American Express Blue Cash Rewards – Cash Back Plus Free Credit Report

September 24, 2008

Blue Cash from American Express

Blue cash from American Express is our pick for best cash back credit card.  The reason we use the amex blue cash card for the majority of our purchases is the cash back it offers at gas stations, supermarkets, and department stores. 

Cash Back

The Blue Cash card starts earning higher cash back on everyday purchases from the first dollar you spend.  Unlike previous versions of the card, you don’t have to hit spending tiers to earn the maximum cash rebate.  The highest earning category is supermarkets, followed by gas stations and department stores.  The percentage you get back depends on whether you have the Blue Cash Everyday card or the Blue Cash Preferred.  The Everyday card earns lower cash rebates but has no annual fee. The Blue Cash Preferred card charges an annual fee but pays higher cash back percentages, the right one for you really depends on how much you use the card for groceries and gas.

Free Credit Report

I recently discovered a new feature of the blue cash card, American Express offers an annual free credit report and credit score to card members.  Once you login to the American Express website you can request your Experian credit report and credit score free of charge once a year.

I think they might offer this benefit to all Am Ex card holders but I didn’t even know it existed until I recently received their “Inside Blue Cash” email newsletter that covers the various features and benefits of the card.

Tracking Cash Back Rewards

Something else I wasn’t aware of was the “Blue Cash Tracker” that you can access once you’re logged into the American Express website.  It’s a pretty useful summary of how much cash back you’ve earned year to date and in past years.  We’ve been paid at least $400 a year in cash back rewards, most years it’s been over $500.

There are some interesting graphs that compare your spending and cash rewards to all other blue cash card holders and there’s a “Blue Cash” calculator that lets you estimate how much cash back you’ll earn based on your gas station, supermarket, and drug store purchases.

While a lot of the major supermarkets and gas station chains accept American Express, not every place does so I carry a backup Chase credit card for those occasions.

Win an American Express Gift Card

The last thing I learned in the blue cash newsletter is that you can win a $50 am ex gift card by sharing an interesting story of something you purchased with your American Express blue cash card.  Here’s how the email described it:

“What’s your favorite watercooler story about the Card? The time you used your cash back on a family beach trip? E-mail us what you love about your Card, and get a $50 American Express® Gift Card if it’s published.”

Maybe I’ll submit my “Why I Love My American Express Blue Card” post I wrote last year, although it’s more practical and not really fun or funny. 

Anyhow, that’s a quick review of some of the benefits and features of the card. The Amex Blue Cash is the best cash back credit card for our spending patterns and it has some pretty useful features to help track rewards and even monitor our credit.

Ben

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Ben

Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn’t like the other kids… His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he’s helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.


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