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American Express announced big changes to one of its most successful cash-back cards.
Starting May 9, the Blue Cash Preferred Card will add two new bonus categories: US streaming services, which earns 6% back, and transit, which earns 3% back.
Those categories are in addition to US supermarkets (6% back on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and US gas stations (3%). Select US department stores, at which the Blue Cash Preferred currently offers 3% back, will only offer 1% back, along with all other non-bonus-category purchases.
The streaming services category is exceptionally broad, and includes less-obvious providers like Amazon Prime and YouTube, as well as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Apple Music and Spotify, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and Audible.
Liz Bergman, AmEx’s VP of US lending product, told Business Insider that the transit category will cover virtually every form of ground in the US transportation, including subways, buses, taxis and rideshares (like Uber and Lyft), tolls, parking, commuter and long-distance rail, and parking.
According to Bergman, the changes come as AmEx refocuses its products to target millennials who are “growing up.”
“‘Everyday’ spending is different today than it was in 2011, when the card launched,” she said. “It’s the card for cord cutters.”
Additionally on May 9, the card’s welcome bonus will be increasing. Currently, it offers a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. When someone applies after the changes take effect, they can earn a $250 statement credit for the same amount of spend in the first three months.
Anyone who currently has the card, or who applies before May 9, will automatically start earning cash back at the new rates — the 3% rate at US department stores will continue for those members until July 31.
The card is also getting a redesign — current cardholders will receive the new version when their current cards expire, or they can call the number on the back of their cards to request the new version. Alongside the design changes, the new card features contactless payment.
The Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee, which can be offset by the amount of cash back earned depending on your spending habits.