the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express – Review
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is a cash back credit card with a $95 annual fee and a generous and versatile – but sometimes confusing – points-based reward system that lets cardholders redeem for merchandise, transportation, travel, and cash equivalents. With accelerated point earnings at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, plus a frequent-spender bonus for people who make more than 30 purchases per month, this card is definitely more powerful than entry-level cash back cards such as Chase Freedom and Discover it – particularly for folks who spend heavily in those categories.
If this card appeals to you, keep in mind that this points-based rewards system isn’t necessarily intuitive, and that point values vary depending on how you redeem. It takes a little bit of effort to play the system to your advantage.
When you spend at least $1,000 within three months of opening your account, you earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points. That’s worth between $75 and $150 when redeemed through Amex’s Membership Rewards portal.
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card earns 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarketS, up to an annual cap of $6,000 (excluding superstores such as Target and warehouse clubs such as Sam’s Club). Above this limit, U.S. supermarket purchases earn an unlimited 1 point per $1. U.S. gas station purchases, except those made at supermarket gas stations, earn an unlimited 2 points per $1. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1 point per $1.
The Double Membership Rewards program doubles all the points you earn on prepaid travel purchases, excluding rental car purchases, made through American Express’s travel portal. Plus, when you make at least 30 purchases in a single billing period, you get a 50% bonus on all points earned during the period, retroactive to the first day and with no limit to how much you can earn.
Earned points can be redeemed at American Express’s Membership Rewards portal, provided you reach the 1,000-point minimum redemption threshold. Redemption options include general merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, and more. Point values range from $0.005 to $0.01 at redemption, depending on how you redeem. It’s typically a better deal to redeem for general merchandise and transportation, both of which command point values as high as $0.01 per point. Cash equivalents are worth less: usually $0.005 to $0.0075 per point.
Purchases and balance transfers come with a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months your account is open. To qualify, balance transfers must be made within 30 days of account opening. Following the introductory period’s end, the variable APR ranges between 14.49% and 25.49% APR, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates.
Following the end of the introductory period, the regular purchase and balance transfer APR ranges from 14.49% to 24.49%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance rate is 26.74% APR. The penalty rate is 29.99% APR.
There is a $95 annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 2.7% of the total transaction amount. Late and returned payments both cost up to $38. Balance transfers and cash advances cost the greater of $5 or 3%.
EveryDay Preferred has several shopping benefits for cardholders, including extended warranty coverage on items with original warranties set to last less than five years; reimbursement (up to $300 per item) for returns rejected by the merchant within 90 days of purchase; and purchase protection covering accidental damage and theft for 90 days from purchase.
Besides the Double Membership Rewards promotion for travel booked through American Express, Amex EveryDay Preferred has some useful travel benefits: 24/7 global assistance for cardholders at least 100 miles from home; 24/7 roadside assistance for all cardholders, regardless of location; and complimentary loss and damage insurance for car rentals charged to the card.
This card requires excellent credit. If you have any notable credit blemishes, you’re unlikely to be approved.
American Express’s Membership Rewards portal has a pretty impressive range of redemption options, including appealing merchandise and convenient transportation. However, since it doesn’t assign an across-the-board value to redeemed points, it’s not the most intuitive or easy-to-use rewards portal around. That’s fine if you’re willing to take the time to learn the ropes, and to adjust your redemption patterns to squeeze the most value out of your points. However, if you’re set on a simple cash back card with a fixed 1-point-per-$0.01 redemption rate, there are better options out there than The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express.
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is a great cash back credit card for moderate to heavy spenders who earn rewards quickly enough to offset the annual fee, as well as for those who crave a broad range of redemption options, and don’t mind a system that assigns variable values to accumulated points. It’s not as useful for those who prefer simpler cash back cards, nor for budget-conscious consumers who don’t spend enough to justify the annual fee.
The ability to earn points rapidly on gas and grocery purchases is a very nice perk – as are the great intro APR promotion, frequent spender bonus, and travel bonus. The annual fee, foreign transaction fee, confusing rewards system, and potentially low point values at redemption are problematic. Overall, this is a very good option for hands-on cardholders with ample monthly spending budgets.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express – Review
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