Pros:Secure online transaction, futuristic look, low APR
Cons:hard to use
The Bottom Line: Cool looking card in your wallet that you can't really use half of the time.
With the coming, and soon going, of year 2000, we have become more and more attached to the technology and machines we have created. Sure, we don’t see floating cars or robotic servants or space colonies. However, not too many of us can honestly say that he/she does not enjoy the convenience of cell phones, PDAs, and most of all, the Internet. The Internet has to be by far the best thing since sliced bread. With the tons of things one can do over the Internet, the only way that it can be even better, as I see it, is to be able to buy sliced bread online. While food is yet to be available online (for everyday consumers anyway), numerous other items are. From books and CDs to clothes and electronic gadgets, you name it, and if it doesn’t spoil, then the Internet has probably got it. With all its conveniences, it does have one tiny little flaw; it doesn’t take cash. This unique trait makes credit cards the dominant, and perhaps the only way, to pay for things that you buy online. Recognizing this fact, American Express “proudly” introduces to its customers the American Express Blue card.
Recommend this product?
Upon looking at the card, you will notice (the obvious) that it looks nothing like any other cards you have in your wallet. It has a sort of futuristic look to it, even has a little computer chip on it; fitting for Generation E (not a reference to the pill-popping rave goers). This card is designed specifically for those who often shop online with features to promote security and convenience for its users. Sounds great! However, like numerous other great ideas, it only SOUNDS good.
The coolest thing about this card is that you can call up American Express and have them send you a smart card reader for free (although I’m not quite certain if they are still free as I got mine back in February). The smart card reader, a little gismo about the size of a cigarette box, you can attach to you computer. After properly installing the unit, you will be able to pay for all the things you buy online in mere seconds. No more typing in names, credit card numbers, expirations dates and so forth. Simply dip the card into the smart card reader and punch in your PIN number and you’re set. Sounds good so far? Here comes the catch. It only works with sites supported by American Express. And perhaps I don’t shop at main stream e-commerce sites like the others, but I have yet to encounter a site that supports this cool feature. Disappointed, I had to go back to the good old fashion way of typing in my info.
Another gripe I have with the card is its magnetic strip. 60 percent of the time, I am not able to use this card because the credit card machines either show “unreadable”, or even more intriguing, “expired”. How can the card be expired when it shows on the front that it expires in 2003. I don’t know whether those stores need to upgrade their machines, or it is due to the fact that it’s a silver strip instead of the usual black, but this limitation makes the card nearly unusable.
While the 9.9% APR (not an introductory rate), no annual fee, and the other benefits makes this a “cool” card to have, the limited available usage of the card makes it a great decoration for your wallet, and just that.