American Express offers some of the most exclusive luxury credit cards and benefits, but their exceptional customer service and high-value benefits are broader than you might think. In addition to premium travel cards, American Express offers co-branded options from popular brands like Delta and Hilton, as well as cash back cards that help you save on everyday purchases.
Still, American Express’ appeal to loyal cardholders is mostly due to these elevated benefits and exclusive access. American Express is also the largest credit card issuer by purchase volume, which means that American Express users swipe their cards and spend a fortune. However, if you can’t take advantage of premium lounge access or hotel benefits, the cost of these cards may not offer any added value.
Before purchasing any new cards, be sure to consider the reward categories, cost, and other features of the card to suit your spending habits and credit needs. Review the categories you spend most often; then decide whether you are willing to pay an annual fee, whether you will benefit from an initial 0% discount, and what kind of reward structure you prefer.
The American Express cards below offer the greatest value for a variety of consumers, but your needs may vary. Use this list as a guide to help you navigate Amex’s offerings and evaluate what you’re looking for in a new credit card.
The Best American Express Cards for May 2022
American Express Money Magnet
Good for: Simple savings
The American Express Cash Magnet Card offers a fixed cash back bonus on every purchase. Get 1.5% back on every swipe, no annual fee.
American Express Blue Cash Priority
Good for: Biggest rewards for everyday purchases
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred has one of the highest cash back rates of any rewards credit card in U.S. supermarkets. Get 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year (1% thereafter), plus other reward categories.
American Express Platinum Card
Good for: Premium perks and benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express earns points on flights, prepaid hotels, and travel expenses booked with American Express Travel, but the other impressive perks it hides really shine. Examples include Uber Cash balances, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry balances, Clear membership balances, statement balances, and access to global lounge collections.
American Express Gold Card
Good for: Daily rewards and travel redemptions
With the American Express Gold Card, you can earn valuable rewards points that you can use for travel when you swipe the card for everyday purchases. Earn 4x points at restaurants and US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com
American Express Business Gold Card
Good for: Flexible business spending
The American Express Business Gold Card is a flexible solution for customizing business expense rewards. You will earn 4x Membership Rewards points for the two categories (from the available list) that your company spent the most in the last billing cycle.
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card
Good for: Loyal hang glider
Save even more when you fly frequently with Delta with the Delta SkyMiles American Express Gold Card. Earn 2x miles per dollar on direct purchases from Delta, 2x miles on restaurant purchases (including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and U.S. supermarkets), and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Good for: Hilton lovers
If you’ve been living at the Hilton, the Hilton Honors American Express Card can quickly add significant value. Earn 7x Hilton Honors Rewards Points per $1 of eligible purchases made directly at a Hilton hotel or resort, 5x points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and all other eligible purchases Earn 3x points.
American Express Card Guide
American Express may be best known for its premium travel card options, but the issuer also has better cards for everyday use. Below is an overview of all the options offered by American Express. While not all of these cards are our top picks, you may find one that better suits your spending and borrowing needs:
American Express Cash Back Card
American Express offers a variety of cash back cards that make it easy to withdraw and redeem money for your everyday purchases. We love the Blue Cash Preferred and American Express Cash Magnet, but if you find your spending patterns differ from the reward categories on these cards, these are the American Express cash back options:
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Points Collection American Express
American Express’s valuable reward currency, Membership Rewards Points, is one of the publisher’s key attractions, and membership rewards are available on many of the most valuable American Express cards. You can redeem points in a variety of ways, including bank statements, gift cards and merchandise. But the most valuable way to redeem points is for travel booked through American Express Travel. Here are all the cards that earn Membership Rewards points:
- American Express Platinum®
- American Express® Gold Card
- American Express® Green Card*
- American Express EveryDay® Credit Card
- American Express Everyday® Preferred Credit Card*
- American Express® Blue*.
American Express for airlines and hotels
American Express partners with airlines and hotel brands to offer co-branded credit cards. While general travel cards tend to offer the best value, if you always fly with Delta or always live at Hilton, a co-branded credit card might make sense for you:
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
American Express Business Card
American Express offers a range of business cards designed to meet the needs of business owners and sole proprietors, from everyday cash back cards to travel rewards cards, and even co-branded cards if your business purchases are typically made from the same retailer .
Applying for an American Express business card requires the following: your legal business name (if you are a sole proprietor, use your full name), the name you want to appear on the card, your business address, industry, business structure ( sole proprietors, etc.), fiscal year, annual income, estimated monthly expenses, number of employees, and federal tax identification number.
When deciding which card is best for you, consider your business spending habits:
- American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
- Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- American Express Business Platinum®
- American Express Business Gold Card
- American Express Plum Card®
- American Express Business Green Rewards Card*
- Amazon Business American Express*
- Amazon Business Prime American Express Card*
- American Express Lowe’s Business Rewards Card*
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
No annual fee for American Express
While the highest-quality American Express cards with premium benefits typically have an annual fee, there are some great American Express cards that have no annual fee and still unlock great potential for rewards and other benefits for everyday spending and travel:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card (see rates and fees)
- American Express Magnetic Cash Card
- American Express Everyday Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
- American Express blue
What is payment, plan?
Pay It, Plan It is a flexible payment feature offered by American Express. With Pay It, you can cash out eligible purchases under $100 anytime before your statement is due. With Plan It, you can choose a monthly installment plan for qualifying purchases over $100. Instead of incurring interest on these purchases, you pay a monthly fee and a fixed payment schedule.
Platinum, American Express Gold, and American Express Green were once considered charge cards, but with the introduction of pay over time, they have become a hybrid. This feature allows you to balance for some charges (but not all) and still have flexibility with your card limits.
Check your card account to see if you are entitled to Pay It, Plan It. Access rights may vary by card member and card.
Certain American Express cards (such as Platinum, American Express Gold, and American Express Green) do not have preset spending limits, but may allow Pay Over Time, which allows you to pay for eligible purchases (up to your Pay Over Time spend) limit) ). to your variable pay APR. If you own one of these cards and have access to Overtime Pay, you can activate it at any time. But use it wisely; the plan carries the same risk of high-interest debt as holding a credit card balance.
What are American Express Membership Rewards?
American Express Membership Rewards Points are the points you earn with an American Express Consumer Rewards Card (not a co-branded card to earn a different point currency, such as Hilton Honors Rewards Points or Delta SkyMiles).
You can earn Membership Rewards points by using your card to make purchases in eligible points earning categories. If you have more than one Rewards Card used to earn points with American Express, they will be automatically credited to your Membership Rewards account each billing cycle. You can then choose how you want to redeem it.
You can use your points to pay for your card in the form of a statement, pay at checkout when shopping online, or redeem for gift cards, but these are usually the lowest-value redemption options. One of the most valuable ways to redeem points is to book travel through American Express Travel, which usually costs 1 cent per point. One of the many transfer partners for transferring points to American Express is another high-quality option.
If you’re not familiar with issuers or travel rewards and redemption, unpacking American Express can be intimidating. But with excellent customer satisfaction and one of the largest credit card portfolios available, it’s a natural choice when looking for a new card — especially if you love to travel. Whether you’re looking for cash back, loyalty rewards, or miles on the airline of your choice, you can get some great benefits with an American Express card. Evaluate your own spending and credit card requirements before applying to ensure you choose the option that is best for you long-term.