History of American Express
American Express began in 1850 as a mail delivery service and came of age as a luxury brand in the 20th century as they expanded their offerings and solidified their place in the financial industry.
They became a symbol of prestige through their effective and memorable marketing campaigns that showed noted celebrities of the day falling back on their card on occasions where their fame goes unnoticed.
These ads brilliantly straddled the line between exclusivity and accessibility, and several generations were taught that "Don't leave home without it" was great advice for your credit card long before they were old enough to apply for one.
They've also received excellent marks for their customer satisfaction and recently ranked highest among credit cards in the 2017 J.D. Power Ratings.
More recently, American Express has moved away from catering to exclusive clientele to offering more accessible products like the Amex EveryDay and the more generous Blue Cash EveryDay card.
We've seen the relatable Tina Fey appear in ads for the Amex EveryDay credit card, using her card for routine purchases like groceries and clothes to help navigate her busy lifestyle.
If her scenes look similar to ones in your life, this card could be for you.
What the Card Does
The Amex EveryDay credit card gives its cardholders a low-pressure way to build long-term credit history and earn rewards while still taking advantage of its many fringe benefits you won't find with many other issuers.
It's not the credit card company's high-end Platinum Card offering or even their Blue Cash EveryDay card but it's a solid entry-level card to the American Express club.
Amex usage creates points for you, not cash
A rewards card that offers points is not the same as a card that offers cash back.
Unlike some reward cards where cash-back has a consistent value of 1% or 2% of certain purchases, points earned on a credit card have limited redemption value and can vary from reward to reward.
A cash back rewards card may be a more exciting to veteran cardholders than the Amex EveryDay credit card, but newbies can enjoy Amex EveryDay 2-1, where they can earn two Membership Reward (MR) points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at supermarkets.
You'll also earn one point for every dollar you spend elsewhere.
If you're a big shopper who uses your card at least 20 times in a billing cycle, you can earn 20% more on those purchases.
As a sign-on bonus, new cardholders can earn 10,000 points by spending $1,000 within the first three months.
You can also take advantage of Amex's extensive travel benefits and earn double points for each dollar you spend on American Express Travel, which can help you find competitive deals on flights, hotels, and cruise reservations for your next trip out of town.
Points earned on purchases can be used toward paying for travel accommodations and vacation packages booked through American Express Travel.
Additionally, you apply points to retailers like Amazon, Staples, and NewEgg, where 10,000 points can knock $70 off your next order.
If you participate in an airline's Frequent Flyer program, your points can be transferable.
Other useful benefits Amex offers, from hotels to concerts
Guaranteed price-matching on hotel rooms. Amex has extensive travel services, including a promise to match the difference if you find a lower price on a hotel room you've already booked through AmexTravel.com
Presale tickets to special events.One underrated feature Amex offers is tickets to events before they're on sale to the general public.
You can be the first of your friends to score tickets to plays, concerts, and sporting events.
Exclusive access to shows and concerts. Similar to their ticket presales, Amex offers exclusive tickets to events that are only available to their cardholders.
Help with family vacations. Looking for help or suggestions on where to take the little ones on vacation? Amex's travel experts can curate great experiences for you.
Assistance for world travelers. Traveling internationally with your Amex EveryDay Credit Card? Global Assist Hotline is available to help you with information about things like customs, currency rates, missing luggage, and passport requirements, and can even provide translation services when you can't speak the language.
Extra protection with returns. Many retailers offer returns within 30 days of purchase if they offer returns at all.
If you charge eligible purchases to your Amex EveryDay Credit Card within 90 days and the store won't accept your return, Amex can help with Return Protection.
Help when your car breaks down. Leave your keys in your car? Stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire? Amex can provide a locksmith or tow operator within the United States and its territories, 24 hours a day, through Roadside Assistance Hotline.
ShopRunner. Many of your favorite stores participate in Amex's ShopRunner, where you can earn free 2-day shipping when you shop online with big brands like Bloomingdales, Timberland, and Under Armour, as well as the official stores for MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL.
Discounts on new vehicles. If you're in the market for a new car and your dealer is a participating Certified Dealer, the American Express Auto Purchasing Program can help you save thousands off the sticker price on vehicles that qualify.
Earn 10,000 sign-up bonus points and other rewards
For your sign-on introductory bonus, you can get 10,000 Membership Reward (MR) points if you buy $1,000 worth of eligible purchases with your new Amex EveryDay Credit Card in the first three months.
You can earn two MR points for every $1 you spend at supermarkets — up to $6,000 per year.
You can also earn 2x points per $1 on you spend on hotel rooms, flights, and vacation packages at amextravel.com.
You'll earn one MR point for every $1 on all spending outside of grocery stores and American Express Travel.
To maximize your rewards, you can earn 20% more on purchases when you use your card at least 20 times in a single billing period.
Note that the 20% only applies to purchases made starting with your 20th transaction with the Amex EveryDay card.
Make monthly payments on your bill and increase your credit limit
Amex's minimum payment formula.Your minimum payment will be one of two numbers: your interest rate plus 1% of the full balance, or $35, whichever is greater.
Paying your monthly statement. You can pay on the website at any time.
You can also set up AutoPay online and pay a fixed amount, like the balance in full or the minimum payment.
There's also an option to pay your bill through the app.
Repercussions for late payments. A 29.99% APR may be applied to your card for at least six months if you make a late payment or your payment is returned.
Consider those six months as probation while you get back on track with timely payments and Amex will review your account to determine if your penalty will continue.
Determining your credit limit. Your credit history goes a long way in deciding your credit limit.
Even after Amex makes their decision, they reserve the right to increase or decrease it if you establish a strong history with them over time or if you're late on payments.
You can also request a higher credit limit through your account online by accessing Credit Management via Account Services and choosing the option to increase your line of credit.
Fees you'll need to keep in mind
There is no annual fee, which is not very common for rewards-based credit cards.
If you're transferring a balance after your 12-month introductory period, there will be a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount, whichever is greater.
This is in addition to the 13.99-23.99% APR applied to balance transfers after the first 12 months.
Cash advances will also incur a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount, whichever is greater.
This is in addition to the 26.24% APR applied to cash advances.
There is a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.
This is unusually high.
While there are cards that charge 3%, there are plenty that only charge 1% or have no fee at all.
If you're late on your payment or if your payment needs to be returned to you, it can cost you up to $38.
Some fine print details of Amex EveryDay credit card
Keep in mind that if you want the 10,000 MR points in your introductory offer, the first $1,000 in your first three months must be spent on purchases; cash advances, balance transfers, and fees do not count toward this amount.
Purchases made through 3rd-party payment accounts (like linking your card through PayPal) or online marketplaces (like eBay or Etsy) do not count toward the first $1,000.
Returns and credits will not reduce your purchase count, but they will cancel out any MR points you've earned.
Main Competitor: Discover it
One credit card the Amex EveryDay is often compared to is the Discover IT Cash credit card.
Similar to American Express, Discover is an issuer of funds (as opposed to a Visa card issued through Wells Fargo or Chase), which allows them to eliminate the middleman and put a bigger emphasis on rewards, customer service, and concierge offerings.
Both don't have an annual fee. Like the Amex EveryDay credit card, there is no annual fee for the Discover it Cash credit card, which is relatively rare for a credit card that offers rewards.
Discover is much more cardholder-friendly for international travel. There are no foreign transaction fees for the Discover it Card, and it's accepted at more merchants globally than American Express.
American Express points are not as versatile. Discover offers 5% cash back from a rotating cast of popular vendors every couple months – including Amazon.
This is far more generous than what the Amex EveryDay credit card offers and if you shop for groceries at Amazon often, you'll be rewarded that much more than if you used the Amex EveryDay card at the supermarket.
It should also be noted that Discover offers cash back, whereas Amex offers points that can be redeemed.
Discover offers a little more time and lower rates than Amex.
Both offer a 0% Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers, though Discover offers it for the first 14 months while Amex just offers it for your first 12.
The Amex EveryDay credit card offers a 13.99% purchase APR starting at 13.99%, while Discover it Cash credit card starts at 11.99%.
The APR for balance transfers after the introductory period for Discover is also 11.99% to Amex's 13.99%.
The introductory bonus reward system also differs.
With Amex EveryDay, you'll earn 10,000 points after making $1,000 in eligible purchases within your first three months.
But at the end of your first year with Discover, they'll match all the cash back you've earned.
What Customers Are Saying
We've collected opinions from both knowledgable credit card specialists and cardholders for our Amex EveryDay credit card review and while it certainly has its selling points, there are experts who are quick to point out its shortcomings as well.
It's a good card if you want rewards but no annual fee.p>
The Points Guy includes the Amex EveryDay credit card on his list of best credit cards with no annual fee.
If you're collecting rewards on such a card, they're basically free as long as you pay off your balance each month.
It's an easy way to learn how credit card rewards work.p>
Frugal Travel Guy says that this is a great starter card if you're looking to leverage a new credit card into travel rewards, especially if you're new to the concept of rewards and points on your credit card.
They offer transferable points. The folks at Upon Arriving point out that the Amex EveryDay Credit Card is unusual in its ability to offer transferable points on a rewards card without an annual fee.
This rare combination of features can make this an attractive offer for those looking for a practical, everyday card.
You can rack up points quickly. On Credit Karma, cardholder Kphilip says this is a "[g]reat card for rewards which adds up fast." By using the Amex card wherever it's accepted and paying off the balance by the end of the month, the points were able to cover the cost of a new dishwasher.
It's not ideal if you lack credit history. The folks over at Money Under 30 note that American Express is very selective about its clientele, making being approved perhaps a bit harder for younger people with little or no credit history.
There are limits to the points you can earn.In Motion Eternal points out that there's a $6,000 limit on that supermarket purchases per year.
If you're part of a family that spends more than $500 a month on groceries, you'll hit your limit before the end of the year.
Some of the most common complaints about Amex EveryDay
Given its competitive features and high level of customer satisfaction, it's hard to find a lot of faults with Amex EveryDay credit card.
Many common complaints from customers about the card are not unique and can be avoided with a little preparation.
Understanding balance transfers. If you plan on transferring a balance to your new Amex EveryDay credit card, it's a good idea to make sure you know exactly what you want. If you're looking to transfer $15,000 from another card, it's probably best to get on the phone with a representative to make sure you'll get approved for at least that amount.
Having cards suddenly canceled. This can happen to inactive cards. If you've had a zero balance for over a year but with zero transactions, Amex can simply cancel it for inactivity. You can avoid inactivity on cards by setting a recurring subscription like Netflix or Spotify to Autopay. But in the case of the Amex EveryDay, it doesn't make sense to have it if you don't plan on using it.
Impacting your credit utilization. If you have a credit limit of $2,000 with zero balance and plan on buying a $1,300 television, it can harm your credit utilization.
The Mobile App
Plenty of people are used to paying bills and transferring funds online.
But as managing our finances through smart phones becomes more ubiquitous, the user experience and functionality of a brand's mobile app is becoming that much more important to consumers.
But sometimes the robustness of a website is sacrificed for the efficiency of the counterpart app.
What are the differences between Amex's website and their app?
You can get fraud alerts with the app. In addition to getting notifications for routine purchases or when another cardholder on your account uses the card, you can immediately be informed of any suspicious transactions.
Special offers on the app include a map function. Out and about and looking for ways to save on shopping? Pull up the app to review Amex Offers available near where you are, and you might discover a new favorite restaurant.
The folks at BoardingArea note that offers on the app are much easier to scroll through than the clunky presentation on the website.
AmexTravel is only accessible on the website. User Nitz328 on iTunes points out that the app is lacking considering all the extra benefits Amex provides.
Unlike the website, you won't be able to book hotel rooms with the app.
Logging into the app can be problematic.
Many users on Google Play report that the app doesn't recognize the login info used on the site.
Other reviewers say that the fingerprint security login feature doesn't work.
Amex EveryDay credit card strengths include supermarket shopping
Many people find a lot to like about this card, and it's especially good for beginners getting their feet wet in the credit card reward game.
Depending on your spending habits when it comes to eating and commuting, it could fit your lifestyle perfectly.
Highlights of the card include:
No annual membership fee. Rewards cards almost always have an annual fee, but not this one.
Annual fees can also devalue your rewards if you don't use it enough, making this a good card for the budget-conscious.
Double points on groceries. Those who cook to save money can maximize those rewards by earning 2 points for every $1 spent at supermarkets.
0% Introductory APR. This rate applies to both balance transfers and purchases during the first year.
Warranty and insurance protection. Some purchases qualify for extra coverage beyond the retailer's return policy.
Exclusive travel perks. Amex Travel has relationships with hotels and airlines that provide discounts and services to cardholders.
Amex EveryDay credit card weaknesses include lack of versatility
Not all credit cards are a fit for every consumer, so think about what you're looking for from a rewards card.
If you've been using credit cards for years and have a high level of spending, you may want a more ambitious reward card.
Other notable drawbacks and limitations you should consider include:
Cap on supermarket rewards. The points on grocery purchases top out at $6,000 per year. When it costs an average of more than $500 per month to feed a family of four, this isn't enough.
No rewards on gas. If you want your everyday card to reward you for filling up the tank, look for another card.
Not always accepted everywhere. Of the four major credit card issuers, Amex is behind Discover, Visa, and MasterCard in merchant acceptance.
Unfriendly for foreign travel. Not only is it not as widely accepted as the other brands, there's a 2.7% foreign transaction fee for each purchase outside the country.
Applying for the Amex Everyday
Simply visit the Amex website and fill out the fields for your name, home address, email address, phone number, social security number, date of birth, and income information, and submit it for approval. You should get an answer in minutes.
Introductory bonus and ways to save. There's no cash bonus for opening an account like some cards, but you can get a jump-start on Membership Rewards by earning 10,000 points if you use your new Amex EveryDay card to make at least $1,000 in transactions during the first three months. If you plan on using this as your new everyday card, this should be a breeze.
Getting started on applying. Merely applying for a new credit card won't damage your credit score, so don't be afraid of a hit to your credit score. Many consumer reviews report that approval is very quick and takes minutes, if not seconds.
Closing Your Account
Closing any credit card requires you to take time and jump through a hoop or two, but American Express is easier than most.
The best way to close your account is to call.
If you have a zero balance and no longer wish to carry this card, you can simply call 1-800-528-4800 with your 15-digit account number at the ready.
While you're on the phone, ask the rep to confirm it in writing for your records.
Keep in mind that if you close your account before using all your MR points, you will lose them.
If you still have unused points, you may want to consider transferring them to another Amex card or find a way to spend them.
If you find that the Amex EveryDay Credit Card no longer fits your lifestyle, you can upgrade to another American Express card with an annual fee and more generous rewards.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I cancel my card?
You can cancel your American Express either by calling the number on the back of your card or by logging into your account online and following the steps there.
- What can I use my credit card for?
You can use your American Express card to make purchases wherever the card is accepted while earning rewards and points. You can also use it for cash advances and balance transfers.
- Where and with what stores can I use my credit card?
Thousands of them! American Express is accepted at many retailers, restaurants and other businesses, big and small. But keep in mind that some retailers won't accept American Express cards because they charge a much higher fee than Visa and MasterCard. Be sure to carry a backup card.
- How long does it take American Express to refund my card?
If you make a purchase on your Amex card and return it, it can take 3-5 business days for your card to be refunded.
- How and where can I redeem the membership rewards?
There are lots of ways to redeem your Amex rewards. You can spend them while booking travel at AmexTravel.com, redeem them for gift cards, transfer them to another participating card, or apply them to your online shopping card at selected retailers. You can use points by logging into your statement online and apply points to eligible transactions.
- How is this card different from the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card?
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card has an annual fee of $95, and a more generous rewards system. With the Preferred card, you can earn three points for every $1 at supermarkets (and one point for every dollar after $6,000), and two points for every $1 you spend at gas stations. If you use your card at least 30 times in a single billing period, you can earn 50% more points for those transactions. There's also a bigger introductory offer; earn 15,000 points (instead of 10,000) when you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
- What are the shopping benefits attached to the use of this card?
You can earn two points for every $1 you spend on supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year. You'll also a point for every dollar you spend everywhere else. You can also earn double points when shopping on AmexTravel.com.
- How can I check my credit card balance?
It's easy to check your credit card balance with American Express. You can simply log into your account online or call the number on your card.
- Can I withdraw money from my credit card?
You can, but you need to be eligible for Express Cash and sign up. The only way is by calling customer service; you won't be able to do it online, mail, or email. If you're approved, you'll be able to withdraw cash only from participating ATM that accept American Express.
- Can I get a cash advance and are there any related fees?
Yes. Cash advances on the Amex EveryDay Credit Card carry a 26.24% APR, which can vary with the market.
- Can I pay for the credit card with a gift card, a different credit card, or PayPal?
American Express doesn't allow you to directly pay your balance with another credit card or gift card, nor can you use your PayPal account.
- Can I use my American Express credit card without the card?
You can add the American Express card to your digital wallet and use your smart device to pay for purchases. You'll also be able to use your account to pay for purchases online or over the phone, provided you have all the account number, expiration date, and security details.
- How do I add an authorized user to my American Express card?
The best way is to log into your account, select the account you'd like to add a new user to and fill out the required fields. You'll need the person's date of birth and Social Security number to complete the process.
- Are there any upgrades on American Express card?
If you decide that your lifestyle no longer fits the modest rewards of the Amex EveryDay Credit Card, you can upgrade to another tier of Amex with more substantial rewards and possibly an annual fee.
- How soon can I use my card after I receive it?
You may have to wait 7-10 business days to receive your card in the mail after applying, but American Express will give you your new account number as soon as you're approved. This way, you can begin shopping online immediately without a card.
- How do I contact American Express?
You can go to the Contact Us on the Amex website home page, where members can find an option to chat online, as well as mailing addresses. You can also call customer service at any time with questions. Contacting them on Twitter is also a great way to get help; just follow them and pose your question to @AskAmex. Unfortunately, Amex doesn't deal with email inquiries.
- How can I report a stolen American Express card?
You can request a replacement card online at americanexpress.com/cardreplacement, and American Express will cancel the card and send you a new one. If you'd rather not wait and prefer to take immediate action, you can call the number on the back of your card.
- What credit score do I need to get approval for this card?
American Express approval standards are higher than most credit cards and you generally need excellent credit score of 750 to be approved for their most rewarding cards. However, the Amex EveryDay Credit Card is a lower tier, and many online reviews report being approved with a credit score in the mid-600s.
- What credit score do I have to maintain so my account is not closed?
It's hard to say at what point Amex will close your account if your credit score drops, but they can do it without warning. If you're doing things that can negatively impact your credit score, like going over your credit line, paying late, or using too much of your utilization, you'll certainly increase your chances of a surprise cancellation.
- Will my credit score drop if my account is closed?
It might. Closing any credit card account means your available credit line will drop, as well as the average age of all your open accounts. Those two factors alone can make up about 45% of your credit score.
- Which credit bureaus does American Express report to?
American Express reports to the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
- Can I build my credit with the American Express credit card?
Absolutely, especially with the Amex EveryDay credit card. By keeping your credit utilization low and paying off your balance each month, you can help establish a strong credit history that results in a favorable credit score.
- Is there an expiration date on the card?
Yes. American Express will automatically send you a renewal card prior to the expiration date of your card. Your account number won't change, so you can continue to charge purchases while waiting for your card.
- Is there a credit insurance program and how will it cover me if I lose my job?
American Express doesn't offer credit insurance, but they can provide repayment options if you're having a hard time making your payments. What repayment solutions they offer will depend on the financial hardship you're in. If you lose your job or are experiencing other difficulties like divorce or illness, it's important to let them know so they can explore options with you.
- Can I have two credit cards from American Express at the same time?
Definitely! But there's a limit. American Express will allow you to carry up to 4 credit cards, and 4 charge cards for a total of 8 cards. They can be any combination of business and personal accounts, and included cards branded with a partner like Hilton Hotels or Delta.
- Can I transfer money from my American Express card to another card?
You can transfer a balance to another card but if you're looking for cash, you can purchase gift cards with your American Express card and use the new gift card as money.
- Is it hard to get an American Express credit card?
It can certainly be more difficult to get approved for an American Express card than other credit cards if you don't have a great credit score or little – or no – credit history. However, the Amex EveryDay credit card can be ideal for those without elite credit scores and a long established history.
- How do I get more reward points?
There's only so many ways to score reward points with the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. While you'll get two points for each dollar spent at supermarkets, the amount is capped at $6,000 per year. You can get double points when you shop on AmexTravel.com, and you'll get a point for each eligible purchase in each billing period. If you're looking for more points and bigger rewards, this is not the card for you.
- What can you use American Express points for?
American Express points can be used on qualifying purchases with American Express Travel, or transferred to a participating frequent flyer program you belong to. You can also use your points at big name-brand retailers and services like Amazon and Ticketmaster.
- Does American Express cover rental car insurance?
They certainly do. If you use your American Express card to rent a car that ends up being stolen or damaged, file a claim as soon as possible. Claims can take 45 days to review. While this benefit does not apply to all types of rental vehicles and coverage is not available in Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Israel, or Jamaica, you can confidently decline the collision damage waiver when you're renting your car.
The Amex EveryDay credit card is a great choice if you eat in and travel domestic frequently
Perhaps the most accessible of all Amex's offerings, the Amex EveryDay credit card offers rewards on everyday spending with no annual fee, as well as exclusive access to some of the brand's first-rate services.
But that's pretty much where the benefits end if you're looking for a points-earning rewards card.
While reward cards with no annual fee are indeed rare, this one has limitations that would require very specific circumstances to serve its ideal customer.
If you're a young urban professional on a budget who doesn't drive, cooks often, and you're looking to open a second credit card for everyday spending, the rewards for shopping at supermarkets make this a practically perfect card for you.
If you plan on traveling domestically soon and want to experience Amex's dedicated travel services and award-winning customer support firsthand with almost no risk, then consider this your introduction to a prestigious club.
Otherwise, it's only good for those who want a rewards card but hate annual fees, beginners brand-new to travel rewards on a credit card, and not much else.
If you're a big spender with an established credit history and you want maximum value from your new rewards credit card, look elsewhere.
While American Express isn't as universally accepted as Visa and MasterCard, a combination of characteristics and circumstances could make you the perfect user for this card.
If any of the following statements are true for you, then this Amex card could be right for you:
- My credit isn't awful but it's not good, and I'd love to make it stronger
- I want to learn how I can leverage rewards and points to get good deals
- I cook often and I rarely drive a car
- I plan to travel domestically at least a couple times a year
If you're looking for good rewards to strengthen your credit history and want to get a taste of their famous customer service when it comes to traveling, it just may be the perfect card for you.
Do you use the Amex EveryDay credit card? How has the card worked out for you? If you have any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us, let us know in the comments below.