A couple of months ago, I began a partnership with American Express. Since then, I've been using their new Everyday Card which awards points based on number of purchases as opposed to dollars spent. If you reach 20 purchases within a month, you get 20% extra Membership Awards points, whether those purchases are plane tickets to Tahiti or a pack of M&M's at the gas station. (Mmmmm… M&M's…)
This past June, I kept a log to track my purchases (and by log, I mean I used the American Express app) because I was curious if I would reach 20 purchases within the month.
It took me 26 days to use the card 20 times. I'd probably have reached 20 quicker if I used the card for every single thing, but sometimes, out of habit, I'd buy a bunch of bananas at the local bodega or pay for a taxi in cash. I also use a separate card for business related expenses (also American Express). It's worth noting, my husband and I both buy groceries (usually online), which explains why I only went on one trip in 26 days. The kids are not starving, thanks for asking!
Here are 20 credit card purchases in June from a full-time working mom in downtown Manhattan:
1. Sunday, June 1st – Taralucci E Vino ($3.02) Mazzy went to Super Soccer Stars with Mike and I got a cup of coffee while going for a walk with Harlow.
2. Sunday, June 1st – Sephora ($84.50) I walked with Harlow to Sephora because I lost my mascara and needed a new one, but I cannot walk out of that store without spending over $50. Later that night, I found my old mascara under the sink.
3. Sunday, June 1st – Brunch at the Standard ($40.50) I ended up ditching Mazzy and Mike for the entire day and taking Harlow to meet a friend and her baby for a late lunch. Afterwards, we went for a walk on the high line while the kids napped in their strollers. Mike and I are realizing that sometimes it's easier to divide and conquer.
4. Monday, June 2nd – Pret a Manger chicken balsamic sandwich ($6.52) Pret is my go-to quick lunch while at work.
5. Tuesday, June 3rd - Grey Dog coffee and muffin ($5.23)
6. Thursday, June 4th – 8 Willa Chairs from Crate and Barrel ($1311.00) – You can see before and after pics of my new dining room here.
7. Thursday, June 4th – Dorado Quesidilla with extra guacamole ($8.93)
8. Thursday, June 4th – Davey's Ice Cream ($7.75) Mike and I took the girls after work and Harlow tried her first spoonful of ice cream. At first Mazzy shared with her little sister willingly, but after a few bites, she said, "I'm getting upset about giving Harlow all my ice cream." I was about to tell Mazzy she had to share with her sister, but then I realized I should praise her for telling me how she was feeling instead of pitching a fit. As a reward, I got Harlow her own cup. (Mike purchased the second cup, otherwise I think that would have counted as two purchases.)
9. Tuesday, June 10th – Diapers.com ($93.58) I bought diapers, a bike helmet (the strap broke on Mazzy's old helmet), tissues, toilet paper, diaper genie refills, and Kid Z Bars (Mazzy can't get enough of those).
10. Wednesday, June 11th – Dinner with the kids at Schnitz ($23.15)
11. Thursday, June 12th – Duane Reade ($48.35) Late night run for tampons, walked out with shampoo, gum, a new toothbrush and travel razors
12. Sunday, June 15th – PC Richards BBQ ($1131.66) I bought Mike a rather large Father's Day present— a Weber grill for the new house (plus a propane tank and cover). He was going to buy it anyway. My Father's Day gift was basically taking Harlow to the store and buying it for him. I also bought my dad a portable wireless speaker.
13. Monday, June 16th – Pret a Manger ($8.70)
14. Tuesday, June 10th – Whole Foods ($83.38) including Van's Multigrain waffles, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, salmon, Go-Go apple squeezies, ground turkey burgers, multi-grain pretzels
15. Tuesday, June 17th – Starbucks ($6.15) I took Mazzy on the way home from camp. I got a medium coffee (I refuse to call it a Venti) and Mazzy got a warm milk in a coffee cup with a cover. I remember making fun of moms who bought their kids "coffee" at Starbucks a few years ago. I was an idiot then. Mazzy thinks "coffee" at Starbucks is the best thing ever.
16. Wednesday, June 18th – Taxi ($19.00) I took a cab to the Parents Magazine office to speak on a panel about blogging. They reimbursed me.
17. Wednesday, June 18th – Smith Restaurant ($22.32) Coffee and a light bite with a friend
18. Monday, June 23rd – Duane Reade ($5.00) Mazzy came down with an ear infection and I bought her antibiotics with a $5 copay. This is a photo of Harlow giving her sick sister support at the doctor's office.
19. Wednesday, June 25th – BCBG Online ($135.01) - I went to an American Express event where they gave everyone a full makeover including make-up by Sephora, hair by Dry Bar and a dress from Rent the Runway. I tried on a bunch of things and againtst all odds (and all indications of being a woman in her late thirties), ended up going with a jumpsuit. It was so comfortable (it's like wearing pajamas!) and fashion foward (who do I think I am?!), I looked it up online to see if I could purchase it. It was on sale at BCBG. SCORE!
20. Thursday, June 26th – Ibiza Kids ($79.79) - I bought Mazzy and Harlow both shoes for their Uncle's wedding that I posted about earlier this week. Mazzy was a flower girl again!
Looking back, it seems strange there weren't more purchases for the kids, but I think if it were a different month, they could have totally dominated my expenses. It all depends on what's going on. It's also not every month I have two huge purchases like the Weber girll and the dining room chair set. I also used to spend a lot more on transportation, but that's changed since my office is now within walking distance from my apartment. It's also clear I spend a lot less when we stay at our summer house on the weekend than when we spend the weekend in the city. I think it's because we stay mainly at home and Mike tends to do the grocery shopping since he's excited to cook on his new grill.
So there you go! I'm curious if this is very different from other moms.
In addition to 20% extra points after 20 purchases, the American Express Everyday Card has no annual fee and gives one point for every dollar you spend and two points for every dollar you spend on groceries.
Hmmm…. maybe I should take over cooking and groceries from now on.
This post was sponsored by American Express but all purchases were made by me. American Express had no influence over the brands, restaurants or stores l listed here. My only bias is that they are most likely in walking distance from my apartment.