2021.8 Update: The 30k offer is back, you should be able to see it via incognito mode. HT: reader Jos Malig-on.
2021.5 Update: It seems the 30k offer is gone. The current offer is only 15k.
2018.7 Update: According to DoC’s data points, Amazon Reload and other small valued transactions now resumes to count towards number of purchases!
- 30k offer: earn 30,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points after spending $2,000 in first 3 months.
- We estimate that Membership Rewards (MR) are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 30k highest sign-up bonus is worth about $480.
- Earn 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent at US supermarkets; 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent at US gas stations; 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent on other purchases.
- If you make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, get 50% more points on those purchases: 4.5 MR (~7.2%) at US supermarkets, 3x (~4.8%) at US gas stations, 1.5x (~2.4%) on other purchases.
- With this card, you can get access to Amex Offer, which usually offers very good discounts at some stores, such as: spend $15 or more and get $5 back at Walmart; spend $75 or more and get $25 back on Amazon.com.
- Refer a friend: You can earn 10,000 bonus MR points for every approved account you refer, up to 55,000 MR points per calendar year.
- $95 annual fee, NOT waived for the first year.
- Only first $6,000 purchases per calendar year at US supermarkets can earn 3x MR, after that you can only earn 1x.
- According to the definition by American Express, Target Walmart and Costco don’t count as supermarkets, and you can only get 1x when shopping there.
- This credit card is on American Express Network, not Visa or MasterCard, so some small stores may not accept it.
- The 3x/2x bonus categories are limited within the United States. Well, the Foreign Transaction Fee exists anyway, so better not use it outside the US.
Introduction to MR Points
- You can earn MR points with AmEx ED, AmEx EDP, AmEx Green, AmEx Gold, AmEx Platinum, AmEx Platinum for Schwab, AmEx Platinum for Morgan Stanley, AmEx Blue Business Plus, AmEx Business Green, AmEx Business Gold, AmEx Business Platinum, etc.
- The MR points you earn on different MR cards will automatically go to the same MR account.
- MR points never expire. You will not lose the MR points on one card if you close the account, but you will lose all of the MR points if you close all of the MR cards. In order to avoid losing your MR points, we recommend to keep the no annual fee AmEx ED.
- If you have any of the MR cards, MR points can be transferred to some airline miles. One of the most common and best way to use MR points is to 1:1 transfer them to All Nippon Airways (ANA, NH) miles (Star Alliance). Other good options are: Air Canada (AC) (Star Alliance), Delta Air Lines (DL) (SkyTeam), British Airways (BA) (Oneworld), Asia Miles (Oneworld), Singapore Airlines (SQ) (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use MR in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
- If you have any of the MR cards, you can redeem your MR points at a fixed rate about 1 cent/point towards air tickets on AmEx travel portal.
- If you have AmEx Platinum for Schwab, you can redeem your MR points at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards cash. If you don’t want to spend time studying airline miles, this is a pretty good way to cash out the points. If you don’t have this card, you can only redeem your MR points at a fixed rate 0.6 cents/point towards cash.
- In summary, we estimate that MR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
- For more information about MR points, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to MR: How to Earn and Introduction to MR: How to Use (very detailed).
Recommended Application Time
- You can only get the welcome bonus once in a lifetime, so be sure to apply when the historical highest offer appears.
- AmEx doesn’t care about the number of hard pulls.
- You can try to apply for it when you have a credit history of 6 months.
- You must wait at least 90 days between the application for ED and EDP, otherwise the application will be cancelled.
- Only 2 AmEx credit cards can be approved within 90 days, but this rule does not apply to charge cards. Multiple cards approved in the same day will only have one Hard Pull.
- You can keep at most 5 AmEx credit cards, but this rule does not apply to charge cards.
If you only want to take one credit card with you, or you can make 30 or more transactions in every month, then this credit card is the one for you! You can earn a really high rewards: 4.5 MR (~7.2%) at US supermarkets, 3x (~4.8%) at US gas stations, 1.5x (~2.4%) on other purchases! Better than any other single credit card and even better than most 2 cards combo! (see Which Credit Card Should I Pick If I Only Want One Card for detailed information) If you really care about this and make sure 30 or more transaction requirement can be satisfied every month, and you like to pile up MR points, this credit card is definitely worth keeping! If you can’t make 30 or more transactions in every month, then the best grocery credit card should not be this card, it should be AmEx Blue Cash Preferred (BCP) or Sallie Mae (SM) (see Best Rewards Credit Cards For Grocery for detailed comparison).
There’s a more premium way to use this credit card: find Gift Cards for the stores that you visit frequently (such as Shell, Amazon, etc) or Visa Gift Cards in supermarkets, use your AmEx EveryDay Preferred to buy them and you can get up to 4.5x MR (up to $6000 per year, after that 1.5x MR)! The price of store Gift Cards is usually equivalent to its nominal value; and the price of Visa Gift Cards is usually its nominal value + $5.95, so you’d better buy the ones with the largest nominal value which is $500. So if you use the card this way, its pretty much everything 5%~6% in return! So the monthly spending mentioned in the summary part should include these gift card spendings.
Here I recommend a way to meet the spending times requirement quickly, in case you can’t meet the requirement in time: Amazon Gift Card Reload. The minimum amount $0.50 each time.
Related Credit Cards
Recommended Downgrade Options
- Click here to check AmEx application status.
- AmEx reconsideration backdoor number: 877-399-3083. The “real” backdoor number of Amex is well protected. Different from Chase, the representatives from this AmEx reconsideration backdoor number only have the right to help you submit requests.
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