The Single Best No Annual Fee Credit Card

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Last year American Express launched the strongest no-fee points-earning card, the only no fee card offering full one-to-one transfers to a variety of mileage programs, which makes it the best no fee rewards card: Amex EveryDay® Credit Card.

It’s a full Membership Rewards-earning card, with spend bonuses.

Amex EveryDay: It’s Not Even Called American Express. For Many Folks, It’s Better. The Best No Fee Rewards Card

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card 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 points active, what should they do?

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 wound up transferring points out of their account to a mileage program just to not lose the points.

Now there’s a card that has:

  • 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 US supermarkets (up to $6000 spend per year)
  • Signup bonus is 10,000 points after $1000 spend in 3 months

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.

    Amex Everday

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 travelers. They don’t have the biggest signup 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.

The most valuable points are transferrable points which you can move to a variety of airlines and hotel programs. And there’s actually a no annual fee card that lets you do that one-to-one.

I think most US members get comfortable with transfer partners like Delta, but my two favorite places to move the points are:

  1. Aeroplan: instant transfers, redeem Star Alliance awards, many partner awards can be booked without fuel surcharges
  2. Singapore Airlines: much better award availability for Singapore Airlines flights when you’re using Singapore’s own miles, and it’s one of the world’s best inflight products.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

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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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. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. can you clarify- are these two cards the same product or not? I was rejected for Everyday Preferred as they are the same ” family” if this is true, aren’t Amex cards are under the same roof?

  2. I would seriously argue that Chase Freedom is the best no annual fee credit card for main use. Of course this depends on each person but I value Chase UR more than Amex membership points as well.

  3. can you apply both cards and get sign up bonus? Amex rejected my application for Amex Preferred as they consider these two cards an within the same family so can only choose one.

  4. Discover IT beats it going away. Not even close.

    But you probably don’t have a referral link to that one.

  5. @mrredskin

    Not if you want to transfer points, which is what I imagine most readers here want to do. Discover IT is not going to unlock any outsized value

  6. @James K.

    Discover Deals and 2x rewards (10x at amazon right now) make it a no-brainer.

    Title is “Single Best No Annual Fee Credit Card”.

  7. You can have both Everyday Preferred and no AF Everyday. I have EDP and just received my new ED in the mail today.

    There is a 25k offer after 2k spend available via Chrome Incognito for the Everyday card. Also a 30k 2k spend EDP offer available–$95 fee NOT waived first year.

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