel at least 100 miles from home. Experts on the line can help you line up emergency legal or medical referrals, replace a lost passport or locate your luggage. The help you need is just a phone call away.

Car rental loss and damage insurance

The Blue Cash Preferred also gives cardholders car rental loss and damage insurance, which will provide secondary coverage behind one’s individual insurance.

This type of coverage does not include liability. To activate this secondary protection, you must pay for the entire rental cost with your American Express credit card.

Card protections and insurance benefits

This card also offers some cardholder benefits and protections that can help you save money or replace a lost item, for example. These include:

Purchase protection

This benefit protects your purchases against damage or theft, provided you pay with your credit card. Coverage is good for up to 90 days and up to $1,000 per occurrence, although the total benefit is capped at $50,000 per calendar year.

Return protection

The Blue Cash Preferred also comes with a guaranteed returns feature that will refund your purchase when a merchant won’t take it back. This coverage is good for the full purchase price, excluding shipping and handling, with a maximum benefit of $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year, per account. Only purchases made within the United States or U.S. territories are eligible.

Additional card benefits

A final benefit to understand is this card’s introductory APR offer. Once you sign up, you’ll get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent. This temporary waiver of interest charges can make it easier for cardholders to make a large purchase and pay it off over time.

How to maximize the perks and benefits offered by the Amex Blue Cash Preferred

The Blue Cash Preferred annual fee is waived the first year, giving you the chance to utilize Blue Cash Preferred benefits for 12 months before you commit to keeping your card. You’ll also earn cash back rewards during this time, which can be worth hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

Still, there are other ways to make the most of your new credit card, including the following.

Earn the welcome bonus

One of the most important American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card benefits offered is the welcome bonus you can earn. Sign up and make sure to spend $1,000 within three months of account opening to earn $300 in bonus cash you can redeem for statement credits to your account.

Max out bonus category spending

Make sure you also maximize bonus category spending—and particularly grocery spending—since you’ll earn 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent with U.S. grocery stores each year (then 1 percent back). If you’re able to spend $500 per month at U.S. grocery stores with this card, you’ll earn $360 in rewards in this category alone each year.

Also, make sure you use your credit card for gas and transit and that you set it as the preferred form of payment on all your streaming accounts like Netflix and Hulu.

Take advantage of Amex offers

Make sure to check your account or the American Express app frequently for Amex Offers you may be interested in, which can help you earn cash back on eligible purchases. Amex Offers are free to add to your account, and they let you earn more rewards on top of the cash back you earn for paying with your credit card.

Save your receipts

With Amex purchase protection and return protection as cardholder benefits, you’ll want to save receipts for major purchases you make. This will make it infinitely easier to file a claim if an item you bought is damaged or stolen, or if you want to return an item and the store you bought from won’t take it back.

The bottom line

There are plenty of reasons to sign up for the Blue Cash Preferred, including the amazing Blue Cash Preferred benefits you receive. Not only do you get the chance to earn a generous welcome bonus and ongoing rewards, but you get to enjoy some travel perks and protections for your purchases.

Considering the Blue Cash Preferred annual fee is $0 during year one ($95 thereafter), this offer is well worth exploring. With that being said, make sure you compare this card to other Amex credit cards, including cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards points and cash back credit cards from other issuers.