- 1 American Express Raising Annual Fee on Blue Cash Preferred
- 2 black american express annual fee
- 3 Amex Is Raising the Annual Fee for Its Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
- 4 File photo of credit cards of American Express in this illustration picture
- 5 Credit Card Review: American Express Essential credit card
- 6 American Express 'Black': The World's Most Exclusive Charge Card
American Express Raising Annual Fee on Blue Cash Preferred
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express now has a Special Offer: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $95. For more details on the updated version:
One of our favorite cash-back credit cards is getting a little more expensive: The annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will be $95. That’s a $20 increase from before — not huge, but it changes the break-even point at which the rewards make up for the cost of carrying the card.
Here’s what the change will mean for you.
The basics of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
First, let’s look at what won’t change about the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The card’s stellar rewards are sticking around. You still earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases annually, plus an unlimited 3% on gas station and select department store purchases. All other spending earns 1% cash back.
The card also comes with a sign-up bonus: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.
The annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has been $75. If you don’t have the card, applying by Aug. 3, 2016, will give you a year at the old rate. After that, the fee will go up to its new level.
For existing cardholders, your account renewal date determines when the new fee goes into effect.
“Existing card members will be charged $95 upon renewal beginning in September,” says William Tsang, director of public affairs for American Express. “So, if your card renews in July, you won’t see a $95 [fee] until next July.”
Until now, you needed to spend about $25 per week at U.S. supermarkets to earn enough rewards to cover the annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, according to NerdWallet’s calculations. With the new fee, you’ll need to spend about $31 per week at supermarkets to break even. That’s still an accessible amount for most people.
The increased annual fee also changes the calculations we use to compare the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express with its cousin, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. That card has an annual fee of $0 but pays lower rewards rates — only 3% back on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending and an unlimited 2% back at gas stations and select department stores. It also offers 1% cash back on all other spending.
If you spend at least $61 per week at supermarkets, you’ll earn more rewards with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express than you would with the $0-fee version.
Is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express still a good deal?
That depends on how much you spend on groceries and gas. For many people, the high rewards rate at supermarkets alone can cancel out the annual fee fairly easily.
If you’re allergic to paying any annual fee whatsoever, you might be happier with one of our best no annual fee credit cards.
I apply for this many new cards:
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black american express annual fee
Annual fee time on a credit card is a point at which consumers make a decision whether the value of the card justifies its cost — whether to keep it for another year, or cancel.
You don’t have to cancel before the annual fee hits. As a general matter you have 30 days from the statement date on which the fee appears to cancel the card, and the card issuer will remove the fee.
Some banks have historically been more generous than this.
For instance, with many products and many consumers Chase seems to give 60 days.
American Express and Citibank, at least on certain products, have offered pro-rated refunds. That means if you cancelled halfway through your cardmember year they’d refund half of your fee.
It looks like American Express is moving away from pro-rated refunds:
Closing your Account Effective September 1, 2016, in Part 2 of the Cardmember Agreement, we are amending the Closing your Account sub-section in the Other important information section by inserting a new paragraph after the first sentence: If an Annual Membership fee applies, we will refund this fee if you notify us that you are voluntarily closing your Account within 30 days of the Closing Date of the billing statement on which that fee appears. For cancellations after this 30 day period, the Annual Membership fee is non-refundable. If an Annual Membership fee applies to your Account, it is shown on page 1 and page 2 of Part 1 of the Cardmember Agreement. If your billing address is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the time you close your account, this policy will not apply to you.
This is understandable. They’re not going to want you to take advantage of the airline fee rebate that comes with a Platinum Card or Premier Rewards Gold and then get the bulk of your fee back.
If you’re going to cancel a card, bear in mind that proprietary bank points need a place for the points to sit. If you no longer have a Membership Rewards account at all, your points go away after cancelling (though American Express gives you 30 days to use your points after cancelling provided your account is in good standing). The best practice is to transfer out points or use points prior to cancelling.
I’m not familiar with Massachusetts state law in this regard, but if American Express is excluding the state from this change then there must either be a state requirement for pro-rated refunds or a process American Express needs to go through to make such a change.
Amex Is Raising the Annual Fee for Its Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
File photo of credit cards of American Express in this illustration picture
The annual fee on one of our best cash back rewards credit cards in America is about to get a bit higher.
American Express is raising the annual fee on its Blue Cash Preferred card to $95 from $75.
The fee increase formally goes into effect August 1. But you can skip the $20 increase — albeit temporarily — if you apply for the card between now and August 3. Prospective cardholders who sign up on or after August 4, 2016 will incur the $95 fee, an American Express spokesperson said in an email. Existing cardholders will be charged the new $95 fee at the beginning of their annual account renewal, following the August 1 switchover date.
The Blue Cash Preferred Card (see full review here) offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
This marks the first increase in the product's fee since it launched in 2011, the spokesperson said.
American Express does offer a fee-free version of the card, the Blue Cash Everyday Card, which features a lower rewards structure: 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on other eligible purchases.
Both versions of the card carry an annual percentage rate (APR) between 13.24% and 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
Getting a Rewards Credit Card
Remember, rewards credit cards generally best serve those who don't carry a balance — otherwise, all those points, miles and cash back just get lost to interest. And, no matter what credit card you are considering, it's important to read the terms and conditions carefully before formally applying to be sure a particular credit card is right for you.
It's also important to check your credit score, as a good one helps you qualify for cards with the best terms and conditions. You can do so by viewing your free credit report summary, which comes with two credit scores, each month on Credit.com. If your credit is looking a little lackluster, you may be able to improve your score by paying down credit card balances, disputing errors on your credit report and holding off on new credit inquiries while your numbers rebound.
At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It's important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
Credit Card Review: American Express Essential credit card
100,000 Bonus Qantas Points + Lounge Passes - AMEX Qantas Ultimate Ad
- Earn points with Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and 6 others
- Variety of insurance coverage
- $50 statement credit
- Lower points earning rates than many paid-for cards
Fancy a credit card that can earn frequent flyer points with eight different airlines including Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines, has no points capping, boasts insurance cover for your smartphone and other purchases and even offers a $50 account credit for new customers who spend $750 within the first three months?
Meet the American Express Essential credit card, for which you won't pay $200/year, or even $100 – this card is completely free of annual fees, and with low minimum income and minimum credit limit requirements, could easily be slipped into your wallet.
- Grade/tier: Standard/entry-level
- Card type: American Express
- Loyalty program: Membership Rewards Gateway (MRG)
- MRG points earned per dollar (everyday spend): 1
- MRG points earned per dollar (utilities, government providers and most insurance companies): 0.5
- 1 MRG point = 0.75 frequent flyer points with: Virgin Australia Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- 1 MRG point = $0.0075 Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars
- Points capping: Uncapped
- Annual fee: $0
- Supplementary cardholder fee: $0
- Interest rate on purchases: 14.99% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
- Interest rate on cash advances: N/A
- International transaction fee: 3.0%
- Minimum income requirement: $40,000 p.a.
- Minimum credit limit: $2,000
When you're already saving money by paying no annual fee, earning points for free flights on top of that proves icing on the cake: but compared to fee-carrying cards, you'll naturally earn fewer points per dollar and will need to spend more before unlocking a free flight.
Assuming you convert your points to Virgin Australia Velocity and under the revised Velocity award rates that come into play from June 1, a one-way economy flight from Sydney to Melbourne is yours after spending $10,400 on everyday purchases or $20,800 with utilities and the other reduced earners, plus a small amount in taxes and surcharges when booking the flight.
Just keep in mind that some retailers do levy a surcharge for American Express transactions, and while many apply the same surcharge as for Visa and MasterCard or even have no surcharge at all such as Woolworths and Coles, you'll want to check that the numbers are in your favour before paying a fee to use the card.
We'd not expect a free card to deliver any airport lounge perks, although thanks to the wider American Express network it gives you access to Centurion Lounges in the United States with a payment of US$50 at the door.
Found in Dallas/Fort Worth, New York (LaGuardia), Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco, once inside these lounges provide an array of complimentary food and beverages, and in Dallas, even spa treatments that come included with your entry price.
Off-limits are Centurion Studio lounges such as in Seattle and the American Express lounge at Sydney Airport, even if you'd be willing to pay.
As with airport lounges, insurance cover also isn't something we'd expect to see on a $0 card, and while travel insurance is rightly absent, the card offers purchase protection, buyer's advantage, refund protection and smartphone screen insurance.
Among the perks, you may be covered if an item bought with the card is stolen or broken within 90 days of the purchase, if a merchant refuses a refund on a new item within 90 days of purchase, for up to $500 of smartphone screen repairs if paying for the phone or contract with the card and may enjoy an extra 12 months of warranty cover on selected new appliances.
American Express Essential credit card: the verdict
With no annual fee, a $50 account credit for new customers, free insurance coverage and the ability to earn frequent flyer points on every dollar spent, the American Express Essential credit card comes with a well-rounded offering tailored to 'everyday' people.
For starters, having no annual fee allows people who might traditionally use Visa or MasterCard to give American Express a go and establish where it's accepted in their usual haunts, and can later switch to an AMEX card with a higher earning rate if desired.
A minimum income requirement of just $40,000 also puts it within reach of most full-time workers, challenging the common perception in years past of American Express being a premium card only for the high and mighty.
But before applying, also take a look at the American Express Velocity Escape card: also issued by AMEX with no annual fee, but which serves up one Velocity point per dollar on everyday spend and two Velocity points per dollar when booking Virgin Australia flights, which could boost your balance further for the same zero cost.
American Express 'Black': The World's Most Exclusive Charge Card
The Centurion Card, which really is all black, and made of titanium, was introduced in 1999 and is extended to consumers on an invite-only basis. According to Crosta, there is no formula for qualifying. "It's decided person by person," she says, before adding with a chuckle, "I haven't been invited. I know that. People will call us and ask to be invited." Nonetheless, the Internet is teeming with speculation about the requirements. The general consensus is that eligibility involves some combination of a stellar credit score, a minimum of $250,000 a year – or roughly $21,000 a month – in charges, and at least one year's history as an American Express cardholder, as well as significant net worth.
Membership Really Has Its Privileges
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