The best ways to earn a 50% point bonus on the Amex EveryDay Preferred card

Apr 13, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with information on how to hit 30 transactions per month and on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The standout feature of The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is the ability to earn a monthly 50% Membership Rewards point bonus. There’s a caveat though — you have to make at least 30 transactions per billing period to trigger the bonus. That can be a tough slog for some people — so tough that it may have caused you to shy away from applying for the card. However, there are ways to meet this minimum transaction threshold that don’t involve spending more money than you normally would.

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.

Some strategies don’t necessarily make sense in the current realities of stay-at-home orders and social distancing. However, there are still other methods to ensure you hit the 30-transaction minimum from your couch.

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In This Post

Earning structure

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

With the Amex EveryDay Preferred, you’ll earn:

  • 3x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x)
  • 2x points at U.S. gas stations
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • A 50% bonus on all purchases (excluding returns and credits) after you make 30 or more purchases with your card in a billing period

How the 50% Membership Rewards bonus works

This is where things get interesting. If you use the Amex EveryDay Preferred to make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, you’ll get 50% extra points on all of those purchases. Who wouldn’t want to increase their earning rates for Membership Rewards? With the bonus, you’ll essentially jump to 4.5 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations and 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. Fantastic.

Related Reading: What are Amex Membership Rewards points worth? 

Ways to maximize the Amex EveryDay Preferred bonus

For some of us, hitting 30 transactions on the Amex EveryDay Preferred is a walk in the park. For others, it’s more difficult. If you fall into the latter camp, we’re here to help you maximize the 50% bonus on this card.

There are two directions you can take to ensure you hit the 30-transaction minimum. The first strategy is an easy behavioral change, slightly shifting how you make purchases throughout your day-to-day. The second strategy is a great way to “top off” your transactions at the end of the month should you fall slightly short of 30.

1. Change your purchase behavior

Altering how you buy things may sound like a complex goal, but in practice it’s simple. It shouldn’t involve spending more money — rather, it’s about breaking up or switching your current purchasing habits.

Remember, more transactions does not have to mean more spending. Here are a few examples:

  • Reload your Amazon gift card balance in small increments.
  • Add a few dollars worth of gas to your tank. Hit another gas station later and do the same.
  • Pay for subscription services with the Amex EveryDay instead of a nonbonus card
  • Use your credit card instead of using cash (i.e., at a vending machine)
  • Buy a piece of fruit at your local grocery store or convenience store.

With the coronavirus’s deep economic and social impacts, you could also consider making small donations to organizations that need support. It’s an easy way to hit your transaction minimum while also helping others.

Related reading: Best credit cards to use for charitable donations

Here’s one thing to keep in mind, though: Amex says some merchants may “combine separate charges into a single transaction before submitting it to us.” This might occur even if you complete multiple transactions over the course of “one or more days.” In that case, Amex will treat the combined transactions as one purchase toward your required 30.

2. Pay bills with your credit card

There’s a fee involved when paying bills with a credit card, but if you’re approaching the deadline for hitting your transaction requirement and you’re falling short, using Plastiq works in a pinch.

Plastiq enables you to use credit cards to pay bills you normally wouldn’t be able to put on a card — such as rent, taxes or utility bills. If paying these bills with your Amex EveryDay Preferred puts you over the top for the monthly bonus, you’ll get an effective return of 1.5 points per dollar spent on Plastiq transactions. Those Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece, according to TPG’s latest valuations.

But what about the fees? Because Plastiq charges a 2.5% fee per transaction when you use a credit card, you’d typically spend more in fees than you would get in rewards with most credit cards, including the Amex EveryDay Preferred. But if you earn that monthly bonus across all your transactions as a result of paying a few bills with Plastiq, you’re actually earning much more in total rewards than you’re spending on the fee.

Related reading: How to get bonus points just by paying rent with your credit card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

A Plastiq example

For instance, let’s say you spend $1,000 a month on the Amex EveryDay Preferred — $100 on groceries (3x points), $100 on filling up your car (2x points), and $800 on nonbonus spend for a total of 1,300 Membership Rewards points.

But you only have 28 transactions in the month, which means you won’t get the 50% bonus points. So you use Plastiq to pay your electric bill for $75 and your gas bill for another $25 to make it to the full 30 transactions. Plastiq transactions themselves only earn 1 point per dollar, so that extra $100 only gets you another 100 base points.

But now that you’re at 30 transactions, you get an additional 50% bonus on the entire 1,400 base Membership Rewards points, meaning an extra 700 points. Those 700 points are worth $14 based on TPG’s valuations, while the 2.5% fee you paid Plastiq for the extra $100 in transactions is only $2.50. That’s how the EveryDay Preferred can make paying expenses with Plastiq a more attractive option than it normally would be.

Is the Amex EveryDay an Alternative?

(Photo by The Points Guy)

 

If you’re unsure whether you could meet the 30-transaction threshold — or you don’t like the card’s $95 annual fee — you might consider The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express, which charges no annual fee and offers a 20% bonus after you make 20 monthly transactions.

The information for 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. 

Bottom line

Sticking to a strategy of spreading out your purchases is your best option for hitting the 30-transaction minimum on the Amex EveryDay Preferred. Using Plastiq for bill payment also works in a pinch. Either way, you’ll want to have those extra transactions to earn lucrative Membership Rewards bonuses. Just a little bit of extra effort can get you a 50% bump in points — and closer to your dream redemption goals.

Featured image by Hero Images / Getty Images.

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