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American Express Introduces New EveryDay Cards With 20-50% Bonuses and Full Membership Rewards Earning

by on March 2, 2014 · 73 comments

in American Express, Credit Cards

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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

American Express announced today that it would be launching two new consumer credit cards called the EveryDay cards, with applications opening on April 2, 2014. I talked to Amex’s Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending Products, David Rabkin about the cards and what’s so unique about them.

Amex feat

Amex is introducing two new cards soon.

First off, there are two versions of the card, the EveryDay and the EveryDay Preferred. What’s great is that these are the first two consumer credit cards from Amex that earn full Membership Rewards points – meaning they’re the kind like you earn with the Premier Rewards Gold or Platinum cards that you can transfer to the program’s travel partners rather than just Membership Rewards Express points which you can just redeem for merchandise and cash back. The other cards that earn full MR points are all charge cards, meaning you have to pay them off in full each month or incur huge fees, while these new cards are traditional credit cards, meaning you have the flexibility to pay off over time if needed with fewer fees. The basic Amex EverDay card has no annual fee, which is a first for a full Membership Rewards earning card, and the preferred version is $95, which is more in line with competitors like Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95, waived the first year) and BarclayCard Arrival ($89, waived the first year).

Here are the rest of the details on each card as I got them from Amex.

EveryDay Credit Card (No Annual Fee)

  • Sign-up bonus: 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 90 days
  • Earning: Earn 2x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (not including warehouse stores like Costco), on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1x); and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Spending Bonus: Use the Card to make 20 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 20% extra points on all those purchases less returns and credits.
  • App: A digital counter in the Amex Mobile app helps keep track of each qualifying purchase for the bonus, so Card Members always know when they’re close to earning 20% extra Membership Rewards points.
  • Other features: The Card will also come with smart chip technology and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

EveryDay Preferred Credit Card ($95 annual fee)

  • Sign-up bonus: 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 90 days
  • Earning: Earn 3x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (not including warehouse stores like Costco), on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1x); 2x on US standalone gas stations; and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Spending Bonus: Use the Card to make 30 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 50% extra points on all those purchases less returns and credits.
  • App: A digital counter in the Amex Mobile app helps keep track of each qualifying purchase for the bonus, so Card Members always know when they’re close to earning 50% extra Membership Rewards points.
  • Other features: The Card will also come with smart chip technology and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
  • Annual fee: $95

So as you can see, these cards offer the potential to earn more than just one point per dollar on every purchase (and each transaction/purchase counts towards earning those bonuses, so it can be as little as a pack of gum) since you can earn those transaction-threshold bonuses not just on the base points you earn but also on the category spending bonus points. I value Amex Membership Rewards points at about 2 cents apiece thanks to being able to transfer them to dozens of partners as well as using Pay With Points to book travel, so your return on spending is potentially 9% with that supermarket and transaction bonus on the Preferred card. Clearly the value you receive will be based on your valuation of Membership Rewards points.

You could be earning up to 9% back on groceries with the EveryDay Preferred.

You could be earning up to 9% back on groceries with the EveryDay Preferred.

So on the regular card, you’re earning between 1-2.4x points per $1 on purchases (so a 2-4.8% return on spending for me) while with the Preferred card, you’re earning between 1-4.5x points per $1, so you’re getting 2-9% for me back depending on how savvily you strategize.

With Chase aggressively pushing into the travel credit cards marketplace in the past few years, it’s about time American Express launched some new products to compete with the likes of the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred – and at the same annual fee price points.

While the sign-up bonuses are lower than other Membership Rewards cards and than the competing Chase cards, I do think their day-to-day earning potential could be as high if not higher than some of its fellow Amex cards and the Chase competitors. I try to earn more than 1 point or mile per dollar on all my purchases, but that’s not always easy. With the Sapphire Preferred, I get 2x on travel and dining, and even when I am not using the Freedom to earn 5x points on the quarterly rotating spending category bonus merchants, I get a 10% bonus on purchases thanks to Chase Exclusives, but remember that 10% bonus requires a checking account with Chase..

I also try to shop online as much as possible to maximize online shopping portal bonuses, but sometimes you just have to go into a store to buy something. For example, I have huge feet, and it’s hard for me to find shoes that fit, so I usually have to go to a shoe store or department store. In that case, I usually use my Freedom, or even my Starwood Amex since even though it only earns 1x points per $1, I value those points very highly as well.

Get more points for gas purchases with the cards' category spending bonus.

Get more points for gas purchases with the cards’ category spending bonus.

Where these cards will come in handy is as a catch-all for purchases you might not earn bonus points on otherwise since you just need to meet a certain number of transactions to get a bonus on all the points you earn – and that bonus comes on top of category bonuses, so if you earn 3x points per $1 on groceries and meet the transaction number on the Preferred card, you’ll actually end up earning 4.5x points per dollar. Even better, there’s no minimum spending requirement for something to qualify as a transaction, so it can be anything from a cheap pack of gum. Not only that, but Amex let me know that if you make the number of necessary transactions to earn the bonus points on your card and then return something so that you slip below the bonus threshold, they will not punitively take away all your monthly bonus points for that month, you’ll just lose the bonus points on the single transaction.

Comparison

But how do these cards stand up against similar offerings? Here are the other American Express cards you’d likely be considering.

The Premier Rewards Gold is another option since it earns 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines, 2 points per dollar on US supermarkets, and one point per dollar on other transactions, and there are no yearly purchase caps. You also earn 15,000 bonus points when you spend $30,000 in a calendar year, and the sign-up bonus is currently 25,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months. However there is an annual fee of $175 (waived the first year).

The Blue Cash Everyday card has no annual fee and earns 3% back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year, 2% back at US gas stations and select department stores, and 1% on everything else – and these points can only be used for cash back and merchandise, not travel. The Blue Cash Preferred card has a $75 annual fee and earns 6% back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, 3% back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% on everything else.

Versus Chase
In terms of Chase, the Freedom card has no annual fee and earns 5x points per dollar on quarterly categories up to $1,500 per quarter and 1x points per $1 on everything else and has no annual fee. You can also only redeem Ultimate Rewards points you earn on it for cash back at 1%. The Sapphire also earns cash back on travel and statement credits at 1% and earns 2x points per $1 on travel and dining with no annual fee, while the Sapphire Preferred, which has a $95 annual fee waived the first year earns 2x points per $1 on travel and dining plus a 7% annual points dividend on all points – both base earning and bonus points (excluding sign-up bonus) and waives foreign transaction fees, which neither of the EveryDay cards does.

A Good Membership Rewards Starting Point
So if you don’t have any Amex cards, the EveryDay cards would be great intro cards to the Membership Rewards that are much cheaper than the existing cards like Gold card and the Premier Rewards Gold. However, with the Premier Rewards Gold you get a bigger sign-up bonus, and if you hit the $30,000 calendar year spending threshold bonus to earn those 15,000 bonus points, you are upping your everyday potential earning to about 1.5x points per $1. Plus there are no limits to bonus points you earn on airfare, gas or groceries, so if you spend a lot in those categories, you’ve got a lot of earning potential.

However, the EveryDay Preferred card could be a great companion to the Premier Rewards Gold as well since that 1.5x base earning is like earning at least 3% back on all purchases and that’s not even taking into account the category spending bonuses. That’s just if you plan on transferring to Membership Rewards’ transfer partners. If you’re just going to use your MR points on Amex’s Pay With Points at 1 cent apiece, you’re only getting 1.5% back on your spending, and you might be better off with a fixed-value card like the Barclaycard Arrival where you get 2.27% back on spending on travel purchases.

Tag Team
The EveryDay Preferred might also be a great companion card to the Sapphire Preferred so that you’re diversifying your points portfolio with Membership Rewards, earning bonus points on spending you don’t earn bonuses on with the Sapphire Preferred, and that you have at least one card (the Sapphire Preferred) that waives forex fees if you travel abroad.

So that’s my preliminary look at these two new Amex products. We’re going to be taking a more in-depth look at the EveryDay cards over the coming days and weeks as we get closer to the April 2 launch date, but the bottom line is, more credit card options and more competition is better for the consumers, so I’m happy about these new additions to the Amex stable.

In the meantime, look out for the Tina Fey commercial for them during the Oscars!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • SparkyinCA

    Thank you for being right on top of these new cards with Amex, Brian! Bravo! I can see adding the Amex Preferred Credit Card along with my CSP and Chase Freedom cards for diversity looking into the future. Finally, Amex is rising to the occasion slightly after falling so far behind the competition.

  • JMSL

    This is also a nice thing for those who get an Amex charge card for the signup bonus, but don’t want to pay the annual fee year after year. Used to be you needed to move all your MR points out of your account before canceling, but now you can maintain your balance if you have an EveryDay card open.

  • Justin

    This will be a good addition to the AMEX portfolio for sure. I’ve been hoping for them to drop a transferable MR card with benefits. Just gives us more options.

  • RakSiam

    Cool. I think this will replace my Amex Plat.

  • Mike

    Super-meh bonus categories and presumably a foreign transaction ripoff fee? These don’t even come close to competing in the same league as Chase.

  • Max

    Eh, nothing special it seems. Still capped at 6k for any real spending. it is a good entry level card, but I still don’t think it is better than a Blue Cash or BCP for lower spenders.

  • http://WebpTrainer.com/ Josh Frey

    These are interesting. It’s smart what they did with the 20/50% bonus on number of transactions (not that I like it much :p). They’ve obviously both meant to be staple cards.

    My initial thoughts:

    The no-fee one seems like a good pick for someone who knows how to use MR well and doesn’t carry a for-fee general spending card like CSP or Arrival. That way you could get around 2.2% back on regular spending.

    The second one is pretty interesting. I haven’t used MR before, but if you can really squeeze out a value of 2 cents per point, this could be pretty cool. As a general spending card, that means 3% of everything, 6% on gas and 9% on groceries.

    The one thing that bothers me is no waved foreign transaction fee, so it can’t be a staple card for travel.

  • FlyingJoey

    Brian… it was great meeting your earlier. Finally AmEx is stepping up to the late and developing a credit product that can be compared to those offered by other financial institutions. Now… how do I get this card? Where’s the link?

  • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

    It’s not available until early next month.

  • 30HK

    I think the Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express also earns full Membership Rewards Point and is 3X for gas station, 2X for restaurants and 1X for everything else. Annual fee $95.

  • Lucas

    Amex has done away with FTF on my Delta. I bet they’ll start following suit on other cards as well (if they haven’t already yet).

  • Avi

    I have a platinum and want to cancel the card shud i wait to downgrade to this new card ?

  • Susakajo

    Foreign transaction fees?

  • Ed

    Which card will be the better one: Blue Cash or EveryDay?

  • A little sad

    Why can’t my Platinum card earn bonuses? In Australia for many years the version of the card earned a flat 1.5 MR per $…

  • thepointsguy

    More options are definitely a good thing.. though I wish the signup bonuses were higher!

  • thepointsguy

    Yes they have foreign transactions fees, sadly

  • thepointsguy

    Right? Maybe changes are coming since there have been so many benefit losses

  • thepointsguy

    EveryDay earns Membership Rewards which wins out in my book

  • thepointsguy

    Yes, sadly

  • thepointsguy

    Yes..I would so you don’t have to prematurely transfer MR points. They are supposed to launch April 2

  • thepointsguy

    They are supposed to be available April 2.. great meeting you too!

  • thepointsguy

    Agree with foreign transaction fees- really wish the Preferred waived them at a minimum. However, you can get several cents per point via British Airways on short haul last minute American/ US (starting March 31) Airways tix. Aeroplan around the world routing can also be lucrative on the carriers that don’t charge fuel charges. http://thepointsguy.com/2013/03/aeroplan-star-alliance-award-taxes-and-fees-overview-taxes-and-fees-roundup/

  • thepointsguy

    If you don’t value the lounge access, then either of these cards have better day to day earning..good to have options!

  • thepointsguy

    Agreed… but still be careful of the balance transfer fee

  • thepointsguy

    Agreed.. nice option to have with the no annual fee have transferrable points vs the Chase Freedom and Arrival No Annual fee being less flexible/no transfers

  • Jax

    So what you’re saying is the Cards MMR points will be part of what they call the MMR “First” tier? That’s a bonus for sure. Thanks Brian.

  • JD

    Brian, any idea if the Amex Blue (one that earns MR points) can be product-changed to one of these cards?

  • Brian

    Any idea if there will be limitations on who qualifies for the signup bonus? I know Amex is known for excluding any past cardholders…

  • zjohn

    Pretty cool. I am tempted. I currently use the PenFed Platinum Rewards as my gas/groceries card. 5pts and 3pts respectively. Recently devalued though. 5900pts is now $50. Fidelity Amex is my non-bonus default card.

    This has the potential for a lot more if points are fully leveraged. Airline tickets frequently get much better than 2 cents per dollar, don’t they?

    PS: on a petty note, amex website has a pic. Looks like the Blue series but the blue part is now silver. Meh. Never liked that design. was hoping for something new.

  • Benjamin J L

    Any word if they might move their Optima customers into this new product? Amex has trapped their Optima customers into Optima cards for years now.

  • SuperKirby

    Can you really transfer MR points to any airline/hotel with the Everyday (No Annual Fee) Card?

  • Karl Mitchell

    Surely they’re now going to have to up the ante with the Amex Gold line now. This card is similar but superior to it in so many ways not least of which are points earning ability and annual fee. My prediction is that they will add no foreign transaction fees, and rejigger the points earning on the PRG, either adding a new category (dining?) or giving points earning more of a travel emphasis to compete more directly with the Chase SP.

  • teacherfinance

    Hi, I love you site! I’m wondering if you could take me through the math to how you valued Amex MR points at 2 cents apiece – based on my calculations, they should only be about 1 cent apiece. Help!

  • Josh

    For everyday basic spending I don’t see why anybody would pay the $175 or $450 fee for PRG or Plat anymore. For $95 you get the Everyday Preferred and earn 4.5x at grocery, 3x on gas stations, and 1.5x everywhere else. $175 on PRG only gets you 2x at grocery and gas and 1x everywhere else, and of course $450 on plat gets you no bonuses.

    I guess if you use the PRG for a lot of airfare it can be better for the 3x on airfare, but realistically you can just buy airline gift cards at the grocery store on the Everyday Preferred and earn 4.5x on airfare and have a better overall card for other everyday expenses.

    Even with the $6000 cap on grocery it still works good for me. That’s 27,000 points per year off grocery if you max it out.

    If you value MR points at 2 cents each then spending $3167 on this card per year lets you break even on the $95 annual fee even if you aren’t spending any of that at the grocery or gas station. ($3167 x 1.5 points = 4750 points = $95 @ $0.02 per point).

    For me this might be a good alternative to the Chase Ink cards since I can buy gift cards at the grocery store vs. office stores and still earn 4.5x vs. 5x on Chase, and it will also earn me bonus points for regular grocery and gas purchases.

  • Ross Jurewitz

    Thanks for the insight. Right now I have AmEx Business Gold Rewards which gets me Membership Rewards and earns me 2x on several business expenses that I cannot earn with Premier Gold Rewards. But as you say, I can’t use my points to purchase awards tickets.

    My question, as I am reviewing how many of these points I earn in a given month and year, is whether I can transfer my Membership Rewards points to the full Membership Rewards points earned with Premier? Right now I have 1,200,000 points so it’s worth quite a bit to me make sure they transfer or I spend them well before I transfer.

    Also, I earn about 360,000 points per year more or less–if that factors into any advice you can give.

  • tigermark82

    I might start recommending this card to friends who want just one go to card for points. I might have trouble hitting 30 transactions per month though since I am constantly trying to hit sign up bonuses for other cards.

  • Ed

    Now do the math without the bonus.

  • Joe

    So is this a better deal for basic everyday spend than the Amex Starwood?

  • shay peleg

    I want these cards!

  • Ed

    Even if you would not make the EveryDay bonus?

  • Ed

    Why not?

  • abhi

    How do you value MR@2cents/point. Based on my experience it is actually less 1c/point whether you use them for Amazon or taxi or even converting to partners. e.g. you get only 600 SPG for 1000MR. So I don’t think the MR program is as valuable as many make it out to be except if you redeem for travel booked through Amex when you get a 20% bonus.

  • Albert

    I wish amex would throw in 2 pts per $ on restaurants and then this card would be unstoppable! How come they seem to favor gas stations and grocery stores so much?

    I am a road warrior for work and I have a corporate card though my company. So my personal cards are mainly used for personal dining and the occasional grocery/gas :(

  • kt72

    I will be very surprised if the no fee Everyday card allows you to transfer MR points to their partners…I thought the MR points I earned on my (since discontinued) Zync card were transferrable and they weren’t. Also the Blue from Amex card earns MR points but these also aren’t transferrable. I used to work at Amex so am interested to see what they do!

  • SuperKirby

    Exactly! A no-AF card that earns FULL MR points! That is too good to be true. Not only does it earn FULL MR points, it earns 1.2x MR points on all purchases and 2x on groceries, all for NO AF? Hmmh, I can see them changing this deal…

    Even the more lucrative Chase cards would never allow this (unless attached to an AF card).

  • carth

    ugh. That 20 transaction limit is going to be a pain in the butt. I can already see people at the self checkout lane in the grocery store buying 20 giftcards as separate transactions to hit the bonus.

  • Domainer Nation

    So if I’m a PRG cardholder who doesn’t travel particularly often, is there any reason I shouldn’t drop that card and its $175 annual fee and grab one of these?

  • Sarah

    Hi – I currently have a Blue card that earns MR Express points which are worthless. If I get this card, can I transfer my Express points to regular transferable MR points thru the new card? if so, how do I go about the transfer? Do I cancel the Blue card? Thanks!

  • David

    DUDE! THIS CARD IS AWESOME FOR ME! I WILL DUMP THE BCP AND GET THIS ONE!! NOW DAILY USE BCP+FREEDOM, SPG CARD FOR SPG HOTEL, CSP FOR TRAVEL! I really hope AMEX will drop the FTF of SPG! GOSH!

  • David

    And TPG, this thread is on the Bloomberg now! Congrats!

  • kt72

    Exactly! This would completely devalue the Amex Green charge card product which only earns 1pt per dollar spent and has a $95 AF…

  • Micah

    Are you sure that the 50% bonus on the Preferred Card translates into 4.5x points on groceries? I could see them calculating the 50% on the purchase points only (not the category bonus points), so you’d only get 3.5x.

  • thepointsguy

    The bonus is calculated on all points, category spending ones and base.

  • Micah

    That’s great.

  • Michael

    Will I be able to switch from my Green card to the EveryDay Preferred Card? I know Amex usually only lets upgrades, but can they really punish me for being a loyal cardholder stuck with the Green Card which looks like it’s completely obsolete now?

  • Greg

    Are the MR rewards better than the 1.33 points I get per dollar with my AMEX Blue Sky? What makes them better if so? Thanks!!’

  • Evan S.

    I would buy small Amazon gift cards online to hit the transaction limit

  • Ethan

    How do these new cards look as a complement to the amex platinum?

  • Giles

    I have the Chase SP and the AMEX PRG. It would seem that I should switch to the new Everyday Preferred card and drop the PRG. Lower annual fee plus 1.5X points every month that I make 30 transactions (not a problem). I know there’s a 15K bonus after spending $30K on the PRG, but if the $30K is reached before the end of the year, the rest of the months are only earning 1 point/$. Is there something I’m missing?

  • Paul

    I have the Blue Cash with an older rewards program which I get 5% on gas, groceries & drugstore, 1% elsewhere. I am trying to figure out if it makes sense to switch to the EVERYDAY (or EDPreferred) or reading thru this maybe even the Gold Card. I can meet the 20 purchases easy myself, 30 if I put my wife on the card (she uses GAP Visa) and together we could easily reach the 30k/yr target (Gold Bonus). Any recommendations? I never used the MR so I do not know if it pays to make the switch. And if we have a joint account do we each have to meet these requirements or can they be combined? (i.e. 30 transactions/month) Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

  • Jeffrey

    If someone gets this card, will it exclude them from getting a PRG or personal platinum card bonus shortly thereafter?

  • Mike

    Any word on whether these will be subject to the 90-day disqual on signup bonuses for other MR cards? I think it might be smart for me to swap my PRG for the preferred and add platinum. Just wondering if I can do it intelligently and still get a signup bonus for the platinum b/c I think I’m ineligible for a platinum signup bonus as a PRG holder.

  • Mike

    Any word on whether these will be subject to the 90-day disqual on signup bonuses for other MR cards? I think it might be smart for me to swap my PRG for the preferred and add platinum. Just wondering if I can do it intelligently and still get a signup bonus for the platinum b/c I think I’m ineligible for a platinum signup bonus as a PRG holder.

  • Scott

    If I already have blue should I get everyday as well ?

  • Michael

    Does anyone know if this…Earning:Earn 3x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets…Would apply at Walmart?

  • Crissy

    I wonder with this if they will at least eliminate the FTF on the Gold Preferred Card. If not, I might switch just switch my gold preferred to one of these before the annual fee is due.

  • Crissy

    That’s what I’m wondering

  • shay peleg

    For instance i got a delta award 100k BE actual cost would be 3k at least so 3 cents per mile+

  • Dee

    Sarah, Th MR Express program on the Blue is the entry level MR Program and can be converted to regular MR points. So if you’re eligible to convert your card to the Amex Everyday your points would count like the regular MR points that can be transferred to partners.

  • Dee

    That’s not gonna be effective until May 1 for the Delta Cards.

  • Dee

    Amex allows its users to keep their MR points when they close one card as long as they have another card that has a similar MR program

  • jenny

    Is this a regular credit card wth a credit limit or do you have to pay it off each month. I know there is an APR shown with the ad so I assumed it was but that was never indicated in the ad I saw.

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