[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners once they become available here — Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express and Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.]
The annual fee on one of our best cash back rewards credit cards in America is about to get a bit higher.
American Express is raising the annual fee on its Blue Cash Preferred card to $95 from $75.
The fee increase formally goes into effect August 1. But you can skip the $20 increase — albeit temporarily — if you apply for the card between now and August 3. Prospective cardholders who sign up on or after August 4, 2016 will incur the $95 fee, an American Express spokesperson said in an email. Existing cardholders will be charged the new $95 fee at the beginning of their annual account renewal, following the August 1 switchover date.
The Blue Cash Preferred Card (see full review here) offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
This marks the first increase in the product’s fee since it launched in 2011, the spokesperson said.
American Express does offer a fee-free version of the card, the Blue Cash Everyday Card, which features a lower rewards structure: 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on other eligible purchases.
Both versions of the card carry an annual percentage rate (APR) between 13.49% and 23.49%, depending on your creditworthiness. [Update: This article was updated on December 19, 2016 to reflect that the APR range on this card changed from 13.24% to 23.24% to 13.49% to 23.49%.]
Getting a Rewards Credit Card
Remember, rewards credit cards generally best serve those who don’t carry a balance — otherwise, all those points, miles and cash back just get lost to interest. And, no matter what credit card you are considering, it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully before formally applying to be sure a particular credit card is right for you.
It’s also important to check your credit score, as a good one helps you qualify for cards with the best terms and conditions. You can do so by viewing your free credit report summary, which comes with two credit scores, each month on Credit.com. If your credit is looking a little lackluster, you may be able to improve your score by paying down credit card balances, disputing errors on your credit report and holding off on new credit inquiries while your numbers rebound.
At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.