American Express offers many cards in the “Blue” product line. There’s the Blue Business Plus, which is the best no-annual-fee business card that earns Membership Rewards points. There are also the Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred cards which are both solid cash-back cards.
Back in the beginning, there was only one AMEX Blue card and it was way ahead of its time.
Flashback to 1999 when AMEX was starting to offer credit cards instead of the charge cards the company was known for. They launched the Blue Card, which was targeted at people who bought things from the internet. At the time, Amazon.com had only launched 5 years before and was still focused on selling books and CDs.
Online shopping was in its infancy and people didn’t want to give their credit number to any website. The AMEX Blue card tried to alleviate those fears.
Yes, the AMEX Blue card had an EMV chip back in 1999. This was so unheard of in the US that AMEX had to produce the card in Europe, where the technology started. As a perk of membership, AMEX offered to send cardholders an EMV reader they could connect to their computer via serial connection to make secure online transactions.
Imagine, they sent you your own smart card reader in 1999. It’s a shame that it took another two decades for other banks to start offering cards that had EMV chips and then made a big deal about it.
While it was cool to have a clear card where you could see all of the circuitry needed to make the magic possible, back at the turn of the century, now it’s just annoying. Have you tried reading a silver embedded account number on a clear card with a blue insert? I have the same problem with the AMEX Everyday Preferred where the middle of the card is silver, not blue.
AMEX has done away with the clear card design for the Blue cards, opting for a solid blue card.
And this is the transition from the AMEX Blue card of the 2000s to the AMEX Blue cards of 2022. As the proverb says, “All good things must come to an end.” We shall miss your clear card and technological advances, but your time has come and gone. Let us all spend time remembering the important place the AMEX Blue card had in pulling the US credit card market from the era of carbon copy receipts to the modern age.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary