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Do you stream music on your train ride to work? If you have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you can now be rewarded for both activities.
As of May 9, the card has officially added two new bonus categories, on top of its existing rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. They are as follows:
- 6% cash back on eligible streaming services. This includes Hulu, Netflix, Spotify and Pandora.
- 3% cash back on transit. This includes rideshares, tolls, taxis, buses, trains and parking fees.
- Terms apply.
The card’s $95 annual fee isn’t changing, but it is losing its 3% bonus rewards on eligible U.S. department store purchases. A company spokesperson confirmed existing cardholders will continue to earn that rate until July 31. The card will still earn 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1% back), as well as 3% back at U.S. gas stations. All other spending still earns 1% back. Terms apply.
The refreshed Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a welcome offer of $250 after spending $1,000 in qualifying purchases within the first 3 months after opening an account. Terms apply.
Is it right for you?
A credit card offering elevated rewards on streaming is likely to appeal to many. According to a 2018 report by the Deloitte Center for Technology, Media & Telecommunications, the percentage of U.S. households subscribing to a paid streaming video service grew 450% — from just 10% in 2009 to 55% in 2017, with the exponential growth expected to continue.
But maybe you don’t do much streaming? Even still, if your biggest expenses are groceries and commuting to work, you would be hard-pressed to find a card more aligned with your needs than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
On the other hand, if you tend to spend more on dining out and less on home-cooked meals, a better choice might be the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It offers an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, an unlimited 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases. The card also gives you a monthly credit on a Postmates Unlimited membership through December, which might make ordering in more palatable than dining out. It doesn’t earn elevated rewards on transit or streaming services, though, and it comes with an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. If you want a card with no yearly cost of ownership that still offers a similar breadth of rewards categories, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card could be an option. Groceries aren’t a bonus category, but it does earn triple points on:
- Restaurant/bar dining and takeout.
- Gas stations, rideshares and transit.
- Travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals.
- Streaming services such as Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Sirius XM radio, Pandora and Spotify Premium.
All non-bonus-category purchases earn 1 point back. Terms apply. The card’s annual fee is $0.
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