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Best American Express Credit Cards of 2023

  • Discover why American Express is one of the leading credit card companies
  • Find out what rewards you can earn with an Amex (American Express) card
  • See the pros and cons of choosing an American Express card
  • Get advice from our credit experts on how to pick the best Amex card
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Holly D. Johnson - Contributor Updated: 26 January 2023 11 Min Read
Reviewed By Bestcovery - Editorial Team
Why Trust Us?

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 their eligible purchases.

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. This guide explains the five best Amex cards for consumers on the market today, plus how each card works and steps you can take to find the best new card for your needs.

Our picks for the best American Express credit cards

Best American Express Credit Cards

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for Premium Travel Rewards

Rates & Fees

Why We Like It

The Platinum Card® from American Express may have a higher annual fee than premium cards from other credit card issuers, but it comes with more than $1,500 in value due to its statement credits alone. Cardmembers qualify for an array of statement credit offers for select purchases ranging from airline incidental charges to Uber rides or Uber Eats orders. Plus, this card comes with the broadest airport lounge membership of all other travel credit cards.

Most importantly, the Platinum Card® from American Express offers excellent point-earning capacity within the Amex Membership Rewards program. These rewards are incredibly flexible since consumers can redeem them for gift cards, merchandise or travel through the American Express travel portal. Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to a range of airline and hotel partners, including the Delta SkyMiles program, Air France / Flying Blue, Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy and more.

Points in the Membership Rewards program are worth up to two cents each when redeemed with travel partners, so the welcome bonus on this card can easily be worth $2,000.

Also note that this card comes with a broad range of benefits, including American Express travel perks. For starters, cardholders get a $200 airline incidental credit for in-flight purchases and a $200 hotel credit toward eligible prepaid bookings. Other perks include a $240 digital entertainment credit, a $155 Walmart+ credit, up to $200 in Uber Cash per year, Global Dining Access by Resy and a $300 credit toward eligible Equinox purchases.

Additional American Express travel benefits include a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership plus access to Amex Centurion Lounges, a $189 credit for CLEAR membership, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership and automatic Gold elite status with the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy programs. While the annual fee is high, there are no foreign transaction fees.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

PROS

  • Excellent rewards rate for travel purchases
  • Earns flexible and valuable Membership Rewards points
  • Qualify for $1,500+ in statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Transfer points to Amex partners
  • Comes with broad airport lounge membership that lets you score free food, drink and wi-fi

CONS

  • High annual fee of $695 for card membership
  • Low rewards rate for eligible purchases other than flights and hotels
  • Many statement credit offers are too specific and hard to use

Earning Rewards

Cardholders who choose the Platinum Card® from American Express get the chance to earn 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked with airlines or through AmexTravel.com (on up to $500,000 in spending per year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

New customers who sign up can also earn 80,000 points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within six months of card membership.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Best for Cash Back with No Annual Fee

Rates & Fees

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 and U.S. gas stations, and cash back can be redeemed for statement credits once you’re ready.

This American Express card also comes with secondary auto rental coverage and access to a Global Assist hotline.

Cardholders who want to enjoy an interest-free period will also love the fact they receive 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 18.24% to 29.24%. This intro offer can help cardholders save money on interest as they pay down large purchases for more than a year.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

PROS

  • No annual fee
  • Comes with 0% intro APR offer for eligible purchases
  • Generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations

CONS

  • Cash back can only be redeemed for statement credits
  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets
  • Rewards rate on other purchases isn't that great
  • Charges 2.7% in foreign transaction fees
  • No option for balance transfers

Earning Rewards

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express lets cardholders earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 3% back at U.S. gas stations and 1% back on other eligible purchases.

Earn up to $250 – Here’s How: Earn up to $150 back when you shop with PayPal. Earn 20% back as a statement credit on purchases when you use your new Card to check out with PayPal at merchants in the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back as a statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

Best Airline Card with No Annual Fee

Rates & Fees

Why We Like It

The Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is a great option for the budget-conscious consumer looking to earn travel perks. American Express has several co-branded cards with Delta Airlines to choose from with this one being the most basic. While the rewards rates and perks might not be as exciting as the more flashy SkyMiles cards, Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card is the only one that does not require an annual fee.

While you might not be getting luxury travel perks with this card, there are definitely still benefits worth mentioning. If you book your flights through delta.com, you can take $50 off of the price for every 5,000 miles you redeem using Pay with Miles. You can also earn 20% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases, which you’ll get as a statement credit.

Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card

PROS

  • No annual fee
  • Potential to earn unlimited miles that don't expire
  • Welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees

CONS

  • Lower rewards rate than other SkyMiles cards
  • Fewer luxury perks than other SkyMiles cards

Earning Rewards

Earning miles is easy with the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card. You’ll earn 2X miles per dollar spent on all of your Delta purchases, so the more you fly the more you can earn. You can also earn 2X miles at restaurants around the world. This 2X also applies to take out and delivery, but only within the U.S. All other purchases will earn 1X mile.

We like that the bonus on this card is easy to earn. If you spend $1000 on your new card in the first 6 months you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles to get you started.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best for Everyday Spending

Rates & Fees

Why We Like It

When it comes to earning rewards on groceries in particular, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express cannot be beat. This American Express card offers 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back) and on select U.S. streaming services. The fact you earn 3% back at U.S. gas stations is also a major plus, particularly when you consider how high gas prices have climbed over the last year. New cardholders will also enjoy an interest-free period of 12 months for purchases, although the regular APR will apply after that timeline ends. Also be aware that this card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year. This gives you a full 12 months to test this card’s rewards-earning capacity before you commit.

Other perks include up to $120 in Equinox credits on eligible purchases, secondary auto rental coverage and access to a Global Assist hotline. Consumer benefits include return protection good for up to $300 per item with a maximum benefit of $1,000 per calendar year per account.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

PROS

  • Exceptional rewards at U.S. supermarkets and on select streaming services
  • Generous rewards at U.S. gas stations
  • No annual fee the first year
  • Intro APR offer for purchases

CONS

  • Rewards can only be redeemed for statement credits
  • Rewards rate on other purchases isn't that great
  • Charges 2.7% in foreign transaction fees
  • No option for balance transfers

Earning Rewards

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best rewards-earning cards for groceries and other everyday purchases, and it’s easy to see why. This card lets you 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, 3% back on transit purchases (taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% back on other eligible purchases.

New customers can also earn a $250 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership.

American Express® Gold Card

Best for Foodies

Rates & Fees

Why We Like It

The American Express® Gold Card is perfect for many types of cardholders who happen to spend a lot on dining out and specialty foods. This card’s rewards-earning capacity is spectacular for U.S. supermarkets and dining worldwide, as well as for takeout and delivery purchases made at U.S. restaurants.

Other benefits include up to $120 in Uber Cash annually, up to $120 in annual dining credits, secondary auto rental coverage, extended warranties and purchase protection against damage or theft. However, it’s worth noting that both the $120 in Uber credits and the $120 dining credits can only be used for eligible purchases and are doled out in increments of $10 per month.

Travel enthusiasts will also appreciate the fact this American Express card earns points in the American Express Membership Rewards program. This gives them the opportunity to redeem points for merchandise, gift cards, travel through American Express Travel or point transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners.

American Express® Gold Card

PROS

  • Excellent rewards for foodies
  • Earns Membership Rewards points
  • Comes with several consumer protections
  • No foreign transaction fees

CONS

  • High annual fee of $250
  • Rewards rate on other purchases isn't that great
  • $120 statement credit offers can be challenging to use

Earning Rewards

The American Express® Gold Card offers 4X points on dining worldwide, as well as 4X points on takeout and delivery purchases made at U.S. restaurants. Cardholders can also earn 4X points on up to $25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked direct or with American Express Travel and 1X points on other purchases.

New customers who choose this card can earn 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within six months of card membership.

Compare American Express Credit Cards

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About American Express

Originally founded in 1850, American Express is unique because it’s both a credit card issuer and also a credit card processor. This company also stands out due to its dynamic rewards program, which is known as American Express Membership Rewards.

While some Amex credit cards let users earn cash back instead, Amex Membership Rewards offers a range of flexible redemption options. These include “pay with points” options, gift cards, merchandise, travel through the Amex portal, and transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners.

While American Express offers a range of popular credit cards, you should know that this card issuer does not offer any secured credit cards or cards geared to consumers with less than stellar credit. Amex also refrains from offering many cards with balance transfer offers or functionality.

As you look for a new card, it’s crucial to keep this information in mind. For the most part, American Express is one of the credit card issuers that focuses on consumers with good or excellent credit, as well as those who do not need to transfer a balance from other credit cards.

Benefits of choosing an American Express Card

Before you fill out a credit card application for an American Express Card, you should take the time to compare them to other card-issuing financial institutions. After all, some cards from other issuers offer more generous rewards on non-travel purchases, and cash back cards from other banks offer more lucrative flat-rate rewards. Some top-of-the-line travel credit cards from other issuers also come with considerably lower annual fees than the Platinum Card® from American Express.

That said, there are plenty of benefits you can gain by choosing an American Express card, including the following:

American Express card rewards

As we mentioned already, Amex credit cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card let you earn Membership Rewards points while others earn cash back. Generally speaking, this card issuer’s cash back credit cards only let you redeem your cash back for statement credits.

When it comes to the Amex Membership Rewards program, cardholders have a lot more flexibility. These points can be used to “pay with points” with an array of retailers, but you can also use them for gift cards or merchandise. Membership Rewards points can also be used to book hotel stays, rental cars, flights and more through the Amex travel portal.

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

Here’s a rundown of current Amex travel partners and their transfer ratios (from Amex to partner):

Transfer Partner Transfer Ratio
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?

Amex credit cards vary quite a bit, but most of their card offerings are geared to specific types of customers.

If you fit one of the profiles below, it’s possible this credit card issuer offers a new card that can suit your needs.

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 travel insurance benefits, airport lounge access, fee credits for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership and credits for CLEAR membership.

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 we selected the best American Express credit cards

To select the credit cards for this ranking, we looked for Amex cards that offer the best rewards proposition and perks with the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost. We selected cards that earn cash back as well as flexible travel points, and we aimed to choose options that appeal to the largest possible audience.

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Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Contributor

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.