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Best American Express Cards of February 2024

Key Takeaways

American Express is one of the top credit card issuers on the market today, and that’s true whether you’re comparing consumer cards or small business credit cards. Not only does Amex have a variety of cards that earn points in the popular American Express Membership Rewards program, but they offer many cash-back credit cards geared to users who want to maximize rewards on all of their eligible purchases.

Looking for the best Amex credit card? - If you’re in the market for a new card and considering several Amex cards, it makes sense to compare their cards based on points-earning capacity, bonus offers, annual fees, and more. Below we detail the best Amex card by category, highlight the difference in how each credit card works, and list steps you can take to find the best new card for your needs.

Our top American Express credit card picks

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Best for Premium Travel Rewards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
80,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The American Express Platinum card, although a bit on the pricey side with a $695 annual fee, boasts a multitude of premium travel perks. If you’re a luxury traveler who knows how to make the most of a credit card’s offerings, this card can reward you well.
Card Details

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  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card®. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Up Benefits are excluded.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back in statement credits per calendar year on an Equinox membership, or an Equinox club membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Visit https://platinum.equinox.com/ to enroll.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR Plus at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. Learn more.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. An Equinox+ subscription is required to purchase a SoulCycle at-home bike and access SoulCycle content. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction. Shipping available in the contiguous U.S. only. Enrollment Required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards rate for travel purchases
  • Qualify for $1,500+ in statement credits
  • Very generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695
  • Many statement credit offers are too specific and hard to use
  • Non-travel-perks aren’t spectacular
Bottom Line

This is quite a spectacular card with incredibly valuable benefits, but the annual fee is objectively very high.

Best for Foodies

American Express® Gold Card

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Up to 4X Reward Rate

Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) and restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$250
Welcome Offer
60,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The American Express® Gold Card is a fantastic card for travelers who spend a lot of time (and money) at restaurants. It boasts an upgraded rewards rate for eligible purchases, a hefty welcome offer, and an annual fee that can easily “pay for itself” if you strategically utilize the benefits this card offers.
Card Details

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  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Generous welcome offer
  • High rewards potential
  • Many transfer partners available
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Complicated statement credits
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
Bottom Line

If you like to dine out frequently, the $200+ worth of dining-related annual statement credits can easily help justify the yearly fee.

Best for Everyday Spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Up to 6% Reward Rate

Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $95
Welcome Offer
$250
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent card for grocery spending considering you earn 6% in dollar-for-dollar rewards on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back). It also offers excellent rewards on select streaming services, purchases at U.S. gas stations, and transit spending.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months (then 19.24% to 29.99% variable)
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, transit and more
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time
  • Don’t need to activate categories
Cons
  • Rewards can only be redeemed for a statement credit or at Amazon.com
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Has an annual fee
Bottom Line

Although this card has an annual fee, most families will be able to easily get enough value out of the everyday categories to make it worth it.

Best for Cash Back with No Annual Fee

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
If you’re looking for a credit card that lets you earn cash back on everyday purchases with no annual fee required, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express should be on your list. This American Express card offers generous rewards in categories many families spend the most in like U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retailers.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after account opening, then 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on eligible purchases for 15 months
  • Generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & online shopping
Cons
  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Low rewards rate outside of bonus categories
Bottom Line

For a no-annual-fee option, the reward rate on this card is pretty solid, but for heavy spenders, other cards may offer more value.

Best for Luxury Business Travelers

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5 Membership Rewards® points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels through American Express Travel, 1.5 points per dollar on eligible business expenses and purchases of $5,000+ (up to $2 million yearly), and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
120,000 points
Regular APR
19.49% to 27.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a top-tier credit card for business owners looking to earn travel rewards on their business expenses. Although it boasts a hefty $695 annual fee, its rewards make up for it if used to their full extent.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees charged by your one selected, qualifying airline to your Card.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your card and get up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year on your CLEAR® Plus Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Business Platinum Card®.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market as of 03/2023.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent welcome offer
  • Easy to earn points
  • Great travel benefits
Cons
  • No intro APR offer
  • Hefty $695 annual fee
  • High spending requirement for welcome offer
Bottom Line

The annual fee certainly has a shock factor but for the premium business traveler, this card’s luxury perks could make it well worth it.

Best for Business Rewards

American Express® Business Gold Card

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Up to 4X Reward Rate

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points (up to the first $150,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points) on 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$375
Welcome Offer
70,000 points
Regular APR
19.49% to 27.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The 4X Membership Rewards® points the American Express® Business Gold Card earns in categories you spend the most gives you the potential to earn a lot back on your purchases, if you can spend enough to make up for the annual fee.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Earn up to $20 in statement credits monthly after you use the Business Gold Card for eligible U.S. purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and Office Supply Stores. This can be an annual savings of up to $240. Enrollment required.
  • Get $12.95 back in statement credits each month when you pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) with your Business Gold Card. $12.95 plus applicable taxes.
  • Your Card – Your Choice. Choose from Gold or Rose Gold.
Pros
  • Earns Membership Rewards points for flexible redemption options
  • 4X points categories adapt to your spending automatically each billing cycle
  • Generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Spending cap of $150,000 annually for 4X rate
  • High spending requirement for welcome offer
Bottom Line

The automatically adjusting bonus categories give this card tremendous reward potential, but you’ll need to spend a pretty penny to make up for the annual fee.

Best for Most Delta Travelers

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

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Up to 2X Reward Rate

Earn 2X miles on restaurant purchases (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 2X miles at U.S. supermarkets and on Delta purchases, and 1X miles on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $150
Welcome Offer
70,000 miles
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
For the semi-frequent Delta flyer, getting the Delta Skymiles Gold card is an easy choice to make, with rewards on Delta purchases and everyday purchases, making it simple to earn miles. Its modest annual fee makes it less of a commitment than some other cards, especially if you travel sporadically.
Card Details

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  • Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • ENHANCED! $200 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a year, you can receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights; board early, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • NEW! $100 Delta Stays Credit: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Members can earn up to $100 back annually on eligible prepaid Delta Stays bookings on delta.com.
  • Want even more flexibility? Take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem with Pay with Miles when you book on delta.com.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases after using your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • With Send & Split®, you can send money and split your Card purchases with any other Venmo or PayPal user, directly from the Amex App. Enroll today.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Ability to earn a Delta Flight Credit
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Free checked bag
Cons
  • Comparatively high annual fee after the first year
  • Requires good to excellent credit
  • No Sky Club access
Bottom Line

The perks this card delivers can easily make up for the annual fee but may not be worth it if you aren’t a Delta enthusiast.

Best for Premium Marriott Perks

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

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Up to 6X Reward Rate

Earn 6X points per dollar spent at participating hotels, 3X points at restaurants worldwide, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee
$650
Welcome Offer
95,000 points
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Although this is the priciest of the Marriott hotel credit cards, it’s also the most loaded with benefits. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card comes with complimentary Platinum Elite status, a variety of statement credits, and a high rewards rate on Marriott purchases.
Card Details

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  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy® member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Cell Phone Protection
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Extensive perks
  • Generous rewards rate
  • Many eligible properties worldwide
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Few redemption options
  • Large spending requirement for welcome offer
Bottom Line

This card has plenty of value to outweigh the annual fee if you’re a Marriott loyalist, but could be difficult for the average traveler to justify.

Best for Hilton Free Night Awards

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

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Up to 12X Reward Rate

Earn 12X points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton hotels and resorts, earn 6X points on eligible U.S. dining, U.S. gas station, and U.S. supermarket purchases, and earn 3-4X points on other purchases (see card details).

Annual Fee
$150
Welcome Offer
130,000 points
Regular APR
20.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a solid card for Hilton loyalists. It comes with a variety of benefits such as complimentary elite status, a high rewards rate for Hilton purchases, and a generous welcome offer.
Card Details

More Card Info

  • Get up to $200 back each year on eligible Hilton purchases after you use your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
  • Earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors ™ Gold Status with your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors™ Diamond Status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Enjoy complimentary National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club® program is required. Terms apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status
  • Ability to earn a free night with enough spending
  • Up to $200 in Hilton statement credits (up to $50 in statement credits each quarter)
Cons
  • Has an annual fee
  • High spending requirement for Free Night Award
  • Limited redemption options
Bottom Line

You won’t get a complimentary Free Night Award with this card but it still offers a multitude of valuable benefits for the Hilton loyalist.

Best American Express credit cards of 2024: Editorial reviews

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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If you like to travel in style and don’t mind paying a pretty penny to do so, The Platinum Card® from American Express could help you seriously level up your travel game. With ample statement credits, extensive airport lounge access, an exceptional rewards rate, hotel benefits, and more, it’s easy to counterbalance the $695 annual fee if you’re determined enough.

American Express® Gold Card

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The rewards-earning capacity of the American Express® Gold Card is top-notch, especially for people who love to dine out or eat in. It still has a pretty hefty $250 annual fee, but that could easily be justified by the yearly statement credits, worth hundreds of dollars alone. Plus, it’s a really pretty card, available in the colors gold and rose gold (you get to choose).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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If you tend to spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets and on streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has an extremely generous rewards rate in those categories. It does have a modest $95 annual fee ($0 for the first year) but it would be easy for most households to make up for that with their weekly grocery runs.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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If you don’t want to pay an annual fee but still want to access generous rewards on purchases in everyday categories, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may be just what you’re looking for. Its reward rate may not be quite as generous as the Blue Cash Preferred, but we can understand not wanting to pay an annual fee.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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Similar to the consumer version of this card, the Amex Business Platinum card offers a multitude of generous benefits in exchange for a pricey annual fee. It comes loaded with thousands of dollars worth of statement credits, airport lounge access, elite hotel status, and more. For the right business traveler, these perks could far outweigh the yearly fee.

American Express® Business Gold Card

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We love the unique, high-value rewards the Amex Business Gold card can offer to small business owners. With categories that automatically change to align with your spending each billing cycle, you could easily earn 4X Membership Rewards points on everyday business expenses. If your spending doesn’t align with the bonus categories, you may be better off with an American Express Business card that earns flat-rate rewards.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

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For the casual Delta flyer, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a solid option. With 2X miles on Delta flights and in everyday categories, it’s easy to earn rewards on this card. Additionally, it provides priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to 8 other traveling companions. For a card with a low $150 annual fee after the first year, it’s chock-full of high-value perks.

Other Delta Air Lines cards

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is the most high-end Marriott credit card and it has a high annual fee to boot. For the loyal Marriott customer who can make the most of its benefits, however, it can be well worth the $650 per year. In addition to its generous rewards rate, this card boasts premium airport lounge access, complimentary Platinum Elite status, valuable statement credits, an annual Free Night Award, and more.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

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The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is Hilton’s mid-tier card, with a moderate $150 annual fee and a high rewards earning potential. Cardholders can benefit from complimentary Gold status, 12X points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases, up to $50 quarterly in statement credits for eligible purchases, and the ability to earn a free night after spending a set amount each year. For the Hilton loyalist, this card has tremendous value.

Credit Cards with Mouse Cursor Find your perfect American Express credit card COMPARE CARDS

What is American Express?

American Express is both a credit card issuer and a payment processing network. This means that they issue the cards to consumers and they process the payments themselves. While many credit cards from other issuers use payment networks like Visa or Mastercard, Amex can do it all. 

Outside of credit cards, American Express also offers savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, and more.

Where are Amex cards accepted?

American Express used to fall behind Visa and Mastercard in its acceptance rating, but in recent years they’ve reached over 99% acceptance in the U.S.

So there’s a tiny chance your Amex card won’t be accepted in the U.S, in which case it’s always best to have cash or another card available as backup. Amex cards are also not a payment method accepted at Costco.

Internationally, the acceptance rating is quite a bit lower, so it may be a good idea to have a Visa or Mastercard-branded card (like a Chase credit card or Capital One credit card) in your back pocket if you’re going overseas.

Types of American Express cards

Amex offers multiple types of credit cards, so there's an option for almost any consumer.

Business cards

American Express offers various options of credit cards for small businesses. These cards often have business-specific reward categories and tend to come with valuable perks.

Travel rewards cards

Many American Express credit cards earn what are called Membership Rewards points, a valuable Amex-specific currency. These points can be redeemed in various ways, from statement credits to transfers with select travel partners.

Cash-back cards

While some cards from American Express earn Membership Rewards points, others earn cash back. With these cards, you earn a percentage of each purchase back in rewards.

Co-branded cards

American Express partners with certain airline and hotel brands like Hilton, Delta, and Marriott to offer cards specific to those brands. There are various tiers to these cards, with differing annual fees and rewards.

American Express Benefits

There are loads of American Express benefits that make them one of the best card providers around, these are a few of the standout perks:

American Express Membership Rewards

Amex credit cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card let you earn Amex Membership Rewards points while others like the Blue Cash cards earn cash back. Generally speaking, this card issuer’s cash-back credit cards only let you redeem your cash back for statement credits, which makes Amex Membership Rewards a better option in terms of flexibility.

These points can be used to “pay with points” at many famous retailers, but you can also redeem them for gift cards or merchandise. Amex Membership Rewards points can also be used to book hotel stays, rental cars, flights, and more through the Amex travel portal.

Amex Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to many airline and hotel partners, which can help you get more value in return. 

Here is a look at the Amex Membership Rewards transfer ratio when exchanging Amex points for credit through an Amex travel partner:

Transfer Partner Transfer Ratio (Membership Rewards Points to Transfer Partner Points)
Aer Lingus 1,000:1,000
Aeromexico 1,000:1,600
Air Canada Aeroplan 1,000:1,000
Air France / Flying Blue 1,000:1,000
ANA 1,000:1,000
Asia Miles 1,000:1,000
Avianca 1,000:1,000
British Airways 1,000:1,000
Delta Skymiles 1,000:1,000
Emirates 1,000:1,000
Etihad Guest 1,000:1,000
Hawaiian Airlines 1,000:1,000
Iberia Plus 1,000:1,000
JetBlue TrueBlue 250:200
Qantas 500:500
Singapore Airlines 1,000:1,000
Virgin Atlantic 1,000:1,000
Choice Privileges 1,000:1,000
Hilton Honors 1,000:2,000
Marriott Bonvoy 1,000:1,000

Who should get an American Express card?

Frequent travelers

If you’re a frequent traveler who wants a new card with flexible rewards and plenty of perks, looking at cards that earn Membership Rewards points can make sense. Amex travel cards tend to offer bonus miles on travel purchases and generous rewards on other non-travel purchases you make. Many travel credit cards from Amex also offer perks like airport lounge access, fee credits for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership, and credits for a CLEAR Plus membership. (Not sure of the difference? Check out our guides on Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck and TSA PreCheck vs CLEAR).

Many American Express cards even offer travel insurance perks, but if you’re traveling internationally or going on a cruise, you may want to consider purchasing an additional travel insurance or cruise insurance plan to make sure you are adequately covered on your trip.

Cash back enthusiasts

If you love earning cash back on eligible purchases, several credit cards from Amex could work well as your new card. Some cards in this niche even offer up to 6% cash back on select purchases including U.S. supermarket spending. Just keep in mind that many Amex credit cards that earn cash back only let you redeem your rewards for statement credits.

Small business owners

This card issuer also offers a range of business credit cards geared to those who want to earn cash back or travel rewards on eligible purchases. There are several top business credit cards from Amex with no annual fee, and some extend 0% APR intro offers for eligible purchases. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur who is seeking a new card, you’ll find that Amex boasts some of the best options out there.

How to apply for an Amex credit card

After deciding on a card to apply for, click the “Learn More” button next to the card at the top of this page. That will lead you to a page where you can learn more about the card’s benefits and fees, and there will also be a button to “Apply Now.” 

When applying, you’ll likely be asked for information like:

One of the biggest appeals of an American Express credit card is the Amex pre-approval tool, which helps you know your chances of approval before applying. Additionally, resources like the CardMatch tool can match you with cards you’re likely to be approved for (with no impact on your credit score) and may even allow you to earn a more lucrative welcome offer.

What credit score is needed for an American Express card?

You typically need good to excellent credit (670+ FICO) to qualify for an American Express credit card. However, Amex will also take other factors into consideration, like income and debt.

How many Amex cards can you have?

American Express allows you to have up to 5 of their credit cards at once. This includes business and personal cards. This limit does not include cards without a preset spending limit, like the Platinum Card or the Gold Card. If you’re not sure what your credit score is, head over to our guide on how to check your credit score.

How we selected the best American Express credit cards

To select the credit cards for this ranking, we looked at various factors like:

Rewards

We closely evaluated each card’s reward-earning potential and looked at whether they earn cash-back or Membership Rewards Points.

Fees

We looked to determine if the card’s perks outweighed the annual fee, and also took a card’s intro APR offer (or lack thereof) into consideration.

Other perks

We examined each card’s additional perks like statement credits and travel protection to help evaluate the card’s overall value to consumers.

Best American Express Credit Cards - FAQ

What is the best American Express credit card?

Many experts say the Platinum Card® from American Express is the best travel credit card across all major card issuers. However, The best American Express credit card for you depends on your specific rewards-earning goals. For example, you should decide whether you want to earn flexible points for travel or cash back.

That said, our picks for the best American Express credit card is as follows:

  • The best Amex credit card for cash back is the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card.
  • The best Amex credit card for points is the Amex Platinum card.
  • The best Amex credit card for SkyMiles is the Amex Delta SkyMiles Gold card.

We recommend comparing cards based on their features, benefits, and annual fees.

Which Amex card is the easiest to get?

Amex offers a range of credit cards that are geared to consumers with good or excellent credit scores. With that in mind, you won’t find any cards from this issuer that are aimed at consumers who need to build credit.

What credit score do I need to qualify for American Express?

Most Amex credit cards require good or excellent credit. While American Express does not list a minimum credit score requirement for approvals, a “good” credit score typically means any FICO score of 670 or higher.

How do you cancel an Amex card?

There are three options to cancel an American Express credit card; by phone, online, or via mail.

Here are the steps you can take for each.

  • By phone: You can easily cancel an American Express credit card by calling the customer service number on the back of the card, calling their 24/7 customer service line at 1-800-528-4800, or you can call collect at 1-336-393-1111 if you’re located outside of the U.S.

    Once connected, simply tell them that you want to cancel your account. You’ll need to provide some info about yourself to verify your identity.
  • Online: You also may be able to cancel your card online by chatting with a live representative on the American Express website by following these steps:

    • Log in to your American Express account online
    • Find the chat button in the bottom right-hand corner
    • Click “chat” to begin a live chat with a customer service representative
    • Tell the representative that you want to cancel your card
  • By mail: If you’re old school and prefer to do things via mail, you can cancel your American Express card this way as well. Just submit your request in writing to the following address:

    American Express
    P.O. Box 981535
    El Paso, TX 79998-1535

    Note that you’ll have to wait until they process your request so it won’t be as quick of a cancellation as it would be via phone or online.

When you cancel, you’ll have 90 days from the date you requested cancellation to use up your remaining rewards. If you don’t redeem them by then, you forfeit all remaining points or cash back.

Amex will only refund your annual fee if you request cancellation within 30 days of when the latest annual fee was charged. After that point, you won’t receive a refund.

Is American Express a good card to have?

American Express credit cards are an excellent option for consumers who want the best perks and rewards. American Express is also renowned for its customer service. In fact, Amex earned the #1 spot in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

Does American Express have any student credit cards?

No, American Express does not offer student credit cards. Since American Express cards are only for those with an excellent credit score, students often don’t qualify since they have a limited credit history.

Can you qualify for an Amex card with bad credit?

Amex focuses on consumers with good or excellent credit and does not offer secured credit cards or options for those with a bad credit score. Many other issuers offer credit cards for bad credit or credit cards for no credit that can help you build your credit score until you can qualify for one of the best American Express cards.

Where is the security code on an Amex card?

Unlike Visa and Mastercard which tend to have the security code on the back of the card, American Express has theirs on the front. It’s also a 4-digit number, unlike Visa and Mastercard with three digits. Learn more about what credit card numbers mean.

Are there any American Express cards with no annual fee?

Most American Express cards have annual fees ranging from $95 to hundreds of dollars, but there are a few no-annual-fee card options. Our opinion is that the best American Express card with no annual fee is the Blue Cash Everyday card.

Is Amex Gold or Platinum better?

Neither card is objectively better. The Platinum Card is best for frequent travelers who enjoy luxury perks, while the Gold Card is better for everyday spending. See how these two cards stack up in our detailed comparison of Amex Gold vs Platinum.

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Finance Expert

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade.

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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