American Express Blue

by : Devin Gilliland

Once upon a time a credit card was perceived to be nothing more than a piece of plastic used as a convenient form of payment, and it was quite common for a consumer to stick to the same credit card for many, many years.

This has changed. The fierce competition between credit card issuers and the concomitant overabundance of credit card products have commoditized the plastic. Consumers are becoming increasingly discerning and decidedly less loyal. It is not uncommon for a consumer to move from one card to the next to capitalize on introductory offers, lower interest rates and better rewards. In addition to this, there is a growing demand for more - a better value proposition from the issuers, so to speak. 'How will your product, Mr. / Ms. Issuer, add value to my life?'

American Express cottoned on to this trend earlier than anybody else - in 1999 to be exact - when they launched their American Express Blue credit card. The American Express Blue credit card offers a holistic package and it is as close to a one-size-fits-all credit card as you can find.

The American Express Blue credit card caters for young and old, for the style and status sensitive, for shoppers, travelers, rewards connoisseurs, technology junkies, economy class consumers, balance carriers and balance settlers, amongst others. Above all, the American Express Blue card is much more than a credit card: it is a 'bookkeeper', a travel agent, a shopping mall, a financial adviser, an ombudsman, an insurer, an emergency service, and more.
Perhaps a quick look at some of the too-many-to-list-everything features of the American Express Blue card is necessary.

• The American Express Blue credit card charges no annual fees - neither for the card, nor for the reward scheme. The balance transfer APR is a humble 4.99% for the life of the balance, and the ongoing purchase APR 12.24%. The American Express Blue card also offers a lengthy 15 month introductory offer of 0%APR on purchases. 20 interest free grace days, serve to sweeten the proposition even further. The only thing you need to watch out for is taking cash advances on your American Express Blue credit card. It comes at a hefty 23.24% APR.

• From a shopping perspective, the American Express Blue credit card does not only offer customer service around the clock, but also buyer's assurance, purchase protection and return protection. In effect, it means that when you pay with your American Express Blue card, your purchase is safeguarded against defect, loss or damage and you are safeguarded against merchant problems.

• If travel is on your list, the American Express Blue credit card offers car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, emergency card replacement and access to the Global Assist® Hotline. The latter offers a wide range of services to American Express Blue card holders: emergency-, legal-, and medical assistance; lost luggage support; passport and visa help, etc.

• You also get to enjoy decent discounts - both on shopping and travel.

• Finally, American Express offers financial advice and financial tools to their customers to help them better manage and control their personal finances.

More than a credit card, American Express offers real value added services to their American Express Blue credit card customers.