Update: This article contains mentions of Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom®, Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
For many years I’ve had The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, and have considered it to be one of the best cards for earning Membership Rewards points. However, with the recent introduction of the American Express® Gold Card, I think it’s finally time to trade one card for the other, at least based on my spend patterns. Let me explain my logic.
Why I’ve had the Amex EveryDay Preferred
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee and offers:
- 3x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 of purchases per year
- 2x points at U.S. gas stations
- A 50% points bonus when you use your card 30 or more times per billing period, less returns and credits
That 50% bonus applies even to the bonus categories. Assuming you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle, that means you’re earning:
- 4.5x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 of purchases per year
- 3x points at U.S. gas stations
- 1.5x points on non-bonused spend
Personally I spend virtually nothing on gas and fairly little on supermarkets, so the main reason I’ve had this card is to earn 1.5x points on non-bonused spend.
The thing is, this isn’t the only card that earns 1.5x transferable points per dollar spent. I consider the single best credit card duo out there to be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, as the Freedom Unlimited also earns 1.5x points.
But I’ve appreciated the opportunity to diversify my points, and earn both Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points at that rate.
Why I think the Amex Gold Card makes more sense for me
The Amex Gold Card has a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees) and offers:
- 4x points at U.S. restaurants
- 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 of spend per year)
- 3x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines
Of those categories, I don’t place any value on the 3x points on airfare. That’s because I have The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers 5x points on airfare.
The benefit of having this card is that it offers a best in class 4x points at U.S. restaurants while also offering an excellent bonus at U.S. supermarkets. With the Amex EveryDay Preferred I’d earn up to 4.5x points at supermarkets, but 4x points is nearly as good, and there are fewer hoops to jump through (like the requirement to make 30 transactions per billing cycle to achieve that return).
This helps me maintain the balance of the two currencies
Like I said, I value both Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points roughly equally, and care about having plenty of points with both currencies. Both the Amex EveryDay Preferred and Freedom Unlimited offer 1.5x points (with Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards, respectively), and the benefit has been that I’ve been able to spend on the EveryDay Preferred when I needed Amex points, and the Freedom Unlimited when I needed Chase points.
But with the Amex Gold Card, I think I can maintain that general balance pretty well. Going forward I can use:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x points on airfare
- The American Express® Gold Card for 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. restaurants
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express for 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually
Between those cards, I should be able to maintain a healthy balance of Membership Rewards points, while shifting the rest of my spend to Ultimate Rewards. Going forward I’ll use:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® for 3x points on travel (with the exception of airfare) plus 3x points on dining abroad
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® for 1.5x points on everyday purchases
- The Chase Freedom® Card for 5x points in rotating quarterly categories
- The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card for 5x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services, and 2x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card for 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
The American Express® Gold Card is a phenomenal new card, and for me it’s even easier to justify if I cancel the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card. I’ll no longer have to make 30 transactions per billing cycle, which is freeing, and can also earn even more points on U.S. dining, which is a big category for me, that more than offsets the 0.5 points I lose per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets.
Furthermore, it opens up one more Amex credit card slot for me. Amex limits you to having five credit cards, and the Amex EveryDay Preferred is a credit card while the Amex Gold is a charge card, so doesn’t count towards that limit. So by canceling the Amex EveryDay Preferred I’ll be able to get another Amex credit card I’ve been wanting.
Does anyone else plan on replacing the Amex EveryDay Preferred with the Amex Gold Card?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees).