Deal of the Month: American Express Blue Sky Preferred
March 1, 2012
By: Joe Taylor Jr.
You've flown the same airline for years, earned double secret elite status, and memorized the names of the people who work at the airport lounge. After all that, airlines still do things that drive you crazy, like merging with a competitor you hate, eliminating routes, jacking up fees to cover rising gas costs, or even making you pay to check your baggage.
American Express feels your pain, and they hope you'll take shelter with the Blue Sky Preferred® from American Express. It's a travel rewards card with no allegiance to a specific brand. Yet, it carries many of the same great perks as the best credit cards for airline miles.
Earn a net $125 after 90 days
With this month's signup bonus, they'll even pay you to give them a try. Just spend $1,000 in your first three months with Blue Sky Preferred, and you'll earn enough rewards points for a $200 statement credit. After paying the $75 annual fee, you're up $125 on the deal.
Earning rewards points
Along the way, you may start to wonder why you counted frequent flier miles in the first place. While you'll gain access to American Express' team of travel experts, you can use your favorite websites to book flights on any traditional or discount airline. You'll earn a point for every dollar you spend on airfare, along with your everyday purchases.
Bonus travel privileges
Double your points by using Blue Sky Preferred at U.S. restaurants, hotel rooms and car rentals. You can cash in 7,500 rewards points for a $100 statement credit, rivaling the return from some of the market's best cash back credit cards.
American Express sweetens the deal by offering $100 in airline allowance against baggage fees and other incidental in-flight purchases, plus access to free car rental loss and damage insurance. You can even entertain family, friends, and clients on the cheap with access to discount tickets and exclusive pre-sale events through a partnership with Ticketmaster.
Choosing the best credit card
Like most rewards credit cards, the interest rate on Blue Sky Preferred from American Express leans toward the high side. However, if you're using the card for mostly reimbursable business travel expenses, and you pay off the card every month, you can rack up rewards points quickly without ever having to pay finance charges.
If you're more of a casual traveler, consider the similar Blue Sky from American Express®. You'll give up double points, but you'll pay no annual fee.