American Express Blue Sky offers enticing airline rewards

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 By

Artist's rendition of the American Express logo.

American Express Blue Sky should appeal to domestic U.S. travelers. (Public Domain/CoolKid1993/Wikipedia)

How can you earn a free airline flight on a rewards card without delving into frequent flier miles? One way is to use the American Express Blue Sky credit card. Cash back and a variety of other benefits make Blue Sky more valuable, as some of the rewards can be used to book a flight at any time. Advance reservations and shorter-distance trips give AMEX holders real value for their dollars.

American Express Blue Sky Preferred on points

For every dollar spent on an American Express Blue Sky Preferred credit card, the cardholder earns 1.33 cents per dollar. That applies to all purchases. At U.S. restaurants, hotels and for vehicle rentals, the return goes up to 2.66 percent per dollar.

Here are just some of the ways in which American Express Blue Sky outdistances standard frequent flier cards. After the first $1,000 spent within three months of account opening, new cardholders earn 15,000 points. Each point is what is worth 1.33 or 2.66 cents on the dollar, depending upon the type of purchase. The sign-up bonus is effectively worth around $200. Once 7,500 additional points are amassed, American Express Blue Sky cardholders can redeem points for a $100 statement credit toward travel expenses ranging form airfare to lodging and vehicle rental.

More than spending

An AMEX Blue Sky Preferred card doesn’t merely earn rewards for spending, however. New purchases within the introductory period receive 12 months of zero percent APR, then a variable rate thereafter, depending upon the cardholder’s credit rating. According to WiseBread, it can vary from 17.24 percent to 22.24 percent.

There’s also an annual airline allowance that appears as a statement credit of up to $100. This applies to incidental airline fees like baggage charges, in-flight food and entertainment. Travel accident insurance – with benefits for death or dismemberment – are also provided by AMEX.

If a retailer won’t take back a purchased item within 90 days, American Express will reimburse cardholders up to $300 per item, with an annual cap of $1,000. American Express Blue Sky also offers extended warranty coverage, stretching the manufacturer’s warranty up to one year.

Taking advantage of a Blue Sky

While the AMEX Blue Sky card requires a $75 annual fee and charges 2.7 percent on foreign transactions, domestic travelers who are fed up with restrictions on frequent flier miles should check out what Blue Sky has to offer.

Sources

American Express Blue Sky card

Daily Markets

WiseBread

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