American Express Updates the Blue Cash Preferred

American Express has been on a hot streak for the last year or so! They have updated designs and even reward categories for many of its cards. Now it looks like the Blue Cash Preferred is next to receive an update.

The Changes

First and foremost, one of the most notable changes comes in the form of the card’s look. American Express has started updating some of its cards with a new cartoonish centurion look, and this will be a feature of the Blue Cash Preferred. Instead of the transparent card with a blue box, the card will look pretty similar to the newer cash magnet card. According to the released artwork, it will also be a contactless card.

Outside of looks, we are getting a few changes to the Blue Cash Preferred’s reward scheme. Before the change, the Blue Cash Preferred earned 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 per year), 3% on gas and department stores, and 1% everywhere else. As of May 9th, we are seeing new additions to the 3% back categories in the form of streaming services and transit. Streaming services will cover things like Netflix, Hulu, and even HBO and Apple Music. Transit will cover ride share (Uber/Lyft), parking, tolls, and even trains. 

Finally, the Blue Cash Preferred will remove department stores earning 3%, however this wont go into effect until July 31st, 2019. After July, department store purchases will only earn 1%. 

Final Thoughts

I think American Express is really on a roll with updating its lineup. For the last year or so, we’ve seen a ton of changes and revamps coming from Amex. Card by card they are getting more and more competitive.

As far as the Blue Cash Preferred, these are some pretty welcome changes. I’ve had the Blue Cash for years now, and while I’ve always liked the transparent card, I think this card looks better. It’s annoying that it looks pretty similar to the Cash Magnet, but it is supposed to be a blue card after all.

With respect to the reward categories, I think these are all pretty great changes. Not too many people offer reward categories for streaming services, and if they do, they aren’t quite 3%. I’m sad to see the department store category go. I don’t often shop at these places, but when I do, it’s nice to get 3%, I suppose we’ll have to figure out a better plan to make up for the loss. 

Transit is the only category I wish covered more. It’s annoying that it isn’t an all inclusive transportation category, but Amex also offers plenty of cards that do cover that. If you think about it, it does cover if you drive (gas) and public transportation too. 

I think overall these changes are targeted towards the millennial/younger base, and that’s not a bad thing by any means. This was one of the first cards I started out with because it made sense to me. The reward categories of grocery and gas made a good impression on me. With the inclusion of streaming services and transit, this really can be a card you use everyday. 

What do you think about these changes? Let us know below! 

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