Reviews American Express Everyday Preferred card review
American Express Everyday Preferred card review

American Express Everyday Preferred card review

Published: May 15, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.3
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.3
Rewards Flexibility: 3.6
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The American Express EveryDay Preferred card can be a great choice for frequent users and families who spend a lot on gas and groceries, but a high annual fee and an onerous requirement to reap the card’s full rewards rate diminish its overall appeal.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year)
  • 2:1 U.S. gas stations
  • 1:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Sign-up Bonus
15,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months (Terms apply)

Annual Fee
$95

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$339

APR
13.74-23.74% (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • 50-percent bonus on points when you use your card 30+ times in a billing period (terms and limitations apply)
  • Use points for flights, hotels booked and paid in advance, vacations, cruises, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits
  • Can transfer points to select frequent flyer or hotel loyalty programs
  • Earn double points on travel purchases made through amextravel.com
  • More than 500 different brands
  • Redeem points with linked account on Amazon and Live Nation
  • Redeem points for Uber rides
  • Pay for travel with partial points

Cons

  • $6,000 annual limit on grocery store purchases
  • Must purchase travel rewards through American Express Travel (unless you transfer points to one of Amex’s travel partners)
  • Additional booking fees may apply to travel rewards
  • Fee of $0.0006 per point for conversion of points to frequent flyer/hotel loyalty programs
  • Minimum 2,500 points required for statement credits
  • Minimum 1,000 points required for American Express gift cards

Other Notable Features: Destination Family, ShopRunner membership, event and ticket presales, membership experiences, lowest hotel rates guarantee, personalized travel service, auto purchasing program, roadside assistance hotline, global assist hotline, dispute resolution, $0 fraud liability, emergency card assistance, baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, return protection, year-end summary

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Despite a solid rewards rate on supermarket and gas purchases and flexible redemption options via American Express’ Membership Rewards program, the EveryDay Preferred card can be difficult to manage, especially if you tend to spread your spending among several credit cards. Doing so means you’re likely to miss out on a 50 percent points bonus, one of the card’s most attractive features.

Cardholders can make the most of this offering by maximizing the card’s outstanding rate at U.S. grocery stores and transferring their points to one of several airline or hotel loyalty programs.

High rewards for groceries and gas
When it comes to rewards cards for grocery shopping, the American Express EveryDay Preferred card’s rate of 3 percent on U.S. supermarket purchases – with an annual cap of $6,000 – ranks near the top of the list, even without factoring in the opportunity to score bonus points on the category. (Note: Superstores such as Target and Walmart are not included in the supermarket category.) The base reward for general purchases is one point per dollar. Trips to the gas station collect two points per dollar.

Supermarket spenders who scoff at the $95 annual fee might look toward the Blue Cash EveryDay card, which offers the same 3:1 rate on grocery purchases at U.S. stores, without an annual fee. Granted, you won’t be nabbing any bonus points, but as you’ll see below, that feature may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Cumbersome requirement for points bonus
Using the EveryDay Preferred card 30 or more times in a billing period triggers a whopping 50 percent bonus on points collected in the same month, pushing the earn rate for supermarkets, gas stations and general purchases to 4.5:1, 3:1 and 1.5:1, respectively. (Note: After you exceed the annual $6,000 cap on grocery purchases, the bonus rate for that category drops to 1.5:1.)

But restrictions on the benefit mean it’s not as easy as it seems to meet the requirements to achieve the bonus rate.

Though returns or account credits won’t reduce your purchase count, they do decrease the number of points (and, therefore, bonus points) earned within a billing period. Also, some merchants combine separate charges into a single transaction before submitting it to American Express. For example, buying three items on Amazon over one or more days may only count as one purchase. In other words, your affinity for free two-day shipping and impulse shopping may come back to bite you. 

So-so sign-up bonus
The American Express EveryDay Preferred card comes with a sign-up bonus of 15,000 points for new cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first three months. Those points translate to $150, which more than takes care of the $95 annual fee. However, many general rewards cards – even ones with no annual fees – offer much higher sign-up bonuses. You might want to shop around and see what else is out there before you apply for the Everyday Preferred card and add a hard inquiry to your credit report.

Flexible redemption options
The EveryDay Preferred card comes with access to the Amex Membership Rewards program, allowing you to redeem points across several categories, including statement credits, merchandise, gift cards, hotels booked and paid in advance, cruises, vacations and flights.

Note: You should avoid using points for event tickets, statement credits or merchandise, since these items have 50 percent of the value of other rewards options.

Option to transfer points
Get the biggest bang for your buck by transferring your points at a 1:1 ratio to one of American Express’ many travel partners, including airlines such as Delta and JetBlue. Doing so can elevate the value of each point well beyond the average 1 cent you’d get when redeeming points through the Amex rewards website, even with a changeover fee of $0.0006 per point.

If you choose to transfer points to one of Amex’s hotel partners, stick with Hilton Honors, which offers a higher conversion value (1,000 Amex points = 1,500 Hilton points) compared to Choice Privileges or Starwood Preferred Guest.

Reasons to get it:

  • You use credit cards frequently to pay for everyday purchases.
  • You have kids or otherwise require a large budget for grocery shopping.
  • You prefer a variety of options when it comes to redeeming rewards.
  • You’d rather not have to keep track of rotating bonus categories.
  • You’re interested in travel hacking, but prefer to go slowly rather than diving into the deep end with travel-specific rewards cards.

How to use it:

  • Spend at least $1,000 within the first three months to earn the 15,000-point sign-up bonus.
  • Use the card to pay for all U.S. supermarket and gas station purchases.
  • Keep an eye on your card usage to ensure you meet the minimum number of transactions required for the points bonus. (Download the Amex mobile app to make it easier.)
  • Make your points go farther by transferring them to a frequent flyer program.
  • Keep the card at home while traveling internationally, as you’ll incur a 2.7-percent foreign transaction fee on every purchase.

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