Top Features
  • 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: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Regular APR: 13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too. 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.
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • 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 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Regular APR: 13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • 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, at U.S. supermarkets, and at 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 after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
  • Regular APR: 15.74%-24.74% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • 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 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Expires 5/12/2021.
  • Regular APR: 15.74%-24.74% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • 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 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Regular APR: 15.74%-24.74% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: 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.
  • Regular APR: 15.74%-24.74% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)
Top Features
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 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. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Regular APR: 15.74%-24.74% Variable
  • Recommended Credit Score: 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.


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 $95 (waived first year) 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express® Gold Card Restaurant and U.S. supermarket rewards $250 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Cash Magnet® Card Flat-rate cash back $0 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Cash back and no annual fee $0 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Hotel rewards and large welcome offer $95 4.5 / 5
(Read full card review)
Hilton Honors American Express Card Hilton card with no annual fee $0 4.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Annual bonus $450 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Delta card for value travelers $99 (waived first year) 4.3 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card Delta card with no annual fee $0 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card Delta Medallion members $550 4.6 / 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 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card Business startups $0 3.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
The Platinum Card® from American Express Large welcome offer $550 4.8 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express® Business Gold Card Business card for points $295 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express® Green Card No-hassle travel $150 4.6 / 5
(Read full card review)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Business card for travel $595 4.7 / 5
(Read full card review)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card Airline-specific perks $250 4.4 / 5
(Read full card review)

Top American Express cards: A closer look

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best cash back card 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 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year, then 1 percent, 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1 percent 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 (waived first year) worth it for frequent spenders across these categories.

Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95

Pros:

  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Generous rewards rates on everyday spending categories.
  • You don’t have to 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 percent U.S. supermarkets category.
  • The 6 percent rate at U.S. supermarkets is limited to $6,000 per year in spending, 1 percent afterward.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 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 rewards points on spending at restaurants worldwide, U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x) and 3X rewards points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel.com.
  • 21 airline transfer partners for flexible redemptions.
  • 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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card 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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year, then 1 percent) and 2 percent at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, plus 1 percent on other purchases. For those whose spending is concentrated in these categories, this card’s rewards categories could make it a perfect fit.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • High cash back rates on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.
  • No annual fee.

Cons:

  • Most wholesale clubs don’t qualify for the 3 percent rate at U.S. supermarkets.
  • 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 that lasts for six months.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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:

  • 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.
  • Weekend Night Rewards (terms apply) and Hilton Honors Diamond status are great offers if your spending aligns (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.)
  • 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. (Terms and Restrictions Apply)
  • If you want the flexibility to stay with different hotel chains you should consider a travel rewards card.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 an 80,000-point welcome bonus after spending just $1,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • 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. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the card in the first 6 months.
  • Generous rewards rates on more than just Hilton hotel stays: Along with the 7X points you earn with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, you’ll enjoy 5X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas station purchases and 3X points on eligible general purchases.
  • No annual fee.

Cons:

Read our 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 (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees) 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:

  • Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first 6 months of card membership. Offer Expires 5/12/2021.
  • 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 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: when book direct using a special rate for a 2 night minimum stay at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® and get up to $100 in credit for qualifying charges.

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.)
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • 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 on Delta flights, priority boarding on Delta flights and 20 percent back in the form of a statement credit 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 offer.
  • Can redeem miles only with Delta and its partner airlines.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 the form of a statement credit for in-flight purchase discount, a complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required), and extended warranty and purchase protection coverage (Please read important exclusions and restrictions).

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)
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 50,000 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. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of card membership. 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:

  • Earn 50,000 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. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn an additional 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend in a calendar year (up to four times per year).
  • Impressive 3X miles on eligible Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on general purchases.
  • Enjoy perks like an annual round-trip companion certificate (See terms and conditions for details.), a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access on Delta flights.

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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • 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
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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. While the amount you can spend above your credit limit isn’t unlimited, it adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to Amex and other factors (Terms apply). 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:

  • The card offers a number of perks including Expense Management Tools, Extended Warranty (Applies to warranties of 5 years or less on covered purchases in the United States or its territories or possessions), Purchase Protection (Please read important exclusions and restrictions) and more. If you take a lot of business trips, the Global Assistance Hotline will offer extra peace of mind.
  • You earn 2X Membership Rewards Points on up to $50,000 in purchases 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 (Terms Apply).
  • 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).
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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. (While the amount you can spend above your credit limit isn’t unlimited, it adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to Amex and other factors.) Also, eligible purchases earn 2 percent cash back on up to $50,000 a year, after which the rate slips to 1 percent.

Annual Fee: $0

Pros:

  • 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 percent cash back on eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year, 1 percent 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 percent 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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months of card membership. The card’s premium rewards include airport lounge access, up to $200 in annual airline fee credits (at one qualifying airline, enrollment required), up to $100 annual credits for Saks Fifth Avenue purchases (enrollment required) and up to $200 in annual credits for U.S. Uber rides (you’ll receive $15 in Uber Cash for rides or eats orders in the U.S. every month plus a bonus $20 in December delivered through an exclusive Uber app experience ). The card also offers generous 5X Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on eligible prepaid hotels booked through Amextravel.com and on airfare (booked with the airline or through the American Express Travel portal. On up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.).

Annual Fee: $550

Pros:

  • Access to Global Lounge Collection, which includes proprietary lounge locations around the world, and up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit.
  • Great airline and hotel rewards.
  • 75,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer (after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months)
  • Annual statement credits on travel incidentals and shopping.

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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our The Platinum Card® from American Express review.

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 billing cycle. 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:

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • 4X points on 2 select categories in which your business spends the most each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined annual spending, then 1X).
  • 25% Airline bonus: Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points and get 25% of those points back (You can get up to 250,000 points back per calendar year), 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).
  • Terms Apply

Read our American Express® Business Gold Card review.

American Express® Green Card

Best for no-hassle travel

American Express has 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 rideshares, taxis, tours 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 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.
  • Terms Apply.

Read our 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 (enrollment required), Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required), and up to $200 per calendar year in airline incidentals credit (Card Member must select one qualifying airline, enrolment required). 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 Amextravel.com.

Annual Fee: $595

Pros:

  • Welcome offer — Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the 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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our 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, some in-flight purchases do not qualify), 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 60,000 bonus miles, 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X miles per dollar on purchases directly with Delta and directly with hotels.
  • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half point per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to 2x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Plus, throughout 2021 earn an additional 2,500 MQMs after making $25,000 in purchases, up to 2 times per year. That’s in addition to the 10,000 MQMs that you would earn with Status Boost.
  • Airline perks like priority boarding on delta flights, 20% off in the form of a statement credit for 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.
  • Terms Apply

Read our Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card 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.

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 2020

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

Source: The Nilson Report

The J.D. Power 2020 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

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 plans

With the Pay It Plan It® feature, Amex gives eligible cardholders two options for managing how they pay their balances while continuing to earn rewards. Using Pay It, you can pay small purchase amounts under $100 throughout the month with the American Express® App. Plan It lets you group up to 10 purchases of $100 or more into an adjusted repayment plan for an upfront fee. For full details, see our guide to Amex Pay It Plan It.

The Pay It Plan It feature has expanded to include Amex’s Green, Gold and Platinum cards.

In addition, Amex’s 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
  • The Business Platinum Card from American Express

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 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 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:

  • Will the card be for your personal use or your small business?
  • Are you interested in Membership Rewards points or cash back?
  • If you want a cash back card, do you want to earn a flat rate on general purchases or higher rates on special purchase categories?
  • Do you want an all-purpose travel credit card or a travel card that rewards loyalty to certain airlines or hotel brands?

Based on your answers, you can use the following list of highly rated cards to narrow down your choices:

Card Best Amex card for: Bankrate Review Score
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express Cash back – special categories 4.6/5
American Express Cash Magnet Cash back – flat-rate 4.4/5
The Platinum Card from American Express Travel 4.8/5
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card Airline 4.6/5
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card Hotel 4.5/5
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Business travel 4.7/5
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express Business rewards 4.4/5

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 annual fee (waived the first year) 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 2020 Annual Report, by year’s end American Express had:

  • Maintained approximately 99 percent acceptance among U.S. merchants that accept credit cards
  • Added 3.7 million merchants in international markets
  • Received approval to begin operating in China and entered card-issuing agreements with 16 Chinese banks

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.