Rewards Credit Card Review: American Express Preferred Rewards Card

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American Express Preferred Rewards Card

With the American Express Preferred Rewards Card, you can earn 25,000 membership reward points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. With this rewards card, you will get 3 times the points for flights booked directly within airlines.  You will also get 2 times the points at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. Points on other purchases will earn 1 times the points.  Other perks are that you will receive $100 on airline fee credits and up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline. You will also receive a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade when you arrive.

The American Express Preferred Rewards Card is not without some disappointments.  First, there is the large annual fee of $195.  This fee is waived for only the first year and then you will incur the hefty charge every year.  Another disappointment is that this is only a charge card.  You can't carry a balance on it. The amount spent must be paid off each month.

Pros


  • Each calendar year, you can receive up to $100 in statement credits toward incidental airline fees.  This includes baggage fees and in-flight purchases.
  • You can earn 2x the points on your purchases when you stay at the Amex Hotel Collection.
  • If your baggage is stolen, lost, or damaged when you are traveling with a common carrier that was booked using your American Express Preferred Rewards Card, you will be eligible for up to $1,250 in coverage for your carry-ons and $500 for baggage that you checked in.
  • You can earn 25,000 membership reward points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • The annual fee of $195 is waived the first year.

Cons


  • Hefty annual fee of $175
  • The credit at the Amex Hotel Collection only applies to stays of two consecutive nights or longer.
  • This is only a charge card. You may not carry any balance on it.

What Other People Are Saying

American Express

"It took a long time for my bonus rewards to arrive.  Even when they did, it hardly translated to any decent hotels when I tried to use it.  Most high-end hotels require over 50,000 points PER NIGHT.  You'd have to spend 5K or more on this card every month to make the rewards worth it.  Chase Reserve still gives the best rewards for your buck.  And to be clear, I travel, at a minimum, 3 times per year (both domestic and international), and still do not spend enough to make these rewards in this card worth it for me.  I wish I could just close it, but I don't want the dent on my credit score."

"This card has a great rewards structure, especially if you're taking advantage of the offers. There's a pretty good welcome offer, bonus points for everyday categories, and also a number of revolving offers on their website for selected merchants. You can get additional bonus points as well as discounts. There are a few other little "goodies" in there too like the airline fee credit and free access to shoprunner (which is much more useful than I anticipated). There's also a free roadside assistance with free towing if needed.

"It's a good card to help your credit utilization score if you're someone that pays for everything with their cards but does not carry a month-to-month balance. Charges on this card DO NOT count as used credit. If you have $10,000 in available credit between other cards and use this card for all purchases, you can drop your credit utilization to zero percent. Again, though, you cannot carry a balance with those purchases."

Cost and Process to Join

Citi Double Cash Card

There is no cost to sign up for a American Express Preferred Rewards Card.  However, there will be a $175 annual fee that you will need to pay after the first year which is waived.  To apply for this rewards card, click here.

Customer Service

American Express Preferred Rewards Card

Each time you want to speak to a member of the American Express support team, you will need to use their "chat" service. First, you'll need to log in using a user ID and password that you will need to first create.

To start the process of speaking with a customer service representative with American Express, click here.

My Conclusion 

The American Express Preferred Rewards Card has some upsides to it and some downsides.  First, you can earn 25,000 membership reward points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.  You can also get 3 times the points for flights booked directly within airlines and 2 times the points at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets.  

Perks include receiving $100 on airline fee credits, up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline, and $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus room upgrade when you arrive. The downside is that there is a huge annual fee of $195.  Also, this is only a charge card.  You may not carry any balance on it. I hope that my review of the American Express Rewards Card can help you discover if it would be the right fit for you!

For more reviews and information, check out our list of the top ten reward credit cards of 2018. 

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