Review: Blue Sky from American Express® Card

American Express has a lot of different credit cards and charge cards so it’s hard to keep up with all of them and many times some of them remain off the radar. I’d say that the Blue Sky from American Express® Card probably falls into the “off the radar” category. Here’s a quick look at this card and whether or not I think it’s a good choice for travelers.

The offer

  • Earn 7,500 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months (sign-up bonus may not always be available)
  • Earns 1X Blue Sky Travel Rewards on all purchsaes
  • Every 7,500 points that you earn is enough for a $100 statement credit toward travel purchases made on the Card (1.33 cents per point redemptions)
  • No annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2.7% 

This is a very straight forward credit card.

Sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus of 7,500 points for $100 worth of travel is pretty low. This is not a card where you’re going to come out way ahead with the sign-up bonus like you might with The Platinum Card® from American Express at 60,000 Membership Rewards.

Earning

The earning structure is simple with 1X on all purchases. Again, this is very basic compared to many travel cards that earn bonus rates on purchases, such as dining, travel, gas, supermarkets, etc. There’s nothing really exciting or unique about 1X, however, since the points redeem at 1.33 cents per point, it’s like earning 1.33% back everywhere. There are other no annual fee cards that earn 2% cash back everywhere so I don’t think of this is a great perk at all.

Redeeming

Redeeming points on this card is pretty straight forward. Blue Sky Reward Points can be redeemed for cash back in the form of a statement credit.

  • You can only redeem with a minimum of 7,500 points, which is enough for a $100 statement credit toward travel.
  • You must redeem points within 6 billing cycles of the Closing Date shown on the billing statement on which the purchase first appears

Eligible travel purchases are:

airfare for a scheduled flight on a passenger carrier, hotel stays (excluding timeshares, banquets and events), car rentals from select major car rental companies listed at americanexpress.com/rewards-info, and other purchases from online travel sites, cruise lines, travel agencies and tour operators.

The big limitation here is that you must redeem with a minimum of 7,500 points. It’s not unheard of for other credit cards to require a $100 redemption minimum for travel purchases but it does make things less convenient when you’re forced to redeem your points in those big quantities.

If you are trying to redeem points for a purchase over $100, however, you don’t have to redeem in blocks of 7,500 points. So for example, if you had a $150 purchase you were trying to cover, you’d only need 11,278 points and not 15,000 points.

*Keep in mind that Membership Rewards cannot be transferred to this card and Blue Sky Rewards cannot be converted to Membership Rewards. 

No annual fee

It’s great that this card has no annual fee considering how limited its perks are.

Foreign transaction fees

It’s always a bummer to see a travel card with foreign transaction fees but since this is a basic, no-annual fee card it really doesn’t surprise me to see that.

Protections

This card comes with many of the standard non-premium credit card protections offered by American Express, such as:

  • Return Protection
  • Roadside Assistance Hotline 
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance 
  • Extended Warranty 
  • Purchase Protection 
  • Travel Accident Insurance

You can read the details of these protections here.

Final word

This card may appeal to travelers due to its appearance (plane flying across the front) but it’s not a very attractive travel rewards card. The sign-up bonus is low at only $100 worth of travel and the earning structure is not very great at 1.33% back. It’s nice that there’s no annual fee but you can find much better no annual fee credit cards with better earning and redeeming structures than this. My advice to most travelers who are serious about travel rewards would be to pass on this card.

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