New Credit Card: American Express EveryDay & EveryDay Preferred

Earlier this month, American Express announced a blockbuster of a new credit product. Two new CREDIT cards that will earn Membership Rewards points. This is a game changer because there hasn’t been a credit card that earned MR points, only charge cards that usually come with heftier annual fees.

These 2 cards were scheduled to launch April 2, 2014, but Gary has broken the news that applications are live NOW!

American Express EveryDay

  • Application link
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Sign-up bonus: 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within 90 days
  • Earning: 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, for up to $6,000 per year of spend; 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Spending bonus: If you use the card to make 20 or more purchases during a billing cycle you earn 20% extra points on all those purchases

American Express EveryDay Preferred

  • Application link
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Sign-up bonus: 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within 90 days
  • Earning: 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, for up to $6,000 per year of spend; 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. standalone gas stations; 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everything else
  • Spending bonus: If you use the card to make 30 or more purchases during a billing cycle you earn 50% extra points on all those purchases

My Thoughts

Both cards become much more valuable when you complete a certain number of transactions each month. The card with the better value is the EveryDay Preferred credit card, which needs 30 transactions per month to earn 50% more points on all purchases.

Essentially, if you complete 30 transactions in a billing period, you’ll earn 4.5 points per dollar spent at supermarkets, 3 points per dollar spent at gas stations, and 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else.

These are great earning rates for every day categories. Amex already has a credit card that will cover these categories in the Blue Cash Preferred card, but I prefer to earn MR points instead of cashback. At the very least, this is a cheap/free way to keep your MR points from expiring.

I am planning on applying for the EveryDay Preferred card in order to maximize the MR earning and re-evaluate after the first year. If I don’t find $95 worth of value in the extra points I’ve earned with the Preferred, I’ll downgrade that to the regular EveryDay card with $0 annual fee.

What are your plans for either of these cards, if any?

American Express Platinum $200 Airline Credit

With a new year comes a check for American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders – the $200 airline credit.

This credit is supposed to be for airline incidentals like premium seating fees and baggage fees, but it will work just the same on airline gift cards. This is the generally easiest way to use up this credit.

amex-platinum-200-airline-creditAbove is the page where you select which airline you would like to use the $200 credit.

Once you’ve made an airline selection, that choice is permanent for the calendar year. You’ll have to wait until the following January to change airlines.

In our case, Joann selected United Airlines for 2013. Only last week did we purchase a $200 United gift card to use the credit for 2013. It was quickly reimbursed only days later.

This year, we’ll be traveling more on American, but NJ residents can’t purchase AA gift cards! Because of that snag, we kept our airline choice as United and bought a $200 gift card. We were again reimbursed a few days later. United gift cards don’t expire for 5 years so we’ll easily use it.

How To Leverage This Benefit

This $200 credit is probably one of the better recurring perks of the Platinum card. It effectively reduces the annual fee from $450 to $250, providing you were going to spend money on whichever airline’s gift card you buy.

Additionally, in the first 2 calendar years of Platinum card ownership, this $200 credit effectively reduces the annual fee to $50 since you can use per calendar year.

For example, this is/will be Joann’s timeline with the Platinum:

  • Approved for the card in February 2013
  • Paid annual fee of $450
  • Bought $200 United gift card + reimbursed the $200 days later
  • In January 2014, changed airline choice to JetBlue & buy $200 gift card. Reimbursed days later
  • Sometime in February 2014, get charged the next $450 annual fee
  • Call in to customer service to have fee waived, lessened, or just cancel the card + remove the fee.

That timeline results in only $50 of realized fees for about one year of card ownership.

That’s very much worth it if you include all the other Platinum perks like AA/US/DL/Centurion lounge access, Starwood Gold status, Hilton Gold status, National Executive Elite status, and Priority Pass lounge membership.

Couples Strategy

Piggybacking the above idea of using 2 calendar years to decreased realized annual fees to $50, a couple can effectively alternate Platinum card membership and keep the pattern going. Once Joann closes her existing Platinum card, I can open a Business Platinum.

Then I can reap the 2014 credit and the 2015 credit before my second year annual fee is charged!

After that, it’s Joann’s turn again. So on and so forth. This is a big power play in the couples credit card hustle game.

Reminders Before the End of 2013

As we come to the end of the year/quarter, there are several bonuses and promotions wrapping up. Tuesday, December 31st will be the drop dead date.

Chase Freedom 4th Quarter Bonus

5x Ultimate Rewards points on Amazon.com and select department stores. This was an easy set of categories to rack up $1,500 worth of spend. If you haven’t, buy some Amazon e-gift cards for yourself for future use!

Discover IT 4th Quarter Bonus

The Discover IT card is basically their answer to the Chase Freedom, with rotating category bonuses every quarter. This quarter’s was “online purchases” which made it really easy with all the online shopping for the holidays + the points-manufacturing schemes like Amazon Payments.

American Express Membership Rewards British Airways Transfer Bonus

Get 20% more Avios bonus will end on Tuesday as well. Obviously, don’t transfer points without an award in your sights. The only exception to that rule is when you plan on cancelling a card. We’ll be cancelling Joann’s Platinum card so instead of downgrading or straight up losing the points, we’d rather get a transfer bonus on points we’ll be sure to use.

Cathay Pacific’s Last London 747 Flight

Gary writes about Cathay’s last London Boeing 747 flight, as these Queens of the Sky are being retired from service. As of now, there are 6 First Class award seats available! That’s the kind of New Year’s Party I could get into. You can use the aforementioned Amex-Avios transfer bonus to redeem for this momentous occasion. It will cost you 90K Avios + $456.

American Express Platinum $200 Airline Credit

Don’t forget that one major perk of being an Amex Platinum cardholder is a $200 airline credit every calendar year. It’s meant for incidentals like baggage fees or buy-on-board food, but it absolutely works when buying gift cards to your designated airline. I recently purchased a $200 American Airlines gift card and was reimbursed in 2 days.

American Express Sync Promotions

Amex has had some great promotions going throughout the year that are scheduled to end on the 31st. My favorite was the Amazon one, just in time for the holidays. Deals We Like has compiled a comprehensive list of the promotions along with their expiration dates. Be sure to take advantage of them if they fit your needs!

Although most of the Sync promotions are due to end on the 31st, my guess is that they’ll be re-upped for 2014.

Other Things To Remember

In 2013, the year of the devaluation, be cognizant of the upcoming changes. Hyatt is the first to change in the new year, making several changes to their award chart that go into effect on January 7, 2014.  United’s new, more expensive award charts will go into effect February 1, 2014.

American Express Small Business Saturday 2013

Registration is now open!

Returning again for the holiday season is American Express Small Business Saturday 2013!

Small Business Saturday is a day to remember the small, local merchant and support them by making purchases in-store on November 30, 2013.

Small Business Saturday

In order to give Amex card holders even more incentive to help out small business owners, Amex is offering a one-time $10 statement credit for any registered Amex card when you make an in-store purchase of at least $10.

A list of eligible small businesses will be available in map form on November 21 so look out for another post from me when more details develop.

Last year, the credit was $25 but maybe a few people went overboard with all their Amex cards last year. Fine, between Joann and me, we had 13 Amex cards that we used at various small businesses around town.

Thus, Amex has lowered the credit to $10; still, free money is free money! And you get to help out your local businesses.

Registration for Small Business Saturday opens on 12:00 AM MST November 24. Enrollment is limited.

You can register any American Express card – credit or charge, primary user or additional user(s). Just no Corporate or prepaid cards.

For more information, here are the full Terms & Conditions.

American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Bonus – British Airways & Virgin Atlantic

Here are the latest American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonuses:

  • 20% to British Airways
  • 30% to Virgin Atlantic

It’s been a little bit since some good transfer bonuses so let’s dig in a bit.

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