No. of Recommendations: 1
Amex Blue Cash... after you spend $6500 within the calendar year you earn 1.5% on anything and 5% on gas, grocery (not warehouse) and pharmacy purchases...

Before $6500 I think the earn level is something like 0.5% for everything and 1% for gas/grocery/pharmacy.


That's an attractive card for people who have very large budgets or wash a lot of business expense through their personal cards. I've never considered it seriously because of the tiers and the places that don't take Amex, but let's think about it. Since I keep detailed records in Quicken, it shouldn't be very hard to figure out whether this is a winner.

I do very little spending that the cards consider grocery or pharmacy, so most of the analysis is on the 1% spending. Breakeven as compared to a pure 1% cash back card is at $13,000 of spending in a card year.

If I kick out the places that I know don't take Amex, I only put $9,541 on credit cards in the last 12 months. The actual amount I could, in theory, put on Amex Blue might be lower. I'm only kicking out Sam's Club and my daughter's college, but there might be more places I charged that don't take Amex.

As compared to Citi MasterCard, most purchases work out to lose 0.5% before $6500, gain 0.5% after $6500. Gas/grocery/pharmacy works out to lose 1% before $6500, gain 3% after $6500. If I assume gas/grocery/pharmacy purchases distributed evenly through the card year, that's equivalent to those purchases being worth twice as much as undesignated purchases for purposes of breaking even. That brinks the amount of 1% equivalent purchase I might have put on Amex up to $11,486. I still do better with Citi MasterCard. The $300 per year limit on cash back is not a problem for my spending patterns.

Okay, I remember why I never seriously considered Amex Blue before. The numbers don't work out for me, and I'm not interested in increasing spending or shifting purchases to other (read: costlier) merchants in order to make the cash back more attractive.

Patzer
Print the post  

Announcements

UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.