Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Nova Credit receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Nova Credit does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Blue from American Express Card Review

Share

If you’re looking for a rewards card without an annual fee, consider the Blue from American Express credit card. Newcomers to the U.S. can use their international credit history to apply. 

Blue from American Express Card Review

Nova Credit receives compensation from third-party advertisers. This content is not provided by them. Any reviews, recommendations, opinions and analyses expressed in this article are those of the authors alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

If you’re looking for a rewards card without an annual fee, consider the Blue from American Express credit card. This card offers membership bonus points, travel incentives, and shopping benefits. While you’ll need a good-to-excellent credit score to get approved, it’s not limited to just Americans. Newcomers to the U.S. can use their international credit history to apply. 

Read more to determine if the Blue from American Express is the right card for you.

Blue from American Express fees

Unlike with the Cash Magnet Credit Card, the Blue from American Express credit card does not offer an intro APR. You must pay the regular APR from the first month of card ownership.

American Express charges a variable APR for purchases and balance transfers that are requested within 60 days of account opening. If you choose to transfer your balance, there’s a transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5)—whichever is greater. 

Cash advances have a variable rate APR of 26.24%, along with a 5% (minimum $10) fee for each cash withdrawal. Foreign transactions come with a 2.7% fee, which makes the Blue from American Express card less attractive than other card options to cardholders who frequently travel outside the U.S.

Late and returned payments come with a fee of up to $40 and one or more late or returned payments may result in Amex applying a penalty APR of 29.99%.

AmericanExpress Blue Rewards Card benefits

Earn membership points

The American Express Blue Rewards Credit Card has a very straightforward rewards system: 1x bonus point for each eligible dollar spent on the card.

You’ll earn a reward on all purchases whether you are spending money at a grocery store, supermarket, gas station, restaurant, airport or online. 

Membership points are redeemable in several different ways such as statement credits, airline tickets, hotel bookings, online retailer purchases, gift cards, and more. There is no expiration date on bonus points, and Amex does not have a limit on how many points you can earn per year.

Travel rewards

The Blue from American Express card provides a significant advantage to travelers who arrange their trips through AmexTravel.com by providing 2x bonus points on those purchases covering airline tickets, prepaid hotel stays, vacation or cruise packages, and much more.

As a cardholder, you’ll also receive access to the American Express Global Assist Hotline, an emergency service that kicks in when you travel at least 100 miles from home.

Members may contact the hotline 24/7 to receive assistance related to financial, legal, medical, or other travel accidents.

Individuals who frequently rent cars when they travel outside their home city will benefit significantly from the Blue from American Express card because Amex provides car rental loss and damage insurance to every cardholder. 

The Amex rental car insurance policy covers collision damage and loss, which means that card holders can decline the collision damage coverage offered by the rental company. Car rental insurance is available in every country except Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

Shopping and entertainment perks

Every Blue card holder receives complimentary access to the Shoprunner shipping service. Shoprunner partners with more than 100 retailers to offer free two-day shipping for online purchases.

Amex Blue card holders can shop at retailers such as Hugo Boss, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Tommy Hilfiger and select complimentary two-day shipping on every purchase.

Being an Amex card holder also provides value when buying tickets to events in major U.S. cities. American Express partners with sites such as Ticketmaster to provide Amex cardholder with exclusive access to pre-sales tickets for sports games, concerts, theater performances, and other special events before they go on sale to the public.

Individuals can also spend knowing they are protected against any fraudulent charges. When card holders notice an unusual charge on their credit card statement, they can contact American Express to have the matter resolved as soon as possible. The purchase protection means Amex does not charge a deductible or penalize card members for unauthorized charges.

One major con, however: several popular Amex shopping perks, such as the extended warranty, return protection, and Pay It Plan It service, are not available on the Blue rewards credit card.

What is the American Express Membership Rewards program?

The American Express Membership Rewards program is designed to provide card holders with ample opportunities to redeem the bonus points they earn on their credit cards.

While the company does not necessarily disclose the exact dollar-to-points ration, experts estimate that an Amex bonus point has a value of anywhere from 0.5 cents to 1 cent, depending on how it is redeemed. 

American Express card holders may redeem their membership rewards points by paying through the following methods:

  • Pay with points at checkout
  • Redeem for gift cards
  • Cover your card charges
  • Book or upgrade travel
  • Transfer points
  • Go shopping

You can use membership rewards points to pay for purchases at online retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Saks Fifth Avenue, and more. Gift cards are available for a wide range of companies.

Travel must be booked through AmexTravel.com, but you can transfer points to participating loyalty programs. Amex partners with frequent flyer and loyalty programs from around the world, such as Aeroclub, Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Delta SkyMiles, Etihad Guest, Hilton Honors, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Is the Blue from American Express card your ideal rewards credit card?

The Blue from American Express credit card rewards program is simple to understand: one membership point for each dollar on eligible purchases and two points on any purchases made on AmexTravel.com

Amex offers many opportunities to redeem its bonus points, which can be used towards purchases, statement credits, airline tickets and hotel bookings. They can also be withdrawn for use on eligible frequent flyer programs.

The value of Amex points is anywhere from 0.5 cents to 1 cent per bonus point. It means an individual who spends $1,000 on the Blue card would have a cash back rewards rate of 0.5% to 1% on everyday spending. The rewards rate goes up if you spend money at AmexTravel.com, as these bonus points are doubled for any purchases on the site. 

That being said, while the Blue card may be simple, it offers few special or appealing rewards. Given the value of American Express Membership Rewards points, the cash back rating of the Blue rewards card is anywhere from 0.5% to 1% cash back. While the double points offer on AmexTravel.com could make the card appealing to frequent travelers, the lack of other travel perks and 2.7% foreign transaction fees mean that it is not even the best Amex travel card on offer.

<card-CTA blue-from-american-express>

Why the Blue from American Express card might not be right for you

The bottom line is that the Blue from American Express is an entry-level credit card with a straightforward rewards system. Card holders earn 1x bonus points for each purchase, along with 2x bonus points on spending at AmexTravel.com. But if benefits are your main aim, explore other options. 

Other card companies—including American Express—offer credit cards with low to no annual fees, generous cash back rewards and other appealing perks to frequent shoppers and travelers.

<cta-amex>

More from Nova Credit:

Credit cards for no credit

Credit cards for international students

Credit cards without SSN

Credit cards to build credit

How to build credit

American Express Platinum credit card review

American Express Gold Card review

American Express Blue Cash Preferred credit card review

American Express Blue Cash Everyday credit card review

Best American Express cards



Code (ID Name): <call-to-action>

New to the U.S. and looking for a credit card?

Explore credit cards that accept international credit history.

Code: <call-to-action-a>

DID YOU KNOW?

You can use your international credit history to apply for a U.S. credit card

Credit history used to stop at the border—until now. Your existing international credit history could help you get credit in the United States.

Code: <cta-amex>

New! You can use your international credit history from Australia, Canada, India, Mexico and the UK to apply for an American Express ® Personal Card in the U.S.

Code: <cta-mpower>

Use your international credit history to apply for a loan to fund your studies in the U.S. with MPOWER Financing.

Code: <cta-realestate>

Use your international credit history as part of your rental application

Code: <cta-arrive-archived>

New to the U.S.? Subscribe to our newsletter, Arrive, for newcomer news and guides to decoding life in the U.S.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-boundless>

Applying for citizenship or a marriage-based green card

File online and save thousands in fees through Boundless

Learn More

Article Snippets

Code: <cta-articles>

Code: <cta-facts>

Code: <cta-uscis-time>

Processing Time:

When can you see updates to your USCIS case status?

Enter your details to check your USCIS case status and receive notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-uscis-status>

USCIS case status: automatic updates

Get a free guide on how to sign up for automatic USCIS Case Status updates and receive other notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-h1b-status>

Check your H-1B case status update

Enter your details to check your H-1B case status and receive notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-h1b-times>

Check your H-1B case processing time

Enter your details to check your H-1B processing time and receive notifications from Nova Credit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received! Please check your email for next steps.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-build-credit>

Build your U.S. credit history

Where are you from?

Depending on where you are from, you might have different opportunities to build your credit history in the U.S. For example, selected banks accept credit history from selected international countries, meaning you might not even have to build credit in the U.S. to get approved for a credit card.

Select your country to receive your personal credit builder guide and Nova Credit updates in your inbox.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-how-to-build>

How should you build credit in the U.S.?

There are multiple ways to build credit, each with their own hurdles. Enter your details to see what’s the best for you.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-no-ssn>

No SSN? Find out which card is best for you

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-free-consultation>

Free Consultation

The Alcorn Immigration Law team knows immigration yields innovation. We help you obtain a visa, green card or citizenship so you, your employees, and your family can live and work in the U.S.

For a free consultation to explore the best immigration options given your circumstances and goals, contact us and mention Nova Credit.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-j1-fica-refund>

Check if your eligible for a FICA Tax refund

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-i797>

Need help with you i797 form?

Code: <cta-j1-tax-burden>

Download our Free J-1 Tax Guide

Code: <cta-no-problem>

New to the U.S? No problem!

Moving to the United States can be a daunting task for newcomers. In addition to gaining work authorization, you will also encounter problems with securing housing, utilities, identification, and legal hurdles.

If you are planning on starting life in the U.S, sign up to our newsletter for a FREE ebook guide on immigrating to the United States and a checklist for obtaining work authorization.

Thank you! We sent you an email with a guide and instructions on how to get started. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-g-1145>

Download the G-1145 form

Thank you! We sent you an email with a download link and instructions on how fill out form G-1145. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Code: <cta-arrive>

Need help moving to the U.S.?

Our free guide breaks it down for easy reading — download it now and get extra tips delivered straight to your inbox

Thank you! We sent you an email with a download link and instructions on how fill out form G-1145. Check your inbox!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.