Apply For The SPG Amex Or EveryDay Preferred Amex?

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Reader @GaddielTan asked the following question on Twitter:

I already have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Am torn between getting the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card next. What do you think?

The Amex EveryDay Preferred is best for everyday spend

Nowadays a vast majority of my credit card spend goes on the Amex EveryDay Preferred, because I truly find it to offer one of the most compelling returns. The card offers the following bonus categories:

  • 3x points at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spend per year)
  • 2x points at US gas stations
  • 1x point per dollar spent on everything else
  • 50% bonus when they make at least 30 purchases per billing cycle

So assuming you make 30 transactions per billing cycle (which triggers the 50% bonus), you’d be earning the following number of points:

  • 4.5x points at supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spend per year)
  • 3x points at gas stations
  • 1.5x points on everything else

Grocery-apples

That return on supermarkets and gas stations is huge — arguably the best offered by any card — but I’d say the best part is the return on everyday, non-bonused spend.

I value American Express Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents each, so to me earning 1.5 of those points per dollar spent is the equivalent of a return of 2.7%. That’s a huge return, and the best of any card out there, in my opinion.

The SPG Amex offers the more compelling sign-up bonus

This card is offering a promotional sign-up bonus of 30,000 bonus Starpoints after making $3,000 of purchases within the first three months. That sign-up bonus is 5,000 Starpoints more than usual, and comes at a time when the card’s benefits are already being refreshed.

Meanwhile the Amex EveryDay Preferred offers an incredible return on everyday spend, though doesn’t have an amazing sign-up bonus. It offers 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within the first three months.

Which card would I get first?

I think the math on this one is pretty straightforward. The sign-up bonus on the SPG Amex is 5,000 Starpoints higher than usual. We likely won’t see that sign-up bonus for another year (and it’s no guarantee it returns next year). Assuming those marginal 5,000 Starpoints are more than the additional points you’d earn spending on the Amex EveryDay Preferred in the meantime, I’d say you’re best off applying for it now. And assuming you plan on getting both cards eventually, I think that’s most likely the case.

Or otherwise you can always apply for the Amex EveryDay Preferred and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express around the same time, and could be approved just a few days apart.

Bottom line

I personally have both the SPG Amex and Amex EveryDay Preferred. They’re both fantastic cards, and frankly I don’t think you can go wrong putting spend on either.

I’d absolutely pick both of them up, though might go with the Starwood credit card first, given the increased sign-up bonus which is only available through the middle of this month. But it shouldn’t be too tough to pick up both a personal and business Amex card around the same time, so that’s one other approach to take.

Which would you apply for in @GaddielTan’s shoes — the EveryDay Preferred or SPG Amex?

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Comments

  1. If he already has Blue Cash Preferred, wouldn’t there be overlapping bonus categories with the EveryDay Preferred? If he values AMEX points at 1.8 cent and get 4.5% return on it, there will be no reason to keep BCP?

  2. How do you value Amex MR points at 1.8 cpp? Avios? Isn’t this being devalued with the transfer rate decreasing. What valuable transfer options do you suggest?

    I hadn’t thought of going after everyday card before but this may make a fan out of me.

  3. Lucky, presumably you have had (or still have) the SPG Amex personal card. The terms say that one cannot get the sign up bonus again. Do you know how strictly Amex impose this condition? (I’m aware the business card allows a sign up bonus if one hasn’t had the card a year ago, but I’m hoping to get the personal card because it has a lower spend requirement).

  4. How long should I wait between two SPG ( personal and business ) applications? Do you know if AMEX would approve two carts in the same day?

    I read somewhere AMEX will not do a credit pull if they think you are not qualified. If so, shouldn’t people go for both cards since there is nothing to lose?

    TIA!

  5. I wish I could edit my comment. I completely missed the part about ‘..could be approved just a few days apart’ in your post. Please discard my question.

  6. I would definitely go for the SPG. You only get one chance with AMEX, so I have stopped signing up for personal cards with them unless there is an excellent bonus. Waited quite a few months for the Platinum card to go to 100,000, but it finally did.

  7. With all the devaluations and loss of partners MR is only useful now when there is a transfer bonus. I would go with SPG biz card.

  8. MRP are worth more to me, as 90% of my miles are spent flying from NYC to TYO, so the ANA transfer is huge for me. I get business class tickets on a 5 star airline for about 90K. That’s a steal for that flight. Plus the Everyday Preferred gives me 1.5 points on everyday spend, another huge bonus for me.

    However, I would take the SPG card right now because of the extra 5K points over the 25K they typically offer. The 15K Everyday Preferred offer is around a lot, so hop on the one that is rarer. You can always get the Amex EP later, even if your like me and value their transfer partners and the 1.5 everyday spend points.

  9. From a blog who use to publish interesting interesting trip reports to tpg and Mms 2.0.

    It’s a getting a bit ridiculous. What’s next nick s tweeted me whats better the spg amex Vs citi prestige.

    Remember the days when lucky use to share links to credit cards where he didn’t make any commission?!

  10. @Kai MR have a few transfer partners that I consider very valuable. ANA, Singapore and Aeroplan (used for Lufthansa and Swiss) award tickets on the high end and BA on the low end for the 4500 point short distance redemptions, especially if you transfer during one of the frequent BA transfer bonus periods. If you transfer to BA during one of the 40% bonus transfer periods and you earned your MR with an EDP you essentially earned 2.1 Avios per dollar.

  11. I’m trying to wrap my head around the AMEX EveryDay Preferred card and your recommendation to use it on everyday (non-bonus) spend. (I get the fact that the supermarket and gas spend is a good return.)

    I currently use my SPG AMEX for everyday spend and I have a hard time justifying that 1.5 AMEX Membership Rewards points are more valuable than 1 SPG point for each $1 spend. How do you feel about the direct comparison between the two for everyday (non-bonus) spend?

    Thanks!

  12. @Christian part of the high value placed on Starpoints is their flexibility. They can be transferred to some airlines that no one else can, like AA or JAL, for instance. They can also, obviously, be used to get some very good value on hotel stays. But if you’re interested in transferring miles to partners they both share, you’re getting a higher return with the EDP (1.5 miles per dollar) versus SPG (1.25 miles per dollar after the 20% transfer bonus). And that’s before any category bonus spend on the EDP. You’re getting 4.5 points per dollar at grocery stores and 3 points per dollar at gas stations. The only bonus category the SPG has is an extra point per dollar at Starwood hotels.

  13. I had to go with the SPG Amex because most of my expenses are non-bonus categories plus manufactured spending. Also, I do not like that MR has no good hotel transfer partner and charges a fee for transferring points.

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