American Express has unveiled two consumer credit cards that will participate in its Membership Rewards program. Designed for the multi-tasker in mind, the new cards offer the ability to earn bonus rewards when they’re used a certain number of times per month.
The new American Express EveryDay and EveryDay Preferred cards are the first two credit cards that allow cardmembers to earn Membership Rewards points. Currently, the rewards program is available only to American Express charge cards (e.g., the American Express Green, Gold and Platinum cards).
The EveryDay card has no annual fee while the EveryDay Preferred card has a $95 annual fee. The two different versions of the card differ when it comes to how cardmembers can earn points and the amount of bonus points that can be earned:
|Feature||American Express EveryDay||American Express EveryDay Preferred|
|Earn Membership Rewards points||2X at U.S. supermarkets (not including warehouse clubs) on the first $6,000 per year (then 1X), 1X on everything else||3X at U.S. supermarkets (not including warehouse clubs) on the first $6,000 per year (then 1X), 2X at U.S. standalone gas stations, 1X on everything else|
|Bonus points requirement||Earn 20% extra points when the card is used to make 20 or more purchases in the billing period||Earn 50% extra points when the card is used to make 30 or more purchases in the billing period|
The American Express mobile banking applications will have a digital counter to show cardmembers how many qualifying purchases that they have made in order to receive the bonus points.
“The average American uses their credit or debit card twice a day, and shops most within 20 minutes of their home,” said Josh Silverman, president of consumer products and services at American Express, in prepared remarks. “So we designed a card that doesn’t require you to change your daily ritual — but rewards you for where you already shop.”
Applications to the two cards will be available on April 2.
Ideal for travel rewards
Upon first glance, the new EveryDay cards resemble the Blue Cash credit cards from American Express.
The Blue Cash Everyday card has no annual fee and earns 3% cash back at supermarkets up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1%), 2% cash back at gas stations and select department stores, and 1% cash back everywhere else.
The Blue Cash Preferred card has a $95 annual fee and earns 3% cash back at supermarkets up to $6,000 spent per year (1% thereafter), 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores, and 1% cash back everywhere else. You can also earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200.
The Blue Cash card only offers cash back, and they do not participate in the Membership Rewards program. So, for consumers who seek only cash back, the Blue Cash cards actually offer the better value than the new EveryDay cards.
Under the Membership Rewards program, points can be redeemed as statement credit at a rate of 20,000 points per $100. So, for consumers who seek only cash back, the Blue Cash cards actually offer the better value than the new EveryDay cards.
For instance, the American Express EveryDay card effectively earns 1% cash back at supermarkets and 0.5% cash back everywhere else.
But, participation in the Membership Rewards program is most advantageous when it comes to travel. Through partnerships with 17 airlines, Membership Rewards points can be transferred to these participating airlines’ frequent flyer programs — often with transfer bonuses as incentives.
Doing so means that daily purchases with the EveryDay cards can help to rack up frequent flyer miles to be redeemed for airfare and travel through various airlines.