30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred or 15K AMEX EveryDay Card?
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30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred or 15K AMEX EveryDay Card?

 

The 30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred and 15K AMEX EveryDay cards are getting renewed interest, as AMEX makes it more expensive to hold the AMEX Platinum, with its $550 annual fee (see AMEX Platinum Raises Fee to $550, Adds Uber Credit) and worsens the AMEX Business Platinum by cutting its 50% points rebate to 35% (see AMEX Business Platinum Cuts 50% Points Rebate).

TravelSort reader Kim writes "I think I'm going to ditch my AMEX Platinum given the annual fee increase, but I want to keep my AMEX Membership Rewards points alive, so I'm looking at getting either the AMEX EveryDay Preferred or the AMEX EveryDay card. What are the maximum signup bonuses and how do I get them? Also, I'm torn about which one to get, since I'd love the larger signup bonus of the Preferred, but I'm not keen on the annual fee and don't have a ton of grocery spend."

Highest Public Offers for Most: 30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred and 15K AMEX EveryDay

The highest available public offers for most are the 30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred and the 15K AMEX EveryDay. Note that the regular offers you'll generally see are 15K for the AMEX EveryDay Preferred and 10K for the AMEX EveryDay. You can, however, clear your cookies and browsing history and use Chrome Incognito or a VPN for a good chance of seeing the 30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred and the 15K AMEX EveryDay offers.

Ostensibly there's also a rare 25K AMEX EveryDay offer, but I haven't seen it even when browsing incognito and using a VPN--count yourself lucky if you see this, and by all means apply if you do.

There are also apparently some who have received an AMEX targeted offer for a 50K AMEX EveryDay Preferred. If you do, be sure to apply for this superior offer.

 

1. Signup Bonus vs. Fees

The 30K AMEX EveryDay Preferred bonus is double that of the 15K AMEX EveryDay, but keep in mind that the AMEX EveryDay Preferred also comes with a $95 annual fee, which, in contrast to many cards, is NOT waived the first year. The AMEX EveryDay is a no fee card.

Put another way, all else equal, in the first year, you're buying 15,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points at a cost of 0.63 cents per point. That's a good rate, and that could work for a churner, but if you're thinking of keeping the card in future years you need to consider if your usage will pay for the $95 annual fee. 

Winner: AMEX EveryDay Preferred

 

2. Category Bonuses and Transaction Bonus vs. Annual Fee

Both cards have category bonuses, but the AMEX EveryDay Preferred, with its annual fee, offers more rewarding ones:

  • 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points at U.S. grocery stores (up to $6000 per calendar year, then 1X)
  • 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points at U.S. gas stations
The real benefit, however, is that if you use your card 30 or more times on puchases in a given billing period you earn a 50% points bonus. That means that you'd earn:
  • 4.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points at U.S. grocery stores (up to $6000 per calendar year, then 1X)
  • 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points at U.S. gas stations
 
Meanwhile, the no fee AMEX EveryDay only offers:
  • 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points at U.S. grocery stores (up to $6000 per calendar year, then 1X)

There is a 20% points bonus if you use your card 20 or more times in a given billing period. That yields:

  • 2.4X AMEX Membership Rewards points at U.S. grocery stores (up to $6000 per calendar year, then 1X)
While Kim says she doesn't spend much on groceries, for those readers that do have substantial grocery spend, let's see what you'd have to spend in the grocery category alone on the AMEX EveryDay Preferred, to break even on the annual fee.
 
If you max out the $6000 grocery category you clearly come out ahead with the AMEX EveryDay Preferred if you manage to make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle, thereby earning the 50% bonus and 4.5X on all grocery spend up to $6000. You'd earn 27,000 Membership Rewards points from that $6000 spend at 4.5X, vs. 14,400 points with the AMEX EveryDay card at 2.4X. That's a difference of 12,600 points, and assuming you value a Membership Reward point at 2 cents per point, equates to $252.
 
But if you only spend $3000 on groceries, with the same category bonuses, that's only a $126 difference, and it becomes less attractive proposition to hold the AMEX EveryDay Preferred beyond the first year, in which you earn the 30,000 Membership Rewards points bonus.
 
Winner: Depends on Grocery Spend
 
 
Earn 5X on Groceries with the Chase Freedom This Quarter or 5X on All Whole Foods Spend with the Ink Plus
 
Another reason why you may not care to get the AMEX EveryDay card with its annual fee, or to hold onto after earning the 30K bonus, is that with the no fee Chase Freedom there's often a quarter such as the current Q2 2017 when you earn 5X on all grocery store spend. Sure, that's only up to $1500 per card, but if your household has 3 Freedom cards, as mine does, that's $4500 in spend. Simply buy grocery gift cards and you can be earning 5X on grocery spend through much of the year.
 
Or if you have the old Ink Plus card (which can't be applied for) you can continue to buy Whole Foods gift cards at 5X at office supply stores, thereby earning 5X on all Whole Foods spend. And the beauty of these two options is that you don't have to worry about the hassle of making 30 or more transactions on your card each billing cycle.
 
 
Foreign Transaction Fees
 
Unfortunately, both the AMEX EveryDay Preferred and the AMEX EveryDay card charge foreign transaction fees, so these are not cards you want to put any foreign currency transactions on. For international purchases, you'll want to use cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, SPG AMEX, Citi AAdvantage cards, and similar cards that don't charge a foreign transaction fee.
 
 
The Verdict
 
For Kim, with minimal grocery spend, it probably doesn't make sense to get the AMEX EveryDay Preferred unless she simply wants the higher bonus and plans to cancel the card after a year. Otherwise, the most economical option to preserve her Membership Rewards points. She should be sure to apply for and get approved for the AMEX EveryDay card she chooses *before* cancelling her AMEX Platinum, so that she doesn't lose her Membership Rewards points.
 
Do you have or plan to get the AMEX EveryDay Preferred or AMEX EveryDay card?
 
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