American Express Reducing Cash Back Rewards on the Blue Cash Card

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I just received an e-mail from a reader named Matthew who reports that American Express is re-working their cash back percentages on the AmEx Blue Cash rewards credit card. As you might recall, this card previously offered 5% cash back rewards on “Everyday” purchases (gas stations, grocery stores, and pharmacies) and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases once you reach $6500 in spending for the year*.

Well, according to Matthew…

The non-5% rewards will be dropping to 1.25% instead of 1.5% after $6500 in annual spending. In addition, purchases over $400 at gas stations (how would you get that high? I guess if you’re a trucker…) will no longer be classified as “Everyday” purchases. The last major rewards change was that it now specifically states the purchases must be made for personal consumption.

This information was apparently sent out with April card statements. I’ve since checked the application page for this card, and it seems that Matthew’s information is correct. The lower reward level after you reach $6500 in spending will indeed be 1.25%, and mega-purchases at gas stations (the $400 limit appears to be per transaction) will no longer qualify for 5% cash back.

While this might not strike you as a huge change, the drop from 1.5% to 1.25% represents a 17% decrease. Thus, while it’s still a good card, it’s not quite as good as it used to be.

*Note: Prior to hitting the $6500 spending level, this card pays 1% rewards on “Everyday” purchases and 0.5% rewards on everything else.

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Published on April 29th, 2009 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Credit Card News, Credit Card Offers, Reward Cards

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. My guess the $400 limit per transaction is because if people bring there car into a gas station and have repairs done and they use the cash back AMEX card an example would be the transaction shows up as Exxon and they get the full 5% cash back providing you already meet the other criteria. So it sounds like they are trying to manage that transaction. In addition a lot more merchants have been requesting other cards beside AMEX since the Merchants are trying to get away from using AMEX over time since fees have increased for them. Has anybody else experienced that too?

    Comment by David — Apr 30th 2009 @ 10:03 am
  2. Yes! I just had a doctor’s office ask me not to use my AmEx card, saying they had the highest fee.

    Comment by Christine — May 19th 2009 @ 12:54 am

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