Amex Everyday Card Review

American Express EverydayThe Amex Everyday Card will appeal to people who are looking for a good rewards card for everyday spending. It is one of the first consumer credit cards offered by American Express which also gives card members the ability to earn full Membership Rewards points.   Other American Express cards which earn full points are charge cards- meaning you have to pay the entire balance due each month (or incur a very large penalty fee). These include the Premier Rewards Gold Card and the Platinum Card. Both of these cards from American Express also have high annual fees- $175 and $450 respectively. The Amex Everyday Card is a traditional credit card. Cardholders can choose to pay the full amount every month or elect to pay the balance off over time (with interest charges added, of course). Another attractive feature of the Amex Everyday Card is there is no annual fee.

American Express is currently offering new card members the opportunity to earn 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards points upon approval. To receive these points, you must make at least $1,000 in eligible net purchases on the card within the first three months of activation. Net purchases are the total amount of transactions minus any credits and/or returns. Fees, interest charges, balance transfers, and cash advances are not considered net purchases. Once you meet the spending threshold and qualify for the bonus rewards points, it may take 6-8 weeks for them to post to your account.

Here are other benefits which are available to new card members:

  • Earn two Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent at stand-alone grocery stores in the U.S.
  • Earn one Membership Rewards point for every dollar spent on other purchases
  • Earn 20% bonus points on all purchases made when you have at least 20 transactions within one billing cycle (less any returns and credits)
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory annual percentage rate for the first 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers

The Amex Everyday Card also offers cardholders these additional benefits:

  • Membership Rewards Pay with Points – Use points when booking a trip through the American Express Travel site or to book a flight on any airline. Pay for all or any part of your prepaid hotel, flight, vacation, or cruise reservation using Pay with Points.
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance – Use the card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible car rental (and decline the collision damage waiver) and you can be covered if the rental vehicle is damaged or stolen.
  • Global Assist Hotline – 24/7 access when you need it most (you must travel more than 100 miles from your home). Lost passports, emergency medical situations, legal questions…the Global Assist Hotline can help.
  • Extended Warranty – Up to one additional year on eligible purchases. Important restrictions and exclusions apply.
  • Purchase Protection – Eligible purchases made with the Amex Everyday Card can be protected against accidental damage and/or theft for up to 90 days from date of purchase. Restrictions and exclusions apply.

The Facts

Below we have broken down the specific details of the Amex Everyday Card to help you decide if it’s the right card for you.

The Good:

Substantial signup bonus:

New account holders can earn 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when they spend a minimum of $1,000 on the card during the first three months of activation. The three month period begins from the date of approval so the actual spending timeframe may be less depending on when the card is received. Net purchases are the total amount of transactions minus any credits and/or returns. Fees, interest charges, balance transfers, and cash advances are not considered net purchases.

Benefits of the Amex Membership Rewards program:

Points are easy to earn and equally easy to redeem. Members earn two points for every dollar spent at any stand-alone U.S. grocery store (up to $6,000 annually- after that one point). Note:  Transactions submitted from Costco and other “warehouse” stores do not qualify for the double points category. All other eligible purchases earn one point for every dollar spent (with no spending cap).

Members can earn an additional 20% bonus points when they make at least 20 transactions on the card during a billing cycle. (Account credits and returns are deducted.)

Points can also be redeemed for gift cards, shopping on Amazon using Shop with Points, merchandise from top retailers, and booking travel using the Amex Travel website. Additionally, members can transfer points to hotel loyalty programs such as:

  • Best Western Rewards
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Starwood Preferred Guest

Airline partners include:

  • Delta
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • KLM/Air France
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways
  • El Al Israel
  • Emirates
  • Frontier
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • jetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • Virgin Atlantic

The Amex Everyday Card recognizes the value of customers who spend small, frequent amounts on purchases and rewards them accordingly. Making twenty or more purchases per billing cycle earns cardholders an additional 20% bonus points. This feature makes it simple to accumulate rewards points quickly and easily on everyday purchases.

No annual fee:

The Amex Everyday Card has no annual fee. Compared to other full Membership Rewards cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 fee waived for first year) and the BarclayCard Arrival ($89 waived for first year), the Amex Everyday Card delivers strong value.

Smart chip technology:

The card comes with smart chip technology for added security.

The Bad:

High APRs:

After the 0% introductory 12-month waiver expires, card members will be charged an annual percentage rate of between 12.99% and 21.99% on any unpaid balances carried forward on the card. The actual APR is determined at the time of approval and is based on your credit score and financial history.

Foreign Transaction Fees:

The Amex Everyday Card charges cardholders a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on the total amount of any purchases made outside of the U.S. For people who often travel internationally, these fees can add up quickly.

The Ugly:

Diminished value for people who routinely travel and dine out:

The majority of points earned with the Amex Everyday Card come from grocery purchases (2x) with all other purchases netting one point per dollar. For people who are frequent fliers, routinely stay in hotels, or enjoy dining out on a regular basis, other rewards cards may be better suited to their spending habits. For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred earns card members double points for every dollar spent on travel and dining and one point for everything else. Also, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not charge foreign transaction fees which may be an important plus for international travelers. It does, however, come with an annual fee of $95 which is waived for the first year.

Benefit restrictions:

The 20% Extra Point Benefit is limited to single transaction total amounts. A transaction which includes multiple items only counts as one purchase. Twenty separate transactions are needed with a billing period to qualify for the 20% bonus.

The 20% bonus benefit also will not be applied to purchases made during a limited time promotion or offer, such as the Welcome Bonus.

Applicants who currently have an American Express account may not be eligible for the 15,000 bonus points offer.

Lastly, not everyone will be approved for the Amex Everyday Card. Although each application is considered on an individual basis, a credit score from the low to mid 700s is considered a minimum to qualify.