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Affordable way to rack up Amex points on groceries and gas: Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card review

June 20, 2020
9 min read
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The information for the Amex EveryDay and the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Amex EveryDay Preferred Card Overview

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is a solid primary card. Earn a generous 3 points per dollar spent on supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 a year; then 1x) and 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations. If you use the card 30 or more times in a billing period, you'll earn 50% extra points on those purchases. The Membership Rewards points can be transferred to 19 airline and three hotel partners. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG's editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

If you want to get into the Membership Rewards program without a high annual fee, look into The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express. The card has a relatively modest annual fee and still provides access to the Membership Rewards program's portfolio of airline and hotel transfer partners. It also has some especially lucrative category-spending bonuses.

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Who is this card for?

Most people can get a lot of value from the Amex EveryDay Preferred. Its category-spending bonuses cover an array of regular household expenditures, including supermarket and gasoline purchases and it doesn't have a high annual fee. Plus, thanks to a 50% points bonus you earn when you make 30 transactions or more in a billing cycle, it offers the opportunity to earn more than 1 point per dollar on general spending.

Related reading: Choosing the best American Express credit card for you

Welcome offer worth $300

The current bonus on the Amex EveryDay Preferred is 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. The Points Guy values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, meaning this bonus is worth $300. This is a fairly low welcome bonus for a card with a $95 annual fee, though the spending requirement to get the bonus is also lower than most mid-tier cards. Keep in mind that American Express only allows you to earn the welcome bonus on each of its credit cards once per lifetime so if you've earned a bonus on this card before, you won't be eligible to get it again.

Fly across the country in business class on American’s A321T for 25,000 Amex points by transferring them to Etihad. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Main benefits and perks

As its name suggests, this is an everyday credit card, and its benefits reflect that. You'll get Amex’s standard suite of shopping protections, which includes return protection, purchase protection and extended warranty. You won't get any premium travel perks, such as airport lounge access, although you will be covered by travel protections such as secondary car rental insurance if things go haywire. We typically don’t recommend carrying a balance on a credit card, but this card also currently offers a 0% introductory rate on new purchases for the first 12 months in case you need it (then a variable APR of 15.24% to 25.24%. applies). Keep in mind that Amex did recently remove the ability to complete balance transfers with this card, though.

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Related reading: How American Express purchase protection saved the day when my Apple Watch broke

How to earn points

Where the Amex EveryDay Preferred shines the most is its category spending bonuses. You will earn 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year; then 1x), 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. If you use the card to make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, you'll get 50% extra points on all those purchases (less returns and credits). So if you can hit that threshold, your earning rates will essentially jump to 4.5 points per dollar (9% return), 3 points per dollar (6% return) and 1.5 points per dollar (3% return), respectively, which is terrific.

How to redeem points

The Membership Rewards points you earn with this card can be transferred to 22 airline and hotel partners, including Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles and Marriott Bonvoy. The airline partners include at least one useful option in each of the major airline alliances — SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld — so you could book a flight on almost any airline using points. For instance, if you'd like to fly American Airlines business class to Europe, you can transfer points to Etihad Guest and book for 50,000 points each way. Amex also frequently runs transfer bonuses, so you could potentially get even more value from your points.

Related reading: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

Use your Membership Rewards points to book a seat in United Polaris through Aeroplan. (Image by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Although you can also use points toward cash back, Amazon purchases, Uber rides, gift cards and more, we don't recommend any of these uses as you’ll generally get the most value from your Amex points by transferring them to a travel partner.

Which cards compete with the Amex EveryDay Preferred?

There's no shortage of credit cards on the market with annual fees of $100 or less. The closest comparison to the Amex EveryDay Preferred is its no-annual-fee counterpart, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express. The card has a slightly lower welcome bonus of 10,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. It also has a similar, albeit weaker, earning structure. The Amex EveryDay earns 2 transferable Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year; then 1x) and 1x point per dollar on everything else. With this card, you'll only get a 20% points bonus for making 20 or more purchases in a billing period. As long as you're consistently making 30+ transactions in a month and plan to spend more than $15,833.33 in a year with the card, you’ll be better off with the $95-a-year Amex EveryDay Preferred Card. And that's before even considering the additional rewards you'll get at gas stations.

Related reading: Amex EveryDay vs. Amex EveryDay Preferred: Which should be in your wallet?

Many people thinking about picking up the Amex EveryDay Preferred also consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This card has a more valuable sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Based on our valuations, that's worth a stellar $1,200 in travel if you can take advantage of the program's transfer partners.

The card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and 3 points per dollar spent on dining, and both of those categories are very loosely defined. For instance, in addition to airfare and hotel stays, you’ll also get earn double points when paying for public transportation, parking fees and even ride-hailing. The dining category includes all types of restaurants, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments, but not grocery stores. Since the bonus categories on this card don't overlap with the Amex EveryDay Preferred, you shouldn't consider these cards mutually exclusive.

Related reading: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Amex EveryDay Preferred: Which card wins?

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Finally, if it's cash back you're after, you might want to look into the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The welcome bonus on this card is a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months. You'll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1% thereafter), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at US gas stations, 3% cash back on transit and 1% back everywhere else. Terms apply. The card comes with a $0 intro annual fee, then $95 (see rates and fees).

Related reading: Credit card review: American Express Blue Cash Preferred

Bottom line

The Amex EveryDay Preferred is a great choice for a new primary card. Although you don't get the significant perks of some higher-end cards, you'll have some solid category bonuses for everyday spending that will help you book your next trip quicker. Just be sure to make a point of hitting 30 transactions a month to earn the 50% bonus.

New to the points and miles game? Check out our beginner’s guide for everything you need to know to get started!

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred, please click here.

Featured image by (Photo by The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.