The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Gives Travel From Grocery Spending: Review

Oct 05, 2016 | Be First to Comment!

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Trips to the supermarket and gas station can eat up a healthy chunk of your budget, especially when you’re raising a family. Clipping coupons or carpooling can help with some of the cost but a rewards credit card can give you even more saving power.

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is ideal for people who are major spenders on groceries and gas and want to earn rewards on the things they’ll buy anyway.

Even though it’s not a strict travel rewards card, you have the ability to transfer your points out to certain travel loyalty programs or pay with points for things like hotel stays, airfare, and cruises. You can also use points for gift cards, shopping and more.

On a cautious note, all those benefits come at the cost of a $95 annual fee. We analyzed the card to see if it is a good fit based on your spending habits.

Pile on the Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations

With the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, you can earn Membership Rewards points at three different levels. Your rewards points don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.

Earning points at the supermarket

Consumers who shop for the household is likely to reap high rewards. Your card allows you to earn 3 points per dollar at supermarkets, up to the first $6,000 in supermarket purchases each year. That’s 18,000 points if you max out the spending cap. After that first $6,000, you’ll keep earning one point per dollar on supermarket purchases.

To take full advantage of your rewards potential, you’d need to average $500 a month or about $115 a week on grocery shopping. That’s something to take into account if you’re worried about earning enough rewards to recoup the annual fee.

Tip: If you don’t buy groceries as often, you can earn triple points if you use your card to pick up gift cards at the supermarket.

Earn double points when you fill up the tank

Aside from the supermarket, the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers 2 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations. Only this time, there’s no cap on how many points you can earn at this tier. If you spend $100 a month on gas or $1,000, you’ll get the same rewards rate for the entire year.

Get rewarded for the rest of your purchases

If you don’t use your card exclusively for gas or grocery store trips, don’t fret. You’ll still earn one point per dollar on purchases that don’t fit into either of the bonus categories. That includes travel, entertainment, dining out and shopping.

Earning Bonus Points With Your Card

The key part of getting the most from the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is the bonus points that you earn based on spending frequency.

If you make 30 or more purchases with your card in a single billing period, you may be eligible for a 50% points bonus. That means if you’ve earned 1,000 points in a billing period, you’d get another 500 points without having to spend anything extra.

Essentially, you’re increasing the effective rewards rate of the card’s program when you make at least 30 card purchases during a month. This would be the effective rewards program:

  • 4.5 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets
  • 3 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations
  • 1.5 points per dollar on everything else

Redeeming Your Membership Rewards Points

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express really shines when it comes to how you can redeem the points you’ve earned. Through the Membership Rewards program, you’ve got several ways to put your points to good use.

Using points for travel

As a cardmember, you have two ways to apply your points towards travel. First, you can use them to pay for travel when you book through American Express Travel. Points can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, and cruises, with no blackout dates. If you’re booking a flight and you’re enrolled in that airline’s frequent flyer program, you’ll still earn miles when you redeem.

The smarter option would be to transfer your points directly to the frequent traveler program you prefer most. You have to connect your frequent traveler account to your American Express account to transfer points. Some of the programs you can transfer points to include:

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Asia Miles
  • Aeroplan
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest

You typically need a minimum of 1,000 points to transfer and it takes about five days for transfers to be completed so be sure to plan ahead if you’re taking a trip. You should also be of what the transfer ratio is. For instance, 1,000 Membership Rewards points become 1,000 Hilton HHonors points but if you’re transferring them to the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, they’d only be worth 500 Starpoints.

Tip: You can earn two Membership Rewards points per dollar when you use your card to book through American Express Travel.

Redeem for gift cards and merchandise

If travel isn’t in your plans anytime soon, you can redeem your points for gift cards or merchandise from partner brands. Some of the merchants you can snag gift cards to include The Home Depot, Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue, and AMC Theaters. You can also redeem for American Express gift cards.

When you’d rather treat yourself to a shopping spree, you’ve got a wide selection of merchandise to choose from. Apple, GoPro, Blue Nile, and Sephora are just some of the companies that American Express partners with. If none of those catch your eye, you can also redeem your points at the checkout when you shop Amazon.com

Other ways to redeem rewards

As if you didn’t have enough choices already, there are even more ways to redeem your points. Here’s what else you can do with them:

  • Redeem them for statement credit starting with a minimum of 1,000 points
  • Apply points towards your next Uber ride
  • Purchase tickets to Broadway shows starting at 7,000 points
  • Purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events and more starting at 2,000 points

We should note that the value of your points will vary based on which option you choose. For example, 10,000 Membership Rewards points will you get a $100 gift card to Hyatt Hotels and Resorts but they’d only be worth a $70 gift card if you’re booking with Hilton. You can browse your redemption options through the Membership Rewards site to see how far your points will go.

These Card Extras Add Even More Value

On top of its rewards program, the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express has some additional features that make it a winner. They’re broken down here by category.

Travel benefits and protections

You don’t have to worry about your next trip going haywire. As a cardmember, you’ve got these features to make travel as smooth as possible:

  • Global Assist hotline
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Baggage insurance

Shopping benefits and protections

You’re also covered when you shop by helpful features like:

  • Purchase protection
  • Return protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Dispute resolution

Entertainment perks

If you want to enjoy a night on the town, you have a few perks to help you out. Your card opens the door to discounts and pre-sales on sporting events, concerts, and shows, along with access to cardmember-only events.

Does Paying the $95 Annual Fee Make Sense?

The $95 annual fee certainly isn’t chump change so you have to think carefully before diving in. If you’re only an occasional spender at best, there’s a good chance you won’t earn enough rewards to make up for it. On the other hand, if you’re charging hundreds or thousands of a dollars a month, you could easily outstrip the fee in rewards.

Aside from that, you also need to think about the card’s other fees and the annual percentage rate. This card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which means purchases made outside the U.S. will cost you a little more.

There’s an introductory APR period for balance transfers and purchases, which could be valuable if you’re buying something big or transferring other debt to the card. You just have to watch out for the regular variable APR once the promotional period ends. It can make carrying a balance more expensive.

How It Compares to Other Top American Express Rewards Cards

To round out our review, we decided to give you three more choices for earning rewards with American Express. Take a look to see if one of these cards may be a better fit.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

If you want to earn double rewards on supermarket purchases with no annual fee, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express could be a better match. With this card, you earn two points per dollar at supermarkets, on up to the first $6,000 in purchases each year. After that, you earn one point per dollar. All other purchases also earn one point per dollar.

Instead of getting a 50% points bonus each billing cycle, the bonus is reduced to 20% but you only have to make 20 purchases instead of 30. This card is part of the Membership Rewards program so you still have the ability to pay with points or transfer them when you’re booking travel.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers cash back instead of Membership Rewards points. You’ll earn 3% cash back at supermarkets, up to the first $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1% cash back after that. You also earn unlimited 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Cash back is applied as a statement credit so this card might be better for someone who wants to effectively get a discount on their purchases. There’s no annual fee with this one either so you’re not sacrificing any of your cash rewards each year.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers cash back but with a twist. Instead of getting 3% back at supermarkets, you’ll earn 6% back, on up to the first $6,000 in purchases each year. Then, you get 1% cash back on supermarket purchases. That’s pretty impressive as far as cash back rewards cards go.

The cash back rate for department store and gas purchases is bumped up to 3%. All other purchases will net you 1% cash back. All that cash back isn’t necessarily free, however. To get those higher cash rewards rates you’ll need to be prepared to pay a $95 annual fee.

If you don’t really want travel rewards and prefer cash back, this is a great alternative.

Credit Card: American Express Reward Cards

Credit Card Rewards
American Express EveryDay Earn bonus rewards at supermarkets
American Express EveryDay Preferred Earn bonus rewards at supermarkets and gas stations
American Express Green Earn rewards points under the Membership Rewards program
American Express® Gold Card Earn bonus rewards points on airlines and dining under the Membership Rewards program

Credit Card: American Express Cash Back Cards

Credit Card Cash Back
American Express Blue Cash Everyday Bonus cash back rates on groceries and department stores
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Extremely high bonus cash back rates on groceries and department stores

Final Verdict: Only If You Can Hit the Rewards Bonus and Want Travel Rewards

We think the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is suited to someone who’s a regular shopper at the supermarket and uses their card at least 30 times per month. Your preferred type of reward should be travel, especially if you tend to fly or stay with one of the American Express partners.

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