This post was accurate at the time of posting. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.
American Express is going public with two new cards today, both of which are very cool in their own way. You can’t apply for either one yet, but they’re going to fill some real gaps.
The two cards are Amex Everyday and Amex Everyday Preferred.
The first is a no annual fee, real Membership Rewards-earning card and the premium version can earn 1.5 points per dollar on all spend and up to 4.5 points per dollar at supermarkets.
I spoke with David Rabkin, American Express Senior Vice President of consumer lending, about the cards earlier in the week.
The first is a no fee, true Membership Rewards-earning card Amex Everyday.
The card has no annual fee and earns full Membership Rewards. One of the interesting things is that Membership Rewards itself used to come iwht 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. Here’s what David shared:
- It’s a no fee credit card
- Earns full membership rewards whose points transfer to airline and hotel programs
- Instead of primarily offering category bonuses, it “rewards not where you spend, how often you spend” in David’s words. If you make 20 charges per billing cycle on the card you’ll get a 20% bonus on points earned for the month
- There is a category bonus though — 2x points at supermarkets (capped at $6000 of spend per year)
- Signup bonus is 10,000 points after $1000 spend in 3 months
David explained to me that the card is focused on the “multi-tasker segment,” people who “tend to spend at 5 or so places, within a 20 minute radius of their house.” They use a credit card or debit card twice or more daily, so consolidating spend on a single card will let them reach 20 charges every month.
The American Express mobile app and website will have a counter to show progress on hitting those 20 charges In a month.
The pitch is, “When you spend with your debit card all you get is a receipt, when you spend with Amex Everyday it comes with protections.” Even though it’s a no annual fee card, it comes with standard American Express protections and security.
The second card is a premium $95 fee version, Amex Everyday Preferred, which offers more bonuses and up to 1.5x on ALL spend.
- This card has a 15,000 point signup bonus after $1000 spend in 3 months
- It 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).
Both cards offer 0% APR for first 15 months including on balance transfers. And they’re going to be EMV 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.
The card goes public tonight, they’ve got 3 ad spots starring Tina Fey during the Academy Awards. But the card isn’t going to be available for a month. Initially American Express told me that the first application date would be March 24, but I’m hearing now that is getting pushed back to April 2.
The URL for the card is going to be americanexpress.com/everyday and it should be live by the time most people are reading this (6am Eastern on Sunday).
I don’t really follow the logic in a huge expensive ad buy, where viewers can’t take action (other than going to the website and inputting an email address to be notified when the application goes live). To them, it’s “building buzz for the card.” Either way, it’s a big launch and a big card addition. And they clearly have spent a long time thinking through the card’s positioning, right down to the name. It’s the first card I can think of where the card name is actually ‘Amex’ rather than ‘American Express’ and it’s pitched to encourage use ‘every day’ even on small charges, whereas traditionally their card market has been bigger spenders and bigger charges.
Ultimately they’re strong earners at their price points, since Membership Rewards are one of my three favorite currencies (along with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints) and transfer to a variety of airline frequent flyer programs like Delta Skymiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, British Airways Executive Club, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, and Alitalia Millemiglia.
Will either of these cards find a home in your wallet?
These cards do not provide any referral credit to me as of the time of this writing.
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