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Contributor
smoothjk
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear

[ Edited ]
What are the differences between these cards, as far as requirements and benefits?

From what I can tell, Blue has no cash back, and doesn't seem to have better APR than Blue Cash.

Blue Cash is basically a 1% cash back card (unless you're prone to spending a lot more than $6,500 in a year), but 1% is still better than nothing. The APR seems similar to Blue, making me wonder why people would want the standard Blue.

Clear is basically 1% also, except there are no "everyday purchases" limitations like the Blue Cash (which earns only 0.5% on non-everyday purchases). You get a $25 AMEX gift card of sorts instead of actual cash, which to me seems pretty cool.

One a certain website I went to (I think creditcards.com), it said that AMEX Blue requires "excellent credit," while Clear requires "good credit."

Why the difference? Which one do you think is best?

P.S. Is the Costco AMEX a "real" AMEX? Will it help you build history with the company, or is it like one of those BofA-issued AMEX cards?

Message Edited by smoothjk on 07-23-2008 01:09 PM
FICO (06/17/08): TU 691 - EQ 642 - EX 638 - Util 64%
FICO (07/23/08): TU 698 - EQ 653 - EX 644 - Util 50%
FICO (02/04/09): TU 694 - EQ 668 - EX 654 - Util 43%
FICO (05/18/09): TU 687 - EQ 675 - EX n/a - Util 39%
FICO (03/09/10): TU 666 - EQ: 691 - EX 644 - Util 54%
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FICO (03/13/12): EQ: 696 (87% revolving to limits)
Moderator Emeritus
cheddar
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear

[ Edited ]
That's not quite right.
 
As far as rewards:
 
Blue earns Membership Rewards Express points.  These points are good for all the same things as regular Amex Membership Rewards except frequent flier miles, and perhaps a few other restrictions.
 
Blue Cash earns cash back according to the following schedule:
 
Annual spending up to $6500:
Everyday purchases: 1%
All other purchases: 0.5%
 
Annual spending $6500.01 and up:
Everyday purchases: 5%
All other purchases: 1.5%
 
There is also Blue Sky, which earns points that can be redeemed at a rate of 7500 points per $100 statement credit towards eligible travel-related purchases.  This represents a 1.33% rewards rate.
 
Clear earns a straight 1% in the form of Amex gift cards.
 
None of these cards has an AF.  Clear has no fees of any kind associated with it, including BT fees, OTL fees, or late payment fees (although you shouldn't be going over the limit or paying late anyway).
 
Clear used to be the more difficult of these cards to get, although it appears standards have loosened a bit on Clear lately.  Blue is probably slightly easier to get than Blue Cash.  Blue Sky is about on the same level as Blue.
 


Message Edited by cheddar on 07-23-2008 01:14 PM
----------------------------
App free since 7/11/08.
TU 744 / EX 710 / EQ 694 (Starting to slip. :smileysurprised: )
Established Contributor
miahmarie
Posts: 648
Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear

Hey there. I have both the Blue, The Clear and the Blue Cash.

I really love the clear. I have gotten a few gift cards (They are American express Gift Cards which can be used anywhere!)

The Blue is a points system and the redemption value is, in my opinion, horrible. It earns more like .5% For example a $25 gift card costs 5000 points, where with the Clear it only costs 2500.

As far as the Blue Cash, if you really spend a lot on everyday items it can be a really great card, but by my calculations you have to really put about $1.5K through it (at least once a month) for it to really outweigh other cash back rewards cards.

I do not spend that much normally especially on everyday spending. So my favorite is the clear. I hope this helps.

I personally do not have the Costco one, so I can't answer that question.
Moderator Emeritus
cheddar
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear



smoothjk wrote:

P.S. Is the Costco AMEX a "real" AMEX? Will it help you build history with the company, or is it like one of those BofA-issued AMEX cards?


Yes, the Costco TrueEarnings Amex is a "real" Amex.  It is issued by American Express, not by a different bank.

 
----------------------------
App free since 7/11/08.
TU 744 / EX 710 / EQ 694 (Starting to slip. :smileysurprised: )
Established Contributor
miahmarie
Posts: 648
Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear



cheddar wrote:

That's not quite right.


As far as rewards:


Blue earns Membership Rewards Express points. These points are good for all the same things as regular Amex Membership Rewards except frequent flier miles, and perhaps a few other restrictions.


Blue Cash earns cash back according to the following schedule:


Annual spending up to $6500:

Everyday purchases: 1%

All other purchases: 0.5%


Annual spending $6500.01 and up:


Everyday purchases: 5%

All other purchases: 1.5%


There is also Blue Sky, which earns points that can be redeemed at a rate of 7500 points per $100 statement credit towards eligible travel-related purchases. This represents a 1.33% rewards rate.


Clear earns a straight 1% in the form of Amex gift cards.


None of these cards has an AF. Clear has no fees of any kind associated with it, including BT fees, OTL fees, or late payment fees (although you shouldn't be going over the limit or paying late anyway).


Clear used to be the more difficult of these cards to get, although it appears standards have loosened a bit on Clear lately. Blue is probably slightly easier to get than Blue Cash. Blue Sky is about on the same level as Blue.



Message Edited by cheddar on 07-23-2008 01:14 PM




The Blue Cash Tier system is wacky....that is why you really need to spend heavily for this to outdo other cash back cards.

Which of these if any do you have Cheddar?
Contributor
smoothjk
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear

Thanks guys, your responses were very, very helpful.

Looks like either the Clear or the Costco AMEX for me!
FICO (06/17/08): TU 691 - EQ 642 - EX 638 - Util 64%
FICO (07/23/08): TU 698 - EQ 653 - EX 644 - Util 50%
FICO (02/04/09): TU 694 - EQ 668 - EX 654 - Util 43%
FICO (05/18/09): TU 687 - EQ 675 - EX n/a - Util 39%
FICO (03/09/10): TU 666 - EQ: 691 - EX 644 - Util 54%
IDGuard (2/8/12): TU 690 - EQ: 710 - EX 710 - Util 72%
FICO (03/13/12): EQ: 696 (87% revolving to limits)
Established Contributor
miahmarie
Posts: 648
Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear

:smileyhappy: Your welcome
Moderator Emeritus
cheddar
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear



miahmarie wrote:

Which of these if any do you have Cheddar?

None, LOL.
 
I have the Gold Delta Skymiles, and I love that card.  Blue Sky is on my radar for next January (or possibly even January 2010).  I figure I'll be able to get a lot of free/discounted travel with the combination of SkyMiles for airline tickets and Blue Sky for hotel and rental cars.
 
----------------------------
App free since 7/11/08.
TU 744 / EX 710 / EQ 694 (Starting to slip. :smileysurprised: )
Established Contributor
miahmarie
Posts: 648
Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear



cheddar wrote:







miahmarie wrote:

Which of these if any do you have Cheddar?




None, LOL.


I have the Gold Delta Skymiles, and I love that card. Blue Sky is on my radar for next January (or possibly even January 2010). I figure I'll be able to get a lot of free/discounted travel with the combination of SkyMiles for airline tickets and Blue Sky for hotel and rental cars.






But you did very well with the BOA Amex......even if it did get you kicked out of the center. Oh well. How many do you have now? If you don't mind me asking?
Moderator Emeritus
cheddar
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: AMEX: Blue vs Blue Cash vs Clear



miahmarie wrote:

But you did very well with the BOA Amex......even if it did get you kicked out of the center. Oh well. How many do you have now? If you don't mind me asking?

Thanks!  I've had my BofA Amex since April, though.  It was the Citi Plat Amex that got me kicked out of the Center.
 
How many what do I have?  Cards in general?
----------------------------
App free since 7/11/08.
TU 744 / EX 710 / EQ 694 (Starting to slip. :smileysurprised: )

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