Blue from American Express® Review

Last Reviewed: 2/15/2011

Blue from American Express® belongs to the Membership Rewards Express Points Program-the “light-weight” version of the Membership Rewards Program. Alas, there is nothing particularly interesting or compelling about Blue from American Express®, it’s just another middle-of-the-road credit card.  I just ran the GetDebit Ranking Engine, including all personal credit cards and using the default spends per category at the time of writing of this post, and Blue from American Express® clocked in at position #67 out of 92 cards displayed. It’s possible that it’s rank could change somewhat based on your own spending profile, but I anticipate that this card continues to rank in the middle of the pack given its lack of specific category rewards.

In general, if you are looking for an American Express credit card, the GetDebit editors would recommend first taking a look at the Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express. It’s a powerhouse card where you get 6% cash back at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, 3% cash back on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations and select major department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.

You can read our review of the Blue Cash Preferred℠ Card From American Express to get the full picture.

Key Rewards,Fees and Benefits of Blue from American Express®

This table highlights some of the key aspects of Blue from American Express® rewards and fees structure.

Snapshot: Blue from American Express®
Earning Rewards
Reward Program Name Membership Rewards Express
Base Rewards 1 point per $1 of spend
Bonus Category Rewards None
Other Bonuses
  • 3x points when you shop online through Bonus Points Mall
  • 2x points when you book your trip with Amex Travel
Points Caps None
Points Expiration Points don’t expire
Redeeming Awards
Value of Points $0.0090 when redeeming for goft cards
$0.0050 when redeeming for cash
Redemption Details Redemptions start at 1,000 points. You can redeem for travel, gift cards, statement credits, merchandise, and more.
Optimum Redemption Gift cards
Annual Fee None
Foreign Transaction Fees 2.7% of each transaction after converting to USD.
Balance Transfer Fees $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Earning Rewards With Blue from American Express® Leaves Me Singin’ The Blues

While sometimes I bemoan the complexity of modern-day rewards programs, the one upside is that they don’t leave me bored. It takes brainpower to crack them, to really understand their intrinsic value. Not so with the simpleton Blue from American Express®. You earn 1 MR Express Point for each dollar of spend…That’s it. No sign-up or spend-target bonuses, no bonus spend categories, nada.

Redeeming Rewards: There’s no Salvation Blue from American Express®

Redemptions start at 1,000 MR Express points, and your best value is, unfortunately, redeeming for much reviled gift cards. You can see how much we here at GetDebit love gift cards by reading our post 5 Reasons Why Gift Cards Suck.

Redemption for cash, or cash-like instruments (e.g. American Express Cash Cards) yields a miserable redemption value of $0.0050. Ditto if you try to use the American Express “Pay With Points” option to purchase airline tickets. Under the rules of the MR Express Program, it requires 2 points for every dollar of the ticket price. Ouch.

Blue from American Express® Fees

There’s no annual fee with this card (better not be!). The foreign transaction fee is standard Amex fare, at 2.7%. The grace period on Blue from American Express® is 25 days (I know, its not a fee, but what the heck).

GetDebit’s Final Word on Blue from American Express®

If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, this card is, well…unremarkable. The earnings power is weak, and the redemption power, under the Amex MR Express Program, is equally weak. For some high-performing plastic, check out our reviews of the Chase Freedom Card with $100 Sign-Up Bonus or the Discover Escape Card with 25K Mile Bonus. Those should spice things up a bit.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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