Two Huge New American Express Cards Going Public Sunday Night

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.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] View from the Wing details new Amex cards: Amex Everyday and Amex Everyday Preferred.  It sounds like both of these cards are great (but not mind-blowing) additions to the Amex lineup, especially for those who prefer Membership Rewards points to cash.  I’ll detail my thoughts about these cards in a future post, but for now I’ll leave you with my two misgivings: […]

Comments

  1. Right, Samuel is correct, the reason to do the business card though is because it won’t conflict with getting bonuses for other cards later and it does itself come with a bonus

  2. Gary, unless you’re already sitting on a big pile of Krisflyer miles that needs topping up, or are planning to do large-scale MS, I don’t see how either card gets you into a Singapore Suite.

    Absent MS, the best play here seems like a transfer to BA & use of Avios for short-haul domestic trips. (One special benefit of the AA-US merger for us DC-area dwellers will be cheap travel on the US east coast routes using Avios.) That’s a pretty localized benefit, though.

  3. So the base earning is actually 1x (the same as the no fee card) unless you have 30+ ROC’s? (Record Of Charge)

    It that’s the case, then this card is not very valuable anywhere other than the grocery store (where you may ask to ring up a lot of items separately).

    “The max earning on the premium card for grocery spend is 4.5x, not higher. You earn 3x on grocery spend, and then if you make 30 swipes in the month you earn 50% on all earning so 3 x 1.5 = 4.5. This is capped at $6k/yr. I do not believe gas station earning is capped.”

  4. Right, base earning is 1 point but it’s 1.5x on all spend if you make 30 transactions in a month, and the 50% applies even to the bonus categories.

    If you make the premium version your everyday card it earns 1.5x on all spend which I do think is valuable for folks who aren’t running through credit cards.

  5. The primary appeal for your readers is for those wanting a grocery card which preserves Membership Rewards earned from other AMEX product generous signup offers and spending. But the per swipe feature won’t last as long as you think. I remember under the old CHASE Freedom terms many cardholders (who were also checking customers) deliberately accumulated penny charges because they earned the 10c per transaction bonus. CHASE eliminated that feature (going to a less generous annual bonus). AMEX will eventually do the same unless they modify the “20/30 swipe rule” to incorporate a minimum $$ charge per swipe. It is comparable to the airlines rewarding revenue now, not miles flown. And these cards, once well past the promo period, will be structured the same. As small as that bonus is AMEX will not want to give any of it long-term to those who don’t earn it.

  6. To a certain degree this even makes the value of a standard amex plat even lesser. That card earns 1 point per $1. The plat is greared toward high spending and high income pepople who can afford a $450 annual fee. Now they take the Plat card and reduce some of the major benefits, and here is a card for 95 a eyar that potentially earns 1.5 per 1$. Clearly many people will use the card frequently but not reach the 20-30 swipes, they will for get etc. Very interesting nonetheless.

  7. Any conflict owning this card and the Plat card simultaneously?

    I could hold them both until my Plat card comes up for renewal…

    The 20/30 swipes per month incentive is brilliant! They are outdoing Discover in trying to get you to use the AMEX card for every transaction…

  8. @Isaac -while you can game # of charges, each charge is not itself profitable the way that penny charges were, which some folks did in huge volume and even scripted, earning like 12 points per penny or effectively 1200 points per dollar. That was unsustainable and not at all surprising that Chase ended the benefit and cancelled some events.

  9. skimmed through comments but did not see answer. Is it only swipes or do online purchases count towards 30?

  10. Would have a place for me if Amex would relax their 4 credit card per person practice. Every verified reported I have seen, my experience included, for the past year plus is that Amex refuses to open more than 4 credit cards, personal or business, per person (charge cards excluded from the cap), regardless of shifting credit. My 4 slots are taken up so I face the same issue with the Simply Cash Business Card, I would like to have it but not enough to free up a slot.

  11. Will probably go for one of these eventually, undecided on which one based on my current spending habits.

    Won’t this also siphon a lot of people away from the AMEX Green Card? Or do you think it will remain popular just because it’s a charge card rather than a credit card?

  12. 30 bonus spend swipes per months is not problem for me.

    I usually buy groceries at least once every 3 days, and when I do it’s at my local supermarket and the TJs in the same strip mall. So that’s 20 swipes per month right there without having to game the card with multiple ring ups per visit.

    Even though I probably only get 4 tanks of gas a month, I like to stay over half full, just in case of an emergency like a power outage. So that’s 8 more swipes.

    One extra double grocery visit, {I drive by daily anyway, so not an extra trip}, and I’m golden. With all of it counting as bonus spend. Best of all, now I can cancel my PRG to avoid the high AF, and not have to transfer my MR points before I’m need to use them.

    I think the reason for the advance notice is AMEX knows we all plan our AORs well in advance, and they want this card to get scheduled for our next one. 😉

  13. @Gary,
    Are you working for the marketing department? “Cool card” maybe resonates with your teenaged audience. Sure, they are better than a hole in the head. Biggest problem, you can’t have more than 4 AMEX cards!

  14. I don’t know if people are confusing the max number of CREDIT cards AMEX will give you with the max number of Credit and Charge cards AMEX will give you.

    It’s only the Credit cards that are capped at 4. I’m trying to figure out the 4 Credit Cards no one wants to give up. HHonors or Surpass, and SPG, of course.

    Maybe one of the various Blue types, perhaps, but are they better than the Everyday cards? Even if they are, that’s only 3.

    Leaving Delta, Costco, and JetBlue. I can’t imagine wanting any of those 3 over one of these two new ones. Am I missing something?

  15. @ABC – No, not working for them and I don’t get anything from them for this, I really do think this is a good value proposition … both filling a niche at the new fee, transferable points end of things (this is the best card in that space, and a gap Amex had) and at the strong earning for ongoing spend side of things (1.5x on a better currency IMHO than United miles makes this better than United Club card which is a good product for heavy spend folks).

    Now, I personally would prefer probably the SPG Amex because of its transfer partners, I like transfers to JL and AA better myself but SQ is certainly useful as a Membership Rewards partner.

    These are two strong cards that didn’t exist before. They’re not great for the bonus, and no great for the benefits, but they’re great for ongoing spend.

    You can have 4 Amex credit cards, Amex Plat/PRG/Business Gold Rewards don’t take up slots there. Surely this is in the top 4, behind SPG (and I’d take this over Hilton Surpass and Delta myself though some people will have specific reasons for keeping those).

  16. Where do you see info on the Everyday Preferred card? Website link just shows me the info on the Everday no annual fee card.

  17. Gary, I appreciate the news. I have temporarily parked my Gold card bonus using an Amex Blue, and my fiancee’s gold card renewal was coming up. We have separate MR accounts. Do you know of any way that we can get only one of these cards in both of our names and compbine points, or are MR points always limited to the person who earned them.
    If we can’t combine accounts, we will get the new cards with each other as additional cardholders, so that when we transfer the points we will be able to transfer them all to a single account. This will work, correct?
    Thanks for all your great writing.

  18. @Rob, as I think i indicated in my post, the info did not come from the website. I interviewed an Amex Senior VP who got me the details and then verified them by email.

  19. The issue that I see is this idea about supermarket spending. I have a local Vons (Safeway), but I’ve shifted most of my “supermarket” spending to a nearby Wal-Mart Neighborhood market. Wal-Mart prices are so much lower, plus I can do other shopping (drug items, sundries) when I’m there. And I can recharge my BlueBird on the same trip. The Wal-Mart market is a win-win for me. I also sometimes shop for food at Target. So will AmEx be able to identify my food spending at the Wal-Mart neighborhood market or Target as supermarket spending? I doubt it, and this would be the Achilles heel of this card for me. The Membership Rewards points aren’t enough to make me want to spend more money for groceries at Vons.

  20. Gary, other than the greater selection of airline transfer partners with SPG AmEx or, obviously stays at SPG hotels, do you see any reason the new preferred Amex isn’t better for spend? If one hits the 30 swipes, it’s 1.5 pts/$ vs. 1/$ for SPG(plus the 25% bonus if transferring 20K), not to mention the supermarket and gasoline category bonuses for the new preferred Amex.

  21. Gary,

    How do you figure AmEx MR points are better than UA miles? Not sure I’d agree with you on that one. Are you dinging them hard because of the partner F deval?

    That said, 4.5 MR points / $ at grocery stores *is* huge, and it’s the largest hole in my ongoing spend right now.

    For me, the PRG card is pretty weak with 2x groceries for $175/year. Not worth it. Since groceries is my biggest category every month, I’ve been looking for a place to park them, and this is it.

  22. @ScottB

    I guess it depends on what you actually do with your points. IMHO, AmEx MR has a fairly limited number of useful transfer partners, SPG has a bunch more.

  23. I don’t have enough spend to support more than 2 cards. I’ve had SPG Amex for a decade and LOVE it…I use that card relentlessly. (But yes, I pay them $65/yr for the privilege.) I recently got the Southwest Airlines Visa and have been using them occasionally. It’s handy for places that don’t take Amex. However, it seems to me that life is better when you can just put all purchases on ONE card and forget all the gaming/strategies. The new non-fee Amex card sounds great, but the old SPG Amex with the 25% bonus (20,000 pts = 25,000 miles) is convenient and reliable and proven. I wish I didn’t have to pay $65/yr, but on the other hand, I can keep my SPG Amex and not make any effort at all. I’m not sure the new Amex can offer me anything more than I already have. EASY is nice.

  24. @ScottB – if yo udon’t prefer SPG’s airline transfer partners, then the premium amex everyday card will earn more points.

  25. @Dan I value the ability to redeem for oneworld, Star, and Skyteam travel as well as some non-alliance travel over United’s offering of Star only and the devaluation which didn’t only touch first class though of course that was where the devaluation was toughest

  26. Hi Gary,

    I have a number of cards, the only Amex is the SPG card. I’ve stopped traveling for work so hotel/mileage earnings are close to none. I’d like to maintain an Amex branded card for use at for example Costco. It’s difficult to justify the annual fee for the SPG card.

    Is this a fair assessment: if I’m going to put over $20K on the card annually get the preferred less than that get the annual fee free? Trying to maximize returns 🙂

    Thank you for your thoughts.

  27. @Robert Hanson – the 4 credit card limit includes business credit cards, so there are plenty of people with both versions of SPG or both versions of Delta. In my case I have Hilton, SPG that I alternate personal and business every 12 months, and Delta Platinum both personal and business that I max out the annual MQM boosts and companion certificates.

  28. So I can get unlimited 4.5 MR/$ at gas stations? And if I value my MR at 1.5 cents/point, it’s like getting ~7% cash back?! Or am I missing something? (I get VR at a local gas station chain, so this would be a gold mine if accurate).

  29. @Sherman I haven’t seen any references to that benefit.

    @Kevin the value of these cards is that the points are transferrable to airline miles as full Membership Rewards cards.

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