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Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

I think that the AmEx junkies have already figured this out, but I've never been able to untangle the Membership Rewards Express program that comes with the Blue, and how it differs from the full Membership Rewards program that comes with the charge cards. (No, MV, I'm not app'ing; this is for my planned 2009 switch!)

Just got off the phone with CS. With the Express program, you have the same access to the Bonus Points Shopping Mall that you do with the full program, but you can't trade your AmEx points for your frequent flyer/ frequent guest airline and hotel programs. If you want to use them for travel, you have to book through the AmEx travel site, and you get fewer dollars for points. For instance, 25,000 points will only switch to $200 in travel.

I did stumble across a screen that mentioned a $40 fee. Per the CSR, if you want to upgrade your Express program to the full thing, you pay this annually, unless you also have a charge card that you want to link it to.

What this looks like to me is that by paying this fee, you are turning your Blue into the equivalent of a charge card with full access to the rewards program, but with "only" a $40 annual fee instead of the usual higher fees on the charge cards.

If you're not a big traveler, you can skip the $40 fee and just use the regular bonus points shopping mall.

Am I reading this right? As I told the CSR, whenever I spend extended time on the AmEx site, I have to go take a nap afterwards. Smiley Tongue
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,279
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

So it seems in a nutshell you can essentially buy your way into better rewards for $40 a year of the AF of a charge card.

Has anyone ever claimed any Amex rewards? Positive or negative experiences? Would you recommend them over say, Chase Freedom?

I'm starting to get the unnerving feeling I am wasting cash back by running all my expenses through my Gold card.
Here we go again...
Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
0

Re: A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

Forgot to mention that you do get points at a higher rate with some of the charge cards, whereas the Blue is just 1:1. This was just an attempt to untangle the rewards system.

Fretless, I'm planning on closing my Gold next February before an AF kicks in, but I'll pick up a revolver in January 09, so that it will show a January 08 opening date. (I still find this bizarre, but I'll definitely take it!) Since the Gold Rewards points will then be orphaned if I don't use them, I was checking around for the best deal to move them elsewhere. I might wind up switching them over to my HHonors frequent guest program that I joined last month. 1000 AmEx points = 1300 HHonors points, so that's handy. Otherwise, I'll use them for Christmas shopping and burn them up as best as I can.

Since my original offer was for a green card and I swapped up for a gold, I didn't get any initial points at all, so I'm only up to 5200 or so points, or a whopping $52 worth. That won't get me too far on my dream trip to Bora Bora!

Every other AmEx charge card I've looked at is very defined as to what you can use your points for (Delta, HHonors, Blue Sky, etc.) It's great if you know you're going to travel, and who you'll travel with, but otherwise you're taking a gamble that you'll actually get some real use from the points. And Clear is a straight penny a point card, but I already have that on others. (We don't have CostCo in our area. Smiley Sad )

Only 6 1/2 more months to brood! Smiley Very Happy
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 9,252
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
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Re: A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

[ Edited ]
Pretty close-
 
Does a good job of getting the differences between the MR programs-
 
My Delta has it's own program - The AF gets reduced to $35 with my Green
 
Green has MR - $95 AF + 30 AU
 
Blue Cash- has it's own program -No AF
 
My Simply Cash No AF would be a MR express- but because of my green- it's linked to MR
 
I really like the Charge cards and would have a hard time not using it now-  


Message Edited by Timothy on 06-18-2008 06:50 AM
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 9,252
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
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Re: A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

Fretless- Using the MR point is a peice of cake - I have used them and even borrowed them-
 
and you can always turn them into gift cards-  
Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,279
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

I like the charge card for me not having to worry about util. That part is great.

That being said, not sure if I can justify $150. I am strongly thinking of downgrading back to Green when it's AF time.

Anyone ever downgraded cards?
Here we go again...
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 9,252
Registered: ‎03-19-2007
0

Re: A little info about AmEx Blue Membership Rewards *EXPRESS* program

I have AU's - so the Gold is actually a better deal for me-

FretlessMayhem wrote:
I like the charge card for me not having to worry about util. That part is great.

That being said, not sure if I can justify $150. I am strongly thinking of downgrading back to Green when it's AF time.

Anyone ever downgraded cards?


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