Best cash back card for families

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 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
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
Up to $350 
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best for restaurant and U.S. supermarket spending

American Express® Gold Card

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 4X Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
  • 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.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
60,000 points 
Annual fee
$250
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best for cash back and no annual fee

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
Up to $250 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best Hilton card with no annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Card

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 7X Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort 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.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
Up to 130,000 points 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best for annual bonuses

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 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.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
75,000 points 
Annual fee
$450
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best Delta card for value travelers

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 2X Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
70,000 Miles 
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best Delta card with no annual fee

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 2X Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • 2X Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
10,000 miles 
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Recommended credit
Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Best for Delta Medallion members

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply
  • 3X Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • 1X Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Apply Now
On American Express's secure site
Intro bonus
80,000 miles 
Annual fee
$550
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
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.


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 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year) 4.0 / 5
(Read full card review)
American Express® Gold Card Restaurant and U.S. supermarket rewards $250 4.5 / 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 3.9 / 5
(Read full card review)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Hotel rewards and large welcome offer $95 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
Hilton Honors American Express Card Hilton card with no annual fee $0 4.1 / 5
(Read full card review)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Annual bonus $450 4.5 / 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) 3.7 / 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 4.6 / 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 3.8 / 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 $695 4.3 / 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

  • This card is best for: Shoppers who do a lot of their spending at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations
  • This card is not a great choice for: People who prefer to dine out over making their own meals. U.S. supermarket purchases are rewarded with 6 percent cash back (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%), so you should find a better-fitting card you can cash in on.
  • What makes this card unique? Along with the extraordinary grocery rate, this card features 6 percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3 percent back on transit and gas, and 1 percent on anything else. Also, during your first 6 months as a cardholder, you can earn 20 percent back when shopping on Amazon.com and $150 back after you spend $3,000 in general purchases.
  • Is the Blue Cash Preferred worth it? There’s a $0 annual fee the first year, but then that fee goes up to $95. You can easily overcome the ongoing cost thanks to the card’s superb cash back rate. To cover the $95, you would have to spend about $1,584 per year at U.S. supermarkets (1,584 x .06 = 95.04). That’s only about $33 in weekly groceries — a spending requirement that many family shoppers could smash in just a few months. Couple that with the other earning opportunities and this can bring big savings.

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

American Express® Gold Card

Best for restaurant and U.S. supermarket rewards

  • This card is best for: Foodies looking for a high-end card that can turn meals into travel rewards.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone searching for a travel card that features luxury benefits like airport lounge access.
  • What makes this card unique? Most rewards cards make you choose, but you’ll get a great rate on both restaurant and supermarket purchases (4X points on up to $25,000 per year), rewarding you on nearly anything you eat. There’s also over $300 available in yearly hotel and dining credits (enrollment required), which makes up for the $250 annual fee.
  • Is the American Express® Gold Card worth it? Even if you don’t spend much on travel, this card lets you stack up travel rewards points on everyday purchases and transfer them to one of Amex’s airline partners to potentially boost their value. Factor in the annual credits with the rewards opportunities and you’ll see this is a very worthwhile card for food lovers.

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

  • This card is best for: Those seeking a well-rounded, low-maintenance cash back card that’ll get you rewarded for everyday purchases.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone whose go-to store is Target, Walmart or Sam’s Club. Superstores and wholesale clubs are ineligible for the U.S. supermarkets cash back category, where you can get 3 percent cash back with this card.
  • What makes this card unique? The 0 percent APR on purchases for 15 months (then variable 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent APR) is a solid zero-interest offer, and to further welcome you, within your first 6 months you can earn two statement credits: Get $100 after spending $2,000 and earn 20% cash back on Amazon.com for up to $150.
  • Is the Blue Cash Everyday worth it? If you spend a lot on gas and groceries, this card is worth carrying — especially since it has no annual fee, several welcoming perks and extra earnings at select department stores.

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

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Best Hilton card with no annual fee

  • This card is best for: Committed Hilton guests who want their regular spending to help fund their future trips.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone looking for redemption flexibility. This card is designed to dish out hotel nights.
  • What makes this card unique? Its generous sign-up bonus and high-rate points categories. You’ll get a whopping 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. While you’re chasing that threshold, you’ll earn 7X points per dollar on eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, 5X points at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants, and 3X points all other eligible purchases on your card.
  • Is the Hilton Honors American Express worth it? Although points are worth just 0.6 cents each, per The Points Guy’s monthly valuations, this no annual fee card offers an affordable opportunity for someone interested in a hotel rewards card.

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

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Best for annual bonuses

  • This card is best for: Marriott guests who want to capitalize on an array of annual bonuses. Thanks to a Free Night Award, multiple yearly statement credits and help as you work your way to Elite status, you can get your money’s worth and excuse the annual fee.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Someone who’s uncertain whether they want a high-end hotel rewards card. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card carries a hefty price tag ($450 annual fee) and is made to benefit committed travelers.
  • What makes this card unique? Unlike many co-branded hotel cards, this one will reward you on flight purchases — get 3X points on airfare booked directly through airlines. You’ll also get 3X points at U.S. restaurants, 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy programs and 2X points elsewhere.
  • Is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card worth it? It takes a lot to make a $450 annual fee worth it, but for the right traveler this card can be an easy-earner. When it comes to Marriott Bonvoy rewards, you’ll get up to $300 in annual Marriott Bonvoy hotel statement credits each year and up to $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit in qualifying charges when booking a stay at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis for at least two nights. On top of that and the points-earning categories, there’s 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points available if you spend $3,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.

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

  • This card is best for: Loyal Delta flyers who want some of the advantages of carrying an airline card without the steep annual fee ($0 intro fee; $99 after the first year).
  • This card is not a great choice for: Frequent flyers who want the fastest route to the upper tiers of the Delta SkyMiles Medallion program. Other Delta cards offer a Status Boost feature not available with the SkyMiles Gold.
  • What makes this card unique? Although it’s an affordable airline card, it has its welcoming perks. You can earn a Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Is the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card worth it? With solid welcome offers, 2X miles in common spending categories (purchases made at restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and through the airline) and a budget-friendly annual fee, this card is a valuable option for Delta flyers.

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

  • This card is best for: Those who like to fly Delta but aren’t ready to commit to an annual fee airline card.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Frequent flyers who want next-level airline perks and top-notch travel rewards.
  • What makes this card unique? Anytime you want to make an in-flight purchase with Delta, you’ll get a 20 percent discount and earn 2X miles as you spend. There’s also a sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles after you spend $500 in your first 3 months, a rare offer from a no annual fee card.
  • Is the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card worth it? If you’re a traveler who wants an introduction to what an airline card can bring, this is a great option for any Delta flyer.

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

  • This card is best for: Heavy spenders looking to fly to the top tiers of Delta’s Medallion Program. Cardholders can earn a Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 Bonus Miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Travelers who are hands-off or fee-averse. This card comes with a $550 annual fee, so it requires a little extra effort to take advantage of everything it has to offer.
  • What makes this card unique? To further boost your status with Delta, you’ll earn an additional 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend (up to four times per year – until 12/31/2021) — almost enough to get you to Platinum Medallion status.
  • Is the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card worth it? For a loyal Delta flyer, yes. Utilizing the Medallion benefits and luxury perks effectively can make the SkyMiles Reserve your boarding pass to a top-tier travel experience.

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

  • This card is best for: Small-business owners who want travel rewards without paying an annual fee.
  • This card is not a great choice for: A small business with specialized spending categories or one looking for cash back rewards.
  • What makes this card unique? Even though it’s a no annual fee card, this option gives cardholders the chance to earn 15,000 points after spending $3,000 within your first 3 months and welcomes you with a 0% APR for your first 12 months (the variable 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent APR). Also, its Expanding Buying Power feature gives you the chance to spend beyond your credit limit without having to pay over-limit fees.
  • Is The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express card worth it? If business often takes you on the go, the 2X points earned on every purchase (on up to $50,000 per calendar year) will certainly be of value. Hitting the annual spending cap will net you 100,000 Membership Rewards points before dropping to the 1X rate, and with American Express Membership Rewards points generally valued at two cents apiece, that puts your annual rewards value at an eye-popping $2,000 (100,000 x .02 = 2,000).

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

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Best for business startups

  • This card is best for: Up-and-coming businesses that want to earn with simple flat-rate cash back.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Business owners with a huge budget. The all-inclusive 2 percent cash back is only eligible for $50,000 per calendar year. Once you reach this spending cap, your rate drops to 1 percent.
  • What makes this card unique? This card offers Expanded Buying Power, giving growing businesses the option of exceeding their credit limit without having to pay an over-limit fee. If you ever need to make a large purchase, it’s nice to know you’re protected if you exceed your spending restrictions. Plus, there’s a 0% introductory APR on purchases that can protect you from interest costs for the first 12 months (then variable 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent APR).
  • Is the American Express Blue Business Cash Card card worth it? For a startup or smaller business, the Blue Business Cash might offer the perfect assistance. On top of the strong cash back rate and no annual fee, you’ll get several American Express business perks including Expense Management Tools, Global Assist® Hotline and Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.

Read our American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card review.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for large welcome offer

  • This card is best for: Frequent travelers who want high-end benefits and a juicy welcome offer. You can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 within the first 6 months of card membership and take advantage of a suite of luxury perks to travel in style.
  • This card is not a great choice for: Anyone not committed to traveling or venturing overseas. This card has international travel perks and comes with a $695 annual fee.
  • What makes this card unique? You’ll get access to the Global Lounge Collection, allowing cardholders to kick back and relax at more than 1,300 airport lounges across 140 countries and over 500 airports. Also, as another welcome offer you’ll earn 10X points on eligible restaurant purchases (on up to $25,000) in your first 6 months as a cardholder. Despite the limited time, that rate and spending limit are among the best you’ll find with any rewards card.
  • Is The Platinum Card from American Express card worth it? The $695 annual fee is tough to ignore, but this card brings plenty to the table. In addition to the elite travel perks, generous rewards rates and valuable welcome offers, this card brings a laundry list of available credits. There’s over $1,000 worth of combined annual credits for things like airline fees, TSA PreCheck applications, Uber Cash, Fine Hotels + Resorts, Equinox memberships and more.

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.

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 2021

  • 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 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.

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.

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 Name Best Amex card for: Bankrate Review Score:
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express Cash back – special categories 4.0/5
American Express Cash Magnet Cash back – flat-rate N/A
The Platinum Card from American Express Travel 4.3/5
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card Airline 4.6/5
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card Hotel N/A
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Business travel 4.7/5
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express Business rewards 3.8/5

Pros and cons of American Express credit cards

Pros

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • American Express offers multiple no annual fee options that still provide rewards and sign-up bonuses.
  • The Membership Rewards program lets cardholders cash in points for airline tickets, hotel stays, merchandise or gift cards, as well as giving the ability to transfer points to over a dozen of Amex’s travel partners.
  • Your points earned with an American Express card will never expire as long as you continue to make on-time payments.

Cons

  • Some of Amex’s best options 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.
  • Plenty of Amex cards offer statement credits, which can sometimes be restricting in how you choose to receive and spend your money.
  • The majority of Amex’s options require a good-to-excellent credit score to be approved.

Who are American Express cards good for?

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. 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.

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.

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 ($0 intro annual fee for 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 $695 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.

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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

about the author
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 for sites like Bankrate, CreditCards.com and NextAdvisor. Hi...
about the editor
Mariah Ackary is a personal finance writer who specializes in credit card rewards and small business credit. Mariah is a lifelong writer, but she began writing about finance in 2018. She joined the Bankrate team in 2019, excited by the opportunity to directly help people make good financial decisions. Send your questions to mackary@bankrate.com ...

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