Blue from American Express® Review

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"The Basic Membership Rewards Card"

Get into Membership Rewards and travel rewards with this easy-to-access American Express card. Earn 1x points for all purchases and get access to MR travel partners!

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Card Summary Table

The Ideal Cardholder

You’ve heard your friends talking about credit card points and you want in on the action, buy you’re not sure where to start.

They told you that the American Express Membership Rewards program is a good place to begin, so you started researching cards and and are thinking you want to stick with “just the basics” for now.

In that case, the Blue from American Express® is probably a good starter card for you.

First Day Points Collectors Can Use the Blue AMEX
The Blue from American Express® is a great starter card for most people who are looking to begin earning credit card points. Test it out and see if you like it!

The Blue from American Express® Bonus and Earnings Categories

The Blue from American Express® card is the basic Membership Rewards card available.

You’ll earn one point per dollar on all purchases with the Blue from American Express®, which accrue in your common Membership Rewards account.

You can also earn 2x points through Uber, though that’s not due specifically to this card. Membership Rewards cards all have this Uber partnership, so even if you have a different MR card you can earn 2x points!

There’s no annual fee for the Blue from American Express®, unlike some of the other MR cards.

Bottom Line:  Earn 2x points through Uber and the Amex Travel portal and 1x points everywhere else with the Blue from American Express®.

Blue from American Express® Card Benefits: Travel Rewards

Being a Blue from American Express® owner does not grant many additional benefits, but there are a few to mention.

First, owning a Membership Rewards card gives you access to the travel benefits of the program, which include earning 2x points in the travel portal.

You can also transfer the points you earn to Amex travel partners. This is probably the most important benefit, since travel partners can provide values of $0.02 and above per point.

Other Membership Rewards redemptions can be made as well, like paying for your travel with earned points, and several other redemption options that Amex MR offers.

Insurance Options With the Blue from American Express®

The Blue from American Express® offers a few additional perks beyond just earning Membership Rewards points.

For the road warrior, you’ll get car rental insurance and a roadside assistance hotline. In order to get the rental insurance, you must decline the agency’s waiver.

In addition, you will have purchase and return protection if you have a damaged or stolen item, or one that you cannot return to the vendor.

Drawbacks of Using the Blue from American Express®

The drawbacks of the Blue from American Express® are that it does not come with sign-up bonuses or any bonus earning categories outside of Uber.

It is truly a basic, entry level card you can use to get started with Membership Rewards.

Alternatives to the Blue from American Express®

One of the positives of this card is that it doesn’t have an annual fee. However, there are other no-annual-fee cards that have much more potential for earning Membership Rewards points.

You could get The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, for instance. This card has no annual fee but comes with one bonus category: 2x points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $6,000 per year.

In addition, if you make more than 20 purchases in a month on that card, you’ll get a 20% bonus on all the points you earned (with a few exceptions).

While not Membership Rewards cards, you also could get a card like the Chase Freedom® Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card, which are both free from annual fees and offer 1.5-5x points in Ultimate Rewards.

Ultimate Rewards is a great alternative to Membership Rewards, and offers many of the same benefits with a different set of travel partners.

If you’re not going to use the points for travel rewards, though, you’re likely better off getting a cash-back card that offers a better rate. One example is the Blue from American Express®.

Final Thoughts: A Summary of the Blue from American Express®

While not the biggest points-earning card out there, the Blue from American Express® is a great starting card that should be easy for most people to get approved for.

Although there is no sign-up bonus, you will earn 1x points for all your purchases, which will help you get closer to that first award.

If nothing else, this is a great card to start building your credit score so you can apply for better credit cards in the future.

Great Card If

  • You’re just starting out in the points world and need a card that is easy to get
  • You are looking for a card that offers some insurance benefits

Don't Get If

  • You’re already a points earner and are looking for ways to really maximize your Membership Rewards account
  • You will not be using the points for travel rewards; you’ll be better off with a higher earning cash-back card

U.P. Pro Tips

If you’re going to be traveling, use the Blue from American Express® in the American Express Travel Portal to earn 2x points per dollar.

Be warned: you won’t always get the best rates, so be sure to shop around first!

Be Sure to Shop Around for the Best Deal
Be sure to shop around on different travel sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal before booking on the AMEX Travel Portal.

How To Use Blue from American Express®: The Upgraded Way™

Best Way To Maximize Points

Maximizing your Membership Rewards points with the Blue from American Express® involves simply using it for as many of your purchases and bills as you can. Here are some tips for doing so:

Tip #1: Ride with Uber and use your Blue from American Express® to get 2x bonus points.

Tip #2: Use the card with the American Express Travel Rewards portal to get 2x points.

Tip #3: Watch the Amex Offers section of your card account screen (found at the bottom) to find potential bonus point offers.

Tip #4: Refer a friend. You may be able to get bonus points for doing so.

Refer a Friend and Get Points AMEX Blue
Check the offer for your Refer-A-Friend. You may be able to get extra Membership Rewards points!

Best Way To Redeem Points

When redeeming your Membership Rewards points earned with the Blue from American Express®, you will want to make sure you’re getting the maximum value.

There are multiple ways to redeem, but most don’t offer much value.

Low-Value Rewards Options

  • Pay for statement credit ($0.006 per point)
  • Certain gift cards ($0.005 per point)
  • Shopping partners like Amazon and Best Buy ($0.007)
  • Ticketmaster, Telecharge, and AXS ($0.005 per point)
  • Shopping through the AMEX Mall ($0.005 per point)
  • Book hotels through the portal ($0.007 per point)

High-Value Rewards Options

  • Certain American Express gift cards ($0.01 per point)
  • Donate to charity ($0.01 per point)
  • Book flights with points ($0.01 per point)
  • Pay for Uber rides ($0.01 per point)
  • Transfer points to travel partners ($0.01-0.02+ per point)

The highest value option, as always, is to transfer your points to travel partners to be used for travel rewards from their loyalty programs.

Otherwise, points from the Blue from American Express® are much less valuable and won’t be worth your time redeeming.

Partners

Card Math

So far in this Blue from American Express® review you have learned about the basic features that come with the card.

In this section, we’ll put a value to the rewards you earn when you put your spending on your Blue from American Express® card.

A Quick Recap of the Card Stats

The Blue from American Express® is a basic earner with no annual fee:

Annual Fee Points Earned Everywhere
$0 1x

This means that you don’t have to do anything with the card in order to make up its value. But you should know how much value the card will be worth based on your yearly spend.

Using the Model Families to Calculate the Blue from American Express® Card Value

The math on the Blue from American Express® is pretty simple: one point for each dollar spent. So using the model families, you can quickly see how many points you’ll make each year.

Added to the table are potential point redemption values to help you see the final award value. These values are the typical $0.01 per point value as well as the minimum suggested $0.02 travel partner reward value.

Family Total Spend Total Points Value at $0.01 per Point Value at $0.02 per Point
Kennedys $22,600 22,600 $226 $452
Jetsons $36,400 36,400 $364 $728
Hartnells $45,100 45,100 $451 $902

*Total spend, points, and value of the model families using the Blue card from AMEX

Total Value of the Blue from American Express®

As you can see, the families can earn anywhere from $226-$902 or more in value when using the Blue from American Express®. This is pretty good for the mere cost of pulling the card out of your wallet and swiping it!

Of course, to get the higher values you’ll have to transfer your points to one of the travel partners available in American Express, and then use those miles or points for a loyalty redemption.

While this is fairly easy to do, you will need to redeem a minimum number of points to complete this transaction successfully.

Alternatives to the Blue from American Express®

If you want to stick with a no-annual fee card, then there are a few good choices. Keep in mind, however, that rewards points cards can usually redeem their points for much more value than cash-back cards.

That being said, two good cash-back cards include the Citi Double Cash Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. These cards earn 2% and 1.5% cash-back, respectively.

At the same spending rate, these cards would earn you $339 to $902 in cash-back. This is the same top end value as the Blue from American Express®, but it’s a little higher on the lower end of spending.

Similar to the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card. This card is a 1.5% cash-back earner, but the points can also be used for travel rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Another solid choice is the Chase Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card. With no annual fee, it earns 3% at Amazon.com, 2% at gas stations, drugstores, and restaurants, and 1% everywhere else.

Sticking with No Annual Fee Cards
If you want to stick with a no-annual-fee card, there are multiple options such as the Citi Double Cash Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card.

Card Math Final Thoughts

For an ultra-beginner to the points world, the Blue from American Express® is a very accessible and easy to use card. At 1x points for all purchases, the value of the card can reach $226-$902 a year.

While it isn’t the highest earner out there, it doesn’t really have a downside since there’s no annual fee.

With the ability to transfer to travel partners and improve your loyalty account balances, it’s actually a pretty good deal!

Check your personal expenses to see if this would be a solid card for you!

Bottom Line:  The Blue from American Express® could provide up to $900 in value for you per year per our calculations!

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

The Blue from American Express® does have a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, so using it overseas will not be worth the extra fees.

Normally, this card only earns 1x points, although you can get 2x points through special offers like the deal with Uber, or by using the travel portal on AMEX.

Other Unique Features

The Blue from American Express® also has a few insurance benefits as well, which we’ll discuss here.

Unless noted, all programs that provide a third party service will be subject to the cost of the third party provider.

Roadside assistance – Get connected with a roadside assistance hotline when you really need it to get emergency towing, locksmiths, or other services. These cost extra per the third party provider.

Car rental loss and damage insurance – Coverage up to $50,000 is available if you decline the agency’s rental insurance.

Global assist hotline – When traveling abroad, you can call this hotline to get emergency help for things like a lawyer or language translation.

Entertainment access – Get VIP access or concert tickets with this benefit from AMEX. They will pre-purchase tickets to events and make them available only to their cardholders.

Extended warranty – Certain items will be eligible for an extended warranty of up to one year when purchased with the card.

Purchase protection – You can get protection for any purchases in case they are stolen or inadvertently damaged, as long as you purchased them in full with the card.

Return protection – With return protection, you can get money back for items that you can’t return to the vendor within a certain number of days after purchase.

Photo Credits / Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Day 1 Sign: Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock
World Shopping Cart: Tomas Marquez/Shutterstock
Girls Whispering: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock
$0 Collage: Imagentle/Shutterstock

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • You can use Membership Rewards® points for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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FAQ

Why get a Blue from American Express®? Is it worth it?
The Blue from American Express® is good for those wanting to start out in the credit card points world, and it could also be a good card to help build your credit.

It earns 1x points for all purchases in Membership Rewards, but you can also currently get 2x points with Uber as well as through the American Express travel portal.

This card has no annual fees, and also comes with some additional insurances like car rental and purchase/return protection insurances.

Because it costs you nothing, there is no harm in getting the card. While there are definitely more valuable cards out there, this card will be worth it to a beginner who wants to start earning points.

What are the Blue from American Express® benefits?
The Blue from American Express® earns 1x points for all purchases, and can also earn 2x points with Uber and AMEX Travel. These points all accrue in your Membership Rewards account.

The Blue from American Express® also offers car rental insurance, roadside assistance, global assist hotlines, access to AMEX Tickets, and warranty, purchase, and return protection.

Does the Blue from American Express® use Membership Rewards?
Yes, the card is a Membership Rewards card.

Who are the Blue from American Express® travel partners?
Travel partners through American Express include British Airways, JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, and more.

When do Blue from American Express® points expire?
Your points will never expire as long as you have one Membership Rewards card still open.

When do Blue from American Express® points post to your account?
Points typically post at the end of each billing month, but may take up to 6-8 weeks depending on how you earned the points.

Is there a foreign transaction fee on the Blue from American Express®?
Yes, you will be charged a 2.7% transaction fee for using the Blue from American Express® overseas.

Is the Blue from American Express® a 0% APR card?
No. The card has a variable APR, see the current rates in the card summary table above.

How much are Blue from American Express® points worth?
You can use the points earned for your Membership Rewards account in a variety of different ways, valued anywhere from $0.005 each up to over $0.02 each if used with travel rewards partners.

How do you redeem Blue from American Express® rewards?
Log into American Express Membership Rewards and go to the “Travel” menu. From there you can transfer your points to travel partners.

Alternatively, you can use your points for a variety of different redemptions, although the value will greatly diminish if used for anything else.

How do you transfer Blue from American Express® points to airline partners?
Under Membership Rewards, go to “Travel” and you will see an option for transferring points to travel partners.

You can transfer them in increments of 1,000 points, but you must have an open loyalty account with the partner you wish to transfer to. This can be set up for free ahead of time.

What is the Blue from American Express® login?
You can view your account details for the Blue from American Express® at AmericanExpress.com.