Bread Rewards American Express
I’m a big fan of third party Amex cards. They’re somewhat of an endangered species in our points and travel hobby, but several solid options still exist. Perhaps my favorite, up to this point, has been the Bread Cashback American Express from Comenity. The card earns uncapped 2% cash back everywhere, probably a yawn for some. For what it’s worth, I love more 2% options, especially from the niche issuers. But I just recently discovered the new Bread Rewards American Express card, and I think it now comes out ahead. Let’s take a look at the Bread Rewards Amex – it offers greatness but also has a big catch.
Bread Rewards American Express Highlights
The Bread Rewards American Express from Comenity comes with some attractive bonus categories. The card offers 3%/3x on gas station, grocery store, dining, and utility purchases, and 1%/1x everywhere else. Borrowing a sheet from the Amex Everyday cards’ playbook, the Bread Rewards Amex earns 25% extra rewards when the cardholder makes 20 or more transactions in a billing cycle. That’s 3.75x earning on those generous bonus categories! And it gets better.
The card has no annual fee, and there don’t appear to be any caps on the amount of rewards one can earn. I didn’t find anything in the card’s terms and conditions noting any earning or redemption caps. Confusingly, Bread advertises earning rewards as 3% and 1%, but rewards actually accrue as points (not Membership Rewards). According to the terms and conditions, points are redeemable for statement credits or direct deposit starting at $10 for 1k points – a simple one cent per point redemption value.
Points can also be redeemed for Apple products, other merchandise, gift cards, travel, and to erase other purchases. The T&C’s don’t list the redemption rates for those options, though, and I don’t foresee those being advantageous over cashing out, barring any increased point value or redemption promos.
The Big Catch
The Bread Rewards American Express card sounds great, right? Well, there’s one substantial asterisk. According to the Bread Financial website, the Rewards Amex is currently available by invitation only. There’s an “accept my pre-approved offer” button prominently displayed, indicating some lucky individuals have already been targeted for the card.
So where’d the Bread Rewards Amex come from, anyway? It appears existing Comenity Mastercard holders were automatically transitioned to the Bread Rewards Amex last month. Bread Financial/Comenity inviting others to apply seems to be the next step in this card’s rollout. I won’t be surprised to see or hear of mailers with a modest welcome offer, similar to the cash back card. Down the road, I’m optimistic the card will be openly available for all to apply.
My Initial Take
Earning uncapped 3.75% cash back from a no annual fee card in the gas, grocery, dining, and utility categories is simply remarkable, in my view. Sure, other cards may outperform in a given category or two, but they don’t offer all of them. And those cards quite often come with substantial annual fees. I can’t think of a better all around, no annual fee card with such prominent bonus categories. In my view, this card is worth picking up for many, even without a signup bonus.
The big banks provide plenty, but I enjoy products from all those other issuers just as much. Indeed, I find the hunt for such cards just as much fun as the rewards themselves. Where will Comenity head next with their cards, the Bread versions and otherwise? I’ll be watching. Have you received an offer for the Bread Rewards American Express? How does this card complement others in your portfolio?
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.