Dip your toes into the world of Membership Rewards: Amex EveryDay card review
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and card details.
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a solid card for beginner travelers who can’t yet justify an annual fee, especially if you are on the hunt for a good 0% introductory APR offer for new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening (then a variable APR of 12.99% to 23.99% applies). While the earning rate and other perks are nothing to write home about, you are still getting full access to the popular Membership Rewards program. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
I remember the thrill of getting my first travel credit card, earning the sign-up bonus and using it to book my first award flight redemption. Growing up in a family that didn’t believe in credit cards, it was the first time I’d seen firsthand how the right card could help me see and do things that my budget otherwise wouldn’t be able to accommodate. It also happened to introduce me to the industry that would one day lead me to join this amazing TPG team.
Entry-level travel cards like the Amex EveryDay, while not as lucrative as big-name cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, have the power to show beginners what they can do with some strategic card spending. With that in mind, I’m walking through Amex’s intro card for its Membership Rewards program. The information for the Amex EveryDay 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.
Who is this card for?
This no-annual-fee card is built for beginners to the points-and-miles game, specifically those who want to earn rewards on travel and supermarket spending. It provides a nice introduction to the Membership Rewards program, but frequent travelers or those looking to maximize rewards in other spending categories will find more value elsewhere.
The Amex EveryDay currently comes with a solid 0% APR intro offer for both new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of account opening; then a variable APR of 12.99% to 23.99% applies, so it’s a solid card for anyone looking to consolidate debt or finance a larger purchase with a card that will provide long-term value.
Young professionals or even college students who have a bit of credit history under their belts can easily take advantage of this card. Use it as a starter card to dip your toes in the water with points and miles, and then you can add higher-tier Amex cards to your wallet down the line that will funnel rewards into the same Membership Rewards account.
Related reading: How to choose the best Amex for you
Modest welcome offer; Great intro APR offer
Right now, you’ll only earn 10,000 bonus points after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. According to TPG valuations, the bonus is worth $200, which is on par with similar no-annual-fee cards. This isn’t a lucrative offer by any means, but it’s easy to hit and can get you a nice head start on earning with the card.
Keep in mind that American Express does have a once-per-card-per-lifetime limit on welcome bonuses. Specifically, you can only earn a bonus if you’ve never held the card before. That means you want to make sure you hit the bonus the first time around because you won’t be able to in the future.
You’re also getting access to a pretty great 0% intro APR offer. For new purchases, you’ll get 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening date. For balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening, you’ll also get 0% APR for 15 months and no balance transfer fee (12.99% to 23.99% variable APR after the intro period ends for both new purchases and balance transfers).
Related reading: The best balance transfer credit cards
Balance transfer fees generally range from 3% to 5% and can end up amounting to hundreds of dollars depending on how much debt you are consolidating, so you could save even more money by taking advantage of this offer. Just remember that you’ll need to budget to pay off your balance in full before the intro APR period ends or you’ll have to pay interest.
Related reading: Do you earn points on a balance transfer?
Main benefits and perks
This is an entry-level credit card and, as such, doesn’t have a lot to offer in the form of perks. However, there are two key benefits that give this card a leg up against its competition.
Unlike most no-annual-fee cards that earn points or miles, you have full access to the Membership Rewards program and all the value that comes with it. For cards such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Citi Rewards+® Card, you have to pair them with other cards within the respective Ultimate Rewards or ThankYou Rewards program in order to take advantage of transfer partners.
The Amex EveryDay earns the same Membership Rewards that you’ll get with the Amex Platinum. While you may not have a lucrative earning structure with this card, you are earning some of the most valuable rewards points available.
Related reading: The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards
As with all Amex Membership Rewards cards, you’ll get access to ShopRunner’s free two-day shipping on eligible orders (though keep in mind that you may experience shipping delays right now due to the coronavirus pandemic), the Global Assist Hotline, and car rental loss and damage insurance. Enrollment required for select benefits.
How to earn points
You’ll earn 2x on travel booked through amextravel.com and on your first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets per year (then 1x). It’s not a rewards structure to write home about, but if you max out the supermarkets bonus category alone, that’s $240 in rewards value throughout the year.
Something unique about the Amex EveryDay and sister card The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is that they both offer a bonus when you use your card a certain amount throughout the month. For the Amex Everyday, you’ll get a 20% bonus on all of your spending when you make 20 or more purchases in a month. Assuming you hit that threshold every month, you’ll be earning 2.4x on amextravel.com and supermarket spending (a nice 4.8% return) and 1.2x (2.4% return) on everyday spending. The information for 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.
Related reading: Best cards for groceries
How to redeem points
With Membership Rewards, you can get a lot of value from each point.
While you can use your points as cash back, Amazon purchases, gift cards and more, you’ll ultimately get the best value when you redeem for travel. Specifically, you can maximize your points when you utilize Amex’s airline and hotel transfer partners. Through Amex, you have access to at least one airline from each of the major airline alliances — SkyTeam, Star Alliance and oneworld — plus multiple hotel loyalty programs.
Related reading: I’m confident in the future of points and miles — you should be, too
It can be hard to think about travel rewards at a time when nonessential travel is at a standstill. But while we’re all grounded for now, we will eventually see the skies open for travel (albeit likely with new safety precautions) to our favorite destinations. Adding a card that’s great for your grocery spending now could help you book an amazing redemption once pandemic concerns have subsided.
Is the Amex EveryDay Preferred a better choice?
The Amex EveryDay card does have an older brother — the Amex EveryDay Preferred. In exchange for a $95 annual fee, you’ll get a higher 15,000-point welcome bonus (after spending $1,000 in the first three months), expanded bonus categories and a 50% earning bonus when you make 30 transactions in a month.
So which one is right for you?
If you know you’ll spend around $16,000 or more on the card in a year (and plan on hitting the 30 transaction threshold each month), the Amex EveryDay Preferred is worth the annual fee. Looking at the difference in the base rewards rate (.3 points per dollar assuming you get the bonus each month), you just need to spend $15,833.33 each year (approx. $1,320 a month) to make the Amex EveryDay Preferred more valuable — and that’s even if you never use the card on a single bonus category expense. Once you add in any expenses you do earn bonus rewards on, that number goes down significantly.
Low budgeters who know they won’t spend enough to offset the cost of the annual fee are better off with the Amex EveryDay. However, if you are planning on using this as your primary spending card, it will be worth it to pay the $95 annual fee for the Preferred.
Related reading: Amex EveryDay vs. Amex EveryDay Preferred
All in all, this is not a bad travel card for beginners in the points world, because you’re earning valuable Membership Rewards on eligible travel and supermarket purchases without paying an annual fee. While there are other starter cards out there with higher earning rates, the rewards you earn won’t be as valuable until you pair that card with a higher-tier card down the line.
If you’re looking to get started with travel rewards, you can’t go wrong with Amex Membership Rewards cards, and this is the perfect introduction to that program.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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