If you know me well, you know how much I love my American Express “Blue Cash Preferred” Credit Card. But, it just keeps getting better—through mid-September, American Express allows cardholders to sign up for ”small shop” credits for a maximum of $50.00 in credits. I didn’t really know how these would actually work until I looked at my account—and I’ve received four credits already.
It’s simple—sign up and receive $5.00 each time you shop at a designated ”small shop.” Now, before I get too excited, let me say I did have difficulty finding out exactly what stores or businesses were considered small in my area. In fact, I ended up losing time and so, because it was free I went ahead and signed up and used my card as I regularly do—which is probably a good approach, because you definitely don’t want to shop just to get the $5.00 credit—that would be missing the point.
I was pretty excited to see four credits equaling a total of $20.00 less than a month. Each credit was immediately applied to my card. Two of the credits came after visiting my dentist, and two were given after shopping at my local grocery store.
I was excited, but not completely surprised.
American Express is the best, after all.
The funny thing is that I don’t often see AmEx listed as a favorite when I research credit cards online. But, I’m here to tell you it is. In fact, you may consider yourself attached to cash, your debit card, or another credit card, but after I show you how great American Express is, you may be persuaded to apply.
AmEx Blue Cash Preferred has a $95.00 yearly charge, but it’s worth every penny. When I signed on that charge was waived for the first year and I think I even received a $200.00 credit if I spent $1000.00 in 90 days. ( Currently AmEx is offering $250.00 back if you spend $1,000.00 within three months). This was not hard—I simply used the card for everything from fuel to groceries and everything in between. What sold me in the beginning? Let me count the ways:
*6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
*6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
*3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (e.g., taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more)
*1% Cash Back on other purchases
Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Okay, so let’s add it up. The 6% back on $6,000.00 is $360.00. So, just the grocery credit alone more than covers the yearly $95.00 fee.
Then, there’s the 3% back on fuel. I don’t drive much, so I’d say that I only make $3.00 to $5.00 per month using the card, but over a year that adds up to probably at least $60.00 and of course, if I travel, that leans closer to $100.00 or more per year.
Finally, I make 1% on everything else I purchase.
As of this writing I have earned $293.58 in reward money. I truly believe that your money should be making money and this is one way that you can collect funds that you can later invest.
American Express has a lot of other features such as their ‘Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee’ and a free subscription to Shoprunner which gives you free 2-day shipping and returns to a host of online stores such as Peets Coffee. Using AmEx will provide you with additional protections including theft protection, car rental loss and damage insurance and return protection. They offer perks such as their current 10% back on Starbucks up to $5.00 incentive and the more useful, $10 back on $40 at Advance Auto Part.
One thing that I cannot neglect to comment on is the importance of using a credit card rather than a bank card. A bank card uses money that is available in your bank while a credit card is paid later—an advantage to you in the event that a purchase did not go as planned or, even worse, if your card is stolen. If you lose a credit card it is much easier to negotiate with a credit card company—before you pay your bill— than it is with your bank.
As for cash—stuff it under your mattress. Once you spend cash you have no backup, no real record, and definitely your money is not making money. But be warned, credit card companies make it very enticing to spend—so, use your card with a cash mindset to keep your financial choices working for you.
AmEx does have a really cool referral program: if you apply using the link below, I can get $100.00 in cash credit if you are approved, so I’ve included a referral link below.
Thanks, and have a great week!
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved!