Dip your toes into the world of Membership Rewards: Amex EveryDay card review

Oct 29, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.


The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a solid card for beginner travelers who can’t yet justify an annual fee. While the earning rate and perks are nothing to write home about, you are still getting full access to the popular Membership Rewards program. If you’re looking for a no-frills card to earn rewards on travel and supermarket spending, this card is definitely worth looking at. The information for the The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.  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.

In This Post

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 into the Membership Rewards program, but frequent travelers or those looking to maximize rewards in other spending categories will find more value elsewhere.

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.

Further reading: How to choose the best Amex for you 

The Amex EveryDay is a great introduction into the Amex Membership Rewards program.

Modest sign-up bonus

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.

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-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.

(Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy)
Use your Amex Membership Rewards points to book a Singapore SQ Suite. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

Another important and underrated benefit of this card is access to travel and purchase protections. You’ll get car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance,  extended warranty, purchase protection and more. Amex will add travel protections to its premium cards in January 2020, including trip delay/cancellation insurance. However, it is cutting its extended warranty from two years to one year, purchase protection drops from 120 to 90 days and it’s axing travel accident insurance and roadside assistance.

Cards across Mastercard’s network including Citi and Barclays have recently pulled an assortment of these benefits off cards, which makes it all the more valuable for this card to have them.

Further reading: How Amex Purchase Protection saved the day 

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. 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 is that they 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.

Further 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 redemption value when you redeem for travel. Specifically, you can maximize your points when you utilize Amex’s 19 airline and three 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.

After earning the welcome bonus and maxing out that supermarket bonus category alone, you’ll have enough points saved up for an off-peak, one-way flight from JFK to Madrid when you transfer your Membership Rewards points to Iberia. Or you could use those 22,000 points to book low-cost Delta flights through Virgin Atlantic (which means no fuel surcharges) for 12,500 points each way. Hello, Spring Break 2020.

Further reading: Redeeming Amex Membership Rewards for maximum value 

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) for the added rewards you’ll earn with the Preferred to completely offset the cost of the annual fee. 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.

SPAIN - APRIL 08: Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House), 16th century, architect Diego Sillero, Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
The Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House), Madrid, Spain. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Further reading: Amex EveryDay vs. Amex EveryDay Preferred 

Bottom line

All in all, this is not a bad travel card for beginners to the points world. 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 such as the Citi Rewards+, 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 the Amex Membership Rewards program. This card is simple to maximize and offers a suite of valuable protection benefits that can help get you started.

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

The information for the Amex EveryDay and the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card have been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.