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The best American Express cards:

American Express is most famous for its travel cards like the Platinum Card and premium “experiential” offerings like concierge service, but it also offers cards with non-travel perks and lower annual fees. 

Amex cards also offer various benefits like travel insurance and purchase protection. Additionally, all American Express cardholders get access to Amex Offers that can earn you bonus points or get cash back when you shop with certain retailers.

If you’re looking for the best Amex card for you, here are the ones you should consider.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Intro Bonus

60,000 points after your spend at least $5,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    • Up to a $200 airline fee credit.
    • Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges.
    Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired (no bonus rewards on general travel or dining)
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards


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    At $550, the Platinum Card has one of the highest annual fees of any mainstream card. However, as long as you’re willing to float it up front, you can get way more value back from the card — for instance, it’s possible to get more than $2,000 in value from it during your first year.

    The Platinum Card offers 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline, as well as flights and pre-paid hotels booked through Amex Travel. It earns 1x point on everything else.

    The card comes with a long list of perks, including access to more than 1,200 airport lounges within the Priority Pass network, as well as Delta Sky Clubs (when you’re flying Delta) and proprietary American Express Centurion Lounges. It also offers complimentary Gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton hotels, as well as up to $100 per year in shopping credits at Saks Fifth Avenue, up to $200 in Uber credits each cardmember year, and access to special events.

    Regular APR

    See Rates and Fees

    Intro Bonus

    35,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
    • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Annual Fee is $250.
    • Terms Apply
    Pros
    • Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
    • Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
    Cons
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus
    • Annual airline fee statement credit comes with many restrictions


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    The Amex Gold Card is one of best cards available for dining, unless you’re only interested in cash back, rather than potentially more valuable rewards points.

    The Amex Gold Card earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and on up to $25,000 per year at US supermarkets (and 1x point after that), 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on everything else. Based on the fact that you can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1 cent of value each, that makes this the highest-earning card for everything food-related.

    The Amex Gold Card offers up to a $100 airline fee statement credit each calendar year, and adds up to $120 of dining credits — split into $10 each month — at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations.

    Regular APR

    12.99% to 23.99% variable APR

    Intro Bonus

    $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
    • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
    • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
    • Don’t wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
    • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • Terms Apply
    Pros
    • Generous bonus rewards, especially at US supermarkets
    • One of a small handful of credit cards that offer bonus rewards on select streaming services
    • Intro APR offer
    Cons
    • Unlike many other cash-back cards, it charges an annual fee
    • If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets each year, you’ll want to use another card once you reach that cap


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    If you’re less excited about earning Membership Rewards points — which can be valuable, but also require some effort to redeem for maximum value — and want to stick with cash back, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the best option, despite its $95 annual fee.

    You’ll earn 6% cash back on select US streaming services and 3% back on all transit. That’s in addition to 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (and 1% after that), 3% back at US gas stations, and 1% cash back on everything else.

    Like the EveryDay cards, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, before switching to a 12.99% to 23.99% variable APR. 

    The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a handful of travel and purchase protections as well. Cash back comes in the form of a statement credit, so effectively you can use it to “erase” purchases.

    Regular APR

    See Rates & Fees

    Intro Bonus

    30,000 points after you spend at least $2,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
    • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
    • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • $150 Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • 3x bonus categories of travel and restaurants that rival the more-expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve
    • Reasonable annual fee compared to many other travel rewards cards
    Cons
    • Annual statement credits with CLEAR and LoungeBuddy won’t be useful to everyone
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus


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    The Amex Green Card has become a top option for earning Membership Rewards points on travel and dining. 

    You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all eligible travel, which includes everything from subway fare to hotels to flights. You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide. In terms of points-earning, this puts the Amex Green Card on par with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which also offers 3x points in these spending categories.

    Other benefits include up to $100 in statement credits toward CLEAR membership each year, and up to $100 in statement credits per year toward LoungeBuddy purchases (for airport lounge access).

    The Amex Green card has a $150 annual fee, but that’s relatively moderate, especially if you can take advantage of those two annual statement credits.

    Intro Bonus

    75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 within your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
    • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
    • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
    • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
    Pros
    • More travel benefits than you’ll find on any other business credit card
    • Generous airport lounge access options, from American Express Centurion Lounges to Priority Pass
    • Complimentary hotel elite status
    • Access to Amex concierge services
    Cons
    • Very high annual fee
    • Limited opportunities to earn bonus points
    • Annual statement credits won’t be useful for everyone


    Read Our Review
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    The Amex Business Platinum Card is Amex’s top-of-the-line business credit card, and it has many of the same perks you’ll find on the personal Platinum Card, including up to a $200 airline fee credit each year, access to airport lounges including Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass lounges, and up to a $100 credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

    It also offers several benefits that cater to business owners, such as a 50% points bonus on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points each year) and up to $200 in annual statement credits for Dell purchases ($100 each half of the year).

    If you use Amex points to book travel, you’ll appreciate the 35% Pay With Points rebate, which applies to business- and first-class flights or flights in any class with a selected qualifying airline booked through amextravel.com.  You can get up to 500,000 points back in a calendar year.

    The personal Platinum Card has the advantage when it comes to bonus categories — it earns 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, while the Business Platinum only earns 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel. For more info on the differences between the Business Platinum and the personal Amex Platinum, read our in-depth comparison.

    Regular APR

    13.24% to 19.24% variable APR

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months from account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

  • Pros
    • The rate no-annual-fee card to earn Amex Membership Rewards points
    • Solid earning rate on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
    Cons
    • For spending above $50,000 each year, you won’t earn bonus points with this card
    • No welcome bonus


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    The Blue Business Plus card earns 2x Amex points on the first $50,000 you spend each year, then 1x points. Up until that $50,000 threshold, you’re effectively earning a 4% return on all your purchases, based on The Points Guy’s valuations.

    Another bonus is that the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee. Just remember that it is a business product, so if you don’t have a side gig or a small enterprise that would qualify you for a business card, you won’t be eligible.

    One downside is that there’s no welcome bonus, but the return on spending could be reason enough to consider this card.

    The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card is a strong option for anyone looking for a Membership Rewards card, but who’s not interested in a premium card like the Platinum or the Amex Gold. It also has a strong points-earning scheme and a lower annual fee of $95.

    The card earns 3 points per dollar spent at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 each year — 1 point per dollar after that), 2x points at US gas stations, and 1x point on everything else. You can also get 2x points on reservations made through Amex Travel.

    Best of all, if you make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, you’ll earn a 50% bonus. That means that those little $3 and $4 charges for things like coffee or a snack can help you get a ton of points quickly.

    The card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening, before switching to a  variable 12.99–22.99% APR. If you have a big purchase coming up and want some time to pay it off, but don’t want to pay interest fees, this is a great option.

    The Amex EveryDay is a no-annual-fee version, which still offers solid rewards. It earns 2x points at US supermarkets (again up to $6,000 of purchases per year, then 1x after that) and at AmexTravel.com, and 1x on everything else. It also offers 20% more points when you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period.

    Like most Amex cards, it features a few travel and purchase protections, as well as access to the Amex Offers program.

    While most people will be better off with the Preferred, the regular EveryDay is still a strong option — especially since there’s no annual fee.

    Regular APR

    12.99% to 23.99% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Intro Bonus

    $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
    • 3% cash back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
    • 2% cash back at US gas stations and at select US department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
    • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
    • Don’t wait for your card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for instant card number.
    • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
    • No annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Good bonus cash-back rate at US supermarkets
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets in a year, you should use another card to earn bonus rewards once you hit that cap


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    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is similar to the Blue Cash Preferred, with a different earning structure and no annual fee.

    The card earns a lower 3% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 each year — and 1% after that — 2% back at US gas stations and select US department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else. While many people spend enough in the bonus categories to make the Blue Cash Preferred the better option, this remains a decent card for anyone who’s strictly opposed to paying an annual fee.

    If you’re looking to make a major purchase and pay it off over time, like an appliance or an engagement ring, you can take advantage of the 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening (after that, it reverts to a 12.99% to 23.99% variable APR). You’ll earn cash back on the purchase, which you can put right towards paying it off.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

    More:

    Platinum Card from American Express
    Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express
    Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express
    Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

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