Sunday, January 25, 2009

Amex Blue v. Fidelity Amex Cash Card Review

Using my annual statement, I was able to compare the actual Amex Blue Cash rewards against what my Fidelity Retirement American Express Card is promising.

Fidelity Amex promises 2% cash back on all purchases.

  • No trying to pick the best card for each purchase.
  • Unfortunately, they are run by FIA card services. From prior experience with FIA, they are not easy to deal with and their website is 2-3 years behind Amex's.
  • Charges do not download into Quicken until the monthly statement is ready and I do it manually from FIA's website. Truly, this is a hassle.
  • They will automatically transfer $50 into my brokerage account every time I hit the $2,500 spending threshold.

Amex Blue Cash has a complicated formula for determining cash back.

  • I have access to the fantastic Amex website.
  • In addition to nice features such as an annual summary, they have historically had great customer service.
  • Charges download automatically into Quicken.
  • You get the cash back in a lump sum one time per year.

Results: After crunching the numbers, I determined Amex Blue returned a net 1.86% of total spending to me.

Conclusion: For .14%, my family will continue to use the Amex Blue as our primary card. Over a year, the additional interest from the Fidelity card would not likely exceed $25. For that amount, the service and ease of use of the Amex Blue card makes it a winner.

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