America’s favorite card provider is American Express and their Blue Sky credit cards offer a choice of a fee free rewards card or one with an annual fee, which features even more benefits. The cards are restricted to those with excellent credit, and the rewards programs are ideally tailored to suit frequent travelers.
The terms and conditions of the American Express Blue Sky, and Preferred Blue Sky cards, are the same: the differences kick in on the rewards program. Each card offers zero percent APR on purchases and balance transfers, of between six to 12 months, depending on individual credit. Balance transfers carry a fee of $5 or three percent, whichever is greater, and must be utilized within 30 days of opening the account.
The variable APR on both cards is 17.24 percent, 19.24 percent or 21.24 percent, again dependent on individual credit. The APR on cash advances is 25.24 percent and the penalty APR is 27.24 percent. The charge levied for cash advances is identical to the balance transfer fee, whilst foreign exchanges are charged at 2.7 percent.
The primary difference between the two cards is the annual fee of $75. Card applicants should consider if the fee is worth the additional benefits that the Preferred card offers. Those who elect to pay the annual fee will benefit from a statement credit of $100 after spending $500 on the card, plus a renewable annual allowance of $100 to cover luggage fees and other incidental in flight expenses.
The Blue Sky rewards program offered on both cards awards one point for each dollar spent, but this is doubled with spending on dining, hotels and car rental, with the Preferred card. Accrued points do not expire and can be used without restrictions or blackout periods. Redeemable points can be used for airline flights, hotel stays and car rentals.
The benefits of Blue Sky cards include car rental loss and damage insurance; guaranteed hotel reservations; family travel accident insurance up to $100,000; a global assistance hotline for legal, medical and financial assistance; and foreign currency and American Express travel checks delivered to your door. Additionally savings are offered with both Marriott and Hertz. The Preferred card also features the American Express Ticketmaster, allowing card holders the opportunity to make savings when booking show tickets.
Deciding between the two cards is really based on if the card holder would utilize the extra benefits which come with the annual fee. Those who like the idea of a fee free American Express card can save the $75 with the Blue Sky card, whilst those who prefer to go the extra mile with benefits can opt for the Blue Sky Preferred card.