Blue from American Express®: Should You Get It?

Blue from American Express®: Should You Get It?

One of the worst cards for earning Membership Rewards points with - though one of the easiest to get. If you only care about maximizing reward value, consider other credit cards.
Editor's Rating: 3.5
Blue from American Express®

Editor's Rating

3.5

Credit Cards
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Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

Contents

Most rewards credit cards can provide you with returns far greater than what’s available through the Blue credit card from American Express. This card has, mostly, a flat 1% rewards structure, which is the bare minimum you would get with a rotating cash back card, such as the Chase Freedom®. The major difference between a card like that and Blue from American Express, is that other cards leave a lot of room to earn 2% back or more across purchases.

Good For… Bad For…
  • Getting a line of credit for no annual fee
  • Those seeking an entry-level Amex card
  • Earning Membership Rewards points
  • Anyone looking for big rewards

Review: Is the Blue from American Express® Worth It?

There are a number of different credit cards which will provide you with much better value than the Blue card from American Express®, including the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or Citi® Double Cash Credit Card. Among Membership Rewards credit cards, the Blue card offers the bare minimum of rewards – a 1% rewards rate on most purchases (the only exceptions being UBER and amextravel.com spending which can get you as much as 2% back).

With the type of credit score needed to get approved for this credit card, most consumers will be able to qualify for a card with a much higher rewards rate. While it is one of the easiest Membership Rewards points to get, you still need to have at least an average FICO score (630 – 690) in order to get approved for the Blue credit card. For example, consumers who get the Chase Slate® card only need to put 25% of their spending in the bonus rotating categories, to walk away with an effective rewards rate higher than 2%. Both these cards are equally as difficult to get, though one has the potentially to be significantly more lucrative.

Bottom Line: If you’re after an entry level Membership Rewards credit card, the Amex Blue may be a good option. There is nothing inherently bad about this card - it's just that consumers can get better rewards rates with many other credit cards. Even if this is a card you simply start off with, you have the option of upgrading to another Membership Rewards card down the future, and carrying over any MR points you’ve collected up until that point.

Blue from American Express® Benefits & Features

As far as rewards and benefits go, the Blue from American Express® is a fairly straightforward card, offering its users a chance to earn Membership Rewards® (MR) points. With this card, you earn 1x MR points on every $1 you spend. In select cases, you can double your points earning, thanks to special Amex promotions. You get 2x points per $1 when using the Blue credit card to pay for rides with UBER, for example. Furthermore, anytime you book a trip using amextravel.com, and pay for its entirety using this card, you’ll also earn 2x points per $1.

Blue from American Express®
Blue from American Express®
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Purchase APR
15.24%, 18.24% or 20.24% Variable
Credit Needed N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%
Details
  • Earn 1X Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend.
  • No annual fee
  • Free ShopRunner Membership
  • Online Year-End Summary of Purchases

We generally value Membership Rewards points at about 0.01 a point. This means you can expect a rewards rate of 1% out of this card (2% if you use it exclusively for Uber and Amextravel.com bookings). You can also transfer your MR points to a number of different programs. This is one way of raising the value of an individual point, though it will require some careful planning and strategizing. To learn more about Membership Rewards and how to use them, you can read our guide here.

The Blue credit card from American Express® has nothing else in terms of meaningful, and unique features. The benefits advertised on the card’s website – including extended warranty, purchase protection, and dispute resolution – are all features you can find on most credit cards. Most of these are federally mandated benefits.

Amex Benefit: ShopRunner Membership

By virtue of being an American Express cardholder, having a Blue credit card gives users free membership to ShopRunner. For those unfamiliar with the service, ShopRunner gives members free two day shipping, at participating stores. These include Staples, TigerDirect.com, GNC, Cole Haan, and more. If you do a fair amount of online shopping, this benefit can really make a difference. The value of this membership comes out to $79 annually.

Be aware that this benefit is not unique to the Blue credit card from American Express. All Amex issued credit cards are eligible to receive this benefit.

How Does the Blue from American Express® Compare Against Other Credit Cards?

One of the better ways of getting a sense of whether a credit card is worth it, is by comparing it what else is out there – most importantly, the card’s competitors. Below, we take a look at some competitors to the Blue credit card from American Express®, and see how it stacks up.

Blue from American Express® vs The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

The Amex Everyday card will, at the very least, produce the same rewards as the Blue credit card. However, it also gives consumers a slew of opportunities to earn even more MR points. Firstly, you get 2x points per $1 on the first $6,000 in purchases made at U.S. supermarkets annually (1x points afterwards). With the Amex Everyday Credit Card, you also have the chance to earn 10,000 bonus points, if you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. All-in-all, the Amex Everyday will almost always be the better choice between the two cards. Therefore, if you can qualify for both, we recommend going with the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card over the Amex Blue.

Blue from American Express® vs Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Despite sharing a similar name, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is very different from the Amex Blue credit card. The former is a cash back card that doesn’t earn its users any Membership Rewards points. Instead, all the purchases you make using the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express will be awarded a certain percentage back, as a reward. With this card, you get 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. If you charge purchases within those categories to a credit card, and only care about maximizing the total rewards value, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is the clear winner. However, if you like collecting points, and transferring them to one of MR’s partners, we recommend the Blue from American Express® instead.

Blue from American Express® vs American Express® Blue Sky

Choosing between the Amex Blue Sky and the Blue from American Express comes down to asking yourself one question – do you prefer Membership Rewards points or Blue Sky points? To answer this, it might be helpful to know that, generally, MR points are worth less than Blue Sky points, though have greater flexibility. Blue Sky points, which you earn with the Blue Sky credit card, are used towards paying down travel statement credit in increments of 7,500 points. Therefore, you always want to pay it down charges in multiples of $100 – otherwise, you’ll be getting suboptimal value. On the other hand, Membership Rewards points you earn with the Blue credit card from Amex can be transferred to a number of different travel airlines and hotels, used as statement credit, and exchanged for gift cards.

Comparison Tool

In order to get the best value possible out of a credit card, it’s important to cater it to one’s individual spending profile. The tool below will help you match the spending you input, against a number of different rewards credit cards – including Blue from American Express.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

American Express® Blue Sky
No Annual Fee 1.62%
$100
Earn 7,500 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
$556
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Terms and Limitations Apply

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Point Value Rewards Value
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.013 = $456
Bonuses
7,500 x $0.013 = $100
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 556

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 17.24%, 20.24% or 22.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 7,500 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 1 point for every $1 spent
  • Points can be redeemed in the form of statement credit, gift cards, merchandise and used toward travel: flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and for any travel package
  • Global Assistance hotline, roadside assistance, travel accident protection, and car rental loss and damage protection
  • Exclusive access to ticket presales and American Express cardmember-only events
  • Extended warranty and protection for purchases made on the card
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
$0 2.04%
$150
Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
$700
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Terms and Limitations Apply

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Point Value Rewards Value
Spending Rewards 550 x $1 = $550
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 700

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 14.49%-25.49% Variable
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
$0 1.52%
$100
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first three months.
$522
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Terms and Limitations Apply

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Point Value Rewards Value
Spending Rewards 42,240 x $0.01 = $422
Bonuses
10,000 x $0.01 = $100
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 522

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 14.49%-25.49% Variable
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • 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.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Blue from American Express®
No Annual Fee 1.00%
$0
$343
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Terms and Limitations Apply

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Point Value Rewards Value
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.01 = $343
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 343

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 15.24%, 18.24% or 20.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 1X Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend.
  • No annual fee
  • Free ShopRunner Membership
  • Online Year-End Summary of Purchases

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.