Charge Cards - Many Options From Amex

Charge cards are a type of payment card that require customers to pay their balance in full each month and thus do not have an interest rate or involve finance charges. Charge cards also feature no-preset spending limits that automatically adjust to customers' spending patterns, offering needed flexibility for travel and entertainment expenditures. American Express first introduced the charge card in 1958 and continues to dominate this segment of the payment cards market.

See offers from our partners below.

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Apply Now Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now at American Express's
secure site
Terms Apply
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Credit Needed
Excellent/Good
See Rates & Fees

Comparing Charge Card Offers

Updated: January 16, 2018

Here are the Best Charge Cards of 2018:

Charge cards aren’t for everyone, but if you want superior rewards and you don’t mind a higher annual fee, they can be a good choice. They are also helpful if you sometimes need to buy big-ticket items. Here, we look at:

  • What is a charge card?
  • The difference between credit cards and charge cards
  • Who should use a charge card?

Learn more about these financial products:

What is a charge card?

A charge card, typically offered by American Express, allows you to be approved for large sums on the spot. The card issuer bases its decision on your past purchases and payments. While there’s no set limit, it’s not unlimited. The tradeoff is that you need to pay in full each month, whereas with a credit card, you can pay a minimum.

The difference between credit cards and charge cards

Charge CardCredit Card
Pay in full each monthCan pay minimum each month
No specified limitHas credit limit
Can be approved for large sumsPenalized for going over limit
Builds creditBuilds credit
Typically through AmexMost major banks
Often with high annual feeCan have no annual fee

Who should use a charge card?

  • Someone who can pay in full each month. If you can’t pay in full each month, this is not the card for you.
  • A person with excellent credit. Charge cards are best for someone who has very good or excellent credit.
  • Someone who wants rich rewards. Charge cards often come with rich offerings, such as an annual $200 credit for Uber or generous rewards for business expenses, such as advertising and computer supplies from select vendors.
  • A person who doesn’t mind a high annual fee. These cards typically have a high annual fee, but at the same time, their rewards can be pretty great, so it’s a tradeoff.
  • A business person. The charge card is perfectly suited for a business person who periodically needs to make large purchases and a credit limit won’t work. You can be approved in minutes right at the counter.

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