American Express Earning Strategies

AMEX Everyday card – much better than I gave it credit for

I wasn’t really a fan of AMEX’s Everyday offerings when they first came out. I just wasn’t super impressed with the earning structure and felt that there were way better cards out there. In fact, I threw the cards into Tier 4 of my never completed Credit Card Tier lists, writing “Finally, the AMEX Everyday cards are pretty much junk, unless you need to keep your Membership Rewards points active.” Yikes.

Well, it turns out, nine months after I wrote that, I did indeed need to keep my membership rewards points active, so I signed up for the no annual fee Everyday card. Originally, my plan was just to meet the minimum spend requirements and then sock drawer it, but I’ve since snuck it back into my wallet.
Let’s be clear here, the 1.2X earning structure isn’t much to write home about, plus you need systems in place to reach 20 transactions in a month (30 for the annual fee version). What got me to take the card out of the drawer was the gas points promotion Stop and Shop is currently running.
Now that I actually have the card, I suddenly have a no fee card that can earn me 2.4X at grocery stores. Combined with the gas points, that deal looks pretty good right now. The 2.4X is better than my Fido AMEX or Barclay’s Arrival, plus I can bank it into a transferable currency.
The caveat obviously is this is capped at $6000 but I don’t buy enough gas to hit the grocery store for that much in gift cards. Without the gas points, I can still manufacture Membership Rewards points, but at a loss instead of a profit, so I wouldn’t do that unless I had a specific redemption in mind.
My earning habits aren’t such that this card is a game changer by any means, but now I realize it’s a no annual fee card that keeps my MR active¬†and¬†has some MS value on the side – so it’s definitely better than a tier 4 card.
So, my apologies, AMEX Everyday card, you are much more useful than I gave you credit for last August. I will gladly eat my humble pie.
Free-quent Flyer has a great write up on the Everyday cards with good food for thought, especially on whether the Preferred card stacks up well against other annual fee cards. I’d advise you to check it out, and hit me up in the comments if there are other benefits of the Everyday cards that I’ve overlooked!


Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

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