As you probably know, the Amex Everyday Preferred (pays no commission at this time) has been officially launched. I have done my analysis of the card in this post and mentioned that it is my top “family” pick for flexible points earning card.
My top overall choice is Amex Blue Cash Preferred. Assuming we put all of our expenses on it during the year, we would have $612 in rewards if the spending equals $24,000. The annual fee is $75. In comparison, Everyday Preferred would give us 59,400 Membership Rewards with a $95 annual fee.
So, we have $612 vs. 59,400 Membership Rewards points. If we add the $20 annual fee difference, we have $632 vs. 59,400 points. If I use my very conservative valuation of 1.1 cents per point, this amount would be worth $653. Amex Everyday Preferred wins by this metric.
The truth is, if you transfer to BA Avios even on 1:1 basis, you most likely would get more than 1.1 cents per mile. Of course, transfer bonuses would net even more value.
Additionally, there are other partners that would work for some families. For example, Virgin Atlantic for redemptions on Virgin America and for some flights to London (when they run specials), Aeroplan and ANA for redemptions on United.
Also, don’t forget Frontier and Jet Blue, which offer good availability, a big plus for a family. There is also Choice program, where some hotels cost 6,000 points, which transfer on 1:1 basis from Membership Rewards. Amex also has an option of redeeming for travel expenses, where you would get at least 1 cent per point in value.
You could also redeem points for gift cards, and this is where it gets interesting. Let’s say we use 60,000 points for a $600 Home Depot gift card. The most you can usually save on those is 10 percent by going through Giftcardgranny.
So, the points would be worth at least $540, more that we would get with Sallie Mae Barclaycard, which would give us $522. Of course, Sallie Mae has no annual fee. However, with Amex cards you can almost certainly make up for it by participating in various promotions.
I do want to stress that Amex Everyday Preferred is a good option if you are mostly looking to transfer to miles or redeem for gift cards. If you are solely after cash back, this is not the optimal choice, as you would get only $300 for every 60,000 points.
However, my blog is geared toward a middle-class family and most will make room for some sort of vacation in their budget. They will also find use for Home Depot or other gift cards.
I’m putting it right behind Amex Blue Cash Preferred for now, but it may be your top pick, depending on your value of Membership Rewards points, as well as your goals.
If you want to have two cards in your wallet (and you should), my companion pick would be US Bank Cash Plus or Chase Freedom. Both are Visa cards and would come in handy for those places that don’t accept Amex. They also offer 5 percent cash back in certain rotating categories.
If your family shops at a grocery store and prefers to collect flexible points or redeem for gift cards, my very top pick for a long-term card would be Amex Everyday Preferred.
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Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.