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Blue from American Express®: Should You Get It?

Blue from American Express®
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
Blue from American Express®
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.

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: 3.5/5.0
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Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

3.5/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The information related to the Blue from American Express® has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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 (See Rates & Fees)
  • 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 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®

  • No annual fee
  • Free ShopRunner Membership
  • Online Year-End Summary of Purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Free ShopRunner Membership
  • Online Year-End Summary of Purchases
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
15.24%, 18.24% or 20.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
N/A
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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.

For rates and fees of the Blue from American Express®, please click here.

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® Credit Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply.
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

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.

The information related to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

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.

The information related to the American Express® Blue Sky has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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{"cardCategory":"rewards","cardIds":"171,9,1000,260,261","initialResultsLimit":5,"endpoint":"https:\/\/creditcards.valuepenguin.com\/api\/creditcards\/models\/rewards","onCurrent":true}

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from 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). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).