The American Express Everyday and Everyday Preferred Cards were released in the Spring of 2014. According to their website, American Express’ target market for these cards were everyday people, specifically “busy moms”. This is a departure from Amex’s traditional (charge card) clientele of businesspeople, travelers, and those with wealth.
This pair of translucent cards is also unique because cardholders are rewarded for both how much they spend and how often they spend. Even after almost seven years, there are no other cards that earn rewards two-fold like the Everyday cards.
The regular Everyday Card has no annual fee, while the Everyday Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). The former is the clear winner in this category. But for some people, the latter’s $95 fee could be worth it.
Unfortunately, both cards offer paltry sign-up bonuses, especially the Everyday Preferred Card. But earning something is better than nothing. Both cards earn Membership Rewards (MR) points that are redeemable in the same ways.
The regular Everyday Card offers a bonus worth 10,000 MR points. It can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. This card has had bonuses as high as 25,000 points in the past for the same minimum spend.
Conversely, the Everyday Preferred Card offers a bonus worth 15,000 MR points. It can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. The highest ever bonus was 30,000 points for $2,000 minimum spend for the Everyday Preferred Card.
Therefore, the Everyday Preferred wins slightly as it has the higher public bonus for the same minimum spend. Higher bonuses are always better, especially for American Express cards. This is because of the Once Per Lifetime Rule, which states that you can receive a sign-up bonus for a given Amex card only once ever.
The Everyday Cards are unique because they earn you extra points for how often you use them. That’s not to mention the points earned from normal spending and bonus categories.
Normal Spend & Bonus Categories
The regular Everyday Card has only one bonus category in Grocery Stores. It offers 2x MR points at Grocery Stores and one point for other purchases. Conversely, the Everyday Preferred Card has two bonus categories. It earns 3x points at Grocery Stores, 2x points at Gas Stations, and one point for non-bonus purchases.
All bonus categories are limited to the first $6,000 spent per year within them.
This is where the Everyday Cards are special compared to other credit cards. Both cards earn you a points bonus if you use them over a certain number of times per month. The bonuses are there to give you incentive to use the cards every day (hence the name). There is also incentive to use the cards on non-bonus spend, especially if you’re close to hitting the minimum number of purchases.
The regular Everyday Card has a 20% points bonus if you use it at least 20 times per month. And the Preferred Card has a 50% points bonus if you use it at least 30 times per month.
The winner for earning depends on how often you plan to use your card. It also depends on which other cards are in your wallet for everyday use.
The regular Everyday Card is best for those who have multiple points and miles cards. These people are aware that other cards offer more rewards for different bonus categories. And they would rather use their cards (including the Everyday or Everyday Preferred) where they can earn the most points. The Everyday Card also wins for those who don’t want to or can’t use their card at least 30 times per month. These people usually have low overall spend or low grocery store spend. They will still get the 20% points bonus if they are able to use their card between 20 and 29 times per month – the “sweet spot” for Everyday cardholders.
Conversely, the Everyday Preferred is best for those who can easily use their card at least 30 times per month. Those who have sizable grocery store and gas expenses will also come out ahead with this card.
The Everyday Preferred is the only card of the two with substantive perks (Return Protection, Extended Warranty, and Purchase Protection). This is because American Express revamped their suite of card-related perks in January 2020.
Intro APR Offers
Both cards offer 0% introductory APRs, letting you float balances on for the duration of the offer period. The regular Everyday card’s period is 15 months while the Preferred card’s period is 12 months. The Everyday card wins here as it has the longer intro period.
However, I don’t recommend floating balances unless you can pay the balance back in full within the intro period. Many travel cards don’t come with intro APR offers, so having them on both cards is nice if you can use them responsibly.
The regular Everyday card has a special balance transfer offer. You can transfer a balance to the Everyday card within 60 days of opening the card. There is a $0 balance transfer fee, which saves you an extra 3% on your balance.
However, the Everyday Preferred card does not have any balance transfer offers. Therefore, the regular Everyday card wins here.
I do not recommend keeping a balance on any credit card. However, many people are in situations where money can be saved by moving a balance. The Everyday card satisfies that need as well, enabling Amex to cater to more people.
The Everyday Preferred Card is the better option for those with large gas and grocery budgets. Frequent spenders who only want one card will also do better with this card. The Everyday Preferred Card can also be a solid alternative to the Amex Gold charge card. It has a lower annual fee and a Grocery category that has the potential to be more lucrative than that of the Gold Card.
However, the regular Everyday Card is the winner for lighter spenders and those who want a balance transfer offer. It’s also a decent downgrade option for Preferred cardholders who do not want to spend the $95 annual fee, lose their points, or close their account.