Review: Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

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The Amex EveryDay Preferred card is one of the better American Express Membership Rewards points earning cards in the American Express arsenal.

At least from an every day earning perspective.

If you’re not familiar, Membership Rewards is American Express’ transferable points program, similar to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, Citibank’s ThankYou Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest’s program.

Points earned from the Amex EveryDay Preferred sign-up bonus and ongoing spend can be transferred to various travel partners – the specifics of which I’ll get into later – or used to book travel via the American Express travel site.

The card’s points multiplier when it’s used a specific number of times in a month is what puts it above many of American Express’ other Membership Rewards earning cards.

Here’s a more in-depth overview of the Amex EveryDay Preferred card and its benefits.

AMEX EVERYDAY PREFERRED SIGN-UP BONUS

The Amex EveryDay Preferred is currently offering 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from card approval.

The highest sign-up offer for the card was 30,000 Membership Rewards points with a $2,000 minimum spend last year, and a 20,000 Membership Rewards offer with $1,000 spend can be found if you Google and look hard enough.

When compared to other transferable points earning cards’ sign-up bonuses, 15,000 is somewhat paltry. 20,000 is okay, and 30,000 begins to get my attention.

But, even the 30,000 points is not on par with the 40,000 point sign-up bonus you see with ThankYou Rewards earning cards, and especially not close to the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

I would do my best to find sign-up links for 20,000 or 30,000 Membership Rewards points before I’d pull the application trigger on the Amex EveryDay Preferred card.

ANNUAL FEE

The Amex EveryDay Preferred card has an annual fee of $95.

ONGOING BENEFITS

The Amex EveryDay Preferred card earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases. Which means, if you spend more than $6,000 per year at supermarkets, any grocery store spend over $6,000 will earn 1 point per dollar.

The card also earns 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations.

All other purchases on the Amex EveryDay Preferred card earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent.

But, here’s the big draw to this credit card, when the card is used 30 or more times in a billing period, it will earn 50% more points on all purchases.

So, swipe the Amex EveryDay Preferred card 30+ times each month and you’ll earn:

  • 4.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at supermarkets
  • 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at gas stations
  • 1.5 Membership Rewards points on all other purchases

There are few rewards cards that offer bonuses for grocery store spend, so the Amex EveryDay Preferred stands out in that regard.

And, at the 50% increased points earning levels, the card becomes much more attractive for every day spending in a variety of categories.

Aside from the bonused earnings, unfortunately, the Amex EveryDay Preferred card lacks many of the standout benefits you’ll find on other transferable points earning cards.

It does offer 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

You’ll also earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on travel purchased through amextravel.com. Which may, or may not, offer better deals than can be found elsewhere.

It also offers primary car rental insurance – as do all American Express cards – for $24.95 per rental.

You also get American Express’ purchase benefits: extended warranties, return protection, theft and accidental damage protection as well as a complimentary ShopRunner membership.

THE BEST FEATURE

The best aspect of the Amex EveryDay Preferred card is its ability to earn transferable Membership Rewards points – at a multiple points per dollar rate – in categories that many average American families use frequently.

Weekly grocery store trips and filling up multiple cars’ gas tanks make up a large part of many families’ every day spending.

And the ability to earn up to 4.5 points per dollar at grocery stores and 3 points per dollar at gas stations is very appealing.

But what could you get with those Membership Rewards points?

Let’s take a look.

MEMBERSHIP REWARDS POINTS

As I said earlier, Membership Rewards points can be transferred to travel partners to be used for award flights and/or hotel stays.

Airline travel partners include (and their transfer rates):

AeroMexico  (1,000 MR to 1,600)

Air Canada  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Air France/KLM  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Alitalia  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

All Nippon Airways  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Asia Miles  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

British Airways  (250 MR to 200)

Delta SkyMiles  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

El Al  (1,000 MR to 20)

Emirates  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Etihad Guest  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Hawaiian Airlines  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Iberia  (250 MR to 200)

JetBlue  (250 MR to 200)

Singapore Airlines  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Virgin America (200 MR to 100)

Virgin Atlantic  (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Transfers of Membership Rewards points to U.S. airline frequent flyer accounts incur an excise tax offset fee of $0.0006 per point with a maximum fee of $99.

For example, if you transferred 50,000 Membership Rewards points to your Delta SkyMiles account, your linked credit card would be charged $30. The same would be true for transfers to Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue and Virgin America (until its merger with Alaska Airlines is complete).

And hotel travel partners (and their transfer rates):

Choice   (1,000 MR to 1,000)

Hilton   (1,000 MR to 1,500)

Starwood   (1,000 MR to 333)

Those familiar with the Starwood-Marriott merger know that points can now be combined between those two programs. Which means, indirectly, you can build Marriott points, as well, with a transfer of Membership Rewards points.

The Membership Rewards program offers plenty of transfer partners from which to choose. Most offer favorable transfer rates to get you that much closer to an award flight or hotel stay.  And, occasionally, transfer bonuses will be offered – such as the current Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus where 1,000 Membership Rewards points get you 1,300 Virgin Atlantic miles rather than the typical 1,000.

But, in reality, the low sign-up bonus on the Amex EveryDay Preferred card – even at 30,000 points – makes redeeming for a worthwhile award difficult.

Even if you take the 30,000 point sign-up bonus and combine it with a year’s worth of credit card spend (total spend of $12,000 – $6,000 groceries, $3,000 gasoline and $3,000 misc. at the 50% bonus point level) you’d have approximately 70,500 Membership Rewards points.

That probably would get one domestic U.S. economy class roundtrip award ticket on Delta with some miles left over.

Or two award nights at a mid-tier Hilton hotel.

And if you’re a more advanced Miles and Points hobbyist, you may be able to get a one-way business class award ticket to Europe or Asia.

But, if you added a few other Membership Rewards earning credit card sign-up bonuses to that amount, now you’ve got a more lucrative Membership Rewards account balance.

Tip: As long as one Membership Rewards earning credit card remains open, any Membership Rewards points earned – from any MR earning credit card – will be available for use.

Which means, the Amex EveryDay Preferred card is a great option to add to your Membership Rewards points earning card collection, but is not a good choice if it’s going to be your only card.

Its sign-up bonus is just too small.

AMERICAN EXPRESS APPLICATION RULES

American Express has instituted a once-in-a-lifetime rule for getting credit card sign-up bonuses.

If you’ve received a sign-up bonus for the Amex EveryDay Preferred card in the past, you will not receive the bonus again.

So, as with any American Express card, you want to make your application count and only apply for the highest sign-up bonus possible.

As mentioned earlier, for the Amex EveryDay Preferred card that would be 30,000 Membership Rewards points.

You may be able to find 30,000 point sign-up bonus links by Googling. If you do, be sure to screenshot the offer in case American Express says the current bonus is only 15,000 points.

If you can’t find an active 30,000 point link, and you don’t want to wait for Amex to possibly increase the publicly offered sign-up bonus, 20,000 points would be acceptable and can be found via a quick Google search.

WRAP UP

The Amex EveryDay Preferred card is one of a very few credit cards to offer sizable category bonuses on grocery spend.

Couple that with its category bonus on gas station spend, and it can be a good every day spend card for many.

However, if travel rewards are your goal, I would definitely use it in combination with other Membership Rewards earning cards (on which you received much larger sign-up bonuses) to maximize the number of Membership Rewards points you accumulate.

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