Full Review of Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card
Generous rewards rates if used regularly on everyday purchases
Savings on a large purchase or balance transfer
Redemption options include transfer to many airline and hotel loyalty programs
Charges an annual fee
Relatively meager bonus
Requires frequent use to maximize rewards
- Generous Rewards Rates for Regular Use on Everyday Purchases: This card's decent benefits get better by half if you use the card at least every day or so. After using the card 30 times per billing cycle, on any purchases, you receive a 50% bonus on all of its rewards. That means you'll earn 4.5 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year and up to 3 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations. If you spend a lot on gas and groceries (at places other than superstores and warehouse clubs, (where rewards are only earned at the base rate of 1 point per dollar), those points rewards will beat almost any you’d earn with most other cards.
- Savings on Purchases or a Balance Transfer: If you're carrying a large balance on another card, or plan a big purchase soon, this card has significant benefits during the first 12 months of card membership. You’ll get an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers if requested in the first 60 days of opening the account, with a (fairly standard) balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. These promotional rates could potentially save you hundreds of dollars in interest or help you avoid missed payments that will damage your credit score. Just be sure to have a plan to pay down most or all of the balance before the promotional period expires, to avoid paying a lot of interest on the remainder. After that first year, the variable APR on any balance is 12.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. While that’s a typical range of rates for a card, it will still deliver hefty interest charges on a significant balance.
- Redemption Options Include a Wide array of Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners: If you redeem your Membership Rewards points directly with Amex, or as gift cards with various card partners, you’ll receive between 0.5 cents and 1 cent per point. With a little work, you might be able to squeeze more value from your rewards by instead transferring points to one of Amex's airline or hotel loyalty program partners. The company offers a wider selection of transfer partners than some other card issuers. While many transfers are "at par," that is in a 1:1 ratio, you'll earn more than that with certain partners. That’s also true if you redeem points through occasional specials in which Amex sweetens the transfer rate for a limited time.
- Charges an Annual Fee: The card charges a $95 annual fee, and it isn't waived the first year, as a number of other cards with fees do. While the amount is only middling as card fees go, it may mean you won’t get enough value from the American Express EveryDay Preferred card to justify that annual tab.
- Relatively Meager Bonus: You'll receive 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months of card membership. Compared with other credit cards with a comparable annual fee and required spend, that's a modest bonus. For example, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card offers a $250 statement credit—a more lucrative and more direct bonus—when you spend the same $1,000 in the first three months. If you’re willing to charge more to a card in the early months of owning it, you’ll earn even more, as a rule. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
- Requires Frequent Use to Maximize Rewards: To qualify for the card's 50% rewards bonus, you'll need to consistently use it 30 times or more in each billing cycle, which is typically a month or so. That shouldn't be a problem for most people who use the card as their primary payment method. But if you’re a minimal spender, prefer not to use credit cards extensively, or use multiple cards to maximize your rewards by purchase type, that minimum use requirement might be a stretch.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
The Amex EveryDay Preferred credit card is best suited to people who prefer to use a single credit card for all their spending, and who make a purchase at least every day or so.
It's especially worth considering if you spend a lot on gas or at supermarkets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. households spent an average of $4,364 on groceries and $1,968 on gasoline, other fuel, and motor oil.
Provided you spend that money at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations (and the $1,968 on gas alone; other gas-station purchases do not earn the higher 2 point/$ gas rate), this card could earn you up to 25,542 points annually on those expenses alone—assuming you use it enough to receive the 50% bonus every month. That annual spending could be worth a few hundred dollars, and possibly more depending on how you use or transfer those points.
Finally, consider the card if you also want an introductory 0% APR promotion on new purchases and balance transfers from another card, and don’t need a promotion that runs for more than 12 months. If you’re unsure you’ll be able to pay off the balance by the end of that time, consider other credit cards that offer longer periods with 0% APR.
Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card Bonus
The card offers 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Those points are worth up to $150 if redeemed through Amex, and potentially more if they’re instead transferred to one of the card issuer's transfer partners.
While that may not be a great bonus relative to other credit cards with annual fees, it’s still a decent return on $1,000 worth of purchases.
Rewards Earning Details
You'll earn 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year, 2 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations and at AmexTravel.com, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. If you manage to use the card at least 30 times in a billing period, you'll earn 50% more points on all the purchases you made during that period.
Remember, though, that Amex's definition of supermarkets and gas stations is relatively narrow. Also, only gas purchases from gas stations are eligible for the higher rate; you can’t earn it by charging car repairs to the card, say, or purchases of motor oil or food items.
Rewards Redemption Details
You can redeem your points in many different ways, with varying redemption values. The options, with values per 10,000 points redeemed, include covering card charges ($60), paying with points at checkout ($50 to $70 in most cases), or buying gift cards from Amex ($50) or a host of airlines, restaurant chains, or retailers (from $70 to $100, depending on the company.)
When it comes to using your hard-earned points, consider skipping these generally pricey redemption options offered by Amex in favor of transferring your points to partners. If you do so, you may be able to get more for your points.
You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to a host of airline plans and several hotel loyalty programs. Making the most of partner programs means not only joining them, naturally, but familiarizing yourself with their conditions and staying abreast of any changes, including time-limited specials or bonus opportunities. Airline and hotel programs typically have dynamic pricing structures, which allow you to maximize the value of your points based on how you redeem them.
The most generous of Amex's partners offer 1.6 to 2.0 points per Amex point redeemed, while most trade "at par"—that is, an airline or hotel point for every Amex one. Here’s a list of Amex's partners and the transfer ratios:
- Aer Lingus AerClub: 1:1
- AeroMexico Club Premier: 1:1.6
- Air Canada Aeroplan: 1:1
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 1:1
- Alitalia MilleMiglia: 1:1
- ANA Mileage Club: 1:1
- Avianca LifeMiles: 1:1
- British Airways Executive Club: 1:1
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 1:1
- Choice Privileges: 1:1
- Delta SkyMiles: 1:1
- EL AL Israel Matmid Club: 1:0.02
- Emirates Skywards: 1:1
- Etihad Guest: 1:1
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles: 1:1
- Hilton Honors: 1:2
- Iberia Plus: 1:1
- JetBlue TrueBlue: 1:0.8
- Marriott Bonvoy: 1:1
- Qantas Frequent Flyer: 1:1
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 1:1
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 1:1
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Keep track of your purchases each month to make sure you reach the 30-transaction minimum required to earn the 50% bonus. And note that there’s no minimum purchase amount, nor must qualifying purchase be in the most rewarding categories. So if you're short of transactions at the end of the month, any purchase for which Amex is accepted will help you meet your goal.
Concentrate your food shopping at supermarkets over alternative food retailers such as warehouse clubs, where purchases may not qualify for the more generous rewards. Try, too, to buy non-food items you need at the supermarket, since all purchases made at markets qualify for the 4-points-per-dollar rewards.
If you have a flight or hotel stay coming up, check for itineraries with Amex’s partners and compare what it would cost you in points or miles to the cash price. Make a rough calculation of the comparative benefits. If you can get more than a cent per point or mile out of the redemption, it’s more than you’d get from the point rewards you’d earn by booking directly through Amex.
- Travel accident insurance
- Rental car insurance
- Roadside assistance
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Extended warranty protection
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership
In the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Customer Satisfaction study, American Express ranked second among all credit card issuers, achieving among the best ratings across all categories. The card issuer provides cardholders with free access to their FICO credit score, which can help you keep track of your progress as you work to build or maintain a good credit history.
If you have questions, you’ll be able to reach the customer service team by phone 24/7. Alternatively, you can use the live chat option when you’re logged in to your online account.
Keep in mind that merchant acceptance for American Express cards isn't as strong as for Visa and Mastercard cards. That fact means you may need a backup card, especially if you’re traveling abroad.
In general, Amex offers security features that are considered standard for the credit card industry. One standout feature is the ability to freeze and unfreeze your card through the Amex mobile app if it's lost or stolen.
- Ongoing Annual Fee: $95
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
- Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
- Ongoing Balance Transfer APR: 0% APR for 12 months, then 14.99% to 24.99% variable
- Authorized User Fee: None
- Returned Payment Fee: Up to $39
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $39
- Penalty APR: 29.99% variable
- Cash Advance APR: 27.24% variable
- Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
- Minimum Finance Charge (Minimum Interest Charge): N/A
- Overlimit Fee: None
- Credit Limit Increase Fee: None
- Inactive Account Fee: None
- Account Maintenance Fee: None
Overall, the card's fees and APRs are in line with industry standards.
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card is a solid choice for people who spend a lot on gas and groceries, and are comfortable with charging most or all purchases to this card to qualify for its bonus rewards rates. To get the most of the card's rewards program requires some effort, though, in order to monitor and take full advantage of the value Amex’s transfer partners can provide.
If you seek a simpler way to being rewarded, a generous cash back card might be a better choice. This card is also a mixed blessing as a travel card. In its favor is an alluring 2-points-per-dollar reward on travel purchases. But those transactions must be made through Amex, where other cards allow you to earn generous rewards by buying directly through airlines or with third-party travel sites. And the card's 2.7% fee on foreign transactions means you’d likely want to bring along a card that has no such charge on trips outside the U.S.