American Express Blue Sky: Just Another Gimmick?
Does Blue Sky really have worthwhile benefits or is it just another credit card that doesn’t deliver? My updated review (December 2013) shows you the facts.
Travel rewards aren't my preferred choice. Why? Because so many of them use sneaky tricks like blackout dates, penalties for booking less than 21 days from departure, etc. To make matters worse, many charge you an annual fee. So when the Blue Sky credit card came out, I was extremely suspicious to say the least. I have reviewed dozens and dozens of travel credit cards and the majority of them are a scam. Was the Blue Sky going to be any better?
Surprisingly, I found out the Blue Sky card is completely different than the others. Here are 10 reasons why it's a smart choice...
#1 – Excellent Point Value
Let’s be completely honest… rewards are the main reason most of us are interested in credit cards anyway. Without rewards, we would probably just stick to our debit cards. As you and I both know, many cash back and airline cards only give rebates which equal out to be worth 1% or less.
However, the American Express Blue Sky earns rewards that can be worth 1.33% on your spending! Like most cards, you earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases. But unlike most cards, these points can be worth more than 1%. Every 7,500 points that you earn can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit toward any airline ticket, any hotel stay, car rental or cruise.
And right now you can earn a welcome bonus of 7,500 points (redeemable for a $100 statement credit) after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. With the above link you will also get a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 17.24%- 22.24%.
#2 – Hassle-Free Rewards Redemption
With the Blue Sky card, you don’t have to worry about things like peak and off-peak, blackout dates, and other tricks. In fact, you don’t even have to worry about which airline has the better deal on the ticket you want. Instead this is how it works...
- American Express allows you to book your own travel however you wish. You can buy from a site like Expedia or even directly with an airline or hotel.
- After you do that, just redeem your points to offset your eligible travel purchase and American Express will give you a $100 statement credit for every 7,500 points! This is a huge benefit; you can choose the best deal out there, and in doing so, you are making your reward points go even further!
- The rewards on Blue Sky are so flexible, you can use them for almost any travel related purchases like airline tickets, car rentals, cruises, hotel stays, and more.
#3 – Blue Savings Program
With the Blue Savings Program, you can get additional discounts at participating partners like Enterprise, Alamo, Atlantis Resort, and more. For example, here is what was being offered for Hertz as of the time of this review.
Please note that the participating partners, Terms & Conditions are subject to change without notice.
#4 – Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance
Why pay extra for insurance on your rental car? When you use your Blue Sky credit card to reserve and pay for an eligible auto rental, you can be covered if the car is damaged or stolen. Consult issuer for Terms & Conditions.
#5 – Travel Accident Insurance
I sincerely hope this is a feature you will never have to use. Travel Accident Insurance can provide accidental death and dismemberment coverage while traveling on a Common Carrier Conveyance (plane, train, ship, helicopter, or bus) when the entire fare has been charged to the eligible Card. Consult issuer for exclusions, terms and conditions.
#6 – Extended Warranty
How often have you bought something, only to have it break down right after the warranty expires? I don't know about you but it seems to always happen with my computers! For example, let’s say you used your card to buy a new iPad that came with a one year manufacturer's warranty. After you have it a year and a half, the screen goes bad.
Replacing that part would normally cost you several hundred dollars. But if it was an eligible purchase made with your Amex Blue Sky, the Extended Warranty benefit might save the day. Consult issuer for Terms & Conditions.
#7 – Purchase Protection
Have you ever bought a new pair of sunglasses, only to drop them on the pavement a week or two later?
Accidentally damaging something after we buy it is extremely frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the Blue Sky credit card, you have the Purchase Protection on eligible purchases. If an eligible purchase is accidentally damaged or stolen within the first 90 days, you may qualify for reimbursement of up to $1,000 per occurrence. Consult issuer for Terms & Conditions.
So if you accidentally break that new pair of shades by dropping them on the concrete, you might be covered if you bought them with your American Express Blue Sky. I cite this as an example because that has happened to me!
#8 – Return Protection
Returning merchandise isn’t always easy. Maybe you lost the receipt or the store just doesn’t accept returns. Or the store may wrongfully claim the item isn’t in the same condition as it was sold. Whatever the reason may be, you get left with something you don’t want.
When you buy eligible purchases with your Blue Sky card, you will have the Return Protection benefit.
If you try to return an eligible item purchased fully with your eligible American Express Card in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, they can refund the purchase price - up to $300 per eligible item, excluding shipping and handling, up to $1,000 annually per card account. Consult issuer for Terms & Conditions.
#9 – No Annual Fee
After reading all these benefits, you were probably guessing this card carried a hefty annual fee. Guess what? There's no annual fee!
#10 – The Current Bonus (as of December 2013)
At the moment they're running an excellent promotion on it. A while back I remember this card didn't come with any bonus whatsoever, so now is definitely a good time to apply.