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Reader Victor asked the following question by email:
I’m a bit new to this frequent flyer travel world. I got the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Freedom® Card. Got the bonuses on both cards. I’m just under 90k ultimate rewards points. I’m looking to get another credit card and I’m leaning towards the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card. I’ve pretty much learned the combination of Sapphire and Freedom to maximize my value of points. I really want to start traveling the world starting in 2017. I was wondering if you can help out by guiding to which Amex’s would you say work best like the Sapphire and Freedom, or if you can give me any pointers.
It sounds like Victor is off to a great start. In general American Express sign-up bonuses aren’t quite as generous as those offered by Citi, though on the plus side there are a few Amex cards that offer an exceptional return on everyday spend.
In general, there are two personal Amex cards that offer the best return on everyday spend. Together these cards offer bonus points on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, and dining, as well as airfare purchases.
Here are the details:
This $95 annual fee card is probably the all around most rewarding American Express credit card for everyday spend, when you consider the return on bonused and non-bonused spend. The Amex EveryDay Preferred offers:
- 3x points at U.S. supermarkets, up $6,000 per year
- 2x points at U.S. gas stations
- A 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 purchases per billing cycle
That means if you make 30 transactions per billing cycle you earn:
- 4.5x points at U.S. supermarkets
- 3x points at U.S. gas stations
- 1.5x points on everyday purchases
I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me the return on spend is worth:
- 7.65% at U.S. supermarkets
- 5.1% at U.S. gas stations
- 2.55% on everyday purchases
While the supermarket and gas station return is of course awesome, earning a return I value at 2.55% on everyday spend is incredible.
This was hands down the best Amex rewards card for everyday spend before the EveryDay Preferred was introduced, though even today it’s still a card that’s worth considering. The Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card offers:
- 3x points on flights booked with airlines
- 2x points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. dining
The card has a $0 intro annual fee the first year, and it’s $195 per year thereafter. That being said, the card comes with a $100 annual airline credit, so if you value that anywhere close to value, it makes the real “out of pocket” on the card closer to $95 per year.
As you can see, though, this card offers some very nice bonus categories that cover the categories many average Americans do most of their spending in, and is also great for frequent travelers, given the triple points on airfare.
In my opinion you can’t go wrong with the EveryDay Preferred Card or Premier Rewards Gold Card. Personally I slightly prefer the EveryDay Preferred, since it offers 1.5x points on non-bonused spend when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle. However, I’d say both cards are excellent, so if you’re looking to branch out I’d start with either one.
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the AmEx Everyday Preferred has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.