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Blue from American Express® Credit Card review

 /  5 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

2.6

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 2.6 stars out of 5

Bottom line

For credit card beginners seeking a straightforward rewards credit card with major issuer perks, the Blue from American Express could be a great place to start.

Image of Blue from American Express®

Blue from American Express®

Rewards rate

1X
Info

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A
Info

Regular APR

23.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Score

N/A
Info

Blue from American Express® Credit Card Overview

If you’re looking for an entry-level credit card to start collecting Membership Rewards points, then the Blue from American Express® Credit Card might be right for you. While experienced credit card users are unlikely to be impressed by this card’s low rewards rate and lack of welcome bonus, the Amex Blue comes with no annual fee and just enough benefits to attract those who value simplicity and the Amex brand.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    This card does not charge an annual fee

  • Checkmark

    Cardmembers can enroll for a free ShopRunner membership, offering free delivery in as little as 2 days at over 100 online stores

  • Checkmark

    Offers car rental insurance, which kicks in when the agency’s coverage is declined

Cons

  • This card does not offer a welcome bonus

  • Rewards rate for non-travel purchases is relatively low when compared to competitors

  • Cardmembers are unable to transfer points to travel partners

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 2X points per dollar spent through American Express Travel; 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: 24.24 percent variable

One of the most significant drawbacks of this card is its lack of a welcome offer. While there aren’t a ton of no-annual-fee cards with generous sign-up bonuses, a few American Express credit cards with no annual fee offer a welcome bonus. Take the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, which comes with 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 within the first three months.

Rewards rate

The American Express Membership Rewards program is flexible and relatively straightforward. You can earn unlimited points that won’t expire and redeem them in a number of ways.

How you earn

Each dollar you spend on the Amex Blue will earn you a point. You earn double the points when you make eligible travel purchases through AmexTravel.com, such as prepaid hotels, prepaid car rentals, flights, flight and hotel packages and cruise reservations. While many cards on the market have higher rewards earning potential, this card is excellent for those who prioritize simplicity. With no rotating categories or spending caps to worry about, you use the card as often as you can and your points balance will grow.

How to redeem

You can pay with points at checkout with select partner merchants (like Amazon.com and the Amex Travel rental car booking webpage), exchange points for gift cards, use them to cover your card charges or book/upgrade travel with them. The value of your points differs depending on the redemption option you choose.

Unfortunately, Membership Rewards points from the Amex Blue cannot be transferred to frequent flyer programs.

How much are the rewards worth?

Although Bankrate values American Express Membership Rewards points at up to 2.1 cents apiece, points earned from the Amex Blue are likely to be worth around just 0.5 to 1 cent. You tend to get maximum value by transferring points to frequent flyer programs, but this isn’t an option with this card.

Non-travel redemption options tend to have lower redemption rates for your points. However, keep an eye on Amex’s limited-time offers, as you’ll occasionally be able to receive a boosted rate to cover card purchases.

Other cardholder benefits

There are no bells and whistles with Amex Blue, but the few perks on offer are undoubtedly handy for most people.

Protection and insurance

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: If you pay for a rental car with your Amex Blue, you can be covered for damage or theft provided you decline the collision damage waiver from the rental company and you’re driving in a covered territory.
  • Global assist: When you’re more than 100 miles from home, Amex’s Global Assist hotline can help you access emergency cash and medical, legal, passport or lost luggage assistance.
  • Fraud protection: You can use your card confidently knowing that you won’t be liable for fraudulent charges.

Entertainment and shopping

  • Ticket presales: Get exclusive access to presale tickets for Broadway shows, concerts and sporting events.
  • ShopRunner membership: American Express cardholders can get a free membership with ShopRunner, which entitles you to free two-day shipping from participating stores.

Rates and fees

The Amex Blue has no annual fee, but you’ll be charged 2.7 percent on foreign transactions — so it’s best to leave it at home when you’re traveling abroad. You’ve got to watch out for late payment charges, too, as the late payment fee is up to $40 and there’s a variable penalty APR of 29.99 percent.

There are no intro APR periods for either new purchases or balance transfers, either. Consider using this card when you know you can pay your balance off each month because its regular APR is high at 24.24 percent variable.

How the Blue from American Express compares to other $0 annual fee credit cards

When evaluating your best options for no-annual-fee credit cards, it’s essential to assess a multitude of factors, including your spending habits, the card’s versatility and its rewards earning potential.

Image of Blue from American Express®

Blue from American Express®

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

N/A
Info
Image of Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

10,000 Points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 2X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
Info

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Blue from American Express vs. Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Compared to other credit cards with no annual fee, the Amex Blue trails in rewards earning potential. For example, the Amex EveryDay offers 20 percent extra points if you use your card at least 20 times per billing period, as well as 2 points for the first $6,000 spent on U.S. supermarket purchases per year (then 1X).

Blue from American Express vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® goes even further — you’ll get 5 percent cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft purchases (through March 2025), 3 percent for dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5 percent on everything else.

Best cards to pair with Blue from American Express

To build Membership Rewards points faster, you could pair this card with the Amex EveryDay. That way, you can earn 2 points for up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases per year (then 1x), and 2 points for travel booked through Amex Travel.

If you spent a lot on gas and groceries, it may even be worth pairing with the Amex® EveryDay Preferred Credit Card. Although it has an annual fee of $95, you’ll get 3X points on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases a year and 2X points at U.S. gas stations.

Bankrate’s Take: Is Blue from American Express Credit Card worth it?

The Amex Blue isn’t the best card for maximizing rewards; it’s really only suited for beginners who want to enjoy the convenience of having a credit card while trying out the Membership Rewards program.

But if you’re serious about earning rewards fast, you’ll probably be better off with other Amex cards.

The information about the Blue from American Express® Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express and the Amex® EveryDay Preferred Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Claire Dickey
Editor, Product

Claire Dickey is a product editor for Bankrate, CreditCards.com and To Her Credit. Before joining Bankrate, Claire worked as a copywriter for brands within the telecommunications industry as well as a hybrid marketing and content writer.

Edited by Credit Card Reviews Writer
Reviewed by Former Senior Director of Content

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.