Two No Annual Fee Cards That Earn Amex Points

Two No Annual Fee Cards That Earn Amex Points

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If you’re looking to earn travel rewards through your credit card spending, I recommend earning transferable points currencies, so that you have as much flexibility as possible. I’m a big fan of the American Express Membership Rewards program, which lets you transfer points to all kinds of partner loyalty programs to get outsized value, especially for premium experiences.

In this post I wanted to cover one unique aspect of the Membership Rewards program for those who like to avoid credit card annual fees.

Why Amex Membership Rewards no annual fee cards matter

While most card issuers with major transferable points currencies have a suite of credit cards, generally you need a card with an annual fee to unlock the full value of your points. That’s not the case with American Express, which has two no annual fee cards that earn points that can be transfered directly to airline & hotel partners.

While there are several excellent cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points, there are a few reasons to be excited about Amex having no annual fee cards that directly earn Membership Rewards points:

  • This allows those who always avoid cards with annual fees to participate in a great transferable points program
  • This gives you a great downgrade option if you want to cancel an Amex card with an annual fee, but still want to keep your Membership Rewards points (note that there are limits on which cards you can downgrade, as you can only downgrade other credit cards, and not hybrid cards)
  • This is a great way to stay active in the Membership Rewards program, if you find yourself in a situation where you no longer have a premium Amex card that earns these points
Amex Membership Rewards has great transfer partners

The no annual fee cards earning Amex points

American Express has two no annual fee credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points — one is a business card and one is a personal card, so let’s go over the details.

Amex EveryDay Card (best personal no annual fee card)

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express (review) has no annual fee, and offers the following return on spending:

  • 2x Membership Rewards points for spending at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 spent annually)
  • A 20% points bonus when you make 20 or more transactions on the card per billing cycle

In other words, this card offers up to 2.4x points at supermarkets, and up to 1.2x points on everyday spending. This return on non-bonused spending is 20% better than what’s offered on most of American Express’ cards with significantly higher annual fees.

Redeem Amex points for travel in SWISS business class

Blue Business Plus Card (best business no annual fee card)

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year (after that you’ll earn 1x points). As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best cards for everyday spending, so it’s amazing that this card also has no annual fee (Rates & Fees).

I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s like an incredible 3.4% return on spending. There’s not another business card that offers a return that good, by my valuation.

Redeem Amex points for travel in ANA business class

Bottom line

It’s great to have a no annual fee card that earns Amex Membership Rewards points, not just because some people prefer to avoid annual fees, but also because it’s useful for maintaining a Membership Rewards points balance at no cost.

The best part is that the two no annual fee Amex cards earning Membership Rewards points are also lucrative. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express offers up to 2.4x points on U.S. supermarket spending, and up to 1.2x points on other purchases, while The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers up to 2x points on everyday spending.

Anyone use either of the two no annual fee Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards points?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).

Conversations (8)
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  1. Mishas

    So if I want to cancel an Amex Gold and keep my MR points, would getting an Everyday card do that?

  2. PickensSC

    I don’t think you can downgrade from the AMEX gold or green to these cards, because of the difference between charge cards and credit cards for AMEX. They don’t allow the same membership rewards account number to be continued from one to the other. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

    1. beerandcheese

      Just tried to downgrade Amex Plat to Everyday and was told by rep that the Everyday is a different product line. Was told I can downgrade to Amex Gold or Green.

    2. beerandcheese

      Side note - asked about downgrading my Platinum (i've held it since 2013), rep gave me a retention offer of a $400 statement credit if I spend $3000 in 90 days. No points were offered. I took it to stick around another year. New effective fee will be $295 - that's much more pallatable.

  3. iamhere

    "If you’re looking to earn travel rewards through your credit card spending, I recommend earning transferable points currencies, so that you have as much flexibility as possible."
    And then you go promoting a Delta co-branded Amex card or some other co-branded cards.

  4. Guri S

    Is it 2x or 3x on grocery?

    Thanks

  5. beachmouse

    It’s a secondary card for me- good to have because you can use it to set up to earn MR points at Rakuten instead of cash, even if you pay with a different card, and then wait for a nice transfer bonus promotion for MR points. (Just topped up my Flying Blue account with the September promo). The Everyday also has access to the occasionally very useful AmEx offers- it’s gotten me useful bonus points with Amazon, Lowe’s Best Buy and the like.

  6. JRG

    I have the everyday card; got a 25K bonus on signup maybe a year ago, and then some other points offers, etc., plus an easy 5K for adding an authorized user - already over 55K points on the thing.

    Not many perks otherwise, but for no annual fee - it works.

Featured Comments Load all 8 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mishas

So if I want to cancel an Amex Gold and keep my MR points, would getting an Everyday card do that?

beerandcheese

Side note - asked about downgrading my Platinum (i've held it since 2013), rep gave me a retention offer of a $400 statement credit if I spend $3000 in 90 days. No points were offered. I took it to stick around another year. New effective fee will be $295 - that's much more pallatable.

beerandcheese

Just tried to downgrade Amex Plat to Everyday and was told by rep that the Everyday is a different product line. Was told I can downgrade to Amex Gold or Green.

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