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Blue Cash!

Reviewing: American Express Blue  |  Rating:
By ljohnson on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 7 | Finances Expertise:

I love to use my credit card - easier and quicker than writing a check, safer than having cash on-hand, and you can use them almost anywhere! When credit cards started offering rewards just for using their card, I was intrigued. Originally my husband and I signed up for a rewards card that collected airline miles, but we never did use those miles because of various reasons (not enough points, blackout times when we wanted to fly, etc.) So we started looking for another rewards card.

We found Blue Cash with American Express! This card is awesome in that it doesn't make you collect points to get your reward, it's a straight percentage of your purchases. You can get up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases - but that's very unlikely to happen (you knew there had to be a catch, right??). Your initial purchases are rewarded with a lower cash back percentage. The first $6, 500 you spend with American Express Blue Cash is rewarded with a 0.5% cash back rate on all purchases and a 1% cash back rate on "everyday" purchases such as groceries, gas and drugstore purchases.

After you reach that $6, 500 level in spending, your cash back rate jumps to 1.5% on all purchases and 5% on everyday purchases! So the quicker you charge $6, 500, the quicker you start making the higher cash back percentages. I believe you also make some percentage cash back if you carry a balance, however this little "perk" is definitely not work racking up interest rate fees and finance charges, so we pay our balance in full every month. Realistically, for any reward credit card to be of a value to you, you need to pay in full every month, if you are unable to do this, you should really shop around for a card that has a low interest rate and not focus on rewards, just focus on reducing your debt!

I'm sure that the interest rates on this card vary depending on many personal factors, I think they have an introductory 0% APR offer when you join, and now our interest rate is at 10.24%. This card has no annual fee, which is another thing to look for in a reward card; if there's an annual fee, then your reward has to be bigger than that fee or else it isn't worth it either.

You can add multiple cards to your account, so that your significant other can help gain more reward dollars! Your cash reward is updated on each monthly bill, so you can see your cash back grow. You will be paid your cash reward in the month following your anniversary month, and this cash will be issued as a credit on your bill. At first, I was a bit disappointed in this as I really wanted a check to put into savings, but I just took the equivalent amount from our checking account and put it in savings, so the result was the same.

The monthly statement also splits out each card (if you have more than one for the Blue Cash account) so that you can see what charges are for each person. I'm not sure that hubby likes this as I can then scrutinize his spending, but I think it's great for knowing who's spending more each month (Hubby, of course!!).

You can also view your account history online, as well as your cash back information. You can see what you earned in cash back rewards for previous years, see how much money you've earned this year, set a "goal" of how much money you want to earn this year, see how much you're getting in all purchases versus "everyday" purchases (remember, those pay you a higher percentage!), and they also have a year-end summary that I've never used, but it could be useful for some people when doing their taxes, I suppose.

For unlimited earning potential, this is a great cash reward card. I have no qualms at all about recommending this to anyone, just be sure you don't charge more than you can afford!