Monday, December 30, 2013

Hold The Phone - Old American Express Blue is Still Available? - Run and Apply!

Update: New applicants are limited to 5% on up to $50,000 of purchases per year.

There are very few credit cards that I get super excited about (that's not actually true, I get super excited about most credit cards).  The old American Express Blue is one of the best out there, but I thought it was long gone.  It is now the mythical Phoenix of credit cards and I'm not complaining

Right now, you can get one too!  I don't know how long it will last, but I wouldn't wait on it if you are interested.

Go to 

when you are browsing incognito and the card will come up.

Why Do I Care So Much?

That's easy: the reward structure is from a time well before Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads, when American Express could safely give out unlimited rewards at Drug Stores because who spent real money at drug stores anyway.

The reward structure is as follows:

1% cashback for your first $6,500 of spending, after that you will earn 5% cash back at Supermarkets, Gas Stations and select Drugstores (CVS is on the list).

No annual fee and no limits to the 5%!

Let's assume for argument's sake that you spend $5,000 every month on Vanilla Reloads, or $60,000 a year (the limits of one Bluebird account).  Your will basically break even for your first $6,500 because you will only get 1% and you have to pay the fees still.  For your final $53,500 you would get 4.2% of that (5% minus the 0.8% Vanilla reload fee) or $2,247 for free! Considering CVS will allow you to buy $5,000 worth of Vanilla Reloads at one time this wouldn't take very long.

I think that $2,000 a month is reasonable which would get you $735 a year by the same math.

Words of Caution:  You will probably get a Financial Review from American Express if you spend that much every month so make sure to have income to back up what you put down on your application.  Also, be aware that American Express may decide that you are not a good customer to have and not give you any more credit cards in the future.

Slow and steady wins the race, but you should also be aware of what's available to you.

This card is clearly only for those who are willing to put in some effort for some major rewards (ie not for JF), but I think you will find it well worth it if you do.


LA2NYC said...

Even with a household income that supports the charges, what's the chance they'll kick you off of the card when they see 90% of the total charges are at CVS?

Oren said...

Good question. I don't know if anyone knows the answer to that. Everyone has to do what they are comfortable with as long as the risks are clear.

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