The Best American Express Credit Cards

American Express is one of the biggest credit card networks on the planet and is world-renowned for its reward schemes, which offer great rates, low fees, and some very competitive interest rates. 

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These cards are accepted in millions of points of sale across the United States and there are options for all types of consumers, from big earners and frequent flyers to families and more.

How Common is American Express?

In terms of cardholders, American Express is the fifth-biggest credit card network in the United States, following Visa, MasterCard, Chase, and Citibank, with an estimated 63 million cardholders nationwide. 

However, in many other countries, American Express is the third biggest provider, behind Visa and MasterCard, and despite trailing behind many other networks in the US, it still accounts for a huge number of transactions.

In fact, it is said that American Express accounts for close to a quarter of all transactions in the United States based on total dollar volume. This is thanks in no small part to the brand’s commitment to reward cards, as the AMEX name features on some of the best reward cards in the country, offering great air mile programs, cash back rates, and perks.

The Best American Express Credit Cards

Whether you need a business credit card or a rewards card for everyday spending, take a look at these AMEX offers, compare and contrast, and find the American Express card for you. All these details were taken from the latest credit card offers, which may be subject to change, so make sure you check the terms and conditions before you apply.

Blue Cash Preferred American Express Card

The Blue Cash Preferred and the Blue Cash Everyday cards reward dollars every time you spend on the cards and they both have accessible rates. The below terms, however, are for the preferred card, which may cost a little more but also provides more benefits.

  • Type: Personal Rewards Card
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
  • Intro Apr: 0% for 12 months
  • Welcome Bonus Offer: $15,000 membership points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months

The Bonuses

Although this rewards card has an annual fee while the Everyday card does not, this will be offset if you spend just $31 per week on qualifying purchases. It has a very generous rewards program that returns anywhere from 1% to 6% cashback on qualifying purchases. It also has a welcome offer that can net you $250 in statement credit.

The rewards program offers 6% cash back on US streaming subscriptions; 6% at US supermarkets; 3% at gas stations, taxis, tolls, and rideshares; and 1% on everything else.

Who is it For?

The AMEX Everyday card is a great option for users who spend less than $500 on their card every month. But for users spending a little more, the Blue Cash Preferred is a better option. Providing you have a credit score above 690, you shouldn’t have an issue applying for this and you can even use the low intro APR on balance transfers, avoiding any fees and interest for the first 12 months.

With a low balance transfer fee and other incidental fees, and a solid offer at the point of the account opening, the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card will tick many boxes for many consumers.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is one of the most iconic premium reward cards on the market and is sought-after by big-earners and big-spenders. It offers a plethora of rewards for people who travel frequently, spend a lot of money on the road and in the air, and are looking to save some cash on their travels.

  • Type: Personal Travel Rewards Card
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Intro Apr: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus Offer: 60,000 membership points in the first 3 months

The Bonuses

You can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points if you use your American Express card to make at least $5,000 worth of purchases in the first three months. Consumers are also given 5x membership rewards points when they book flights through American Express Travel and AMEXTravel.com. 

What’s more, because this is a travel rewards card from the world’s best-loved travel rewards provider, it also gives consumers access to the Global Lounge Collection, an airport lounge access that gives travelers access to VIP lounge locations in airports all over the world.

The rewards don’t end there, either, as Platinum Card users are given Uber VIP status, with free rides in the United States, plus a host of annual Uber savings that could stretch to as much as $200 a year. Complimentary benefits with Fine Hotels & Resorts are also provided up to a value of $550, along with $100 statement credit for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Who is it For?

You will struggle to find a more generous rewards card than the Platinum Card from American Express. In addition to everything we have discussed above, users can save on baggage fees and secure some airline fee credit with a qualifying airline.

All these benefits will appeal to frequent flyers but offer very little to the average user. If you’re spending less than $1,000 a month on your card and traveling infrequently, you likely won’t earn enough to offset the high annual fee, and you’ll also struggle to earn enough to get the bonus points.

You also need Good or Excellent Credit to get this card, which is another drawback that many consumers may struggle with.

American Express Gold Card

While the AMEX Platinum card is the best card (in our opinion at least) for big spenders who travel frequently, this Gold Card is more suited to big spenders who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. The annual fee is high, but so are the rewards and users with good credit scores can get a low variable APR.

  • Type: Personal Rewards Card
  • Annual Fee: $250
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Intro Apr: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus Offer: 35,000 membership points when you spend $4,000 in 3 months

The Bonuses

AMEX gets you started with 35,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases after three months, and you can earn 4x when you spend at U.S. supermarkets, 3x Membership Rewards points with AMEX flight bookings, and additional benefits when you shop at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Grubhub, Seamless, the Cheesecake Factory, and some Shake Shack restaurants. 

On top of those benefits, you’ll also get up to $100 in statement credits every calendar year.

Who is it For?

Although the Gold Card offers some benefits for frequent flyers, it’s mainly aimed at those who spend a lot of time in the U.S. restaurants mentioned above, with lots of dining credit available, along with a respectable variable APR, assuming your credit score is high enough.

Business Platinum Card from American Express

This is a business card and is therefore not suitable for personal use. It is, however, an ideal choice for hard-working, jet-setting professionals seeking to turn those expenses into big rewards.

  • Type: Business credit card
  • Annual Fee: $595
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Intro Apr: N/A
  • Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn 50,000 membership rewards when you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months.

The Bonuses

You can earn up to 1.5x points when you spend money on eligible purchases and up to 5x points when you spend money on travel. The card rewards you for regularly booking flights but also covers most business expenses as well.

Who is it For?

The Business Platinum card is one of the best cards available for business users, with a great rate of cash back rewards, a high credit limit, and some generous terms.

Other American Express Reward Cards

We have just skimmed the surface with regards to the best AMEX credit cards; there are many great options out there, from elite status cards like the Platinum AMEX, to ones tailored towards specific airlines. 

The Delta Travel Card, for instance, invites consumers to collect Delta Skymiles, while the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and the Marriott Bonvoy reward you for hotel stays at the Hilton.

We created our list of the best American Express cards based on overall rewards and both travel and business benefits, but don’t just take our word for it. Add some other AMEX cards to your comparison shopping, compare these to your average monthly spend, and apply to the one that offers you the most rewards and perks.

Features of American Express Cards

In addition to car rental, flight, rideshare, dining, gas, and grocery store benefits, American Express has a few other features available across most of its cards, as well as a few disadvantages, all of which need to be considered before you apply for an AMEX card:

  • ExpressPay: AMEX ExpressPay is the provider’s answer MasterCard Contactless and allows consumers to make purchases using contactless RFID technology. This service was launched back in 2005 and features on all AMEX cards.
  • Centurion Lounges: American Express has VIP airport lounges available for all Platinum and Centurion cardholders. These are just some of the many travel benefits offered to AMEX personal and business cardholders.
  • Limited Reach: While American Express cards are common in North America, it’s one of the least common credit card issuers in Europe and Asia. Many smaller retailers don’t accept AMEX cards, so if you’re traveling make sure you have some cash or another credit card (both Visa and MasterCard are widespread outside the US) on hand.

Security Features: AMEX cards contain a number of security features that allow consumers to test for legitimacy. For instance, all cards begin with the number 37 or 34 and these numbers are embossed. There are also holograms and other features only detected under specific lights.