Credit Card Review: American Express Everyday Preferred

by joeheg

Although sign up bonuses can give you a quick boost to your points and miles balances, the majority of our points are earned through everyday spending. It may not be the most exciting aspect of the game, but it’s crucial to maximize the benefits of all your purchases. By paying attention to the little things like earning miles while buying groceries or gasoline, you can accumulate a considerable stash of miles over time.

One option is to get a card for each bonus category. While this will maximize your points-earning potential, it’s a pain to keep track of which card to use for Publix and which one to use at Wawa. Some people will prefer to hold a card that earns a respectable number of points at all locations. And for those people, there’s the Everyday Preferred.


American Express Everyday Preferred

The American Express Everyday Preferred earns Membership Rewards points (Membership Rewards is the name for the flexible reward points earned with American Express cards). There are 21 different airline and hotel programs to which you can transfer Membership Rewards points.

I collect Membership Rewards because I find them to be versatile. Most often, I transfer Membership Rewards points to Delta SkyMiles for inexpensive domestic flights.  However, I also use Membership Rewards to book international flights. I’ve transferred points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to book business class seats for a trip from New York to Frankfurt. I’ve also helped my dad book a trip to Bali on EVA Air (on the Hello Kitty plane. I didn’t tell him about that part, bwahaha!) using his Membership Rewards. I know that EVA Air doesn’t partner with American Express, but there are many ways to use miles creatively as we did by using ANA’s program to book the ticket That’s where you really can take advantage of knowing airline alliances.

Annual Fee

There’s a $95 annual fee.

Bonus Spending Categories

The American Express Everyday Preferred gives a great return on most daily spending categories. It earns 3x points on U.S. supermarket spending (up to $6,000 each year) and 2x points when buying gas from U.S. gas stations. It also rewards you for using it for “everyday” purchases. If you use the card 30 or more times per billing period, you get a 50% bonus on all points earned (that’s for both regular spending and bonuses!). So at the end of the day, if you meet the 30 transaction threshold you will earn 1.5x points for all purchases, 3x points at gas stations, and 4.5x points for supermarket purchases.

Something to remember about the bonus categories is that big box places like Target or Walmart don’t count as supermarkets and Warehouse Clubs like Sam’s Club and BJ’s don’t count for supermarket OR fuel purchases.  Purchases made outside the U.S. also don’t count for the bonus categories.

Foreign Transaction Fee

If you use this card internationally, you will pay a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. It’s best to leave this card at home when traveling outside the U.S. and use a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. 

Sign Up Bonus

As of when this article was last updated, you can get 15,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $2,000 in purchases in the first six months of having the card. We do get a referral bonus if you sign up for the card using our referral link

American Express Restrictions on Sign Up Bonuses

American Express has rules for sign-up bonuses to stop people from abusing, misusing or “gaming” the system.

The first thing is the once-per-lifetime rule:

You may not be eligible to receive the welcome offer, intro APRs, and intro plan fees if you have or have had this Card or previous versions of this Card. You also may not be eligible to receive the welcome offer, intro APRs, and intro plan fees based on various factors, such as your history with credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, the number of credit cards that you have opened and closed and other factors. If you are not eligible for the welcome offer, intro APRs, and intro plan fees we will notify you prior to processing your application so you have the option to withdraw your application.

Then comes the anti-gaming clause, which is enforced by AMEX’s Rewards Abuse Team (RAT)

If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with this offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain an offer(s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit, we may freeze, or we may take away Membership Rewards® points from your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us.

Lastly, AMEX limits what charges count, specifically excluding purchases of gift or prepaid cards.

Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of any cash equivalents.

Final Thought

When choosing a credit card, it’s important to consider its consistent point-earning potential instead of just focusing on sign-up bonuses. We personally used the American Express Everyday Preferred for several years, but after acquiring new cards that targeted our biggest spending categories and discovering no-annual-fee 2% cash back cards, we found it hard to continue to pay the $95 annual fee. However, if you’re looking for a card that lets you earn transferrable points for all your purchases, this could still be a good option to consider.


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[…] points or airline miles. With Disney Rewards I am only able to use them to get a Disney gift card. For our grocery store purchases we earn 4.5x back and for gas stations, I get 3x from American Expre…. As far as getting discounts at Disney locations, I have most of that spending covered, too. I just […]

Pat August 30, 2023 - 8:16 am

The Amex Everyday Preferred card has been my go-to for a decade. I only stopped using it when AA credit card spend started counting towards elite status, and I bought an EV where gas station spend went to zero. 1.5 MR/$ on everyday spend used to be worth justifying $95/year, but now it isn’t.

The AA MileUp Card has no annual fee and earns 2x on grocery. I would rather have 1 AA award mile and loyalty point than 1.5 MR points. 4.5MR/$ on grocery spend is more lucrative than 2AA/$, but I buy a lot of food at Costco, so Amex’s narrow definition of “grocery” makes that less relevant.

Long story short, it feels like Amex made this card too good, and has since strengthened its Gold Card to make it the better earner for those looking to hoard MR points.

Eric August 30, 2023 - 8:33 am

Great write-up as always! I’ve had this card almost since it’s launch (most of the time it’s been the EveryDay version withs some upgrade offers to the EDP) and I’ve sort of fallen out of love with it—although one can get extra value out of MRs, I’ve found Chase URs to fit my travel and spending a bit better and cash back cards have sort of been the other nail in the coffin (2-3% with no annual fee works out a bit better *for me* than the EDP’s categories and much better than the ED’s grocery category).

At this point, it’s mostly been for Amex Offers or upgrade offers (upgrade to EDP, spend $X, get Y MR points), and I’ve considered closing it, but there’s always a chance I may move more to MRs and it’s one of my oldest open accounts.

There are two things I wish from Amex:
1) A full refresh, as these are the last cards that have the clear design and haven’t been touched in almost a decade (other than removing benefits). Seeing the improvements to the Gold, Green, Blue Cash Preferred, and Blue Cash Everyday has me wondering when the ED/EDP will get some love. Not necessarily higher multipliers, just more?

2) Allow PCing to the BCE/BCP—I seem to remember some reports of people with some legacy cards (Blue – the MR-earning one, Optima) offered conversions to BCE and a window to use up MR points if they have no other cards. I feel like this is rare since Amex usually requires you to stay within the card type and rewards structure.

joeheg August 30, 2023 - 10:44 pm

I’ve thought for a while that this card is due for an upgrade as it isn’t worth the Annual Fee.


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