American Express Cards

By thereuare,

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In my opinion, Blue from American Express is the best card for most users! I know many say, "i want my airline miles" but given most airlines are at least 20,000 miles for a domestic ticket, let's look at the cost of miles.

At $1 charged=1 mile, it would take 20,000 dollars to earn a free flight.

With Blue from American Express, charging $20,000 wouild earn between $235 - $470 in Cash Back depending upon the stores you shop at (and even more if you carry a balance). Assuming the mid-point is about $350, you could fly almost anywhere in the country, and still have money left over!! (as well as choose the airline, flight times, fare code, etc, etc... or choose some other way to spend your money).


Blue from American Express

-Up to 5% cash back

-NO annual fee

For those that prefer Hotel Reward cards, those are available as well:


First year fee-free. Apply now for Starwood Preferred Guest

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Only if you want an additional, different, American Express Card.

Incidentally, my sister doesn't understand the above mile calculation and continues to use her a miles credit card although she'd benefit more from Amex Blue Cash. Regardless, for years i suggested she carry a second card in case anything ever happened to her primary card but she didn't want to be bothered. Well... she just had a credit card problem (stolen) and while she was waiting for a new card she missed out on booking a vacation she had her eye on!

Another benefit of American Express cards is their 'Private Payments' feature which will give you a temporary credit card number that automatically expires in a given timeframe. Could come in handy for Priceline bids :) as well as other online purchases, especially those such as free magazine subscriptions that automatically renew after a year (with private payments the credit card you give them would no longer be valid when its time to renew).

I have also found American Express to be one of the more consumer friendly credit card companies when it comes to disputing charges. If i need to do business with a questionable merchant, i make it a point to use my American Express card. However, on account of the Cash Back feature, it's my card of choice anyway. :)

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Thereuare, I couldn't agree with you more. American Express is by FAR........ the best credit card out there.

I had a couple of issues in the past with on line purchases and my experience with Amex has always been wonderful. They take a very aggresive and active stance against unscrupulous merchants.

I only use other credit cards for specific offers or when I don't have enough credit available on Amex. Other credit cards might offer no-liability and the like, but they make you spend tremendous amounts of time and patience if something happens.

Also, you forgot to mention that many, if not all, frequent-flyers/guests credit cards charge an annual fee of about $60.


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It's worth mentioning that twice a year (at least it has been this way in the past), Amex has a deal with Continental Airlines in which any conversions made during the window (usually a four week period) get a 20% bonus, e.g. convert 10,000 points and get 12,000 miles. Nice perk on an already good program.

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okay, i have looked into getting a Blue Cash card before...

but the thing that bothers me is that whole "Up to 5% cash back" thing.

i called Amex before to try to ask them to give me the EXACT breakdown of what the earning structure is, but they didn't have that information.

there are a lot of MC and Visa cards that give you a flat 1% cash back no matter what. (Citi Dividends for example) i just don't see how Blue Cash is necessarily better than those cards.

does anyone on this board actually HAVE a Blue Cash card?

would you be so kind as to share the exact earning structure?


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Click Amex Blue Cash and on the right hand side near the 'page fold' you'll see a link: Learn More About Blue Cash.

After clicking that link, if you scroll down you'll see a table with how the break down works. The real advantage to these cards is that while most cards top out at 1%, while American Express cards offer a higher percentage back.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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I use a Starwood AMEX as my primary card -- and have done so for years (I cancelled a regular AMEX card when I joined). They've just implemented a $20/annual fee which I'll have to pay next year, which is somewhat annoying, but the card is a great deal if you travel.

Each dollar gets you one Starwood point. A Starwood point is worth about 3 cents, as it takes 3000 points for a weekend stay in a low end (Four Points) hotel in the US, and about 10,000 points for a Luxury Collection night (they recently upped a few hotels to 14,000 points for certain days). Unlike most airlines, there's very little hassle redeeming Starwood points for the nights you want. There are also occassional promotions that can make the points even more valuable.

It certainly sounds like Blue may be as good a deal, although I must say it sounds like less fun. I probably wouldn't spend $300/night to stay in one of the world's best hotels (I'm too "value conscious"), but I have no qualms redeeming 10,000 points. So I personally prefer the hotel points to actual cash. I suspect there will be adherents in both camps. Regardless, these are certainly among the best credit card deals.

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  • 6 months later...


All points-earning and cashback American Express cards are offering double credit on retail, dining, and entertainment expenses from June 15 - July 15 (up to 10,000 bonus points) to residents of the greater Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles areas.

(Though the geographic limitation doesn't apply to the Delta Amex -- all holders of that card can take advantage of the offer apparently.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I believe so... a store either accepts American Express or they don't, everything gets processed thru the same clearing agent.

I actually don't use my Blue Card and just have it as a back-up or if there is a promo going on for Blue-only cardholders. I have a cash rebate card (Amex) that i use as my 'main' card and everything goes on that.

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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  • 2 years later...

I recently took AE up on a great Blue offer... get a $200 statement credit if you charge $500 by Oct. 31. This is easy for us to do as we put everything on credit cards (we pay off each month, but we probably "make" close to a thousand bucks a year just on rewards). My mom only got the $100 off if you charge $1000, which is okay but not nearly as good. I'm usually quite skeptical of these as they usu. require a balance transfer or have an annual fee, etc., but I read all the fine print, and it looks clean! The cash back deal was 1% until $12k, then 6% I think. So you might want to open the next Blue promotional envelope you get!!! :)

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  • 7 months later...

The Amex Starwood card is proving to be by far the best card I've ever had, and I've been using it as my primary since getting it a couple of months ago.

The 10,000 bonus points I received for getting the card saved me this weekend. I don't know what's happening in Los Angeles, but Priceline couldn't get me a hotel for up to $60 anywhere -- not even 2*. So I cashed in the 10,000 points for three nights at the LAX Four Points, which to me is worth about $180.

I charge at least $2000 a month, which means a free weekend night at a Four Points every 45 days, 8 nights a year. That's just fantastic.

In comparison, I've had 18000 points with Hilton for a few years now, and have not yet had an opportunity to use: even one night requires more than that!

The Marriott Visa is second best, since I can get a free night at TownPlace Suites for 5500 points in Milpitas CA.

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