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In March I applied for a round of credit cards, including the Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card. It’s an awesome new product, and my favorite card for accruing Membership Rewards points. The card offers some great bonus categories:
- 3X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X), 2X points at U.S. gas stations, 1X points on other purchases
- Use your card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits
That second point is an interesting one. We’re used to bonus categories on credit cards, whereby you earn 2-5x points for spend in certain categories. That’s pretty straightforward, since you can decide which card is best based on each individual transaction.
However, I’ve realized I need to get more disciplined with the Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card.
For example, last month I made a fairly sizable tax payment on the card, thinking it would be a good way to pick up Membership Rewards points for ~1.25 cents each. You can pay taxes by credit card for a ~1.88% fee, so if you’re earning 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, that’s a pretty darn good rate. Except you have to make 30 purchases per billing cycle to get the 50% bonus.
So I made the tax payment, and then went about my normal purchases as I would. Only when the statement closed did I realize I actually hadn’t made 30 purchases on the card during the billing cycle.
The bonus categories on the Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card are extremely valuable to the average consumer, given that you get bonus points on gas and grocery purchases, which are among the most common expenses for many people. But those categories are also less useful to me, given that I live in hotels full time.
Furthermore the card has foreign transaction fees, and often times I spend more than half of the month out of the country.
Yet I’ve also realized that I need to see the forest from the trees when it comes to this card.
Rather than being focused on maximizing points with every purchase — like wanting to earn extra points on dining for a $10 purchase — I should make sure I’m hitting the targets on the EveryDay Preferred, even if I’m losing points on individual transactions in order to do that.
The Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card is a fantastic card, and one that is perfect for the average consumer. For example, it makes my credit card strategy for my parents very easy. Right now I’m telling them to put all their dining purchases on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and all their other purchases on the EveryDay Preferred. That way they easily hit their 30 purchase “target” while still maximizing points.
Are they maximizing every single point possible? Probably not. But I do think it’s a good, simplified strategy. And one I could probably learn something from.
For those of you with the Amex EveryDay℠ Preferred Credit Card, how do you ensure that you hit your 30 purchase target every billing cycle?