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Amex EveryDay Credit Card review: Pay off debt and earn rewards

CNBC Select break downs the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Amex EveryDay Credit Card to help you decide if it's the right card for you.

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The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offers some of the best-known Amex rewards and no annual fee (see rates and fees). Cardholders can benefit from perks, such as shopping discounts and exclusive entertainment access, plus a generous welcome bonus.

Below, we break down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card to help you decide if it's the right card for you.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card review

  • Rewards
  • Additional benefits
  • Fees
  • Bottom line

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X), 1X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    12.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Competitive intro period on purchases
  • 20% extra point bonus when you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Amex EveryDay Credit Card rewards

This card offers a decent 2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X) and 1X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Eligible spending at U.S. supermarkets includes: Whole Foods, Stop and Shop, Shoprite and FreshDirect (excludes superstores, warehouse clubs and specialty stores).

New cardholders can also benefit from 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first three months from account opening.

CNBC Select calculated how many rewards the average American can earn if they optimize the way they use their Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.

The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953).

Here's a breakdown of how many points you can earn in each category, annually:

  • Groceries: 10,349
  • Gas: 2,218
  • Dining out: 3,675
  • Travel: 2,244
  • Utilities: 4,862
  • General purchases: 3,953
  • Total: 27,300

To determine how much your points are worth, Amex provides a helpful points value calculator, which allows you to select how many points you have (1,000; 5,000; 10,000, then increasing by increments of 10,000) to check the value. The value of points varies based on redemption method, so here are some examples of what 10,000 points are worth, which is what you'd earn from the welcome bonus.

  • Pay with points at checkout: $50 (Ticketmaster), $70 (all other sites, such as Amazon and PayPal), $100 (NYC Taxi)
  • Gift cards: up to $100
  • Statement credit: $60
  • Book or upgrade travel: $70* (prepaid hotels and cruises), $100* (flights)
  • Transfer points to frequent traveler program partners: up to 10,000 points in the partners' program. Find out how to transfer points to a loyalty program.
  • Shopping with merchant partners: $50

*Note that you have to pay for travel using your Amex EveryDay® Credit Card through American Express Travel to get these redemption rates. There are no blackout dates when travel is booked on this site. Plus points don't expire while your account is open.

Based on the annual spending budget from Esri, the average American can earn an estimated $373 in the first year of card membership, assuming you earn the welcome bonus, and $1,465 over five years. This assumes that cardholders are redeeming cash back for a typical value of 1 cent each. Extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value, and you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your spending habits.

Benefits for Amex EveryDay Credit Card holders

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offers a variety of benefits that Amex cards are known for and that can save you money on merchandise, shipping and travel. Here are some ways you can save:

  • Maximize points: Use your card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases.
  • Point transfers: Cardholders can transfer points to frequent traveler programs, including Delta and JetBlue.
  • Travel insurance and protections: When cardholders pay for travel expenses with their card, they can benefit from car rental loss and damage insurance and a global assist hotline.
  • Amex Offers: Receive discounts at participating merchants, such as restaurants, clothing stores and hotels, when you meet spending requirements and other terms. Offers vary by location and change frequently.
  • ShopRunner: Get free two-day shipping on eligible items at over 100 online stores.
  • Entertainment access: Amex provides exclusive pre-sale access and preferred seating for a variety of entertainment events, such as concerts, plays and sporting events.

Terms apply for all benefits.

Fees

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has no annual fee (see rates and fees). That's compared to the similar Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, which has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).

No annual fee credit cards are a great alternative to cards that charge a fee and may offer many of the same perks. For example, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offers car rental loss and damage insurance and ShopRunner, just like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card.

On the flip side, the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card offers higher rewards rates (3X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X) and 2X points at U.S. gas stations) and 50% extra points when you use your card 30 or more times. That's compared to the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card's 20% extra points when you make 20 or more purchases.

This card isn't ideal for purchases made outside the U.S. since there's a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

Bottom line

While the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card was once a no-fee balance transfer card, Amex removed the balance transfer offer in June 2019. If you need to repay debt over a period of several months, consider a card offering up to 18 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers, such as the Citi Simplicity® Card (after 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR).

And if your primary goal is to earn rewards instead of pay off credit card debt, consider other rewards cards. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card is a similar card or you can check out cash-back credit cards, which can offer bonus rewards on groceries, gas and dining out.

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Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, CNBC Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

For balance transfer calculations, we used a Bankrate calculator to tally the interest rates and fees you could incur if you transferred $6,194, the average balance Americans carry on their credit cards in 2019, according to Experian.

If the average consumer with a $6,194 balance on their credit card pays $200 each month, they will spend $2,012 in additional interest, assuming the average 16.97% APR, according to the Fed. And it will take them 42 months — more than three years — to pay off that debt.

Information about the Citi Simplicity® Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, and Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

For rates and fees of the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.