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Verdict: The Blue Sky card is a good option for frequent travelers who want a straightforward rewards program and the ability to shop around for the best deal with no blackout dates. Even better, the card has no annual fee and a good sign-up bonus.
Blue Sky from American Express® is travel rewards credit card designed for frequent travelers. The card, which debuted in 2008, lets you earn points on your every day purchases that can be redeemed for airline tickets, hotel rooms, cruises and more. The key advantage to Blue Sky is that there are no blackout dates which means you can redeem these rewards at any time without being restricted to certain dates. Many other travel cards have blackout dates, which over time have become an industry standard.
The Blue Sky card has a fairly standard rewards rate with 1 point earned for every $1 you spend, but you do get a bonus when you redeem your points. Every 7,500 points can be redeemed for a $100 statement credit toward hotel stays, airline tickets and other types of eligible travel expenses.
Right now, you can earn a sign-up bonus of 7,500 points once you make $1,000 in purchases during the first three months. This is a really low spending threshold to reach, and the signup bonus is worth a $100 statement credit! You’ll also get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
How it Works
The AmEx Blue Sky card has a straightforward rewards program: you earn 1 point per dollar spent, but you actually get 1.33% back when you redeem 7,500 points for a $100 statement credit.
You do not need to worry about peak seasons, blackout dates or any other tricks common with other travel rewards card, nor do you need to book travel in any particular way. You can book your own travel directly through a hotel or airline, or online through deal sites like Expedia or Hotels.com.
When you are ready, you can redeem points to offset eligible travel purchases. This system has a big benefit, because you get to shop around and choose the best deal from any hotel, airline or travel service provider, and then get reimbursed.
Blue Sky rewards are also very flexible. You can redeem rewards for common travel purchases like airline tickets, cruises, hotel stays, car rentals and more for the best return, although they can also be used for gift cards and merchandise.
The American Express Blue Sky credit card comes with many popular AmEx perks for travel and shopping.
The Blue Sky card includes travel accident insurance as well as car rental loss and damage insurance, which covers you if a rental car is lost or stolen. This benefit alone can save you nearly $30 a day on rental car insurance costs.
The card also includes many types of shopping benefits. Extended Warranty covers by doubling an original manufacturer’s warranty by up to 1 year when you use your AmEx Blue Sky card. With Return Protection, you can return an item purchased with your card to American Express within 90 days if the store will not take it back. Purchase Protection will cover you if an eligible purchase is stolen or accidentally damaged within 90 days.
Pros and Cons
- 7,500 welcome bonus, which is enough for a $100 statement credit
- No annual fee.
- Earn up to 1.33% back on all spending.
- No blackout dates or tricks. Shop around for the best deals on travel then use your points to reimburse the charge.
- Popular American Express shopping and travel benefits included.
- APR varies widely based on credit review.
- Rewards rate not as high as other cards available.
The Blue Sky from American Express® card is great for people who travel frequently but want a no-frills, no-nonsense rewards program. Unlike many travel cards, the Blue Sky card gives you 1.33% cash back, not a flat 1% back, and there are no restrictions or blackout dates. You do not need to worry about booking travel through a specific website or airline, so you can book the deal you want and use your points the way you want them for the best value.
There are few drawbacks to the Blue Sky card, especially when you consider that it has no annual fee — a very rare thing for such a solid rewards program! The sign-up bonus right now is also one of the best the card has ever offered, allowing you to earn a $100 statement credit after spending just $1,000 during your first three months.
If you’re looking for a good all-around travel card, it’s worth giving the Blue Sky card a try. You have nothing to lose!