American Express Blue Cash Gets Better

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The American Express Blue Cash card used to have one non-obvious headache: You get your rewards once a year as a statement credit.

This is a bigger problem than it sound like at first blush, because you’re always stuck with the card for another year after you get your redemption. For example, if you get your annual redemption in January 11, 2011, the rewards for money you spent that month only gets credited to your statement in January 2012. So if you switch to another card, you can either remember to spend $32.15 on the card in 2012, or you can lose the reward. Furthermore, you get rewards on that $32.15, and the problem continues.

We highlighted this as our main complaint in our American Express Blue Cash Review a few months back. We’re happy to announce that American Express has started removing that constraint for some users, and the card is now almost perfect. From here on out, some cardholders will be able to redeem rewards whenever they hit the $25 mark:

  • You can redeem rewards upon request whenever you have accrued 25 rewards dollars or more.
  • You will no longer receive an automatic statement credit once per year.
  • Other redemption options, such as gift cards or merchandise, may also be made available.
  • If your account is inactive for 18 consecutive months, your rewards will be forfeited.

This could turn out to be a great deal if they start to offer this to all new applicants. I’ve managed to earn more than 2% back on the card over the past 6 years thanks to my fuel inefficient car and my voracious appetite for Fritos, and if you’re supporting a suburban family, chances are you’ll do even better given your gas & grocery expenditures.

One note of caution though – if you live in a city and eat out most of the time, you’re probably better off with a Citi Forward card, because it gives you 5% back on dining.

(click the image below to see it blown up)

  • ttt tttt

    This card is crap and another bait and switch by American Express, which once used to be an honorable company. They say 5% back on drug store purchases (once you cross the $6,500 mark and 1% before), but if you buy toothpaste, toiletpaper, potato chips or advil, at a drugstore like CVS, Walgreens, or RiteAid, it doesn't count toward the higher category, only presciptions count toward the bonus. Look at your bill, add it up, or even call AXP and ask them and you'll see that the majority of purchases won't count toward the higher discount.