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Credit Card Review: Amex EveryDay (AXP, JPM)

Author: Michael Williams

Many consumers like the prestige and perks that come with an American Express (AXP) card but have refrained from applying for one because, traditionally, Amex cards also come with several drawbacks. These include an annual fee and an inability to carry a balance. If such reasons have stopped you from getting an American Express card in the past, the Amex EveryDay card is one to check out.

Introduced in early 2014, the EveryDay card is the manifestation of American Express' attempt to reach out to everyday credit card users who value simplicity, in contrast with the company's traditional customer base of big spenders and high-net-worth individuals.

The Rewards and Benefits

The Amex EveryDay card provides users with many of the perks Amex is known for, such as a generous membership rewards program in which cardholders receive points for making purchases and can redeem those points for merchandise, gift cards and airline miles.

Where the Amex EveryDay card differs from other Amex cards is it does not come with an annual fee, and cardholders may carry a balance, although any carried beyond the card's due date each month accrues interest charges.

New Amex EveryDay cardholders receive an introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 0% on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. You can transfer your balance from another card to your Amex EveryDay card for a flat fee of $5 or 3% of the balance being transferred, whichever is greater. Especially during the 0% APR introductory period, this provides a great opportunity to rid yourself of balances that are accruing steep interest charges.

Like most AMEX cards, the EveryDay card comes with an extensive rewards program. If you spend $1,000 on your card in the first three months, you receive a bonus of 10,000 rewards points. Supermarket purchases in the United States receive double the normal rate of points. Bonus points are awarded if you make 20 separate purchases within a billing cycle. You may redeem your rewards points for travel, merchandise or gift cards.

The Fine Print

Once your 0% APR introductory period ends, the APR on your card resets to a variable rate based on the prime rate and your creditworthiness. This rate could be anywhere from 12.99 to 21.99%, which is competitive for a credit card, but interest can still accrue quickly if you get in the habit of carrying a balance each month.

Making your payment late is not a good idea with the Amex EveryDay card. You incur a $38 late fee, and your APR for new charges adjusts to the penalty rate of 29.24%. If your payment is more than 60 days late, the penalty rate is also assessed to your existing balance. The penalty rate goes away after six months if you pay your bill on time during that period.

Main Competitors

The Amex EveryDay card has two main competitors: the Chase Freedom card from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and the Citi Simplicity card from Citibank (C). All three cards offer a generous 0% APR introductory period, though the Citi Simplicity card's intro period, at 21 months, is longer than that of the other two cards.

The Chase Freedom card offers a rewards program, but it is not as extensive as the one offered by American Express. One benefit exclusive to the Chase card, however, is 1% cash back on all purchases. The Citi Simplicity card features no membership rewards program.

Who Should Get It

The Amex EveryDay card is a good fit for a variety of consumers. People who do not use credit cards frequently but like to have one on hand for convenience and emergencies choose the EveryDay card because it has no annual fee and its terms and conditions are straightforward.

The EveryDay card is also popular among people who wish to take advantage of Amex's first class rewards program but do not want to pay an annual fee or have a card on which the balance must be paid in full every month.

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