AMERICAN EXPRESS EVERYDAY PREFERRED November 2017
TOTAL RATING: 8
POINT VALUE: The bonus is 15,000 points. The card holder has 3 months to generate $1000 worth of spend on the card in order to qualify for the 15,000 bonus points. Rewardstock.com sets the value of American Express reward points at 1.67 cents per point. Based on the rewardstock.com point estimate value the 15,000 bonus on the American Express EveryDay Preferred card at ~$250.00.
BONUS VALUE LESS ANNUAL FEE: The annual fee for the American Express EveryDay Preferred card is $95 bringing the actual bonus value for the first year down to $155.00.
REDEMPTION FLEXABILITY: This card has a lot of flexibility that makes it a very valuable travel asset. There are two ways to use your points to purchase travel.
First, you can go to the American Express Travel site and just book your travel by using points to pay the market value of the travel product. The site offers flights, hotels, cars and activities and you will get 1 cents worth of travel value for each point you use on travel.
AmEx Travel offers a 35% rebate on points used to purchase airline flights under two circumstances. First. any Business class or First class ticket will qualify for the bonus. Second the AmEx member is allowed to designate a “preferred” airlines and any flight booked with the preferred airline will receive the 35% rebate. With the rebate the value of American express points used at AmEx Travel will bet a value of ~1.53 cents per dollar.
Travel purchased at the AmEx Travel site also has the additional advantage that the travel vendor will treat your purchase as a cash purchase. This means that the flight or hotel purchase will qualify for loyalty points, loyalty miles and loyalty status. This means if you got an American Airlines ticket thru the AmEx travel site you would get Advantage points for your flight and your flight would count toward Gold or Platinum status.
The card also offers a point for point transfer with their partner airlines and hotel chains. Over the year American Express will offer “sales” on partner points. A few months ago American Express had a sale on British Airlines miles that gave the member a 30% bonus for transferring AmEx points to BA points. Some of these sales give a decent return on your AmEx points.
The site also allows members to buy gifts or use their points to pay their statements but the value of those transactions is poor at best.
SPEND: With this card members will receive 3X points for credit card spend on groceries, 2 X points on gas and 1 X points on all other purchases. On top of the multiple point offers American Express EveryDay Preferred will multiply all points by 1.5 if the card holder uses the card 30 or more time in a month. This is where the power of this card really shines. If the card holder spends $1 on groceries the return in travel assets on the card is ~ 7.3 cents! The 3 X bonus on groceries is good for up to $6000 in spend a year. That’s $500 a month. If you were to use your AmEx EveryDay preferred card and spend the $6000 limit at the end of the year just in Groceries you would have accumulated 27000 AmEx points (6000 X 3 X 1.5 = 27000) worth ~ $450 (27,000 X 1.67). Just with your groceries purchases you could get at least one round trip ticket a year. This amazing card gives you a 7.3 % return on groceries and approximately a 5% return on gas. In my article on setting up a credit card strategy I recommend that people keep this card in their wallet for all their grocery and gas purchases.
FRINGE BENEFITS: This card is full of hidden benefits including: Roadside Assistance Hotline, Global assistance Hotline, Dispute Resolution, Entertainment Access, Baggage Insurance, Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Rental car insurance and $250,000 worth of Travel Accident Insurance.
American Express probably does the best job of offering fringe benefits for the money as any company in the credit card industry. For the $95 annual fee you get some great fringe benefits.
ANNUAL FEE: $95
FINAL ANALAYSIS: The $95 annual fee is covered by the cards bonus plus some, but the spend value with the 3X points on groceries and 2X bonus on gas covers two of the costs of living most people have to buy every week. The fringe benefits are as good as you can expect for a card with a low annual fee.
In the simplest terms, if I was going to recommend a card to a beginning travel hacker the first card on my list would have to be the American Express EveryDay Preferred card. This is a card that should always be in your wallet and should be your go to card for groceries and gas. With this card alone you get a fist full of benefits and if you use it religiously for groceries and gas you should enjoy at least one free airline round trip flight a year.
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