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At the beginning of this month, American Express announced that it would be launching two new products called the EveryDay cards that would earn full Membership Rewards points and have the potential to earn 20-50% bonuses on everyday purchases (hence the name) if you used them on a certain amount of transactions per month. The cards were initially supposed to launch on April 2, 2014 – but it looks like the offers are already live on the American Express website.
To find them, visit americanexpress.com and look at the consumer cards and they should be listed and available for comparison.
First off, there are two versions of the card, the EveryDay and the EveryDay Preferred. Here are the details on each card:.
EveryDay Credit Card (No Annual Fee)
- Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
- 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- You can use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking.
- No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
EveryDay Preferred Credit Card ($95 annual fee)
- Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
- 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- You can use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking through amextravel.com.
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
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 Amex Everyday basic version 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).
Where these cards really get interesting, though is in their transaction threshold bonuses. With the basic card, you earn 20% bonus points on all purchases when you make 20 or more transactions in a billing period and with the EveryDay Preferred, you get a 50% bonus when you make 30+ transactions in a billing period. That could equate to some serious earning potential.
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 on the basic 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% return on spending in my opinion.
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. 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.
Where these cards will come in handy is as a basic go-to card 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.
I’ll get into a spending and companion card strategy in future posts, but if you are looking for an intro Membership Rewards cards, the EveryDay cards would be great starter products, and are much cheaper than existing cards like the Premier Rewards Gold or Platinum cards. Just keep in mind that those premium cards do currently have bigger sign-up bonuses, and if you hit the $30,000 calendar year spending threshold bonus on the Premier Rewards Gold to earn those 15,000 bonus points, you are upping your everyday potential earning to about 1.5x points per $1 – but these new cards certainly add an interesting element to the mix and could very well become a cornerstone of your points portfolio.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Balance Transfer||Credit Rating|
|N/A||Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195||See Terms||Excellent Credit|