Credit Card Guide
Follow Us  twitter facebook You Tube Google+
Credit Cards > Credit Card News > American Express > Amex Introduces New Blue Sky Preferred Travel Rewards Card


Amex Introduces New Blue Sky Preferred Travel Rewards Card

By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
November 15, 2010

email print comment

Editor's Note: The Blue Sky Preferred offer mentioned in this article is no longer available.

The cost of air travel has been climbing over the past year and not just because ticket prices are on the rise. Consumers have had to give up perks like free luggage and in-flight snacks, things we took for granted in the past. Nowadays, taking two bags on a trip can add as much as $50 to the cost of a trip. For frequent travelers or people traveling with their family, that quickly adds up.

If you're one of those consumers for whom the airline baggage fees and other new fees are eating up your insides as well as the content of your wallet, take a look at the new perks introduced by many travel rewards cards. As airlines have been jacking up fees, many rewards card issuers have jumped on the opportunity to spruce up rewards—in many cases by offering free checked baggage and other perks for premium cardholders.

Cards like American Express Delta Skymiles and Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card from Chase, for example, offer the first checked bag free for cardholders flying on the affiliated airline. Cardholders earning elite standing on e.g. the Delta Skymiles card enjoy even greater perks, like the ability to check up to three bags without charge. These services aren't exactly free, however, both cards come with an annual fee of $150 for the Amex Platinum Delta Skymiles and $85 Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card.

American Express recently launched a new travel rewards card that may offer an attractive alternative for rewards cards aficionados: the Blue Sky Preferred Credit Card. The most recent addition to the Amex Blue series of cards, the Blue Sky Preferred gives cardholders a $100 annual Airline Allowance, which reimburses them for such costs as checked baggage fees, in-flight meal or Wi-Fi purchases. To use the $100 Airline Allowance, cardholders must charge the flight, as well as baggage fees and other reimbursable purchases to their Blue Sky Preferred Card. Cardholders have 60 days after those charges are billed to their card to contact American Express to get those fees reimbursed.

Is the Blue Sky Preferred worth the $75 annual fee the card comes with? Well, for the first year the annual fee is basically waived, since new cardholders currently receive 7,500 bonus points, redeemable for a $100 statement credit on any travel purchase. After that, the fee means that you essentially net only $25 on the annual Airline Allowance—not exactly an earth-shattering deal.

However, the Blue Sky Preferred is still worth a look on the merit of its other benefits. Unlike the standard Amex Blue Sky, which features only single rewards points on all purchases, the Blue Sky Preferred features double rewards points on dining, hotel, or car rentals, and one point per dollar on other purchases.

Most significantly, the redemption value of points is higher than the one cent per point typical for standard rewards cards. 7,500 points earns a $100 award, which can be used as a statement credit for travel purchases, gift cards, or cash back. Translated into cash back earnings, that amounts to a 1.33 percent rewards earnings on regular purchases, and 2.66 percent cash back earnings on travel-related, double-points purchases.

Another significant benefit is that rewards are not tied to a specific airline, and you don't have to pass a specific threshold in credit card charges or travel miles to receive the best rewards benefits. Finally, like other American Express cards, the Blue Sky Preferred features additional benefits like emergency assistance for travel 100 miles or more away from home, access to the Global Assist Amex hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance, roadside assistance, as well as extended warranty, purchase and return protection on purchases.




Amex Wants to Help Gen Y Get in Zync - American Express recently launched the Quarterlife Project, an outreach initiative intended to gauge 20-somethings attitudes about money while providing them with products and resources to help financially empower them.

Amex Survey: Many Holiday Travelers Plan to Spend More - According to a recent American Express survey, many consumers plan on loosening their grip on their purse strings for the upcoming Holiday season.

American Express Rewarded Points for Going Green - American Express is raking in points from environmentalists for funding environmental projects and, internally, pioneering more environmentally friendly company policies.



  If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

Our editorial content is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Secure SSL Technology
Secure SSL
Twitter Facebook You Tube Google+
About Us Privacy Policy Editorial Team Terms of Use
Contact Us California Privacy Rights Media Relations Site Map

Close X