Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
Rewards rate
  • 6% 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases
Intro offer
$350 
Annual fee
$95
Regular APR
16.24%-27.24% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for restaurant and U.S. supermarket spending

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
Rewards rate
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • 3X Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Intro offer
60,000 points 
Annual fee
$250
Regular APR
18.24%-25.24% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for cash back and no annual fee

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
Rewards rate
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • 3% New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Intro offer
$200 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
16.24%-27.24% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 5X Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
  • 1.5X Earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
  • 1X 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
Intro offer
120,000 points 
Annual fee
$695
Regular APR
16.49% - 24.49% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best Hilton card with no annual fee

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 7X Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5X Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
Intro offer
Earn 80,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
17.99%-26.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 6X Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • 3X 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
Intro offer
75,000 points 
Annual fee
$450
Regular APR
17.99%-26.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best Delta card for value travelers

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2X Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Intro offer
40,000 Miles 
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Regular APR
17.99%-26.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best Delta card with no annual fee

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 2X Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 2X Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Intro offer
10,000 miles 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
17.99%-26.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for Delta Medallion members

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Rewards rate
  • 3X Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Intro offer
50,000 miles 
Annual fee
$550
Regular APR
17.99%-26.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

Best for large welcome bonus

Apply now
On American Express's secure site
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
See if you're pre‐approved for this card with CardMatch™
Rewards rate
  • 5X Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Intro offer
Earn 100,000 points 
Annual fee
$695
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

The information about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, American Express Cash Magnet® Card and American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.


Compare Bankrate’s top 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 $95 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Gold Card Restaurant and U.S. supermarket rewards $250 4.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express Cash back and no annual fee $0 3.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Business card for travel $695 4.9 / 5
(Read full card review)
Hilton Honors American Express Card Hilton card with no annual fee $0 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card Annual bonuses $450 5.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Delta card for value travelers $99 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year) 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card Delta card with no annual fee $0 3.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card Delta Medallion members $550 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Delta frequent flyers $250 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Business perks with no annual fee $0 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Hotel rewards and large welcome offer $95 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card Business startups $0 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
The Platinum Card® from American Express Large welcome offer $695 4.9 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express® Business Gold Card Business card for points $295 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express® Green Card No-hassle travel $150 3.9 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Airline-specific perks $250 4.2 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Cash Magnet® Card Flat-rate cash back $0 2.8 / 5
(Read full card review)

A closer look at Bankrate’s top American Express cards

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best cash back card for families

  • What we love about the Blue Cash Preferred: This card boasts one of the best cash back rewards rates on U.S supermarket purchases and a similarly lucrative rate on U.S. streaming services.
  • Who this card is good for: Big families with hefty grocery bills, subscriptions to multiple streaming services and high gas budgets.
  • Alternatives: The Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95. If you’re searching for a no-annual-fee card that provides a solid cash back rate consider an alternative. The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is a no-annual-fee option in exchange for a slightly lower cash back rate.

Read our Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review.
Jump back to offer details.

American Express Gold Card: Best for restaurants and U.S. supermarket rewards

  • What we love about the American Express Gold: You can get the best of both worlds when it comes to food and this card. You’ll have high cash back rates on both restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases.
  • Who this card is good for: Foodies who want to turn meal purchases into travel rewards.
  • Alternatives: A $250 annual fee is steep for some. If you’re looking for a card with a similar emphasis on dining and grocery store purchases, a no-annual-fee option is the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. This alternative adds in a high cash back rate on certain entertainment purchases while forgoing the focus on travel-related rewards.

Read our American Express® Gold Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Best for cash back and no annual fee

  • What we love about the Blue Cash Everyday: This card is a well-rounded and affordable option for those with high spending in the gas and groceries budget categories. There’s also a unique rewards tier for department store purchases to appeal to those who need a little extra retail therapy.
  • Who this card is good for: Frugal homemakers who may not want to pay an annual fee, but will still benefit from the decent rewards rates on gas, groceries, clothes and other home needs from the local department store.
  • Alternatives: If you’re willing to spend more to get more, the Blue Cash Preferred offers higher rewards rates on similar spending categories for a $95 annual fee. You’ll easily recoup this fee if you maximize your spending in top categories. For anyone who wants to cast a wider net on what purchases earn the most cash back, the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers similar rates of cash back for your top eligible spending category each billing cycle.

Read our Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review.
Jump back to offer details.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best business card for travel

  • What we love about the Business Platinum card: You definitely get what you pay for with this big business card. It’s chock full of valuable annual credits and opens access to some of the best luxury travel lounges around, all while rewarding top business expenses like electronic goods and hardware supplies.This card is built for established businesses, whether online, brick and mortar or both.
  • Who this card is good for: Frequent business travelers who want the height of luxury and comfort on their trips.
  • Alternatives: Luxury travel and high returns come at premium prices with this business card. If top-tier travel rewards are your main draw outside of the business-related perks, you may consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card as a middle ground choice. You could earn even higher rewards returns when booking through Capital One Travel, and your base rewards rate, which could comprise of business-related purchases, may also be a bit more lucrative. You’d still get some lounge access, though not as widespread as what comes with the Business Platinum, and you’d get all of these perks for a slightly more reasonable $395 annual fee.

Read our full The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review.
Jump back to offer details.

Hilton Honors American Express Card: Best Hilton card with no annual fee

  • What we love about the Hilton Honors card: This Hilton hotel card has a wide range of eligible spending categories that earn rewards, making it easy to run up points for hotel stays with purchases that fit easily into your daily budget.
  • Who this card is good for: Hilton hotel loyalists who want to rack up hotel rewards with everyday spending.
  • Alternatives: Not everyone’s hotel of choice is a Hilton, and you may want more flexibility when it comes to your reward redemption options. For anyone who wants more redemption wiggle room and a decent rewards rate on travel purchases (including hotel purchases) without having to be loyal to one brand, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is one such card that still skips the annual fee.

Read our Hilton Honors American Express Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card: Best for annual bonuses

  • What we love about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant: This Marriott hotel card lets you earn big not only with eligible hotel purchases, but also on U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with your airline of choice. You can also redeem your rewards for travel expenses outside of your hotel stays, including flights and rental cars.
  • Who this card is good for: Marriott loyalists committed to making the most out of annual bonuses and the Bonvoy loyalty program.
  • Alternatives: A general-purpose travel card with no or a low annual fee could give you much more flexibility and affordability when it comes to how you redeem your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant rewards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers comparable rewards rates on hotel and car rental purchases made through Capital One Travel with a much more palatable $95 annual fee.

Read our Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card: Best Delta card for value travelers

  • What we love about the Delta SkyMiles Gold: The travel benefits, like a first checked bag free on Delta flights, and the easily recouped annual fee of $99 ($0 intro annual fee) are just a few things to write home about with the Delta SkyMiles Gold.
  • Who this card is good for: Infrequent Delta travelers who spend handsomely on food and gas.
  • Alternatives: If you’re not locked into Delta as your airline of choice, general-purpose travel cards are a safer bet with a little more flexibility. The Citi Premier® Card will get you competitive rewards rates on non-travel purchases that can fuel travel rewards for just a few dollars less of an annual fee and the freedom to choose where and how you redeem.

Read our Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card: Best Delta card with no annual fee

  • What we love about the Delta SkyMiles Blue: The welcome offer on this card is lucrative and easy to attain for a no annual fee airline card. You’ll also enjoy travel reward earnings for dining purchases, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., usually a large spending category for young travelers.
  • Who this card is good for: Travel beginners and Delta loyalists alike will find a good place to start with this airline card.
  • Alternatives: Even with no annual fee and a fairly straightforward tiered rewards structure, some people may want an even more hands-free travel card with a bit more room to explore outside of Delta airlines. The  Discover it® Miles has a decent base rewards rate on all purchases and no annual fee. There’s also the Discover Match program, which will match the number of miles you earn at the end of your first year with the card.

Read our Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: Best for Delta Medallion members

  • What we love about the Delta SkyMiles Reserve: One of the best parts about this card is its expedited pathway to elite Medallion Status, which can earn you the highest level of Delta travel rewards perks like unlimited complimentary upgrades and priority boarding.
  • Who this card is good for: Luxury Delta loyalists who don’t mind a big price tag or high spending requirements to earn maximum benefits.
  • Alternatives: The Platinum Card from American Express offers similar high-dollar rewards and benefits for a slightly higher annual fee. The main difference comes with the fact that you won’t be confined to Delta airlines with the Platinum card.

Read our Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card review.
Jump back to offer details.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for business perks with no annual fee

  • What we love about the Blue Business Plus: The highest rewards tier on this card are not limited by particular spending categories, making it ideal for businesses that cast a wide net on purchase needs. Your only limit is a spending cap for your top rewards tier, but that cap is generous at up to $50,000 for 2X points per year, then 1X points.
  • Who this card is good for: Small-business owners who want travel rewards without paying an annual fee.
  • Alternatives: Finding a competitive travel business card with no annual fee can be a bit difficult, but not impossible. If you want to skip on the spending caps and the annual fee, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card offers a solid (and unlimited) 1.5 percent base rewards rate on all purchases anywhere, including travel-related and business expenses.

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

American Express Blue Business Cash Card: Best for business startups

  • What we love about the American Express Blue Business Cash: The card’s Expanded Buying Power feature gives you space to cover an unexpected expense that may push you over your card’s credit limit, a unique extension of purchasing power new businesses may not often have access to.
  • Who this card is good for: Business startups that want low-hassle, flat-rate cash back.
  • Alternatives: The Blue Business card boasts no annual fee and a good flat-rate rewards option, but might be held back by its spending cap. If you don’t mind taking on a reasonable annual fee, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers unlimited 2 percent rewards on all purchases with no spending caps.

Read our American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review.

The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for large welcome offer

  • What we love about the Platinum Card: Some of the most lucrative travel benefits and rewards rates on the market, the most premium lounge access across the world and high-dollar annual credits will ensure cardholders have the most luxe travel experience.
  • Who this card is good for: International travelers looking for a top-of-the-line travel experience.
  • Alternatives: The annual credits on this card can get very niche, making the inflated annual fee questionable for anyone who won’t make the most out of all the extras they’re paying for. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Capital One Venture X are the two strongest competitors alongside the Platinum card. Both cards have lower annual fees and lounge access, though not as extensive as the Platinum, and skip out on some of the extra specific benefits in favor of flexibility and affordability.

Read our The Platinum Card® from American Express review.


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. The J.D. Power 2021 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express first in customer satisfaction among credit card issuers. American Express, also known as Amex, is both a payment processing network and a credit card issuer, meaning that 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.

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 highlights

  • U.S. cards: 53.8 million
  • U.S. purchase volume: $691.52 billion
  • Purchase volume outside the U.S.: $313.36 billion

Source: The Nilson Report

The J.D. Power 2021 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked American Express first in customer satisfaction among credit card issuers. It scored 838 on a scale of 1,000, followed by Discover coming in second (837).

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.

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 are available on the American Express website.

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Bankrate Insight
Before applying for one of its credit cards, check to see if you can be preapproved by American Express. You can get pre-screened ahead of time to see if you’ll be approved and you get the benefit of avoiding a hard pull on your credit report. Bankrate’s CardMatch tool can be a great way to get started on finding a likely fit.

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:

Payment flexibility plans

Using the Pay It Plan It® feature, you can pay small purchase amounts under $100 throughout the month with the American Express® App. The Pay It Plan It feature lets you group up to 10 purchases of $100 or more into an adjusted repayment plan for an upfront fee. You’ll enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use the feature to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33 percent of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors. For full details, see our guide to Amex Pay It Plan It.

American Express Membership Rewards

Some cardholders 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. Cardholders can transfer Membership Rewards rewards points to American Express hotel and airline partners (often at a 1:1 value) or use points to book through AmexTravel.com (there may be fees associated with transferring points).

Lightbulb
Bankrate Insight
Through AmexTravel.com, cardholders can book travel with points earned through the Membership Rewards program and even take advantage of some added benefits. You can earn a percentage of your points back when redeeming on the website or earn at boosted rates when using the Amex travel portal with select cards like The Platinum Card, Gold Card and more.

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.

Pros and cons of American Express credit cards

Pros

  • Wide consumer base: With cards for cash back, airlines, hotels, general travel, supermarkets, businesses and more, American Express provides a variety of options for nearly all types of consumers.
  • Loyalty perks: American Express has connections with some of the top hotel and airline brands in the world, giving the opportunity for loyal customers to get extra rewards through their credit card.
  • Affordable options available: American Express offers multiple no annual fee options that still provide rewards and welcome offers.

Cons

  • High annual fees: Some of Amex’s best credit cards come with a steep annual fee. Although the rewards available with these cards can make it worthwhile, this can lead to some hesitance and eliminate some potential cardholders.
  • Limited redemption opportunity: Some Amex cards only offer statement credits, which can restrict how you choose to receive and spend your money.
  • High approval threshold: The majority of Amex’s options require a good-to-excellent credit score to be approved.

 

Who should get an American Express credit card?

Once you’ve considered your 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 the most value.

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 determine your perfect match.

How to choose an American Express credit card

Any of the Amex cards on the page can add value to your wallet, but deciding on the very best American Express card for you requires answering some key questions:

Still unsure if an American Express credit card is right for you? Check out our Credit Card Spender Type Tool where you can get personalized credit card recommendations based on your credit score, spending habits and daily needs.

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.


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

Frequently asked questions about American Express credit cards

about the author
Joey Robinson is a credit cards contributor for Bankrate and upon graduating with a Bachelor’s degree concentrated in Finance, Joey worked at “Big Four” (Ernst and Young) accounting firm before exploring the world of credit cards. Over the past two years, he’s shared his expertise and has brought understanding to complex topics as a writer and editor...
about the editor
Mariah Ackary is a personal finance editor who joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com

* 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.