American Express TrueEarnings & Rewards Cards

September 23, 2010

The TrueEarnings card is one of the latest American Express rewards cards covered recently on the credit card section of this site.  Several months ago I had promised a monthly review of the latest additions to that section but then we decided to try and sell our house and all my plans went out the window.

In that time we became Costco members so a TrueEarnings card review was an obvious choice.  Now that we’re semi-settled in our new house, it’s time for another look at this and other latest cards. 

True Earnings from American Express
The True Earnings credit card can definitely save you some money if you are or will soon be a Costco member.   The best rewards are the 3% cash back on the first $3000 of gas purchases, 1% back after that. 

Although it doesn’t pay 5% cashback like the Blue Cash card, with True Earnings you start getting 3% back on gas right away, you don’t have to hit a minimum spending level.  There is an annual cap on the cash back you can earn on gas so keep an eye on your spending towards the end of the year and switch gas cards if you need to.

Some of the other rewards are 2% cash back at restaurants (fast food, bars, and restaurants) and 2% back for travel (airfare and hotels).  You can read more in the TrueEarnings review or on the TrueEarnings site.

NEW Business Gold Rewards Card(R) from American Express OPEN
New Business Gold Rewards from American Express OPEN isn’t a credit card, it’s a charge card, so there shouldn’t be any interest since you pay the balance each month (which hopefully you do even with credit cards as well).  The annual fee is waived for the first year of the card.

It’s also a rewards card that gives you 1 point for each dollar you spend (3 points on airfare, 2 points on advertising, gas, and shipping); points you can redeem through the AmEx membership rewards program.  The AmEx gold cards frequently have big sign up bonuses, for example the current one earns you 50,000 rewards points when you spend $10,000 in the first 5 months.

You can see all the requirements for the bonus on the official Gold Rewards page.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
You don’t have to be a business to get a Gold Rewards card, anyone can apply for the Premier Rewards Gold card.  You’ve probably seen this one described as the 3–2–1 rewards card where you earn 3 times the points on airfare, 2 times the points on gas & groceries, and 1 point on everything else.

Like the business card, this is also a charge card and waives the annual fee for the first year.  However, the signup bonuses for new customers doesn’t seem to be as big as the ones for the Business Gold Rewards, you can compare them on the Premier Rewards site.

American Express Delta Reserve Card
The Delta Reserve card isn’t as versatile with rewards as the cards above but if you’re looking for an airline card then this one has potential.  In terms of miles earned per dollar spent it’s similar to many other airline cards but their Medallion Qualification Miles lets you earn a lot of points pretty quickly.

The downside to this card is the high annual fee but you do get a free domestic flight voucher for a companion every year which helps offset the cost.  If you do a lot of flying this one can payoff, you can read the details on the Delta Reserve page.

That’s it for this month, an assortment of rewards cards. Next time we’ll look at some of the balance transfer cards available for people searching for zero interest credit cards.

Ben

This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program

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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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