Review of the Blue Sky Credit Card



The Blue Sky Credit Card from American Express was last reviewed on 12th January 2006.

Summary - The Blue Sky® Credit Card is a unique travel reward card from American Express that will appeal to those who want a travel credit card. It's key strength is that you can make reservations through airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, and online travel sites. This allows you to get the best deals. You then redeem your points (after you have booked your travel) for a credit back to your credit card statement. By booking yourself, you also avoid the usual restrictions like blackout dates, having to book 21 dyas before flight or mandatory Saturday stays that are common in other credit card reward progams. Let us find out more about this card.....

Unique Travel Credit Card - With the American Express Blue Sky, you will earn one point for every dollar you spend on the card. You can redeem points for airline tickets. hotels, cruise or car rental. To redeem your points, you first have to book your tickets. Unlike other reward credit cards that require you to book through their in-house agents, you can make reservations with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, and online travel sites that are submitted under an appropriate industry code or identifier for the above-listed categories. You have to use your card for these ticket purchases. Once you have purchased them, you can use your points to get a credit rebate back into your statement. The use of 7,500 points will earn you a rebate of $100. Hence the rebate you get is 1.33% (slightly more than the standard 1% you get with most reward cards). You have to redeem points in 7,500 increments. So for example, if you airline tickets cost $150, you can use 7,500 points and get a $100 credit back into your statement. To use your reward points and get your savings, you need to make your point redemption request after you are first billed the charge and must do so within 60 days.

No Blackout Dates and RestrictionsBecause you can choose the agents to book your tickets, you are not subjected to any blackout dates or travel restrictions like having to book 21 days in advance and having to stay over the weekend.

Fees - The Blue Sky has no annual fee. You get a 0% apr for purchases for the first six months. You also get a 4.99% fixed balance transfer for life offer if you transfer a balance. The apr is either prime rate plus 4.99%, 6.99% or 9.99%. The average daily balance method (including new purchase) is used to calculate monthly balance.

Other Benefits - The Blue Sky also offers other American Express Benefits like automatic travel insurance, car rental insurance and worldwide travel assistance.

Blue for Music - Cardholder also get offers on exclusive concert tickets and discounts on music and downloads from Waner Music. Amex has also partnered with Hard Rock Hotels and Casino Las Vegas to give cardholders HRHC Rockstar Package which includes savings on room rates, select restaurants, retail shops, spas and access to tickets at the Joint.

CoolBlueOffers - Cardholders will also get special offers from a variety of merchants through the Cool Blue Offer program. The merchants include New York Philharmonic Escapes, Warner Music, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Vegas, Last Vegas Centenial, The Venetian Last Vegas and TicketMaster. You can also shop at American Express Online store call ShopAmex, a shopping comparison site where you can either use your Blue points. For global travellers, Amex Selects offers discounts at partner merchants and restaurants globally. Hence, before you travel overseas, it is worth checking out these places.

Verdict - We recommend the Blue Sky® Credit Card to those who want to use their credit card for travel rewards. While other credit cards require you to use their "internal travel agents" to book your travel arrangements, with the Blue Sky, you can use book your travel directly with the airline, hotels or car rentals or through any travel agents to get the best deal. Because you book through your own agents or whatever channels, you avoid the usual restrictions imposed by other reward cards. Though most other travel credit cards claim to have no blackout dates, you still have to book 21 days in advance and most of the time have to stay over a Saturday. With the Blue Sky, you avoid these restrictions. Furthermore, the "rebate" you get is slightly better than one percent.

The global traveller will also be pleased to note that the Blue Sky arranges special discounts with various merchants throughout the world. Hence, if you are travelling overseas, you may want to check out any restaurants or retail shops that will give you a special discount if you use your card.

I do have one minor quibbles with this card. And that is you can only use your rewards in 7,500 points increments (which gives you $100 in credits). Hence, if your airline ticket cost $130, you can only use 7,500 points for $100 in credits and still pay $30 out of your pocket. However, this is a minor issue compared to the flexibility in which the card allows you to get the best travel deal. Highly recommended.

Positves
  • Book your own travel and hence get the best deal
  • Get more than 1% in "credits"
  • Avoid blackout dates and other restrictions common on other travel credit cards
  • Discounts at various merchants


Negatives
  • Rewards must be used in 7,500 increments to earn $100 credits back to statement



American Express Blue Sky
Reward Benefits
Point Accumulation Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend
Get $100 in statement credits when you redeem 7,500 points after your travel purchase
Cost/Fees/Interest rates
Introductory rate 0% apr for six months for both purchases
4.99% on balance transfer for life
Annual Fee No annual fee
Purchase APR Prime Rate plus 4.99%, 6.99% or 9.99%
Cash Advance APR Prime Rate plus 14.99%
Penalty/Default Rate APR Prime Rate plus 12.99% or 21.99%
Min Finance Charge $0.50
Grace Period 20 days
Balance Calculation Method Average Daily Balance (including new purchases)
Balance Transfer Fee No balance transfer fee during introductory offer
Cash Advance fee 3%, min $5.00
Over-the-credit-limit fee $35.00
Late Payment fee $15.00 - less than $100
$29.00 - between $100.00 to $1000.00
$35.00 - greater than $1000.00



Apply for the American Express Blue Sky

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