If you are looking for a credit card that rewards you with travel or other great benefits, you don’t want to pass up Blue Sky from American Express.  Once the ultimate credit card of choice, you had to be invited to carry this prestigious card and pay off your balance monthly.  Now with Blue Sky you can reap all the benefits and carry a balance if you absolutely have to.  There is no annual fee and there are introductory 0% APR rates for six months if you act quickly.  Once your introductory period is over your rate will be determined by the Prime Rate plus 13.99%.

Once you used to have to fight to use your points to redeem travel; however, with Blue Sky credit cards you have no restrictions or blackout dates.  These credit cards offer you the ability to use any airline, and book any hotel or car rental company.  If you are worried that your points will expire you needn’t as the best credit card in the world Blue Sky from American Express doesn’t have any expiration dates. 

You may be thinking that it will take a long period of time to accrue enough points to go on that great family vacation.  The truth is you can start redeeming travel rewards with as little as 7,500 points.  If you use your credit card to purchase gas, groceries, dining out and clothing you will see how quickly the rewards add up.  Another great benefit of Blue Sky credit cards is that the company watches for any fraudulent purchases for you. Since identity theft has emerged this is a feature that you don’t want to live without. 

Not only will you have a plethora of choices in airlines, hotels and car rentals you can also save money.  Many of your favorite travel partners offer discounts when you use the Blue Sky credit card.  When you are issued your credit card from American Express they will give you all the details on the Blue Sky Travel Savings Program.  Looking for an immediate travel benefit?  J. W. Marriott and Renaissance Hotels have partnered with Blue Sky by American Express to give you a complimentary breakfast on weekend stays.  If that isn’t enough to entice you they have added one more incentive: $100 off your next stay!

All these options and benefits come with travel protection and excellent customer service.  You can have foreign currency or American Express travelers checks delivered to your home or office if you have five to seven business days before departure.  When renting a car this great credit card gives you additional loss and damage insurance for no extra charge, and if there is trouble in paradise the Global Assist Hotline is available 24/7.  There are more than 500,000 ATM’s that accept your Blue Sky credit card so if you need extra cash it will be close at hand.

The reputation that American Express enjoys enhances your credit card benefits even more, so when you are looking for the best credit cards choose Blue Sky.

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Everyone has different needs when it comes to credit cards.  Before you can apply for a credit card you need to understand what it is you are looking for in that card.  Credit card companies understand the different needs, which is why they tailor their products to suit you.  You may find one company has four or five cards to cater to various customers such as the American Express ZYNC card that offers four different options.  They offer a ZYNC green card, travel card, social pack, and connect pack.  It caters to different age groups and individuals. 

A person who enjoys events, concerts, and other forms of entertainment may find the social pack a better option with the ZYNC card.  However, there is the little matter of being able to qualify for the credit card of your choice.  We will discuss qualification requirements a little later once we have explored the brands of credit cards, types of cards you might encounter, and certain terms and conditions. 

There are four popular brands of credit cards: Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express, and Discover®.  Visa® and MasterCard® are the two most prominent brands.  They are accepted all over the world, with Visa® having the most customers.  The Visa® and MasterCard® brand can be found on bank cards and other company credit cards.  For example AAA, a motor club, offers a credit card with the MasterCard® symbol to their members.  Orchard Bank® also has a branded credit card. Though the bank is separate from MasterCard® Company they use the symbol for their cards.

The brand is only important when it comes to the use of the credit card.  Some companies do not accept American Express or Discover® due to the extra fees associated with accepting those cards in their store. 

Brand is a consideration you should make when you apply for a card, but it is most likely secondary to the type of card you apply for.  There are rewards cards such as travel, business, dining, shopping, student discounts, and cash back rewards.  If you can use your credit card wisely by paying off the balance each month a rewards card can be very effective for you.  The student rewards come with Student Credit Cards designed specifically for high school and college students.  The rewards are provided for text book, tuition, and other school related products one might need. 

These rewards are different from someone who has a business credit card.  A business credit card provides awards on office supplies, dining, and other business related shopping.  Travel rewards can be part of a business card or be on a personal travel rewards card.  The travel options offer discounts on hotels, rental cars, and points for free tickets. 

Other types of credit cards include balance transfer credit cards, prepaid credit cards, and bad credit credit cards.  Balance transfer credit cards offer an introductory deal on balance transfers, typically with a 0% APR for twelve months and a 3% transfer fee.  Prepaid credit cards and bad credit credit cards can work for a similar solution.  The one thing these cards have in common is bad credit as reflected on free credit reports.  If you have bad credit it is hard to get an unsecured credit card, but there are bad credit credit cards you are almost guaranteed to receive.  These cards will help you rebuild your credit scores.  Prepaid credit cards are secured credit cards because you place a certain amount of money in the account to use.  You cannot use the card unless it has money in the account.  It also helps you rebuild your credit. 

Examining the brands and types of cards leads us to certain terms and conditions you need to consider.  You need to examine the card for its APR, introductory deals, and the annual fee. Some of the credit cards offered have annual fees like American Express.

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Simmons First Visa Platinum credit card is a card for those who do not have bad credit.  It is a great card if you have good to excellent credit scores.  The annual percentage rate on purchases can be as low as 9.25% variable, which is lower than most of the popular branded cards on the market. 

The Visa Platinum credit card also has another attribute that makes it highly interesting.  Simmons First Visa Platinum is a rewards card for travel.  When you make purchases with your secured credit card you are earning rewards to help you travel to places you have been dreaming about. 

Travel rewards are offered for every dollar you spend.  How it works is that you get one reward point for each net dollar you spend on your Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards card.  Once you reach enough reward points you can turn them in for a US based airline.  There is no limit as to the airline you can travel on, as long as it is a US based company.  There are no blackout dates or seating restrictions, and you have a choice of ticket class. 

Cardholders like you will also find other travel rewards as part of the program.  You can book hotels, cruises, vacation packages, car rental, or even use the rewards at restaurants.  There is a one stop process for redemption of points with the account.

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Credit cards, mortgages, car loans, and other lines of credit affect your credit history and credit scores.  Every time you obtain a credit card your credit score is going to fluctuate.  If the account becomes delinquent you will show poorer credit scores than a person with accounts in good standing.  Since your credit scores are used to assess your risk to a company it is imperative to keep your scores as high as possible.  To help you understand your credit scores and why you need to access your free credit scores periodically, information has been provided below. 

Free credit scores and your FICO score are two different things.  Transunion, Equifax, and Experian all have a credit score that they create based on your free credit report.  The information in your free credit reports will be given ratings.  There are five categories used to devise the credit bureau credit scores.  These three scores are then used to create your FICO score.  The five categories the credit bureaus use are listed below.  The percentage of how each category affects you has also been listed. 

  • Length of Credit History: 15 percent
  • New Credit: 10 percent
  • Types of Credit Used: 10 percent
  • Debt: 30 percent
  • Payment History: 35 percent


From this list you can see that the length of your credit history, new credit, and types of credit are going to minimally affect your credit score.  They do matter to come up with the entire score, but the amount of debt and your payment history will matter a great deal more.  Debt is the amount of credit you have including revolving debts.  Credit cards fall under revolving debt, which is also unsecured debt.  The more unsecured debt you have the more risk companies see. 

Your payment history is more important than the amount of your debt.  In fact your payment history will determine if you are considered where you are on the range of bad to excellent credit.  A credit score is calculated between 300 and 850, with the worst credit being 300.  If you fall below 600 on your credit score you are considered a high risk.  750 and above is ideally where you want to be on the credit score range. 

Individuals with lower than 600 would have to apply for bad credit credit cards or prepaid cards, if they want a credit card. A person with a higher credit score will often get a better credit card and thus a better annual percentage rate.  From this information you can extrapolate a conclusion about free credit scores and your FICO score. 

The FICO score is created using the median of the three credit bureau free credit scores.  This score is then used to determine if you should be awarded any line of credit including the credit card you are applying for.  Furthermore, each line of credit you have will affect your free credit score.  For those with bad credit, having a bad credit credit card can help increase the credit scores if the reports are good.  This process is slow, but it is one way to repair credit if you need to.

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