New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
New! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets.
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American Express offers some of the most exclusive credit and charge cards, with excellent benefits and superior rewards to boot. With partnerships with such brands as Delta and Hilton, there are a host of products to choose from.
With Amex’s superior products and customer satisfaction, there are plenty of good reasons to look into these cards further. Here, we look at:
|Credit Card||Best Use||Annual Fee||CreditCards.com Rating|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||High cash back rates||$95||4.3 / 5|
|American Express® Green Card||Travel||$150||3 / 5|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Tiered cash back||$0||3.9 / 5|
|American Express Cash Magnet® Card||Flat-rate cash back||$0||4 / 5|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Luxury travel perks||$550||4.5 / 5|
|American Express Blue Business CashTM Card||Cash back rewards for business||No annual fee||3.1 / 5|
|American Express® Gold Card||Dining rewards||$250||4.3 / 5|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||Hilton hotel stays||$95||4.2 / 5|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||Business rewards with no annual fee||No annual fee||4.2 / 5|
|Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card||Airline miles||$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99||3.6 / 5|
Whether you are in the market for a business card, a travel card or an everyday card, American Express likely has one for you. Here are the best Amex cards and what they have to offer.
With a larger family, this card can help you maximize cash back. There’s the $250 welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of card membership, as well as the 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spend in a year, then 1%). That means if you spend $500 a month on groceries, that comes to $360 for the year. This card also earns you 3% back at U.S. gas stations and transit, making your cash back even greater. Terms apply. There’s a $95 annual fee, but that fee is quickly offset by the cash back you can get with this card.
Receive up to $100 each year in statement credits on your LoungeBuddy purchases, which allows you access to LoungeBuddy network lounges without memberships, elite statuses or first-class tickets required, as well as up to $100 in statement credits each year for CLEAR membership, which allows you to clear security more quickly with biometrics. Also, earn 3X points on eligible travel and at restaurants worldwide.
The Blue Cash Everyday is the mini-me of the Blue Cash Preferred, with excellent cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, but with no annual fee. Earn 3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year (then 1%), and earn 2% back at U.S. gas stations, perfect for the growing family.
In addition to the competitive welcome offer and ongoing rewards (all with no annual fee), the Cash Magnet offers some unique planning features, including Plan It®. With this feature, you can select a qualifying transaction to pay off over a fixed period of time for a set monthly fee and not be charged interest on purchases for the first 15 months of card membership as long as you pay your adjusted balance each month by the payment due date.
If you travel often, this card offers a host of features that help to enhance your travel experience, including an annual Uber credit up to $200. As one of the best travel credit cards with access to exclusive airport lounges and 5X points for flights booked through airlines or American Express Travel, this card also gives you 60,000 points after a $5,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership. Terms apply. Heads up that there’s a $550 annual fee.
With no annual fee, you can quickly rack up the business cash back with this card. You’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year (then 1%) Terms apply. This card also offers Expanded Buying Power, which means you can go over your limit, provided you meet certain criteria.
As the revamped successor to the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, the American Express Gold Card has superb rewards for dining and shopping. It earns 4X points at restaurants worldwide, and 4X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $25,000 in purchases per year before converting to 1x. Furthermore, it earns 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com, making it a very well-rounded card. While there is a $250 annual fee, there are also some notable benefits that offset it – namely, a $100 annual airline fee credit and a $120 annual dining credit (up to $10 per month) at participating locations.
Like the Delta suite, this card is among a suite of Hilton products that are ideal for the traveler who frequents this brand. You can earn a weekend night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year; and with a yearly $40,000 spend, you can upgrade to Diamond status, which affords you such benefits as executive lounge status, 48-hour room guarantee, elite status gifting, as well as the lower levels’ benefits.
The rewards abound with this card, making its $95 annual fee worthwhile. There’s a 125,000 points introductory bonus (after $2,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of membership); 12X points for spending at participating hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio; 6X points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
This card has the rare feature of serving as a hybrid – it’s a credit card, but it has the feature of a charge card in that you can go over your credit limit, within reason. What does that mean? American Express evaluates your credit, payment habits and income to decide whether you can go over. Meanwhile, you can carry a balance month to month because it is a credit card.
As a business card, you can benefit from business purchases with 2X points on expenditures such as office supplies or client dinners (first $50,000 per year, then it’s 1X point). Terms apply.
If you are a frequent traveler of Delta airlines, this consumer card is a great option as you earn 2x miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
Seen as a gold standard in card services, American Express is both an issuer and a network. That means it issues credit and charge cards and services them through its own network of merchants. American Express is known for its excellent benefits, including no foreign transaction fees in the case of many cards and 2.7% in others (which is lower than many other cards). American Express also offers a few charge cards, which allow you to potentially make a large charge at the point of sale because there is no pre-set credit limit.
But Amex is more than just a card issuer. In fact, it is the highest purchase volume card issuer in the U.S.
Source: Nilson Report Feb. 2019 chart, U.S. general purpose cards
American Express also offers savings accounts and even personal loans to qualifying members. Here are some of its services.
Satisfaction among Amex customers is consistently among the best in the industry. Take a look at how Amex fared in J.D. Power’s most recent survey, on a scale of 1,000, with 1,000 as the best:
The Amex Membership Rewards program allows you to redeem your points in a variety of ways, whether you want to use it to give a gift or to save up for the big trip. Here are the ways you can redeem:
Frequently, not only do the more exclusive Amex cards offer these features, but the Everyday and Blue Cash cards might offer them as well. You can get purchase protection, return protection and a variety of travel benefits, such as car rental insurance and baggage insurance.
Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura’s work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.