Consumer Payment Card News

American Express Blue Card Mixes in More Automatic Greenbacks

The American Express Blue card this month will be mixing in more green by adding new automatic greenbacks to its Cash Preferred Card. The new perks include 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back on transit purchases. The American Express Preferred card already offers one of the most generous automatic cash back programs the U.S. market via 6% cash back on supermarkets and 3% cash back at gas stations.

American Express Blue Cash

In addition to the expanded cash back benefits effective May 9th, American Express is giving new cardholders a welcome bonus of $250 back after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months, in the form of a statement credit.

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card was launched in 2011 and has since catapulted into one of the most popular in the U.S. market, with an annual fee of $95.

American Express Rewards Spending

American Express has been beefing up all its credit/charge products of late due to increasing competition and market saturation in the U.S. In December 2018 American Express added access to workspaces, on-site support, amenities, expanded lounge privileges, plus more rewards and technology discounts to its Business Platinum cards. The $595 annual fee business card also offers quick financing solutions for Working Capital and business loans. 

Worldwide, American Express (AXP) spends around $2.5 billion per quarter, or $10 billion annually in cardholder rewards, according to CardData. There are currently, as of April 1, 2019, more than 100 million cardholders worldwide, with 54 million in the U.S., including both consumer and business credit cards.

Card Benefit Schedule (May 2019)

•   6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases then 1%)

•   6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions

•   3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations

•   3% Cash Back on transit, including parking, tolls, trains and rideshares

•   1% Cash Back on other purchases (Cash Back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for a statement credit)

Program Adjustments

The two new categories of streaming subscriptions and transit fees will replace the current 3% Cash Back on purchases at select U.S. department stores, which will no longer be offered on the Blue Cash Preferred Card after July 31, 2019. Card Members who spend at select U.S. department stores will receive 1% Cash Back on purchases