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Back in March I spoke with David Rabkin, American Express Senior Vice President of consumer lending, about the biggest new credit card product launch from American Express we’ve seen in a long time.
What Amex had in store was:
Amex Everyday: It’s Not Even Called American Express. For Many Folks, It’s Better.
The Amex EveryDaySM Credit Card from American Express is a no fee, true Membership Rewards-earning card.
One of the interesting things is that Membership Rewards itself used to come with an annual fee to earn and redeem points, and then some cards started bundling the program — but it was a premium program for premium cards.
I get asked all the time by folks who decide premium products like the American Express Platinum or Premier Rewards Gold isn’t for them, they want to downgrade their card so they still have an American Express product and can keep their Membership Rewards card active, what should they do? But there’s only been one no fee card that can house your Membership Rewards points, and that was a business card (which didn’t allow points transfers out to miles, so you’d have to get another Amex card later in order to do that). As a result many people wind up transferring points out of their account to a mileage program just to not lose the points.
All of this points to American Express missing part of the market with their consumer cards. And I think they’ve filled that gap with Amex Everday.
- No annual fee
- Earns full membership rewards whose points transfer to airline and hotel programs
- 20 charges per billing cycle on the card earns a 20% bonus on points earned for the month
- The card also earns double points at supermarkets (up to $6000 spend per year)
- Signup bonus is 10,000 points after $1000 spend in 3 months
The Premium Version of the Card Can Earn 1.5 Points Per Dollar on All Spend — Or More
The Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express is a premium $95 fee version which offers more bonuses and up to 1.5x on ALL spend.
- Earns 3x at supermarkets, and 2x at gas stations. Supermarket bonus earn is capped at your first $6000 in spend each year.
- 30 swipes in a billing cycle will get you a 50% bonus on all of your points-earning for that month — and the bonus even applies to the supermarket and gas station bonus categories (so supermarkets are up to 4.5 points per dollar).
- 15,000 point signup bonus after $1000 spend in 3 months
I attended the launch party for the card in April and got a sense of what they’re after.
The cards aren’t “American Express” and they don’t use the logo of the Centurion (Roman Soldier) — too masculine.
They set out to design a card primarily marketed to women, multi-taskers, a card to use for all their purchases, large or small.
And they wound up designing the strongest travel rewards card in their arsenal, which seemed pretty ironic to me.
The cards are chip and signature. Both cards will offer additional cards on the account for free, and spending by secondary cardholders will count towards the 20 or 30 uses per month to earn that month’s bonus.
These aren’t all-purpose killers, they don’t waive foreign transaction fees which makes sense because their target market isn’t international travleers. They don’t have the biggest bonuses. And while they come with standard American Express protections, they aren’t premium benefits cards like Platinum.
What they are is the strongest cards for earning American Express Membership Rewards points for ongoing spend. 1.5x earning on all spend (for making 30 charges in month) on the premium version of the card is huge, and that’s before we even get to the category bonuses. Triple points with 30 swipes in a month at gas stations is really strong.
Unless the vast majority of your spending is already getting bonused, then Everyday Preferred gives you the best rate of return for your spend – and it earns one of the three most valuable currencies.
Meanwhile, for someone just getting started and looking for a no fee card (or a card to use to retain Amex points already earned), there’s no other no annual fee card that offers full transferable points.
My favorite Amex points transfer partners are:
- Air Canada’s Aeroplan: good online booking of Star Alliance awards; points transfer instantly; US – Western Europe is just 45,000 miles each way in business class, and about half of their airline partners can be booked without fuel surcharges.
- British Airways: Short-haul, non-stop flights are super cheap. I frequently redeem 4500 points each way from DC to New York, Chicago, etc.
- Singapore Airlines: Singapore’s award availability for their own members is really good, and the points are useful for US domestic flights including Hawaii.
I still have the Premier Rewards Gold card, and put $30,000 in airfare spend on it each year at 3x points-earning. That threshold gets me bonus points that I consider cover its annual fee. On the whole, though, Everyday Preferred is probably the better card and I’m thinking seriously about changing my strategy here.
The Amex EveryDaySM Credit Card from American Express
The Amex EveryDaySM Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.