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Amex Blue Card Review: A Basic Rewards Credit Card With No Annual Fee

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Offer Status

The information for the Blue from American Express® has been collected independently by The Ascent. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Blue from American Express® could be considered to be American Express' starter rewards card with a modest earn rate. But the card is oddly targeted to people with good credit or better and a feature set that isn't nearly as competitive as other cards marketed to this credit score range. To help you figure out if this is the right card for you, our Blue from American Express® review will break down its good points and where it could improve.

  • There are more competitive cards in the credit score range this card is intended for. The lack of a welcome bonus, 0% intro APR, and great rewards rate explain our lack of enthusiasm.

    • No annual fee
    • Earn rewards on every purchase
    • Car rental insurance
    • Low rewards rate
    • No welcome bonus
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Few ways to use points
    • Earn 1X Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend.
    • No annual fee.
    • Online Year-End Summary of Purchases.

Full Amex Blue Card review

This credit card is a good fit for: Consumers who want to earn rewards while improving their credit score. Those with good or excellent credit may want to try applying for one of the more valuable American Express cards first.

Top perks

These are the top perks that come with this card:

No annual fee

If you're unfamiliar with credit card rewards, starting out with a no annual fee card is a smart choice. (See rates and fees.)

Unlimited 1 point per $1

You'll get 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 you spend with your Amex Blue Card, and there's no limit to how many points you can earn. Terms apply.

Earn double points on American Express Travel reservations

If you book travel purchases such as prepaid hotel stays, vacation packages, and cruises through the American Express Travel portal, you'll earn 2 points per $1. Terms apply.

Car rental loss and damage insurance

This covers you if a vehicle you rent is damaged or stolen. For this insurance to apply, you'll need to pay for the rental with your Amex Blue Card and decline the collision damage waiver*. This coverage is secondary. Some exclusions and restrictions can apply. Terms apply.

Related: Read The Ascent's list of the Best American Express Credit Cards.

Alternatives to consider

  • If you're building or rebuilding credit: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a good option to improve your credit with good credit behaviors. It's a secured credit card, meaning your credit limit is restricted to the refundable security deposit provided when opening an account. Cards in this category typically water down their rewards, but this one bucks that trend -- cardholders earn 2% back on gas and restaurants (up to a $1,000 quarterly spending cap) and 1% back on other purchases.
  • If you're a student and want more rewards: The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a fantastic card for establishing credit. It doesn't charge unnecessary fees, and Discover will even automatically waive one late fee. Each quarter, it offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of quarterly spending in rotating quarterly bonus categories you activate.
As of Aug. 04, 2022
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Image for
Discover it® Secured Credit Card Discover it® Student Cash Back
Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

New/Rebuilding Under(579) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Fair/New to Credit Under(669) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 2% Cashback

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 5% Cashback

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 10.99% Intro APR, 6 months

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0% Intro APR, 6 months

Balance Transfers: 10.99% Intro APR, 6 months

Regular APR:

24.49% Variable APR

Regular APR:

14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

Highlights:

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.49% - 23.49% applies.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
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What could be improved

This card has has some areas that could be improved upon:

Rewards rate

While other American Express cards come with bonus categories that will net you 2 or 3 points per $1, the vast majority of your purchases with this card will only get you 1 point per $1. That rewards rate falls short of what some credit cards for average credit offer. Terms apply.

Point redemption options

Although this card technically earns Membership Rewards points, it doesn't offer the full range of redemption options you'd get with other American Express rewards cards. You can't transfer points to any of the airline or hotel partners in that rewards program, and transfers tend to offer the most value.

Most of the ways you can redeem your rewards with this card will only get you between $0.005 and $0.007 per point. At best, you can get up to $0.01 per point if you use your points to purchase gift cards. Terms apply.

No welcome bonus

You won't get any bonus points for opening the Amex Blue Card. When comparing credit cards, other American Express cards provide a welcome offer.

Foreign transaction fee

You'll be charged a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad, so this isn't a great card to travel with. To avoid these charges, you'll need to use a different card when traveling abroad. (See rates and fees.)

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

You have a high chance of getting approved for the Amex Blue Card if you have a good credit score, which is a FICO® Score of 670 or above. This is one of the easiest Membership Rewards cards to open, and even consumers with average credit scores have a decent chance of approval.

This credit card is right for you if:

The Blue from American Express® is hard to recommend for people with good to excellent credit. It's simply not competitive with other offers in this category, many of which, offer lucrative rewards, big bonuses, and 0% intro APR offers.

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