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Best American Express credit cards
American Express offers a wide range of credit cards for every type of consumer. No matter whether you’re looking for a card to take to buy groceries or go on a trip, you’ll find a great choice with Amex.
Let’s take a look at the best American Express credit card offers.
American Express® Gold Card
If you’re a foodie or an eager traveler, you should check out the American Express® Gold Card. It offers 4x points in restaurants, 4x points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent annually), 3x points on flights (if booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com), and 1x points on everything else.
Generous rewards usually come with an annual fee, which in this case is $250. However, the $120 Uber Cash to dine or ride and the $120 dining credit alone are enough to (almost) offset it.
Another noteworthy part of the rewards program is the 60,000 Membership Rewards points you earn after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. Points can be redeemed in various ways, including for travel booked through amextravel.com or directly with airlines.You can also transfer them to airline and hotel program partners.
The APR range on this card is pretty standard, between 16.24% - 23.24% Variable.
This card would be a great addition to the wallets of those who frequent restaurants, spend a lot on groceries, and fly out often. Moderate spenders might not manage to justify the annual fee, so check your spending patterns before you apply. The exact value of your points will depend on how you redeem them, but in any case, you'll have plenty of options to maximize your rewards. This brings us to another important point: This card is for those who don’t mind doing some number crunching to determine the most lucrative redemption option.
American Express® Blue Cash Preferred®
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express® is not only the star card of Amex, but it’s also one of the top cash back credit cards on the market.
It comes with an exceptional 6% cash back rate on groceries (only in U.S. supermarkets and up to $6,000 in purchases annually), 6% cash back on selected U.S. streaming services, 3% on transit (including taxis, parking, buses, and more), 3% on gas at U.S. gas stations and 1% on everything else.
You might be already convinced, but there’s even more! Other benefits include a $350 welcome bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first six months (you will receive the $350 back in the form of a statement credit), 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months (14.24% - 24.24% Variable after), and reduced fees with the American Express Plan It feature during the first 12 months.
The annual fee is $95, but it's waived for the first year, which means you can give the card a trial run and see whether it's the right fit for you.
As the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express® has a wide range of rewards categories, this card would be a good fit for many people. This covers anyone who spends heavily on groceries, gas, and streaming services, or commutes often. By maxing out the $6,000 spending limit, you'd get $360 in cash back annually, which is almost four times the annual fee.
The Platinum Card® American Express®
The Platinum Card® from American Express® is an elite travel credit card with a long list of benefits that make it well worth the $695 annual fee. That is, of course, if you travel often enough to take advantage of those benefits.
That includes an intro offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $6,000 on purchases (worth up to $1,000, depending on how you redeem the points).
Cardholders also get many annual credits, including a $200 hotel credit, a $240 digital entertainment credit, a $200 airline fee credit, and $200 in Uber Cash. Cardholders can also enjoy access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection and complimentary hotel loyalty program status.
The rewards program consists of a 5x-point rewards rate on flights (when booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel on up to $500,000 spent annually), 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, and 1x points on all other purchases.
The card has a variable APR of 16.24% - 23.24%.
Considering its steep annual fee, this card should be considered by those who frequently travel and want to enjoy luxury travel benefits. Only by spending a lot, you'd be able to justify the annual fee. For example, $16,000 spent on flights and prepaid hotels would earn you 80,000 Membership Rewards points worth $800 if redeemed through Amex Travel for airfare.
American Express® Blue Cash Everyday®
The Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express® is the no-annual fee version of the Blue Cash Preferred®. The Blue Cash Preferred® card is superior in many ways, but the Everyday doesn't fall short either.
With this card, you'll earn a $200 welcome bonus if you spend $2,000 in the first six months of card membership and a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months (15.49% - 25.49% Variable thereafter).
The rewards rates are as follows: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (capped at $6,000 un purchases annually), 2% back on gas at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, and 1% on everything else.
You should apply for this card if groceries and gas make up a significant part of your budget, but not enough to justify paying an annual fee.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express®
Travelers who often fly with Delta and its partners will find their trips more enjoyable with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express®.
The card offers numerous benefits that will bring convenience to your flights. Some of these include a free first checked bag on Delta flights, 20% off on in-flight purchases, Priority Boarding, and a $100 Delta Flight Credit (if you spend $10,000 annually). You'll also earn 2x miles on Delta purchases and purchases at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants (including take-out and delivery). All other purchases will get you 1x miles.
The intro offer is 70,000 miles after you spend $2,000 or more on eligible purchases on your Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
The redemption options are flexible. You can redeem for flights, seat upgrades, gift cards, and more. Another great thing is that you can also redeem rewards with one of many Delta’s airline partners.
The card also comes with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, ( $99 thereafter). The variable APR on the card ranges between 15.99% - 24.99%.
Needless to say, this card will benefit most those who frequently travel with Delta and its partners, especially those who often check in their luggage. The welcome bonus alone could be worth more than $600, depending on how you redeem. This means you’ll have the annual fee covered for the next few years. Other people who might benefit from this card are those who want a travel card that earns them rewards on groceries and dining.
Blue Business® Plus American Express®
The Blue Business® Plus from American Express® is a nice choice for all business owners looking for a business card with a rewards program. The card has a great rewards program, which includes 2x points on all purchases made annually for up to $50,000 in purchases (1x points afterward).
You also can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 during the first three months of card membership. The 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases will enable business owners to make some big purchases for their company’s needs without paying interest. That is, if they manage to pay off the balance during the intro period before the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 21.49% Variable kicks in.
Another benefit that makes this card attractive is the Expanded Buying Power feature which offers you an option to spend over your credit limit (the amount is still limited and depends on various factors like credit history and card usage).
The card also has a number of practical management tools, including employee cards, online statements, access to QuickBooks, and others.
Unless you carry a balance, this card won't cost you since it has no annual fee.
The Blue Business® Plus is worth considering by small business owners who want to avoid the additional cost of an annual fee and earn rewards on all purchases. It'd also be valuable to those who have some big purchases coming up and want to pay them off without interest.
American Express® Business Gold
The American Express® Business Gold credit card offers excellent rewards and flexibility for your business needs. It earns 4x points in two spending categories of your choice, on up to $150,000 in combined eligible purchases in those categories (1x points thereafter).
The intro offer is 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 in the first three months of card membership. For a business, this could be easily doable. The welcome bonus can be worth up to $700, covering the cost of the annual fee ($295) in the next two years.
There are several options for redeeming Membership Rewards points. For instance, you can pay with points at Amazon, Best Buy, and Dell.com, or redeem for gift cards, transfer to partners' loyalty programs, cover your card charges, and more.
Other noteworthy features include the Pay Over Time Option (pay off purchases over time) and No Preset Spending Limit (your credit limit will be flexible and adjust based on factors like payments, purchases, and credit history). The Expense Management Tools offer many practical features like keeping track and organizing your expenses.
Business owners whose company’s spending is concentrated in two out of the card’s six categories should consider applying for the American Express® Business Gold. The card has no foreign transaction fees, which makes it valuable for those who travel internationally, and comes with a few travel benefits like Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.
Business Platinum American Express®
The Business Platinum from American Express® is an elite business credit card. It comes with an annual fee of $695 that's a bit on the high side but well worth it for the rewards and benefits it offers.
Additionally, this is the American Express® card for business travel as it comes with the many perks provided by the consumer version – The Platinum Card® from American Express®. The card earns you a generous 5x miles on flights and prepaid hotels when booked through Amex Travel and 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 and more and in select business categories.
The welcome bonus (120,000 points) could be potentially worth more than $1,200 in travel, but it requires you to spend $15,000 during the first three months. Yet, its worth would be more than sufficient to cover the annual fee in the first year.
Even without the bonus, the Business Platinum offers several annual statement credits of over $1,400 in business value. These include $400 on Dell Technologies purchases, $360 back on Indeed purchases, $150 for Adobe Creative Solutions, a $120 wireless credit, and more.
Another great feature is the 0% APR intro offer during the first 12 months on purchases available for Pay Over Time (14.49% - 22.49% Variable thereafter).
The Business Platinum from American Express® would be a good choice for business owners who often travel and spend a lot in select bonus categories. They should have a large enough budget to pay the annual fee and spend the $15,000 required for the one-time bonus.
American Express® Blue Business Cash™
The American Express® Blue Business Cash™ is the cash back version of the American Express® Blue Business® Plus. The rewards structure is similar, but you earn cash back instead of points. Cardholders earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases for up to $50,000 spent per year and 1% afterward (cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement).
There's an excellent welcome offer of $250 for spending $5,000 during the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $250 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
All other features replicate those on the Blue Business Cash™: no annual fee, a 12-month 0% APR (13.49% - 21.49% Variable thereafter), Expanded Buying Power, and the Expense Management Tools.
The best thing about cash back credit cards is their simplicity since you don't have to calculate points' value through different redemption options. Business owners who just want to swipe the card and get the rewards should look into this card.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express®
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express® is the more premium version of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold card. It also comes with a higher annual fee of $250 and better rewards and benefits.
Let’s start with the excellent intro offer, which in this case is 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
The rewards structure includes 3x miles on Delta purchases, and hotel purchases (made directly with hotels), 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and 1x miles on everything else.
Other benefits cardholders can enjoy are the status boost feature that will get you closer to the Medallion Status, first checked bag free, domestic main cabin round-trip companion certificate (every year when you renew your card), and more.
There are no foreign transaction fees, which is always appreciated when it comes to a travel credit card.
The variable APR is 15.99% - 24.99%.
If you’re a traveler who flies with Delta and wants to do it in style, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum is the right card for you. If you’re in a dilemma between the Platinum and the Gold, consider whether you’d take advantage of the two main distinctions — the companion ticket and the status boost. For instance, if you think you’ll do at least one round-trip domestic flight with Delta in coach with a companion per year and the flight’s fare would be more than $250, you’d be better off with the Platinum version.
Hilton Honors American Express®
The Hilton Honors American Express® Card is a very lucrative, no-annual-fee credit card. The card will treat Hilton fans to a substantial welcome offer, high rewards rates, and excellent travel benefits.
The one-time bonus is twofold: 70,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a free night reward. It has a relatively low spending requirement of $1,000 within the first three months of card membership.
On top of that, you’ll earn 7x points on hotels and resorts (included in the Hilton portfolio), 5x points at supermarkets and restaurants in the USA, 5x points on gas at U.S. gas stations, and 3x points on all other purchases. Cardholders will automatically get the complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with the card, and those who spend $20,000 in a year can also upgrade to the Hilton Honors Gold status.
Finally, something you should bear in mind is that the Hilton Honors points usually have lower value compared to other loyalty programs. According to third-party sources, one Hilton Honor point is worth around 0.5 cents. Besides booking hotel stays at Hilton properties, you can also redeem the Hilton Honors points for gift cards, experiences, and more.
The APR for this card is 15.99% - 24.99% Variable.
The Hilton Honors American Express® card is a good choice for travelers who like to stay at the Hilton chain hotels but prefer to avoid annual fees.
Hilton Honors Surpass® American Express®
The Hilton Honors Surpass® American Express® is a more premium version of the Hilton Honors American Express® Card. The card will cost you a $95 annual fee, and it includes a better rewards program, a Hilton Honors Gold status, a eekend night reward, and 10 Priority Pass visits a year.
The limited-time welcome bonus is 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a free night after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Additionally, you earn 12x points on hotels and resorts (included in the Hilton portfolio), 6x points at supermarkets and restaurants in the USA, 6x points on gas at U.S. gas stations, and 3x points on all other purchases.
The card comes with a complimentary Gold status, and you can upgrade to the Diamond status by spending $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.
The APR is the same as on the Hilton Honors American Express®, 15.99% - 24.99%.
This one is also for Hilton fans who don’t mind paying some extra bucks for a better experience at the Hilton properties.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® is a premium credit card that will bring your stays at the Marriott hotels to a different level.
The card offers 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3x points at U.S. restaurants, 3x points on flights booked directly through airlines, and 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
Points can be redeemed for stays at the participating Marriott properties or for flights and rental cars with the Marriott Bonvoy partners.
There is a generous welcome offer: 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $3,000 during the first three months.
To enjoy all benefits, you'd have to pay a hefty $450 annual fee which can be easily offset with the up to $300 in Marriott Bonvoy statement credits and up to $100 in Marriott Bonvoy property credits (for qualifying charges at the Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis when you book directly using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay).
You'll also get a free night reward for each account anniversary and 15 Elite night credits yearly toward the Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
Other noteworthy perks include fee credits for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and Priority Pass Select.
The variable APR ranges from 15.99% - 24.99%.
Travelers who are regulars at the Marriott Bonvoy hotels and want to earn points for their stays would greatly benefit from this card.
American Express® Cash Magnet®
The American Express® Cash Magnet® is a simple cash back credit card that will cost you nothing to have in your wallet (unless you carry a balance, of course).
It offers an unlimited, flat 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases. The card also comes with a relatively long 15-month 0% APR intro offer on purchases (15.49% - 25.49% Variable thereafter).
There’s also an intro Buy Now, Pay Later Plan It Fees offer which removes plan fees when you use the feature during the first 15 months. After that, there will be a fee of up to 1.33% of each purchase amount of $100 or more.
Another welcome treat for new cardholders is the $200 statement credit you'll earn after spending $2,000 during the first six months of card membership.
The American Express® Cash Magnet® might lack some premium perks, but it's an excellent option for people who want a no-fuss cash back credit card that earns them rewards on every purchase. It's also suitable for those who have a big purchase coming up and want to make use of the intro APR period.
What is an American Express credit card
American Express, also known as Amex, is a multinational company that specializes in payment card services. An American Express credit card is an electronic payment card.
American Express is one of the leading issuers of personal, small business, and corporate credit cards. The company has its own processing network that competes with Visa and Mastercard. It was reported that in 2020, 99% of U.S. merchants that accept credit cards now also accept American Express credit cards.
You can also take your American Express card to your trip abroad as they are accepted in more than 160 countries and territories internationally.
Services offered by American Express
American Express offers a variety of services, including:
- Credit cards: American Express has an impressive portfolio of credit card offers. It stands out for its premium travel credit cards that usually come with many luxury benefits. Still, customers can also find business credit cards, cash back cards with everyday spending categories, and even co-branded credit cards with partners like Delta Airlines and Hilton.
- Personal loans: If you’re interested in an American Express personal loan, you can easily check whether you’re pre-approved. Loan amounts range from $3,500 up to $40,000.
- Savings account and CDs: It’s worth considering parking your savings with Amex due to the competitive annual percentage yield and the fact that there are no monthly fees.
What are the benefits of having an American Express credit card
On top of rewards, American Express also offers other attractive features with each of its credit cards. Although these vary from card to card, here’s a list of the benefits you may find on Amex cards:
- Car rental loss and damage insurance: If you pay for a car rental with your Amex card, the issuer will cover repairs or theft. The maximum coverage amount will depend on the card you have. For example, with premium credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express® or The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®, you'll get coverage of up to $75,000. In contrast, with other non-premium cards, you may get up to $50,000.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Out of the credit cards on our list, the following have this feature: The Platinum Card® from American Express®, The Business Platinum from American Express®, and The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®.
- Baggage insurance:This is another useful travel benefit that comes with certain American Express credit cards. The degree of protection varies depending on the card, with premium cards providing higher coverage.
- Extended warranty: If you pay for a purchase with your American Express credit card, you may get an additional year on eligible warranties. You can get covered up to $10,000 per purchase (up to $50,000 annually). This benefit can be found on the following consumer credit cards found on our list: The American Express® Gold Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express®, The Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express®, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express®, The Hilton Honors American Express® Card, and The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
- Purchase Protection: If you pay for a purchase with your card, American Express may reimburse you in case of theft or accidental damage that happens within 90 days of purchase. The coverage amount per incident is $1,000 for most cards, but it's higher for some premium cards. However, it cannot exceed $50,000 in total claims annually.
- Return Protection: Cardholders can get compensation if the store won't accept an eligible item for return within 90 days of purchase. The refund is limited to $300 per item and up to $1,000 per year.
- Shop Small: Many American Express cards have this feature which offers some cash back when you shop at select local merchants.
- Global Assist Hotline: This feature is available 24/7 when you’re on a trip that’s 100 miles or more away from home. It can help you with many things, like travel guides or issues you may experience during your trip. Some high-end Amex cards have Premium Global Assist Hotline.
- Lounge Access: With some American Express travel cards, you'll get access to more than 1,300 lounges in 140 countries.
- Instant Card Number: Once approved for an American Express credit card, you can get an instant card number you can use anywhere American Express cards are accepted.
- Terms Apply.
Another area where American Express shines are flexible payment options offered with their consumer and business credit cards:
- Pay It Plan It: This feature allows you to pay for small purchases immediately (Pay It) and pay off larger balances over time by establishing an interest-free payment plan for a monthly fee (Plan It). All consumer cards on our list have this benefit.
- Pay Over Time: This is an extended repayment option available to cardholders of certain cards. Be aware that this feature can easily lead to hefty interest charges.
- Expanded Buying Power: This feature enables eligible business cardholders to spend a certain amount beyond their credit limit.
What is the American Express Membership Rewards program
American Express cards that are part of the Membership Rewards Program earn you Membership Rewards points that have several redemption options. These include statement credits, gift cards, online shopping, travel, or you can transfer them to one of American Express’ airline and hotel brand partners.
Collecting points is easy and straightforward. You earnt them every time you make a purchase with your Amex card. American Express doesn’t have expiration dates or limits on the number of points you can earn.
What are American Express points worth
The value of the American Express Membership Rewards points varies depending on how you redeem them. You’ll have to be a savvy strategist to get the best value for your points. We recommend using the American Express Rewards Calculator to find the most lucrative ways to redeem points. Usually, the most worthwhile options are to redeem points for travel through AmexTravel.com or transfer to travel partners.
How to choose the best credit card from American Express for you
The best American Express card will be the one that best fits your financial situation and wants. As Amex offers many choices, it's easy to get confused. That's why we prepared a mini-guide to help you with the decision.
First, ask yourself about your most important financial goal at the moment. If you're planning a major purchase that you want to put on your credit card, paying it off should be your priority. In this case, a card like the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express® with a lengthy 15-month intro APR period is worth considering.
If that's not the case and you'd prefer an American Express rewards card, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want a travel card or a cash back card with common bonus categories?
- Would you prefer a straightforward, cash back credit card, or you don't mind doing the math to find the best redemption option for points and miles?
After you get a better idea of your needs, you can make a comparison of a few cards that match your criteria.
For example, suppose you decide on a travel card. In that case, you can go for a general card, like The Platinum Card® from American Express®, or a co-branded one, like The Hilton Honors American Express®.
How to get an American Express card with bad credit
Unfortunately, American Express doesn’t offer credit cards for individuals with bad credit. Instead, their cards require a good to excellent credit score. If you’re eyeing an American Express card but don’t have the credit score for it, you can try to improve it by getting a starter credit card or a credit card for people with bad credit.
How to cancel an American Express credit card
You can cancel your American Express credit card by calling the number on the back of your card. Note that annual fees are non-refundable and that you’ll lose any points that you have accumulated if you cancel the card. If you have another American Express account, you’ll usually have 30 days to transfer rewards to that account.
Should I get an American Express card
An American Express credit card might not be for everyone. You might want to look elsewhere if:
- You travel internationally
Although American Express is widely accepted in the U.S. and has a solid presence globally, it's not nearly as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. Also, many American Express cards come with a foreign transaction fee (usually 2.7%).
- You are looking for a balance transfer credit card.
If you’re carrying a high-interest balance on another card and want to do a balance transfer, a new American Express card might not be the best choice for it. None of its cards has an intro balance transfer offer.
What are other credit cards to consider?
Other American Express credit cards worth considering are the American Express® EveryDay® Credit Card (earns points and has no annual fee) and The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express (great for business owners who prefer to stay at Marriott Hotels).
How to transfer a balance to an American Express credit card?
There are two ways to transfer a balance to an American Express credit card. You can do it online through your American Express account page («Account Services»->”Payment & Credit Options”->”Transfer Balances”). Alternatively, you can do it over the phone by calling the American Express customer service number on the back of your card.
Which American Express card is the most prestigious?
The American Express Centurion Card is the crème de la crème of the American Express cards’ world. It’s also called The American Express Black Card. The card is made of anodized titanium and weighs nearly 14 grams.
Does American Express offer a secured credit card?
are an excellent choice for students or credit card beginners. Unfortunately, Amex doesn’t offer any secured credit cards at the moment.
What is the hardest American Express card to get?
The answer would be the same as the most prestigious card – The American Express Centurion Card. It's designed for high-net-worth individuals who can get it only by invitation, which is usually extended to certain Platinum Cardholders once they meet specific requirements.
What credit score is needed for an American Express credit card?
American Express doesn't explicitly specify a credit score requirement. Still, most of their cards are intended for people with good to excellent credit scores. To have good chances of being approved, you'll usually need a credit score of at least 700. Although there have been cases when lower credit scores have been approved, those are less common.