American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review
Choosing a credit card with good benefits is important. The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express presents a lot of benefits, mainly cashback on any major purchases. The card is accepted globally, making it an enticing card for your wallet.
Applying for the Card
Applying for the Blue Cash Preferred Card is very simple. When you go online, you will fill out basic personal information that takes just a few minutes. Your information will be verified in under a minute and you can receive a response almost immediately. If you’ve been approved for the card, you will receive the card in the mail. Once you receive the card, benefits begin immediately and you can start using the card everywhere.
Additional cards can be requested at no additional charge for family members. Cashback and benefits then extend to all other cards. There is only one annual fee charged to the account, however. (See No Annual Fee Cards)
Earning Cash Back on Purchases
One of the biggest features of the card is the ability to earn cashback on all eligible purchases. Buying everyday items can earn a lot of cash back, making all purchases more affordable. Depending on where the card is being used, it is possible to earn more than 1% cashback. Supermarkets, gas stations, department stores – wherever the card is used, cashback is earned.
The American Express logo ensures the card is accepted with millions of merchants. It can be used online as well as all over the world. As the card is used for everyday items, travel and specialty items, cashback will be rewarded. The cashback can be requested at any time in the form of a check or a credit to the monthly statement. There is also no limit to the amount of cashback that can be received over the year. (See Reward Cards)
Benefits of the Credit Card
Significant benefits are offered on the American Express all year long. As a cardholder, you can take advantage of such benefits as:
- Entertainment perks
- Travel insurance
- Global Assist Hotline
- Blue Savings Program
- Accidental Damage Protection
- Fraud Protection
- Online Account Management
As a cardholder, you can gain access to the best ticketed events around the globe. Theatre, sports and concerts can be seen without waiting for tickets to go on sale to the general public. A special number is given to cardholders. A representative will help arrange the tickets and they can be paid for over the phone.
When travel is booked with the card, you get complimentary travel insurance. This covers you and your immediate family in the event of any accident. Lost luggage, a medical accident or anything else is covered under the travel policy. This can prove to save a lot of money when traveling.
Global Assist Hotline also gives you a toll-free number to call for assistance. Medical and legal advice is a phone call away. If you need help with lost travel documents, the hotline can help, too. Any time you travel 100 miles or further away from home, this benefit is available.
Save on restaurants, hotels, and merchants around the globe. Log onto the website to learn of all the discounts available. These are just because of being a cardholder. Everything becomes more affordable when using the American Express card.
If something you purchase is damaged or stolen, it’s covered under the protection of the card. Up to 90 days after the purchase, the protection is there at no cost. It’s a great way to ensure purchases last longer, so it makes sense to buy everything with the American Express for the added protection.
Managing the account is made easy. A username and password will be created. The online area will show the account balance, available credit and list all past purchases. Statements can be viewed, printed or downloaded. Customer service can be contacted online or phoned 24/7 with account questions. The online account management area also makes it easy to pay a bill online, ensuring a bill is never late.
Applying for the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is easy. The application resides online and within minutes, you can find out if you qualify for the card that will give you cashback, save you money on many purchases and keep your purchases safe.
Travelocity Rewards American Express Card Review
Many consumers want a credit card that is not going to cost them a lot, but they don’t want it to be a plain card either. The Travelocity Rewards American Express card gives the rewards without the annual fee. It also saves money in other ways.
The Travelocity Rewards AMEX Card is a unique card that combines two of the biggest names in the world: Travelocity and American Express. They have teamed up to offer consumers a credit card that rewards for travel purchases and essentially rewards for all transactions.
With a generous points program and low fees, this is a card that can make the cardholder feel as if they are not so much under the thumb of the credit card company. Instead, they have more control over how much the card costs them. While some charges cannot be avoided, a cardholder is able to benefit from low interest and no annual fee. At the same time, points are earned and they can be used to save even more money.
Points And Points Redemption
Points add up over time and they can add up quickly, depending on how often you use the card and how you use it. For instance, you earn one point for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases. Qualifying purchases are defined as those that are not returned, rescinded, or disputed. However, a cardholder can earn up to three points for every dollar spent if they use the card for Travelocity purchases. Travelocity purchases include purchases on Good Buy and Top Secret Hotels, Flights, and Flight and Hotel packages on Travelocity website. These purchases can’t be returned, rescinded, or disputed in any way.
When you want to redeem your points, you have to ensure you have the minimum number of points required to redeem. These points are rather easy to earn since.
One of the features of the card is the ability to use it internationally anywhere where American Express is accepted. However, there is a foreign transaction fee that is associated with each transaction. This fee is a percentage of the purchase amount. The fee is also charged in U.S. dollars rather than the currency that the transaction was initially carried out in.
When traveling internationally, as long as you are able to securely access your account, you can check your account online through online account management. This will enable you to check your balance and other details regarding your account. This shows how you can access your account from anywhere in the world.
Online Account Access
Overall, the account is one that is easy to manage and this is one of the reasons why. Through online account management, you are able to evaluate the specifics of the account. This means you can check your balance, your available credit, transactions, and view your point balance. There is also an online tool that allows you to calculate your rewards.
The Calculate Your Rewards calculator allows you to get an idea of how many points you can get when you spend a specific amount of money. For example, accumulating 3,000 points on regular purchases means you have to spend 3,000. If you need another 3,015 points to reach a specific point goal, then you can spend approximately $1,005 on Travelocity purchases in order to get those points. This means that you can use your card to buy your plane tickets, a flight and hotel package, or a Good Buy and Top Secret Hotels reservation and get the points that you need by spending it on travel.
Control Over Costs
You do have control over the costs with this card. First of all, there is no annual fee. It is customary for rewards cards to have annual fees to offset the cost of rewards programs, but this card doesn’t. You will also receive one of the three APRs for the time you apply. The APR can vary with the Prime Rate, so what the rate is today may not be the same tomorrow. The lowest APR of the three is considered rather competitive for a rewards card with no annual fee. Even the middle rate is good and the highest rate is average.
Nonetheless, cardholders have the opportunity to pay off their purchase APR by paying off the entire card balance. Cash advances and balance transfers have their own APRs, but those are charged no matter what. It is on purchases that you have 23 days after the closing of the billing cycle to pay off the balance so that it is paid off by the due date. If your due date arrives and the balance still stands, then the APR for purchases will stand.
In addition to APRs for purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers, there are transaction fees charged for balance transfers and cash advances. These fees are a percentage of each transaction. As stated earlier, there is also a fee for foreign transactions that is charged as a percentage of the transaction.
Penalty fees include a late payment fee and a returned payment fee. These fees can vary by state. In addition to the late fee, the cardholder can be charged a higher penalty APR indefinitely if a payment is made late.
How an individual has control over their costs is by avoiding penalty fees, being mindful of their transactions when it comes to transaction fees, the absence of an annual fee, and the fact that the purchase APR can be avoided by paying the balance off in full. Even when the balance is paid off in full, points are not affected in any way.
The Travelocity Rewards American Express proves that a rewards card doesn’t have to cost a lot of money in order to save the cardholder money. With no annual fee, reasonable fees, few fees, and a low APR, it is a card that helps its cardholders go places.
American Express PASS Card Review
The reloadable PASS Card from American Express makes it easy for teens to spend money and learn financial responsibility. Parents have many ways to load money on the card. Teens also have many ways of accessing the money on the card.
The Card Can be Used Anywhere
Teens need and want to be able to spend their money anywhere. The prepaid AMEX card provides this possibility. American Express is accepted online and off, all over the world.
The card can be used at movie theatres, restaurants and at millions of merchants around the globe. The card can also be used online for concert tickets, travel and with many other retailers that conduct business online.
When cash is simply the only method of payment accepted, cash can be pulled out of the prepaid card at ATMs anywhere. A PIN number will be provided when the card arrives. Only ATM machine fees apply, helping teens to get the money they always need in any situation.
Related: Prepaid Debit Card Offers
Loading the Card is Convenient
Parents need an easy way to load money on the card. Whether a teen is under the same roof, off on a school trip or away at college, money can always be loaded, 24/7. There are three easy ways to get money on the card:
- American Express
- Bank Account
Parents with an American Express can enjoy the ease of loading money online. The money will show up instantly on the prepaid card. The transfer can be done as a one-time transfer or set up as a reoccurring transfer on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s the easiest way to ensure money is always on the reloadable card.
Checking or savings accounts can be used to fund the reloadable card as well. Any amount of money can be transferred. With the account number loaded online and the amount to be transferred, the process is simple. The money will show up within a few days, allowing teens to get the replenishment they need.
Cash can also be loaded onto the card. To do this, a MoneyPak needs to be purchased. Up to $500 at a time can be purchased. These Paks are available at various merchants around the world at over 50,000 retailers. Once the MoneyPak is purchased, the money can be transferred by going online or calling a toll free number.
Various Features Are Available with the PASS Card
The Pass card is designed to teach financial responsibility to teens. The card can be used virtually anywhere and there are many ways to get money on the card, but there’s many other features with the card. Parents and teens alike can enjoy the following features on a regular basis:
- Fraud protection
- Text messages
- Online account management
- Card personalization
The PASS card is unlike cash in that it offers fraud protection. If the card is lost or stolen, charges made fraudulently are protected. The funds will be replaced and a new card will be sent out. Cash isn’t safe, but this American Express prepaid card is.
Text messages can be programmed on the account. This will tell parents when it’s time to replenish the card. It can also tell teens when to stop spending money and what the account balance is in order to practice financial responsibility.
Account management is available online. A username and password will be created. Parents and teens alike can log on to gain access to data. Account balances and past spending habits can be viewed in a moment’s notice. Reloads to the account can also be set up online. With the ability to track what’s going on with the account, teens can have an impact on their spending habits. There’s no chance of going over the limit because it’s all prepaid.
Teens have the ability to customize their card. 4 different colors of the card are available. Orange, magenta, green and blue cards can be chosen, allowing every teen to choose a color that is a favorite, helping it to stand out from amongst the other cards.
PASS Card Alternatives
The PASS card works just like a standard American Express card. The only difference is that no overdraft fees can be incurred. Teens are limited to what’s loaded on the card, teaching financial responsibility. Parents can limit the money on the card and both can manage the account online.
Prepaid Debit American Express Cards Review
Just because you don’t qualify or would prefer to not deal with the risks of a credit card, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the benefits; you just have to know where to look. This American Express Prepaid Card, for example, gives you most of the same things you will find in a traditional credit card.
American Express is notorious for offering supremely awesome benefits to its customers. Usually, though, if you want to gain access to these benefits, you have to apply and be approved for one of their credit cards. Thankfully, though, you can now enjoy many of their highly-admired benefits without the risk and responsibility of credit with this prepaid card. It is a simple concept that should provide many options for your financial future. (See Other Prepaid Card Offers)
Ease Of Access
One of the biggest benefits of a prepaid American Express is, simply, that you can add money in a variety of ways. You can add money in several different ways and you can spend your money with any retailer that accepts American Express, or you can use the card to get a cash advance. You can add money to your account:
- Using the online account interface
- Over the phone
- Using a transfer option from your bank account
- Depositing cash directly into your account by purchasing a “MoneyPak” from any of the 50,000 global locations where they are available
Obviously, this gives you a lot of options for adding money to your account. What you will appreciate most about this card, though, is that none of these options will be affected by many of the fees associated with other kinds of accounts:
- No annual fees
- No monthly access fee
- Free customer service
- No credit checks
- No overdraft fees
- One free ATM withdrawal every month (and a $2 fee every withdrawal thereafter)
- No transaction fees
World Class Benefits
With an American Express debit card, you will not only enjoy these simple spending benefits but many auxiliary benefits as well. These are the same benefits that full credit card customers enjoy, but you get to use them even without typical credit access. This includes consumer benefits like:
- 24/7 Customer service via phone, around the world
- Purchase Protection that can reimburse you for eligible purchases in the event they are lost, damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase
- Access to hundreds of exclusive discounts and special offers through American Express Selects
- Special offers, savings, and promotions (including advanced ticket access) to special entertainment events in music, sports, and theater
In addition to simple consumer benefits, you will also enjoy benefits that you will learn to appreciate the more you travel. This includes:
- Credit and ATM access to participating locations and outlets all over the world
- Roadside Assistance is just a phone call away
- Global Assist Services that will help you in emergency situations when you are more than 100 miles from home (including medical care, legal advice, lost passports, and more)
A prepaid card from American Express also carries with it many, much simpler benefits too. These are not as flashy or attention-grabbing as these other, much larger ones, but they are certainly worth noting and remembering.
- Online account access where you can add money, setup automatic reloading (like automatic payments), sign up for alerts and view your transaction history
- Order up to 3 total cards so you can share account access with your spouse, children, friends, family, or partners
- No risk for missing payments
- No risk for going over your credit limit
- The option to upgrade or change your account with access to additional American Express business or mobile benefits
You can rest assured that despite these rather lengthy lists of benefits, there are many more reasons why carrying an American Express debit card is a good idea. Whether you have credit issues or just want to avoid the stress, a prepaid card from American Express gives you immense freedom around the world and all of the perks, with none of the traditionally inherent risks.
There are many great benefits to carrying an American Express Prepaid card. These include not just simple access to your money when you want it, but many of the best benefits that are traditionally – and exclusively – offered to American Express credit card customers.
What’s Going On Over at American Express?
There’s a new J.D. Powers and Associates survey and it appears American Express has claimed the coveted number one position in customer satisfaction. This, according to a survey that included 14,000 consumers, is based on a number of factors, including the terms and conditions that define the accounts, the billing process, its rewards programs, customer service and whether or not problems are easily remedied. Not only that, but American Express took that number one spot in all categories and in fact, the report reads,
The competitors of American Express like Capital One Financial Corp. and Discover Financial Services could not match to American Express.
Oldest Card Company
Many aren’t aware of this, but American Express is the oldest credit card company in the nation. Founded in 1850, the Amex story is dotted with events, changes and history that memorialize the American financial landscape. Its first offerings included money orders, which were offered to consumers as another option besides the U.S. Postal Service. By the time the 1950s arrived, it was already creating its own niche in the financial sector and soon, it offered the American Express charge card. This time, instead of competing with USPS, it was looking to level the playing field for those who were using Diners Club, but who wanted more choices. That first charge card had a $6 annual fee. Its first traditional credit card was the Optima card.
It remains the nation’s largest credit card lender based on its volume and its consumers spent 8% more in the last years on a national level and 5% more internationally than they did in 2017.
American Express is now in the prepaid debit card business, too. Its Blue Bird card is a co-branded effort with Wal Mart and has no fees, is reloadable and offers a lot of great perks and benefits for a prepaid card. Users get the same fraud protection and customer service that earned it the number one ranking. Blue Bird is a reloadable debit card that customers can use at any retail counter that accepts American Express. All of the fees are paid by the retailers, too.
Meanwhile, the American Express Serve, another prepaid card, has a built-in platform that works great for those who find themselves working and playing online. With an impressive app and an easy to understand website, consumers are already reporting a solid experience that allows them to better manage their money. Cardholders can add money via credit cards or bank accounts and it’s easy to set up direct deposit, too. It’s a fluid financial product that offers up the latest in safety technology. Downloading coupons and other deals are easy, too.
So why now? Why two prepaid debit cards, released just weeks apart, from the same credit card network? It could come down to a recent announcement by the federal government. There are close to 5 million paper checks mailed every month to Social Security recipients. It’s quite costly for the government to print and then mail those checks; in fact, estimates are that it’s a $4.5 million tab each and every month. This, according to the Treasury Department, is the ideal incentive to make the transition over to prepaid products.
As the government readies for the March 1 deadline, those who haven’t provided an electronic payment method will likely see delays. American Express is covering its bases with these two prepaid product. The goal is to gain new members with a quality financial product. It’s also touting the safety consideration of lost or stolen cards being easily replaced, no worries about lost or late checks and it’s safer than cash.
Another much anticipated announcement includes a partnership with Microsoft. By teaming with the software giant, the credit card company now has an in with a younger consumer base. It’s slated to now offer discounts via the MS X Box video game systems. It’s the ideal gateway into online merchant markets. You may recall 2015 saw Amex partner with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter, all of which provide a seamless opportunity for members to sync and integrate their payment processes.
On the international front, American Express has jumped on the opportunities the global sector provides. Most recently, it launched its prepaid products in India and consumers can load different currencies, including U.S. dollars and Euros. Canada is in on the gig too as Amex announced the Bank of Nova Scotia will now offer its products.
American Express reported a 5% increase in its revenue to total $8.1 billion and its earnings are up 8% too from 2017. Despite these impressive numbers, the credit card company is now said to be laying off more than 5,000 employees as it seeks to restructure debt.
It now looks like Paypal might be a thorn in the company’s side, which is already offering point of sale networks in several retailers around the country, including Home Depot.
There’s a lot going on with American Express these days. There’s an authenticity associated with the customer service team and its commitment to financial education, worthy causes, and ethical business practices. In recent years, it’s shown just how fluid it is. It’s met the challenges and benefits from technology as well as the changing needs of its customers. No longer is this the credit card company that focuses on enticing more affluent consumers. It’s actually redefined itself without compromising the value of its offerings.
There’s no denying Amex seems to be evolving even more. It’s actually embraced a quickly changing financial sector and while it’s always met those challenges, it seems as though a fresher approach has been thrown into the mix making it a formidable force for its competition such as Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
AMEX To Require EMV Chip Technology
EMV Chip technology has been quite popular outside of the United States for many years but has not quite been able to take hold in America. American Express, however, plans to change this with new cards.
American Express has always been a leader in the virtual payments industry. With safe, secure, and efficient processing theirs are among the most beloved products in the business. With their innovative marketing and rewards strategies, though, they continue to attract new customers and retain their existing customer base.
Although they are always at the top of their game, they are still an American company and as such their credit cards lag behind those of the system in Europe in terms of security. Now American Express is making the move to match the best in the world with the announcement that they will be requiring their merchant and payment processing partners to accept EMV Chip -equipped credit cards. (See Best Credit Cards)
Merchant partners will be required to fully comply by October of 2018. After this, fraud liability will be the responsibility of the party with the technology that is the least secure or least up-to-date.
To ensure that everything falls into place as quickly and efficiently as possible, though, American Express plans to start issuing the new EMV cards to consumers as early as the latter half of the present year; so, very soon.
According to the report they issued, this action is in response to high customer demand in recent months.
The payments industry is continuing to evolve rapidly, and American Express recognizes the growing demand for chip-based contact and contactless payments in the U.S.
Suzan Kereere, senior vice president and general manager for American Express Global Network Business.
As a global payments network, we understand the benefits associated with EMV-based technology, and we are committed to enhancing security at the point-of-sale for both merchants and American Express Cardmembers.
Of course, if you have been keeping track of the financial industry at all then you should already be quite aware that American Express is the fourth major credit card issuer in the United States to announce the EMV shift. Obviously, they fall behind much larger companies like Visa and MasterCard, who have already revealed similar EMV plans (as told recounted in American Banker).
Altogether, these companies will follow the same or similar time frame for accomplishing these compliance guidelines for completely implementing this new technology. If you have been keeping tabs on the business, then, you might also know that many credit card issuers have already instituted EMV credit cards for affluent accounts over the past few months. This is especially true of cardholders who tend to travel overseas quite often.
For those who do not know what makes EMV cards special, these cards are designed to be much more secure than traditional credit cards.
The reason for this lies in their programming, as they are embedded with what amounts to be a small microchip that stores payment data, as opposed to the magnetic strip of older, less secure credit cards. Studies have shown that credit card fraud is less successful with cards that utilize EMV chip technology than those that do not.
Related: Card Basics You Should Know
Another thing that many industry experts might agree with is how likely it will be that all interested parties will favor the new EMV cards. Apparently most countries in the developed world are already using the new cards, especially in Europe and Southeast Asia. As a matter of fact, countries in these regions use EMV payment technology almost exclusively.
Verizon And AMEX Team Up To Offer Digital Payments
The largest cellphone company in America, Verizon Wireless, is set to install American Express apps for the credit card issuers new payment service, Serve, on all of their phones and tablets.
American Express and Verizon Wireless have announced the agreement to offer American Express’ Serve payment system on all Verizon mobile phones and tablet devices.
Verizon customers will be able to use the app to create Serve accounts which will function as a digital wallet which can be accessed using their smartphone or tablet. This will allow consumers to receive an offer on their mobile device, accept it immediately and use the Serve app to pay for it.
Serve was launched earlier by American Express as a rival to PayPal. It is based on pre-funded accounts that enable consumers to complete online transactions without entering their credit card details.
The partnership will allow Verizon customers to link the Serve app to their bank account or credit card and make payments or redeem special offers online or straight from their mobile phone. Customers will also receive a prepaid, reloadable debit card linked to their serve account which can be used anywhere that American Express is accepted.
In addition, American Express and Verizon also announced that they have teamed up to source, distribute and simplify redemption of online and mobile offers with participating merchants through the use of the Serve accounts.
An American Express spokesperson, Dan Schulman, group president of Enterprise Growth, said,
Our collaboration with Verizon highlights the speed at which Serve is evolving to reach a wide audience. Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to complement their busy lifestyle with a trusted payment platform that delivers a fast, flexible and secure way to manage their day-to-day mobile purchases, and together we’re taking the necessary steps to make mobile commerce a reality.
This latest partnership with Verizon is another step by American Express towards digital and social media. The credit card issuer also announce two programs linked to Facebook earlier this year. The “Link, Like, Love” Facebook application allows card holders to receive cardholder discounts based on their interests and social connections. For example, if a cardholder ‘likes’ a particular restaurant’s Facebook fan page, they may receive a discount for 10 percent off their next meal at the restaurant.
In addition, American Express rolled out a program allowing cardholder to redeem reward points to buy Facebook advertising credits. The company has also teamed up with Foursquare to offer a mobile discount program.
The Bottom Line
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Review – The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express provides you with many different benefits. Among them include the ability to earn cash back on eligible purchases, travel perks as well as discounts around the globe. The card is easy to apply for and offers payment flexibility.
Travelocity Rewards American Express Card Review – Rewards cards tend to cost, but the Travelocity Rewards American Express Card takes owning a credit card to a new level with no annual fee, a low APR, and the ability to save money through rewards points. It is a card that makes getting around easier.
American Express PASS Card Review – The PASS Card from American Express is a reloadable, prepaid card to teach financial responsibility to teens. There are many ways to load money onto the card and overspending can be avoided. Various account management tools are also available on the card.
American Express Prepaid Debit Card – When you carry a card with the American Express name, you always get access to exclusive, premium benefits even if it is a prepaid debit card. In fact, you might appreciate more so that this card carries none of the credit risks.
Are you an American Express cardmember? If so, let us know your favorite Amex product and if you’re using either one of the new Amex prepaid products, let us know your experience with those too. It’s the consumer, after all, who has the final say in how anyone product performs over the long haul.