Best American Express credit cards for 2020

American Express credit cards offer high-value rewards programs and some of the most generous perks in the industry. The Amex lineup has intriguing options for everyday shoppers, luxury travelers, small business owners and more. Check out the profiles and analysis of cards offered by our partner American Express to see which one might be right for you.

Bankrate's Top American Express Credit Cards:

Best cash back card for families

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Rewards Rate:
6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations 1% Cash Back on other purchases
Welcome Offer:
Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
Annual Fee:
Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 12 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
13.99%-23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for U.S. restaurant and supermarket spending

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

American Express® Gold Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
Annual Fee:
$250
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
See Pay Over Time APR

Card Details

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for flat-rate cash back

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Rewards Rate:
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
13.99%-23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Amex Offers rewards you at places you like to shop, dine, travel, and more. You can add as many Offers as you’d like to your Card, then just use that Card to pay, and enjoy rewards directly on your statement.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for cash back and no annual fee

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Rewards Rate:
3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
13.99%-23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for hotel rewards and a large welcome bonus

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Welcome Offer:
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Best Hilton card with no annual fee

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio. Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Welcome Offer:
Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for annual bonuses

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.
Annual Fee:
$450
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.
  • Enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status with your Card for the 2021 status year. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Best Delta card for value travelers

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
Annual Fee:
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • New! Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.

Best Delta card with no annual fee

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Rewards Rate:
New! Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • New! Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • New! No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.

Best for Delta Medallion members

American Express Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Rewards Rate:
New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Welcome Offer:
Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Annual Fee:
$550
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.74%-24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • New! With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • New! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
  • New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • New! Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information about the American Express® Green Card and Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.


Which Amex card is best for you? Here’s how to find it

American Express is one of the best-known names in the credit card industry, offering a large array of options for consumers, business owners and travelers. You can count on Bankrate to help you evaluate your choices and zero in on the Amex card that’s right for you.

Bankrate’s picks for best American Express credit cards

Card Name Best for Annual fee Bankrate Review Score
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Cash back for families Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020 4.6 / 5
American Express® Gold Card Restaurant and U.S. supermarket rewards $250 4.4 / 5
American Express Cash Magnet® Card Flat-rate cash back $0 4.4 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Cash back and no annual fee $0 4.5 / 5
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Hotel rewards and large welcome offer $95 4.5 / 5
Hilton Honors American Express Card Hilton card with no annual fee $0 4.3 / 5
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Annual bonus $450 4.4 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Delta card for value travelers $99 (waived first year) 4.3 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Delta card with no annual fee $0 4.1 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Delta Medallion members $550 4.6 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Delta frequent flyers $250 4.5 / 5
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Business perks with no annual fee $0 4.4 / 5
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card Business startups $0 3.7 / 5
The Platinum Card® from American Express Large welcome offer $550 4.8 / 5
American Express® Business Gold Card Business card for points $295 4.4 / 5
American Express® Green Card No-hassle travel $150 4.6 / 5
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Business card for travel $595 4.7 / 5
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Airline-specific perks $250 4.4 / 5

Top American Express cards: A closer look

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best cash back for families

The Blue Cash Preferred Card is one of the best cash back cards for everyday spending, especially for people with families. Rewards categories include 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year, then 1%, 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% on all other purchases. (Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.) These are some of the highest cash back rates on the market, making the $95 annual fee (Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020) worth it for frequent spenders across these categories.

Annual Fee: Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020

Pros:

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • Generous rewards rates on everyday spending categories.
  • You don’t have wait for your card in the mail. You can start earning cash back before your card even arrives if you’re eligible for Instant Card Number.

Cons:

  • Many specialty grocers and wholesale clubs don’t count toward the 6% cash back category.
  • The 6% cash back rate is limited to $6,000 per year in spending, 1% afterward.

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review.

American Express® Gold Card

Best for restaurant and U.S. supermarket rewards

Unlike many premium travel cards, the Gold card offers above-average rewards rates on everyday spending categories as well as on the high-value travel purchases you would expect. In addition to high rewards earnings at restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and travel, the card’s additional statement credit perks help to make up for the $250 annual fee. Other cards may serve you better if you’re looking for luxury travel benefits like lounge access or concierge service, but depending on your spending habits the Gold card may offer higher earnings potential.

Annual Fee: $250

Pros:

  • 4X points rewards on spending at restaurants worldwide, U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x) and 3X points rewards on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel.com.
  • 21 airline transfer partners for flexible redemptions.
  • Up to $100 annual statement credits per calendar year for airline fees at one selected qualifying airline and up to $10 monthly statement credits for select delivery and restaurant purchases (enrollment required).
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • $250 annual fee.
  • No lounge membership, although you can obtain passes.

Read our full American Express® Gold Card review.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Best for flat-rate cash back

A smart choice if you want to earn cash back without the headache of tracking spending or enrolling in bonus categories, the Amex Cash Magnet gets you 1.5 percent back on every eligible purchase, no matter where, when or what you buy. You can even earn cash back as you finance larger expenses with the card’s 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months (13.99% – 23.99% variable thereafter).

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • $150 welcome bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Hassle-free cash back program: Earn consistent 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.
  • Includes a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (13.99% – 23.99% variable after that).

Cons:

  • Not the most impressive flat cash back rate on the market.
  • Requires a minimum cash back redemption of $25.
  • Carries a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee.

Read our full American Express Cash Magnet Card review.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Best for cash back and no annual fee

The Blue Cash Everyday card offers maximum rewards with high returns on your everyday spending for no annual fee. While it can suit anyone, suburban families may benefit most from the card’s 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%) and 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, plus 1% on other purchases. For those whose spending is concentrated in these categories, this card’s rewards and ease of use can make it a perfect fit.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • High cash back rates on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.
  • No annual fee.
  • $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Cons:

  • Most wholesale clubs don’t qualify for the 3% U.S. supermarket rewards.
  • Redemption is limited to statement credits, gift cards or merchandise. Other cash back cards have greater flexibility.
  • If you miss a payment there is a high penalty APR rate that lasts for six months.

Read our full Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Best for hotel rewards and a large welcome offer

Relatively high spenders can rack up a lot of extra benefits from the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card. You can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, spending $15,000 in a calendar year makes you eligible for a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors. Hilton loyalists will find a lot to love about this card for a relatively low $95 annual fee.

Annual Fee: $95

Pros:

  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Weekend Night Rewards (terms apply) and Hilton Honors Diamond status are great offers if your spending aligns with the required thresholds.
  • In addition to spending with Hilton, you can earn rewards on everyday purchases: 6X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and 3x points for all other purchases.

Cons:

  • Very high late payment fee.
  • If you want the flexibility to stay with different hotel chains you should consider a travel rewards card.

Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card review.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Best Hilton card with no annual fee

The Hilton Honors American Express is a great deal if you frequent Hilton hotels but aren’t ready to commit to an annual fee just yet. You’ll earn points quickly thanks to this card’s impressive rewards rate, and you can score a 80,000-point welcome bonus after spending just $1,000 in your first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • Earn 80,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Generous rewards rates on more than just Hilton hotel stays: Along with the 7X points you earn at Hilton, you’ll enjoy 5X points on U.S. restaurant, U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station purchases and 3X points on general purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • Through Dec. 31, 2020, all points earned with the card count toward elite tier qualification and lifetime Diamond status.

Cons:

Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Card review.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Best for annual bonuses

Thanks to an array of annual bonuses, frequent guests at Marriott properties can see significant value from this card. The potential value of the bonuses and the free night on your cardholder anniversary should be enough to offset the card’s $450 annual fee with room to spare. The card also offers generous rewards rates not just on Marriott Bonvoy purchases and flights booked directly with airlines but also on purchases at U.S. restaurants and other general purchases.

Annual Fee: $450

Pros:

  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy locations, 3X points at U.S. restaurants, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines, 2X points on all other purchases
  • Up to $300 annual statement credit for Marriott Bonvoy purchases, free night award (up to 50,000-point value) after each cardmember anniversary, up to $100 annual property credit for eligible two-night minimum stays at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for the 2021 year. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.

Cons:

  • $450 annual fee
  • Because of variations in points value per property, you might have to do a bit of research to find the best deals. (Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program.)

Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card review.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Best Delta card for value travelers

Savings-minded cardholders will love all the perks and discounts that come with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, including a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation, a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 in a calendar year and the ability to cover some of the cost of your Delta fare by paying with miles.

Annual Fee: $99 (waived your first year)

Pros:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months (offer ends 10/28/20).
  • Earn 2X miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets – all popular everyday spending categories.
  • Earn a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 in a calendar year.
  • Enjoy perks like free checked bags, priority boarding and 20 percent back on in-flight Delta purchases.
  • Get $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.

Cons:

  • No Medallion Qualification Miles included as part of the card’s welcome bonus.
  • Can redeem miles only with Delta and its partner airlines.

Read our full Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Best Delta card with no annual fee

While it can’t match the luxury perks you’ll find on higher-tier Delta cards, the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express card offers foodies and occasional travelers a low-cost way to stockpile rewards for their dream trip. Since most airline cards only earn bonus miles on directly booked flights, this card’s restaurant category is a breath of fresh air.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • Low spending requirement to earn the welcome offer: Earn 10,000 miles after spending just $500 in the first 3 months
  • Versatile rewards structure: Along with the 2X miles you’ll earn on eligible Delta purchases, you’ll get 2X miles at restaurants worldwide and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy perks like a 20 percent in-flight purchase discount, a complimentary ShopRunner membership, and extended warranty and purchase protection coverage.
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons:

  • Welcome offer is quite low compared to higher-tier Delta cards.
  • No bonus miles at U.S. supermarkets (available on other Delta rewards cards)
  • Limited travel-centric perks (no free checked bag or priority boarding benefits)

Read our full Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card review.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Best for Delta Medallion members

Ideal for heavy spenders climbing their way to the top tiers of the Delta Medallion program, this card gets you 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months, plus 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend in a calendar year (up to four times per year). You also have a chance to earn a Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) waiver, so you can still reach elite status even if you don’t meet Delta’s MQD thresholds in a given year.

Annual Fee: $550

Pros:

  • Solid welcome offer: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
  • Earn an additional 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend in a calendar year (up to four times per year).
  • Impressive 4x rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets, as well as 3X miles on eligible Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on general purchases.
  • Enjoy perks like an annual round-trip companion certificate, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access and no foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • Highest Medallion elite status tiers come with a very high spending requirement.
  • Very high annual fee of $550.
  • Can redeem miles only with Delta and its partner airlines.

Read our full Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card review.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Best for frequent Delta flyers

For travelers who take to the skies with Delta on a regular basis, this card has the potential to pay big dividends. Your rewards should accumulate at a brisk pace with frequent use. Add in money-saving perks and Delta loyalists should have little trouble recouping the $250 annual fee.

Annual Fee: $250

Pros:

  • Welcome offer is 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (offer ends 10/28/20)
  • Earn 3X Miles on purchases made directly with Delta, which includes Delta Vacations® packages; earn 2X Miles at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and U.S. supermarkets
  • Perks include first checked bag free on Delta flights and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.

Cons:

  • Limitations on how you can redeem your miles
  • The $250 annual fee is fairly high
  • No zero-interest introductory offer on purchases or balance transfers

Read our full Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card review.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Best for business perks with no annual fee

Like some other Amex business cards, the Blue Business Plus offers an intriguing option for new, smaller businesses whose spending needs eclipse their credit limits. Expanding Buying Power gives you the chance to spend beyond your credit limit without having to pay over-limit fees. Just bear in mind that the capacity for over-limit spending isn’t indefinite. The card also offers a competitive intro offer on purchases: 12 months from the date of account opening at an introductory 0.0% APR and then a variable 13.24% – 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness. In the rewards department, the card earns a flat 2X on up to $50,000 in business purchases every year and 1X afterward.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • The card offers a number of perks including Expense Management Tools, Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection and more. If you take a lot of business trips, the Baggage Insurance Plan and Roadside Assistance Hotline will offer extra peace of mind.
  • You earn 2X Membership Rewards Points on up to $50,000 a year and 1X afterward, with no category restrictions.
  • With Expanded Buying Power, you can exceed your current credit limit in case you have to make a lot of big purchases. This option provides a lot of flexibility, even though your ability to spend beyond your credit limit isn’t unlimited.
  • No annual fee.

Cons:

  • The 2X rewards rate slips to 1X after the first $50,000 spent per calendar year. Depending on your expenditures, that drop in earnings could be significant.
  • The 2.7% foreign transaction fee after conversion to U.S. dollars. If you shop overseas or buy online from international vendors, that 2.7% could sting (see rates and fees).

Read our full Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express review.

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Best for business startups

The American Express Blue Business Cash Card could help resolve a question facing many new business owners: What happens when you need to spend more than your credit limit allows? This card offers expanded spending capacity so that you can go beyond your credit limit without worrying about over-limit fees. (Just remember that spending above your credit limit isn’t indefinite. It will adjust according to factors including your payment history and credit record.) Also, eligible purchases earn 2% cash back on up to $50,000 a year, after which the rate slips to 1%.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Expanded Buying Power lets you spend above your credit limit with no over-limit fees The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the card, payment history, credit record, financial resources and other factors.
  • 2% cash back on eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year, 1% thereafter
  • Several American Express business perks including Expense Management Tools, Global Assist® Hotline and Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • Even a small business could find the $50,000 earnings cap on the 2% earnings rate a bit restrictive.
  • The cash back you earn is automatically credited to your statement, meaning that you have no other way to redeem.

Read our full American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for large welcome offer

The Platinum Card offers a high-value welcome offer and no shortage of perks for cardholders seeking luxury. Its annual fee ($550) is one of the highest around, but the benefits make it more than worth the cost for the right cardholder.

To kickstart your card ownership, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. The card’s premium rewards include airport lounge access, up to $200 in annual airline fee credits (at one qualifying airline), up to $100 annual credits for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases (enrollment required) and up to $200 in annual credits for Uber rides. The card also offers generous 5X Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on eligible hotels booked through the American Express travel portal and on airfare (booked with the airline or through Amex’s travel portal).

Annual Fee: $550

Pros:

  • Access to Global Lounge Collection, which includes proprietary lounge locations around the world, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.
  • Great airline and hotel rewards.
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer.
  • Annual statement credits on travel incidentals, shopping and Uber.

Cons:

  • $550 annual fee, though statement credits and rewards largely make up the cost for big spenders.
  • $200 airline fee credit may not be used towards ticket prices.

Read our full review of The Platinum Card® from American Express.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Best business card for points

This card sets small business owners up for success in their spending. You will earn 4X rewards in the two categories where your business spends the most each month. Between this card’s easy-to-use rewards structure and added perks, the $295 annual fee may be worth it for your small business.

Annual Fee: $295

Pros:

  • 4X points on 2 select categories in which your business spends the most each month (up to $150,000 in combined annual spending, then 1X).
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months
  • Airline bonus on flights booked with Amex Travel, expense management tool access and more perks to help your business

Cons:

  • Annual fee of $295.
  • If you do a lot of business spending, the $150,000 annual cap on your 4X points rewards categories may be limiting (1X points thereafter).

Read our full American Express® Business Gold Card review.

American Express® Green Card

Best for no-hassle travel

In October, American Express made a few intriguing upgrades to the Amex Green sure to appeal to consumers who want a certain level of convenience and style when they travel. Cardholders now can earn statement credits for purchases from CLEAR and LoungeBuddy. The card also expanded its rewards-eligible travel purchases, including buses, rideshares, taxis, tolls and subways. The annual fee has risen from $95 to $150, but frequent travelers who want more luxury and less hassle should have ample opportunity to offset that cost.

Annual Fee: $150

Pros:

  • You earn a generous 3X Membership Rewards points on all eligible travel purchases and at restaurants worldwide.
  • The welcome bonus is 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months.
  • You can receive up to $100 per year in statement credits for using the card to make purchases from travel/lifestyle brands including CLEAR and LoungeBuddy.
  • No foreign transaction fee.

Cons:

  • The $150 annual fee is higher than that of similar competitors, most of which charge annual fees in the $95 range.
  • The required booking through AmexTravel.com might make you ineligible for some benefits from your hotel loyalty reward program.

Read our full American Express® Green Card review.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Best business card for travel

Like the personal version of the Platinum Card, this card is the top of the line for frequent business travelers. It offers premium travel benefits like access to American Express’ Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass Select membership, and up to $200 per calendar year in airline incidentals credit. Airport lounge access alone could be worth the steep $595 annual fee. The card’s rewards are also suited for frequent travel, including 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels through the Amex travel portal.

Annual Fee: $595

Pros:

  • Welcome offer — earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • One Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check statement credit every 4 years.
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
  • Complimentary concierge service access.
  • 50% rewards bonus on eligible purchases over $5,000 (up to 1 million extra points per calendar year).

Cons:

  • All purchases on this card have to be business-related.
  • Not optimal for those who don’t travel enough to fully maximize all of the card’s travel benefits.
  • High annual fee of $595.

Read our full The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

Best for airline-specific perks

American Express offers a few cards in partnership with Delta, but the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business is the best value for frequent Delta business travelers who can save with the card’s airline-specific perks. Priority boarding, 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases (in the form of statement credit), and a free first checked bag on round-trip Delta flights all add convenience and ease for those who spend much of their time in the air.

Annual Free: $250

Pros:

  • Earn 3X miles per dollar on purchases directly with Delta and directly with hotels and 1X miles on everything else.
  • Airline perks like priority boarding, 20% off eligible in-flight purchases and a free first checked bag on round-trip Delta flights.

Cons:

  • $250 annual fee.
  • Other travel cards offer better rewards rates, especially if you don’t fly Delta regularly.

What is American Express?

American Express began as a freight-forwarding business in 1850 and has since grown to be one of the largest credit card issuers in the world.

Statistics from the Nilson Report, a news publication devoted to the card and mobile payment industry, offer insight into the company’s presence worldwide:

American Express in 2019 (global)

Cards 114.4 million
Accounts 93 million
Transactions 8.9 billion

Source: The Nilson Report

The J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express second in customer satisfaction among credit card issuers. It scored 838 on a scale of 1,000, finishing just 4 points behind Discover (842).

The company, sometimes called Amex, offers cards for consumers, travelers, small businesses and corporations. American Express also offers other financial products and services including savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

The American Express network

American Express is both a payment processing network and a credit card issuer. That means Amex issues credit cards to consumers and facilitates transactions with merchants through their network. Networks, which include Visa, Mastercard and Discover as well as American Express, make money by taking a cut of each transaction they process.

Many, but not all, American Express credit cards are both issued by American Express and part of the American Express payment network.

Credit cards and charge cards

American Express is one of the few credit card issuers that offer charge cards, or cards that require balances to be paid in full each month.

They don’t have a set limit like other credit cards, but charge cards are not unlimited lines of credit. How much you can spend is based largely on your purchase and payment history.

Currently, the Amex cards operating as charge cards include:

  • The Plum Card® from American Express
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Business Green Rewards Card from American Express

How to contact American Express

Customer Service

  • Personal cards: 1-800-528-4800
  • Small business cards: 1-800-492-3344
  • Corporate cards: 1-800-528-2122

More options

https://global.americanexpress.com/contact-us

What benefits and features does American Express offer?

Premium benefits help make American Express credit cards some of the most sought-after cards in the industry. Notable American Express benefits include:

Purchases and products

  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Return Protection

Travel

  • Global Assistance Hotline
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
  • Baggage Insurance
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Trip Delay
  • Trip Cancellation

Payment flexibility

The Pay Over Time feature gives cardholders the option to pay their statement balances in full or carry a balance with interest on eligible charges, up to their Pay Over Time Limit. Pay Over Time is available with cards including:

  • American Express Gold Card
  • American Express Green Card
  • The Platinum Card from American Express
  • American Express Business Gold Card

Availability of benefits varies by card. However, the most widely available benefits include Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, Global Assistance Hotline and Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.

American Express Membership Rewards

Holders of certain credit cards and charge cards are eligible for the Membership Rewards loyalty program. You can earn points through purchases and qualifying Amex Offers. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel, shopping, statement credits, gift cards, charitable donations and more.

Some cardholders have the option of transferring rewards points to American Express hotel and airline partners (often at a 1:1 value) or use points to book through AmexTravel.com.

Amex Offers

American Express cardholders can access exclusive deals and additional rewards through Amex Offers. Benefits of Amex Offers include discounts, cash back and additional Membership Rewards points.

Amex Offers vary by card, and cardholders must activate to qualify. Limits and expiration dates may apply.

Welcome offers

American Express welcome offers provide opportunities for new cardholders to earn statement credits or Membership Rewards points. Some Amex welcome offers are among the most generous in the industry.

To qualify, cardholders usually have to spend a certain amount on purchases within a specified period of time. Although the standard timeframe is the first three months of card ownership, Amex recently extended the window for eligible cardholders to six months.

What is the best American Express card?

Any of the American Express cards listed above can add value to your wallet, but deciding on the very best American Express card for you requires some investigation into your spending habits and the benefits that you’re looking to get out of your card. Here are some things that are important to consider:

Personal vs. business

This should be the easiest factor in your decision. If you’re looking for rewards that you can earn on your own everyday spending or any personal traveling you do throughout the year, then a personal card is the way to go. Small business owners, however, will benefit more from a small business card that offers rewards tailored to the categories in which their business spends the most.

You can check out Bankrate’s guide to the Best Business Credit Cards for more information on when to make the switch to a business card and how to decide on the best rewards for your business.

Membership Rewards points vs. miles vs. cash back

Next, you should evaluate your spending habits to determine which card offers the highest rewards in the categories in which you already frequent. For instance, a suburban family of four will likely benefit more from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card’s U.S. supermarket, select U.S. streaming services and U.S. gas station rewards than a jet-setting world traveler, who may see more value in the premium travel rewards offered by The Platinum Card®.

Similarly, you should determine which types of rewards will bring you the most value. Some people may prefer the simplicity of cash back, while others will benefit most from miles they can put towards travel purchases. Perhaps the most flexible option (and most protected from devaluations) is a card that earns Membership Rewards points, which can be redeemed for travel and statement credits or transferred to partners, among other options.

Fees, earnings rate, spending

In addition to determining what you spend your money on, you should narrow down how much money you spend annually and whether that makes up for the cost of card ownership.

American Express offers great cards that range from no annual fee to more than $500, and you don’t want to find yourself paying for a card that you’re not at least getting an equal amount of value from. Look at your spending over the past year to determine what fee you’re willing to pay and calculate your estimated rewards earnings so you can make an educated guess on whether the card is worth it. Don’t forget to factor in any ancillary fees, like balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees, if you may be affected by those as well.

Big spenders should also make sure the rewards cap on their card doesn’t hinder their rewards. Many Amex cards have annual caps on their top-earning rewards, and if you surpass that cap every year, compare and see if another rewards card on the market may offer more value. This may be especially important for small business owners who have high operational costs.

Who are American Express cards good for?

Once you’ve considered the above options to find which rewards and card details matter most to you, it’ll be easier to narrow down which American Express card will bring you most value. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the best credit card, which is why it’s important to have an idea of exactly what you’re looking for.

The following profiles are just a few examples of the types of consumers who may benefit from specific American Express cards, but may help you in determining your perfect match.

On-the-go families

Many families will be hard-pressed to find any card on the market that can bring them more value on everyday spending than the Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Its rewards categories align with the everyday purchases that are important to parents and kids on-the-go, whether they’re in a bustling city, rural America or anywhere in between. Its reasonable $95 (Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020) annual fee also doesn’t put it out of reach for families on a budget.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (no annual fee) is another family-friendly option. It also has a 0% intro APR offer on purchases for 15 months (then 13.99% – 23.99% variable after).

Luxury travelers

Anyone looking to travel in style and with convenience (and who can afford the $550 annual fee) can find their ideal card in The Platinum Card®. As one of the most high-end cards on the market, it offers benefits and perks with some of the top airlines and finest hotels around the world. If you’re willing to pay, and can maximize its benefits, this card can set luxury travelers’ experiences apart and even make it easier to travel more with rewards.

Occasional travelers

Not everyone can justify The Platinum Card® or even needs its premium rewards. Those looking to redeem rewards less regularly but still earn on their everyday spending will find much more value in the Gold Card. You’ll still earn rewards on travel purchases, but the card’s highest-earning categories are restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, meaning you don’t have to be a world traveler to maximize your value (but you’ll still get plenty of premium perks).

Business travelers

Like its personal card counterpart, The Business Platinum Card® is ideal for business travelers looking for luxury (and willing to pay for it). Anyone who spends much of their time in airports for business will likely find the experience much more enjoyable after gaining access to the benefits and services the Platinum Card offers. The business version also includes business-specific perks, which can improve productivity as well as comfort.

Frequently asked questions about American Express credit cards

Why do some merchants not accept American Express?

Historically, the company’s network has lagged behind those of Visa and Mastercard in the number of domestic and international merchants accepting payments. In recent years, however, Amex has continued to gain ground.

According to the company’s 2019 Annual Report, by year’s end American Express had:

  • Achieved approximately 99 percent acceptance among U.S. merchants that accept credit cards
  • Added more than 2 million merchants in international markets
  • Received approval of its network application to the People’s Bank of China

Can you get an American Express card with bad credit?

Amex generally requires potential cardholders to have a good or excellent credit score to qualify.

However, one possible option is to open an Amex card without premium rewards that can simply help you build credit, like the Blue from American Express® Credit Card. You’ll earn only 1X Membership Rewards point for each dollar spent, but it has no annual fee and a lower credit requirement than other cards.

If you’re worried about being denied a line of credit with American Express, check to see which offers you pre-qualify for on the issuer’s website before submitting an application and agreeing to a hard inquiry on your credit report.

The information about the Blue from American Express Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Who is CF Frost?

The name C F Frost, which appears as a placeholder on sample American Express credit cards, belongs to a real person.The familiar name that appears on American Express credit cards in countless ads and commercials actually belongs to a real person. Charles F. Frost was an employee of Ogilvy and Mather when the advertising firm worked with American Express in the 1960s.

Credit card issuers commonly use placeholder names on sample cards in advertising materials, but in some cases they get more creative than “John Doe.”

How we chose our top American Express credit cards

Bankrate’s personal finance experts have evaluated the top American Express cards according to our 5-point rating system. The list of criteria for rating credit cards includes:

Rewards

Whether the card offers cash back, travel points/miles or multi-purpose rewards for eligible purchases and the potential returns based on rewards rate (1 percent cash back per $1 spent, 1 mile per $1 spent, and so on).

Perks and benefits

Whether the card offers extras such as retail discounts, extended warranties on purchases, travel insurance and financial management tools.

Annual fee

Whether the card charges an annual fee and if so, how much the card’s overall value and benefits might offset the fee.

Introductory offers

Whether the card has a welcome offer or similar sign-up incentive and how much it adds to the card’s overall value.

Variable APR

How the card’s annual percentage rate (APR) compares with current averages as an indicator of cost and value.

Foreign transaction fee

Whether the card charges a foreign transaction fee for purchases that require a currency conversion and how the fee affects the card’s overall value.


Senior Editor Barry Bridges has been writing about credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other personal finance products since 2017. Before joining Bankrate, he was an award-winning newspaper journalist in his native North Carolina. Send your questions about credit cards (and fantasy baseball) to bbridges@bankrate.com.

Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.