AmEx Everyday and AmEx Everyday Preferred Benefits

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Overnight American Express announced two exciting new credit card products, both of which will launch on April 2, 2014. What’s awesome about these cards is that they’ll accrue Membership Rewards points, which I consider to be an extremely valuable points currency.

American-Express-Preferred

The basic details of the cards are as follows:

American Express Everyday Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Sign-up bonus: 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within 90 days
  • Earnings rates: 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, for up to $6,000 per year of spend; 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Spending bonus: If you use the card to make 20 or more purchases during a billing cycle you earn 20% extra points on all those purchases

American Express Everyday Preferred Credit Card

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Sign-up bonus: 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within 90 days
  • Earnings rates: 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, for up to $6,000 per year of spend; 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. standalone gas stations; 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Spending bonus: If you use the card to make 30 or more purchases during a billing cycle you earn 50% extra points on all those purchases

As a point of comparison, the two other major cards earning Membership Rewards points come with the following benefits:

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Sign-up bonus: 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within 90 days
  • Earnings rates: 3x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased with airlines; 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Spending bonus: 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for spending $30,000 on the card within one year

The Platinum Card from American Express

  • Annual fee: $450
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months (there’s also the Mercedes Benz Platinum Card from American Express version of the card with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus)
  • Earnings rates: 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything
  • Other benefits: a $200 annual airline fee credit, lounge access with Delta and Priority Pass, Global Entry fee waiver, access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, etc.

My thoughts on the new Everyday and Everyday Preferred Cards

I’m thrilled to see a new card that accrues Membership Rewards points. While I like the Premier Rewards Gold Card and Platinum Card, I feel like American Express was missing out on a big part of the market. The Premier Rewards Gold Card is extremely rewarding though has a high annual fee, especially for a card with foreign transaction fees. Meanwhile the Platinum Card comes with great benefits, but there’s no reason to actually put any spend on the card, given that you just earn a straight point per dollar for all spend.

It’s great to have a no annual fee card that that accrues Membership Rewards points, and it’s awesome that there’s even a category bonus beyond that. You earn double points for supermarket purchases, and if you make 20 purchases in a billing cycle you’re really earning 1.2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, and 2.4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at supermarkets.

The Everyday Preferred Card also has the potential to be extremely valuable. You’re earning three points per dollar at supermarkets and two points per dollar at gas stations, plus you get a 50% bonus when you make 30 purchases in a billing cycle. That means you’re earning 4.5 points per dollar spent at supermarkets, 3.0 points per dollar spent at gas stations, and 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else. That’s a pretty good return for a card with a $95 annual fee.

The Everyday Preferred Card is clearly intended to compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers double points on dining and travel and no foreign transaction fees. The annual fees on both cards are the same, at $95.

Oddly enough the Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Everyday Preferred Cards are actually great complements. Between the two cards you can earn bonus points on dining, travel, gas stations, and grocery stores, plus have waived foreign transaction fees (through the Chase Sapphire Preferred). So it’s funny that American Express has created a competing product that’s actually kind of a complement to another one of my favorite cards out there which I don’t think is a bad thing necessarily, since it will shift some of my spend back to American Express.

What do you think of the new American Express Everyday and American Express Everyday Preferred Cards? Which one interests you more?

Editorial Note: Neither this post, nor the comments, are provided nor commissioned by the Issuing bank, or any other advertiser. The comments below have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not the bank or advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. AdamH says

    My only hope from this is that it forces CSP to either get a little more creative than First Fridays (which the blogs have given way too much credit for a very marginal increase in points), or to simply add a 3x tier for something a la AMEX Gold and, now, AMEX Everyday Pref.

  2. beltway says

    Typo: “The annual fees on both cards are the same, at $85.” Should say $95.

    In any event, meh. Amex MR seems like a much less valuable pseudo-currency than Chase UR, given the respective mix of transfer partners.

  3. Paul says

    Your bullet says Preferred is 1x everywhere. As you write later, it’s 1.5x.

    MRs are better than URs for airline with UA devaluation (particularly premium international) but trail URs as no good hotel partners at attractive transfer rates. Too bad they can’t make SPG a transfer partner (at less than 1:1) – the ability to combine SPG/MR would be a huge positive development.

  4. says

    @ Paul — Under “spend bonus” I clarified that you only get the 1.5 points if you make 30 purchases per cycle. Otherwise it’s just 1.0 points per dollar.

  5. Karl Mitchell says

    > So it’s funny that American Express has created a competing product that’s actually kind of a complement to another one of my favorite cards out there (which I don’t think is a bad thing necessarily, since it will shift some of my spend back to American Express.

    I suspect that American Express are going to modify the Premier Rewards Gold card to make it a more direct competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. With the exception of airfares, it’s just too similar to the new Everyday Preferred card. At the very least, I anticipate them dropping foreign transaction fees, but I could also see the bonus categories shifting a little.

  6. Ari says

    @lucky

    as a student, how hard do you think it will be to be approved? what is the critera?

  7. says

    @ Karl Mitchell — I’m curious of that as well. It’s interesting that the category bonuses are somewhat different in terms of airfare and the spend threshold. However, the cards do seem really similar, so I’m curious what they’ll do to differentiate them. Only time will tell.

  8. Chris C. says

    @Ari:

    While I cannot speak directly to their credit cards, their charge card side at least is pretty lenient in terms of approvals. I’m a student as well, who was actually turned down for CSP due to a higher rent-to-income ratio than Chase would accept, but Amex didn’t even ask for rent or other obligations for the Platinum card application, they approved me anyway.

  9. Sarah says

    Ben- can you clarify for people who are new to the cc bonus game what you generally use the American Express points for? I recently signed up for the spg American Express but the points automatically transfer to my spg account? That’s a different program than this membership rewards?

    Thanks!

    Sarah

  10. says

    @ Sarah — Exactly, Starwood and Membership Rewards are two different programs. With Starwood the points go into your Starwood account and then you can redeem them for hotels or transfer them to airline partners.

    Membership Rewards has totally different airline transfer partners. Here’s an introduction post on their partners and best uses by region:
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2012/10/24/best-uses-of-american-express-membership-rewards-points-by-region-introduction/

  11. Truthiness says

    Does anyone know how AMEX treats freshdirect purchases? Are those grocery (and thus get the bonus) or are they just regular retail/internet purchases? Thanks in advance.

  12. IKC says

    Lucky, do you know if 3x at US supermarkets is TRULY for supermarket only spend (i.e., Stop & Shop, Shoprite, etc), or would other purchases classified as “Merchandise & Supplies- Groceries” by Amex (per my Delta Platinum card) count? That would make or break my decision on getting this card. Thanks!

  13. Riposte says

    I see using this to do$6k spend on gift cards at the local Safeway at 4.5x =27k MR pts

  14. JustSaying says

    Definitely a great addition to the grocery space………now if we can get some transfer bonuses?

  15. says

    Trying to figure out my return from Asia coming up, currently have CX business HKG-LAX or JAL new First NRT-LAX booked. Coming from BKK, so BKK-NRT would be JAL business. Which would you choose? And what if CX F opens up to LAX/SFO last minute?

    Never flown either as I haven’t been big on oneworld til recently.

  16. says

    @ Amol — You haven’t done Cathay Pacific first class either? If so, I would probably do Cathay Pacific first class. Otherwise I would do Japan Airlines new first class.

    Good luck!

  17. Robert Hanson says

    @Riposte What sort of gift cards are you finding at Safeway? I’ve checked a couple of my local grocery stores, and so far all I’m finding is Applebees, Red Lobster, and McDonalds. I don’t eat out that much. ;)

  18. Paul says

    I’m seriously considering the no-fee every day card. I don’t have any AMEX with MR earning mostly because I thought the fees to high. I currently use my Chase Freedom for every day spend (1.1 and 5.5 UR). So I have to see if 1.1 UR is less than or equal to some blend of 2.4 and 1.2 MR. Since I do quite of bit of grocery shopping at Costco, I don’t think I’ll max out the $6K for groceries. If I try it for a year, analyze my spend and see if it is worth while, then maybe I can upgrade to every day preferred and get that sign up bonus. I could get the AMEX PRG for the signup bonus and no fee first year. Use it for airline spend and dump it when the fee comes due.

  19. Alan says

    Just don’t quite get it why AMEX still charge FX for this 95 USD annual fee card…

  20. beachfan says

    I’d go for the free one because I think the main advantage is to keep my wife’s MR points alive that she got from the last bonus. Otherwise I’ll have to transfer them speculatively when I close her gold card.

    Right now, with AA Executive Card being churnable, I am finding everything else unattractive. For example, I just got an offer for a Amex Gold Business card, 50k for $5k spend. But between churning the card, and trying to hit 40k on that one and maybe even 25k on USAIR (to help keep my Ex Plat status), I can’t spread myself to thin. Now if Amex gave points credit for Amazon statements, that out be a different story.

  21. jonathan says

    Lucky,
    tell me you used the 100k offer? I feel bad, should have given them away sooner

  22. Canon Perdido says

    AE cards have become way too expansive.

    I am seriously getting ride of my Platinum card, and going back to a green card, or maybe one of these new cards.

    CP

  23. justSaying says

    Now if you could find a grocery that sells VR and takes a credit card then that would be definitely worth a family full of cards………

  24. Larry says

    This is great. I think the preferred will probably end up as my go to card for nonbonus spend, in place of the arrival card. I value 1.5 MR more than 2.2 cents. I use gift cards purchased at groceries to pay my mortgage so won’t have much trouble with the 6k. I think the extra 1.5 cents per point for the first 6k spent at grocery stores every year over the PRG, plus the extra point for gas, essentially justify the annual fee even if you also have the gold card.

    As far as the gold card is concerned, the annual fee really doesn’t make much sense for anyone who doesn’t either get it waived or who doesn’t put the 30k in spend on the card every year. That was already case, and with this card, that’s even more the case now.

    The only downside will be the 30 swipes a month, which is a bit of a pain. But since 1.5 MR on nonbonus spend is pretty good, it should take care of itself with lots of smaller purchases. I can just see myself doing lots of $1 amazon gift card purchases at the end of every billing cycle, though.

  25. Laura says

    I might consider it, but the bonus points are pretty stingy. I’d rather have a higher spend, but a larger pot of gold at the end of the “spend”. :) In other words, Amex continues being stingy w/bonus points. For $3K spend on the CSP you get 40,000 bonus points. I might try these cards, but probably won’t because of the tiny bonus…

  26. Brian L. says

    Alan – AmEx is charging FX fees because they think they will make money. If they thought they’d make more money by dropping them, they’d do that in a heartbeat.

  27. Larry says

    I kind of think Amex is a bit stuck on the for ex issue. It needs something to distinguish the plat card right now, and it really doesn’t ‘t have much. At least plat can tour no forex. I think some of the for ex issue relates to some of the dinosaurs in the company who remain nostalgic about the days when they were a travel services company that made a killing on foreign currencies changing hands for travelers.

    While they are saying that they view these cards as competitors to chase, I think they will end up cannibalizing their own cards. I mean, right now I would think the main “competition ” to the everyday preferred is not any chase or citi product but instead is the Amex gold card! The product is aptly named. Amex has people who hold the Plat for benefits, and who use the gold card for certain categories, but their only product for everyday spend, except among unsophisticated and high net worth card holders, is the starwood card. They have essentially ceded the self-branded everyday spend cards to thank you, sapphire, capone, and now, arrival. Now they have a competitive product that is for regular people. It will be interesting to see how it does in the long term. In the short term, I think they will end up having downgrades from plat and gold.

  28. Hillrider says

    Foreign fees make this car a non-starter.

    It may be fine for the suburban soccer mom that never leaves the State (which it seems is the target based on the ads), does all the grocery shopping, and flies once a year to see relatives within the US, but is really of no interest to the global business traveler (or anyone going as far as Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean).

  29. justSaying says

    Larry hits a couple of topics spot on……..this is a way to get rid of a Gold card and keep MM and pick up grocery spend……..I think at their corporate planning meeting when they look at the amount of Forex fees the old guard just says “hell no” we’re not going to give that up…….there are so many travelers who “forget Forex” and then AMEX just licks their chops over the mistakes………they don’t have to have this blog sphere to make money…AMEX makes their kills over customer error………

  30. Sherman says

    although they call it Membership Rewards points but the transfer might be limited, just like the Amex Blue card.

  31. says

    These are interesting, but hardly compelling offers. At least for anyone who does MS. For example, 30K spend at grocery stores would generate (at best) 78,000MR with the Everyday Preferred (15K sign-up + 27K for 6K in 1 cycle + 36K combined with 30 TPC multiplier). That’s a lot of work. By contrast the PRG would earn 100K on the same spend (25K sign-up + 60K 2x spend + 15K annual bonus).

    The EP might be worth it if you just his the sweet spot by spending 6K at in one month and sock-drawered it ’til cancellation time.

    More options are better, but the availability of MS makes that $6K cap seem really low.

  32. says

    We will review these cards as soon as they are made available. Lucky thank you for brining this exciting news to the frequent flyer circle! However, there are some important things that need to be cleared before we call the Everyday Preferred “the King of Membership Rewards cards”. The first thing that comes to my mind is whether the MR points earned through these two new cards can be transferred to frequent traveler miles/points. Case: Blue from Amex earns MR points but they can’t be transferred to miles/points UNLESS you have another card that has the transfer feature such as Green, Gold, or Platinum. Since the terms and conditions are not available at this point, we can only guess. My speculation is that the free EveryDay won’t be eligible to transfer points and the $95 EveryDay Preferred will be. Let’s wait until T&C are published. The second is that based on how Amex words the spending bonus, I think your interpretation is very likely wrong. Amex says “earn 50% extra points on those purchases if you make more than 30 purchases a month”. My understanding is that you only earn 50% on the base points NOT the bonus points. So EveryDay Preferred will earn 3.5 points per dollar spent on grocery and 2.5 points per dollar spent on gas, NOT 4.5 and 3 points as you suggest. I definitely hope that I am wrong about this but based on the wording I tend to believe I am not. No matter what the EveryDay Preferred will be the most exciting new product Amex has brought in the recent years. And I agree with you that Premier Rewards Gold card needs to be repositioned. Another thing to note is even thought Amex doesn’t have a product to compete directly with Sapphire Preferred, it does have a product that somehow competes – the regular Amex Mercedes-Benz (not the Platinum for Mercedes-Benz) which carries a $95 annual fee and returns 5x on Mercedes purchases, 3x on gas, 2x on dining, and 1x everywhere else. MR points earned from Amex Mercedes card is eligible for transfer.

  33. vince says

    Anyone think they’ll let you do both cards (a la HHonors) [do the NAF version then "upgrade" to the Fee version for 1 year then downgrade]

  34. Ivan Y says

    MS is something I want to learn more about (hopefully, will be covered in FTU) but Everyday Preferred would work great for my mother if it covers Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Randall’s/Safeway, Kroger, etc. Currently, she uses her SPG Amex card but a MR Amex would work too for transfers to SQ KF program.

  35. JJ says

    I look forward to all the info on Everyday amex card. I just got the SPG card since I will use it for everyday spend plus at the hotel and costco. SPG gets 1.25 % as long as you move in 20k pts increments. And it is based on accumulation rather than being forced to make 30 or 20 purchases a month. PRG you get 15k MR pts after 30K spend for the year. 30k$ for spg gets you an extra pt for hotels and gold status. THe new card isn’t in line with my natural spending habits. They hope the 20/30 purchase rule will encourage people to use it more often. I won’t be able to get the bonus pts every month since I travel often and more so internationally lately. CSP is a permanent card for me w no FTF even though it doesn’t transfer to ANA as I like but I got SPG to compensate for it. CSP transfers to southwest so I don’t have an issue with the points there. I just don’t see on amex everyday preferred can compete with CSP. If the new card had no FTF then I would get it. Otherwise I won’t. I may try the no annual fee one but I read online that in order to use the amex rewards membership program you need to pay $40 dollars if it isn’t included in your annual fee. Platinum already has it. I read on the ANA site for the amex MR pts that you need to enroll for that fee. Is that true? Then wouldn’t that mean the no annual fee card actually has a fee indirectly? The groceries are a joke. If the MR pts aren’t worth 6% cashback like on the blue preferred card it’s better to just get cash back. I have the blue preferred amex for my supermarket.

  36. Jarrod says

    I’m hoping that the Everyday card has true MR w/ partners, and that you can downgrade a Delta card to it like you can with the Blue.

    Would be an excellent way to keep my relationship with Amex while ditching the Delta AF.

  37. Stratos says

    These is a perfect way to keep my MR points alive, since I do not want to pay $175 on the Premier Gold Business card… Is it April 2 yet???

  38. Levy Flight says

    decisions, decisions. whether to go for the preferred or not. AF is not waived. I am more likely to keep the free card, but do like the higher points bonus. As I am overseas for a good chunk of the year I’ll probably not make the full spend so perhaps better to go for the free card. That way my MR account will remain live no matter how much I swap around on other cards in the future.

  39. says

    An AmEx rep confirmed that whilst you can’t currently do a product change to these new cards, you will be able to do so in the future (hopefully by May, 2014).

    Looks like the ideal move will be to get the PRG for the sign up bonus and then downgrade.

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