We recommend the Blue from American Express to those looking for a no annual fee travel or shopping credit card as the reward program (Membership Rewards Options) is perhaps the most comprehensive credit card reward program in the market. You can earn unlimited points which do not expire.
Reward Formula - The American Express Blue Card allows you to earn one point for every dollar you spend on the card. You can earn unlimited points which do not expire. Furthermore, you can earn double points when you book your travel through the credit cards' online portal (which is powered by travelocity). You can also earn triple points if you shop at their shopping portal called Bonus Point Mall.
Online Travel Portal - One of the things you have to be aware of online travel portals is that SouthWest cannot be comparison shopped on portals and for the most parts, you have to book a SouthWest ticket with them directly. American Airlines is also currently not listed on Orbitz or Expedia.com. But on Amex online travel portal, American Airlines is listed and you can also book a SouthWest ticket with them (though you have to call a travel rep). They are one of the few credit card online travel portals that allows you to book SouthWest.
Other travel or shopping benefits - The American Express Blue card has the following travel and shopping benefits.
1. It allows cardholder to make purchases at shopamex.com, a shopping comparison site designed for Amex cardholders. You can also redeem points for your purchases.
2. You can earn double points when you make your travel arrangements with American Express Travel.
3. You can get a $100 credit back into your statement if you spend $3,000 on a qualifying vacation using your card at participating American Express Travel Services.
4. Buyers Assurance - This program essentially doubles your warranty for products you have purchases up to a limit of one extra year. Coverage is good for up to a purchase of $10,000 and up to $50,000 worth of purchase a year.
5. Purchase Protection Plan - under this plan, you can return any purchase you make if it is accidentally damaged within 90 days. You are covered up to $1,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per year.
6. American Express Selects - American Express has partnered with many merchants worldwide to offer discounts to cardholders. Those who travel a lot may find this beneficial.
Fees - There is no annual fee. You get a 0% introductory apr on purchases for 12 months.
Verdict - I highly recommend the Blue from American Express(R) as it has a great reward program and it also has no annual fee. Furthermore, you can earn double points when you book airline and travel tickets with them.