Why I Love My American Express Blue Cash Card – Amex Blue Cash Review
December 27, 2010
Blue Cash from American Express is one of the top cash back cards, click here to see if you qualify for it’s rewards. Review last updated, September 2011.
Credit cards can be a useful financial tool for those that access credit responsibly; they can actually be used as a way to make some extra money!
Our Rewards Card
I checked the American Express website today and saw that our rebate credit came through this month. We earned a cash rebate of $560 for our purchases, not too shabby. In years past when we put big chunks of money such as major home improvements and vacations on our credit card we’ve earned over $600 in cash back!
How Do We Get Hundreds in Cash Back?
We use our American Express Blue for almost everything we buy. Some places don’t accept American Express because they charge higher merchant fees, which is why they can afford to give us cash back. We have a backup Visa Chase rewards card for cases like these that offers cash back as one of their rewards.
When I say we use plastic for everything, I mean everything! I hate spending money but anytime I have to I pull out the credit card. Over the course of a year all these purchases add up and earn us hundreds of dollars cash back.
Why a Rewards Card Works for Us
Credit card cash back is some of the easiest money I’ve ever made. We don’t have to do extra work, just spend money like we normally would. However, rewards cards are not for everyone. This strategy works for us because we have the cash to pay for the things we buy on credit and pay off our balance in full every month.
We also make sure to pay our credit card bills on time. The cash back agreement says if you make one late payment you forfeit your rebate for the whole year. Each month our statements shows how much cash back we’ve earned to date. Our total annual rebate appears as a credit on our statement one month following our card anniversary. Since we get a credit on our card as opposed to actual cash we also have to make sure we don’t spend extra money the month we get the cash back. If we did this we wouldn’t really be making any money on the cash back. We make sure we don’t change our spending habits the month we get the credit.
Avoid the Cash Back Mentality
One trap people fall into is thinking of cash back as saving money rather than making money. A person using the saving money approach might think, “I can buy this item I really want because I’m saving money on it with cash back.” The reality is you’re only getting 1 – 6% cash back on your credit card so you’re not even saving enough to pay for sales tax. If you look at cash back rewards as a way to make a little extra money by using a credit card to buy as you normally would then you’re less likely to make foolish spending decisions.
When you’re choosing a card, your spending habits will help you decide which one is the best for you. In the case of this card, you have two options. The Blue Cash Everyday card doesn’t have an annual fee and pays 3% back at supermarkets and 2% on gas and in department stores. The second option is called Blue Cash Preferred and it does have an annual fee. However, it pays a higher cash rebate, 6% on groceries and 3% for gas purchases. So if you use the card for all your grocery shopping trips like we do, then the Preferred would likely pay off the best. Like I said, how you use the card will determine which makes the most sense.
Why I Love Our Credit Card
I’ve given credit cards some negative coverage in the past and decided it was time for the other side of the coin. Credit cards are not evil. It’s the misuse of cards that causes many people debt problems. There are many advantages other than cash back rewards to using credit cards that I’ll talk about in the future. If you use credit cards responsibly they can make you a little money and make your life a little easier.
If you’re one of these people, give American Express Blue Cash a try! Of course, if you don’t have a disciplined approach to using credit then I would recommend not using it at all.
All posts by Ben Edwards