Best American Express credit cards of 2023

Written by Eric Rosenberg / January 24, 2023
Reviewed by Robin Saks Frankel

American Express is one of the market’s most well-known credit card issuers. When you think about American Express, commonly referred to as Amex, it’s likely you think of premium charge cards and generous rewards. 

The best American Express cards can potentially earn you hundreds of dollars per year in rewards or score plush perks like premium lounge access and valuable credits. We looked at the issuer’s offerings to help you find the best Amex card for your unique spending needs.

Be sure to compare these cards to those on our lists of the best credit cards to view them outside of the context of this list of cards. Although Amex offers a wide range of credit cards, the cards below may not always be the best on the market or right for your spending patterns and preferences.

Inside this article

  1. Best American Express credit cards of 2023
  2. Best for restaurants and travel rewards: American Express Gold Card
  3. Best for premium travel benefits: The Platinum Card from American Express
  4. Best for travel perks at a low annual fee: American Express Green Card
  5. Best for gas and groceries cash back: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  6. Best for online shopping cash back: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
  7. Best for general spending cash back: American Express Cash Magnet
  8. Best for Membership Rewards-earning with no annual fee: Amex EveryDay Credit Card
  9. Best for Membership Rewards for daily spending: Amex EveryDay Preferred Card
  10. Compare the best credit cards from American Express
  11. Should you get an American Express credit card?
  12. Guide to American Express credit cards
  13. Methodology
  14. Frequently Asked Questions

Best American Express credit cards of 2023

  • Best for restaurants and travel rewards: American Express Gold Card

  • Best for premium travel benefits: The Platinum Card from American Express

  • Best for travel perks for a low annual fee: American Express Green Card

  • Best for gas and groceries cash back: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

  • Best for online shopping cashback: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

  • Best for general spending cash back: American Express Cash Magnet

  • Best for Membership Rewards with no annual fee: Amex EveryDay Card

  • Best for Membership Rewards for daily spending: Amex EveryDay Preferred Card

Best for restaurants and travel rewards: American Express Gold Card

Why it’s the best

If eating and travel are your priorities, the American Express Gold Card could be ideal for you for its generous rewards no spending in those areas. Plus it comes with valuable perks that could offset the annual fee if fully maximized.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • $240 in combined credits for Uber Cash and dining

  • High rewards rate on restaurants, groceries, and travel

  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons:

  • $250 annual fee

  • Minimal travel perks

  • Complex rewards structure

More details

  • Annual fee: $250

  • Rewards: 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 spent per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airlines or through amextravel.com, 1 point per dollar on everything else.

  • APR: None.

  • Perks and benefits: Up to $120 each in annual credits for Uber Cash and dining, Pay Over Time payment feature.

Best for premium travel benefits: The Platinum Card from American Express

What you should know

The Platinum Card® from American Express is packed with unparalleled luxury travel perks. Cardmembers have access to a wide range of airport lounges, mid-tier hotel elite status and a comprehensive set of travel protections.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Over $1,500 in travel and entertainment credits can offset the annual fee

  • Comprehensive lounge access benefit

  • Generous travel and purchase protections

Cons:

  • High annual fee and spending requirements

  • Amex’s once-per-lifetime rule limits welcome bonus eligibility

  • Annual statement credits have limited use

More details

  • Annual fee: $695

  • Rewards: Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year, 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

  • APR: None.

  • Perks and benefits: $300 yearly statement credit towards Equinox, $240 yearly digital entertainment credit, $200 annual airline incidental fee credit, $200 annual hotel credit valid on prepaid bookings through Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection, $200 Uber Cash in monthly increments, $155 annual Walmart+ credit, $100 credit towards Saks Fifth Avenue purchases ($50 semiannually), $189 annual credit towards CLEAR membership, up to $100 application fee credit towards Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years, complimentary Hilton and Marriott Gold elite status with enrollment, rental car elite status with Avis, Hertz, National, extensive travel and purchase protections, secondary rental car coverage.

Best for travel perks at a low annual fee: American Express Green Card

What you should know

The American Express Green Card fills a niche between bare-bones travel cards and pricey premium ones. In exchange for the $150 annual fee, you’ll get a handful of benefits including a $189 CLEAR application fee credit, a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, some travel and purchase protections and a strong rewards rate on travel and transit that rivals far pricier options.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Lower annual fee than some comparable cards

  • Credits for CLEAR and airport lounges

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons:

  • Fewer perks than more premium travel cards

  • Complex rewards structure

  • Some reward redemptions are a poor value

More details

  • Annual fee: $150

  • Rewards: 3 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on transit, restaurant and travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and travel purchases through travel agencies. 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

  • APR: None.

  • Perks and benefits: $100 LoungeBuddy credit, $189 CLEAR credit, secondary car loss and rental damage coverage, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Best for gas and groceries cash back: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

What you should know

The Blue Cash Preferred Card offers one of the highest rewards rates for groceries you’ll find. You’ll earn 6% back on your first $6,000 in spending at U.S. supermarkets, then 1%. It also offers an unlimited 6% on streaming. As a bonus, you can earn a solid 3% back on your gas and other transit purchases. All other spending earns 1%.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Get up to 6% cash back on groceries

  • Up to $7 monthly credit toward the Disney streaming bundle with enrollment

  • Up to $120 annual credit for Equinox+

Cons:

  • $95 annual fee after the first year

  • $6,000 spending limit for elevated rewards on groceries

  • Limited perks compared to some other American Express cards

More details

  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

  • Rewards: 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) and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers requested within the first 60 days of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 18.24% - 29.24%. A balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, applies.

  • Perks and benefits: $7 in monthly credits for the Disney streaming bundle, up to $120 annual credit for Equinox+, secondary car rental loss, and damage coverage return protection. 

Best for online shopping cash back: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

What you should know

The Blue Cash Everyday is the no-annual-fee sibling card to the Blue Cash Preferred Card. You’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and online retailers (on up to $6,000 spent per year in each category), making this an excellent option for people who do a lot of online shopping and don’t want to pay an annual fee.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate for groceries, gas, and online shopping

  • $7 monthly credit toward the Disney streaming bundle

Cons:

  • Rewards rate outside of bonus categories is lackluster

  • If you spend more than $61 a week on groceries and other supermarket goods, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express will net you more cash back in the long run

More details

  • Annual fee: None.

  • Rewards: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases in the U.S. (on up to $6,000 in each category per year in purchases, then 1%), and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.

  • APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening, followed by a variable APR of 18.24% - 29.24%. A balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, applies.

  • Perks and benefits: $7 in monthly credits for the Disney streaming bundle, up to $180 annual credit for Home Chef, secondary auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, and purchase protection.

Best for general spending cash back: American Express Cash Magnet

What you should know

Sometimes, you want a simple card you can use anywhere. The American Express Cash Magnet card offers an above-average flat rewards rate without category bonuses.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 1.5% cash back on everything you buy

  • $200 welcome bonus

  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • Other flat-rate cards offer better rewards

  • Better rewards are available on other cards

  • There’s a foreign transaction fee

More details

  • Annual fee: None.

  • Rewards: 1.5% cash back.

  • APR: 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening on purchases and on balance transfers requested within the first 60 days. Then a variable APR of 18.24% - 29.24% applies. There’s a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.

  • Perks and benefits: Unlimited 1.5% cash back, secondary rental car coverage, Global Assist hotline.

Best for Membership Rewards-earning with no annual fee: Amex EveryDay Credit Card

What you should know

American Express rewards program, Membership Rewards, offers a variety of lucrative redemptions and point transfer options. Most cards that are part of this program carry an annual fee, but the EveryDay card lets you earn Membership Rewards points at a reasonable rate without paying a fee.


Pros and cons

Pros:

  • No annual fee

  • Earn 20% more points when you make 20 purchases a month. Terms apply

  • Decent welcome bonus

Cons:

  • Poor rewards rates compared to other cards

  • Few travel perks

  • Spending cap for elevated rewards

More details

  • Annual fee: None.

  • Rewards: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1 point per dollar), 2 points per dollar when using the card to book trips through American Express Travel, and 1 point for every eligible dollar on everything else. Plus, use the card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% extra points on those purchases.

  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, followed by a regular APR of 17.24% - 28.24% variable. A balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater, applies.

  • Perks and benefits: Earn 20% bonus points when you use your card 20 times in a month, transfer points to partners, secondary car rental loss, and damage coverage.

Best for Membership Rewards for daily spending: Amex EveryDay Preferred Card

Why it’s the best

The Amex EveryDay Preferred is a step up from the Amex EveryDay Card while still keeping its annual fee low. The card offers a strong rewards rate on groceries and frequent card users can bump up their rewards rate if they make 30 or more purchases in a billing cycle.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Earn 50% more points when you use the card to make 30 purchases a month

  • Bonus rewards on gas and groceries

  • Decent welcome bonus

Cons:

  • No travel perks

  • Spending cap for elevated rewards

  • $95 annual fee

More details

  • Annual fee: $95

  • Rewards: 3 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1 point per dollar), 2 points per dollar on U.S. gas stations and eligible travel purchases like prepaid hotel stays vacation packages, and cruises booked through AmexTravel.com and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR, 17.24% to 27.24%. A balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater, applies.

  • Perks and benefits: Earn 50% bonus points when you use your card 30 times in a month, transfer points to partners, secondary car rental insurance, and return protection.

Compare the best credit cards from American Express

CardAnnual feeRewardsWelcome bonusForeign transaction feeOther benefits and drawbacks
American Express Gold Card$2504 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 spent per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airlines or through amextravel.com, 1 point per dollar on everything else 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in six monthsNoneThis card offers strong rewards rates but has a slightly complicated rewards structure. It also offers excellent credits and perks on food services but few travel benefits
The Platinum Card from American Express$6955 Membership Rewards points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per calendar year, 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases125,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $6,000 in six monthsNoneThis card offers a bevy of credits for various services, letting you offset the annual fee if you use them. The airport travel perks are top-notch, too. However, the card falls short regarding earning rewards, with poor rewards rates
American Express Green Card$1503 points per dollar on restaurants, transit, and travel; 1 point on everything else45,000 Membership Rewards when you spend $2,000 in six monthsNoneThis card offers some basic perks, including credits for CLEAR and LoungeBuddy, but does not give full access to American Express’s network of lounges
Blue Cash Preferred Card$0 intro for the first year, then $956% on groceries (up to $6,000 in annual spending) and streaming 3% on transit and gas, 1% everywhere else $300 when you spend $3,000 in six months2.7%The card offers one of the best cash-back rates for groceries. It also has some solid perks, such as a Disney Bundle streaming credit. However, people who spend a lot on groceries may hit the limit for elevated rewards
Blue Cash Everyday Card$03% on groceries, gas and purchases with online retailers (on up to $6,000 in annual spending in each of these categories), 1% everywhere else$100 when you spend $2,000 in six months2.7%The Blue Cash Everyday has great earnings rates for an annual-fee-free credit card and even offers credits, which is unusual for a card with no annual fee. However, like the Blue Cash Preferred, you might hit the spending cap for elevated rewards
American Express Cash Magnet$01.5% on everything$200 when you spend $2,000 in six months2.7%This is a no-frills Amex card. While you won’t pay an annual fee or deal with complicated rewards, it has limited perks
Amex EveryDay Card$02 points per dollar spent on groceries (up to $6,000 in annual spending) and on eligible bookings through Amex Travel, 1 point on everything else. Get a 20% bonus when you use your card 20 times in a month 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 in six months2.7%People who want a no-annual-fee card to earn Membership Rewards with will find this card appealing, but it comes with low rewards earning rates and limited perks
Amex EveryDay Preferred Card$953 points per dollar on groceries (up to $6,000 in annual spending), 2 points on gas and eligible bookings through Amex Travel, 1 point on everything else. Get a 50% bonus when you use your card 30 times in a month15,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 in six months2.7%This card offers more substantial rewards than the Amex EveryDay Card, particularly when you use it at least 30 times a month. However, it also suffers from a thin lineup of perks

American Express Gold Card

The Amex Gold Card deserves a place in the wallet of foodies who like to travel for its generous rewards on eating and flying. Those who can make use of the card’s Uber Cash and dining credits can nearly break even with the card’s $250 annual fee.

Annual fee: $250

Rewards: 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 spent per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airlines or through amextravel.com, 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Perks and benefits: The card offers up to $120 in annual credits for Uber Cash and dining, 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), up to $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay at the Hotel Collection with American Express Travel, baggage insurance, secondary auto collision damage waiver coverage and access to Amex Offers.

The Platinum Card from American Express

If you want access to as many airport lounges as possible, and upscale perks on a credit card are important to you, then you might not blink an eye at the hefty annual fee for the Amex Platinum Card. It also offers numerous credits that are potentially valuable for those who can use them.

Annual fee: $695

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

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits and drawbacks: The card is chock full of credits that could be worth thousands if fully maximized. But, that’s a big if, as not all of the credits are applicable to everyone—and credits may require enrollment to receive the benefit. This is a card that’s best for those who want lounge access at a level no other card currently is offering.

American Express Green Card

The American Express Green Card charges $150 per year but you can offset that fee with credits toward CLEAR and LoungeBuddy, letting you get several upscale travel perks at a low cost. The Amex Green Card also offers better rewards rates on several everyday expenses over the Platinum Card, making it useful for people who want to earn rewards through spending.

Annual fee: $150

Rewards: 3 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on transit, restaurant, and travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and travel purchases through travel agencies. 1 point per dollar on other spending.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits and drawbacks: The card comes with a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, $189 CLEAR credit, secondary car loss and rental damage coverage, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage, but frequent travelers or those seeking higher-end perks will likely find that a more premium card will suit them better.


Blue Cash Preferred Card

Given how much the average family spends on groceries and gas, this card can score you serious savings in these areas (in the form of generous cash-back earnings). It also offers some valuable credits in areas some families are likely to find appealing.

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

Rewards: 6% back on your first $6,000 in spending at U.S. supermarkets. It also offers an unlimited 6% on streaming. As a bonus, you can earn a solid 3% back on your gas and other transit purchases. All other spending earns 1%.

Foreign transaction fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Other benefits and drawbacks: In addition to the rewards rates the card offers, cardholders can enjoy $7 in monthly credits for the Disney streaming bundle, up to $120 annual credit for Equinox+, secondary car rental loss, and damage coverage and return protection. But this is not a great card for international travel as it carries foreign transaction fees. 

Blue Cash Everyday Card

The Blue Cash Everyday Card offers elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations but the secret sauce is that the card also earns high rewards on online spending, too. This makes it an ideal choice for households who spend in these areas but don’t want to be saddled with an annual fee.

Annual fee: None.

Rewards: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases in the U.S. (on up to $6,000 spent in each category per year in purchases, then 1%), and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.

Foreign transaction fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars.

Other benefits and drawbacks: Perks like $7 in monthly credits for the Disney streaming bundle, up to $180 annual credit for Home Chef, secondary auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, and purchase protection are nice, but consumers who routinely spend more than $3,000 a year on groceries may wish to instead consider the Blue Cash Preferred for its higher earning rate in that category, despite the Preferred Card’s annual fee.


American Express Cash Magnet Card

If you’re set on owning an Amex card and you want simple cash back, the American Express Cash Magnet card earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase. 

Annual fee: None.

Rewards: 1.5% cash back.

Foreign transaction fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Other benefits and drawbacks: Although this card grants access to Amex Offers and comes with secondary rental car coverage and access to a Global Assist hotline, there are other cards on the market with better rewards.

Amex EveryDay Card

Charging no annual fee, the Amex EveryDay offers the opportunity to earn valuable Membership Rewards Points and get a rewards bump when you use your card at least 20 times in a month.

Annual fee: None.

Rewards: 2 points per dollar spent on groceries (up to $6,000 in annual spending) and on eligible bookings through Amex Travel, 1 point on everything else. Get a 20% bonus when you use your card 20 times in a month.

Foreign transaction fees: 2.7%

Other benefits and drawbacks: Getting something for nothing is always nice and the Amex EveryDay can certainly offer value for those who are interested in transferable points. However, know that there are cards with higher earning rates for spending at supermarkets.

Amex EveryDay Preferred Card

Those who rarely carry cash and use their card to pay for everything big or small may find exceptional value in the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card. The card offers 50% bonus points when you use your card 30 times in a month, giving your earnings a nice boost.

Annual fee: $95

Rewards: 3 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1 point per dollar), 2 points per dollar on U.S. gas stations and eligible travel purchases booked through AmexTravel.com like prepaid hotel stays, vacation packages and cruises and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

Foreign transaction fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Other benefits and drawbacks: The potential to earn a 50% increase on your points is a major highlight of the card, especially for those who spend frequently at U.S. supermarkets. However, for the same annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred earns at a much higher rate on groceries and may provide better value overall.

Should you get an American Express credit card?

“American Express is known for a wide selection of excellent credit card options that all come with high-quality customer service. There’s something for everyone regarding cash back or travel rewards. An underestimated strength of American Express is its online portal, which is best-in-class when navigating your expenses, payments, benefits, and rewards. The ability to live chat with a representative can also be helpful. Lastly, some American Express cards do not come with a credit limit, which can be beneficial if you need that flexibility”Zac Hood, travel rewards educator and founder of TravelFreely.com

American Express offers a wide variety of credit cards, ranging from high-end premium travel cards to basic cash-back options. There’s a good chance you can find one that fits your needs.
If you’re looking to earn Membership Rewards, owning an American Express card is the only way to do it. If you’re looking for a cash-back card, Amex is just one of many issuers offering cash-back rewards, so be sure to compare our best cards for cash back to see if an American Express card—or a card from a different issuer—is right for you.
In general, American Express cards require at least good credit to qualify, which is something to keep in mind. They are also slightly less commonly accepted than other cards abroad. However, the company is known for strong customer support, ranking highest in customer satisfaction for the past three years in a row, according to a 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
And, if it’s high-end perks you’re looking for, the American Express Platinum Card essentially invented the premium card category. 

So, if you qualify and find one that fits your needs, it’s likely you can benefit from having an American Express card in your wallet.

Guide to American Express credit cards

If you are considering getting an American Express credit card, here’s what you should know to simplify the process.

How to get an American Express card

You can get an American Express credit card by applying on the company’s website. The application asks for basic information, including your identity, location, current debts, and income. Remember that you’ll likely need good credit or better to qualify for an Amex card.

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

American Express does not publish a list of the minimum credit scores for its credit cards. 

In general, you need to have excellent credit to qualify for its premium offerings, like the Platinum Card. If you’re going for a lower-tier card like the Blue Cash Everyday or the Amex EveryDay Card, you might be able to qualify with solid, but not excellent, credit.

Typically, good credit means a FICO Score of 670 or higher, while excellent credit will generally be a FICO Score in the range of 740 to 850. But, even with excellent credit, your application could be denied based on other factors—such as too many accounts opened recently. 

Pros and cons of American Express cards

Certain American Express cards tend to have higher annual fees than many other credit cards, but they tend to compensate for that drawback with substantial rewards or incredibly valuable perks. For example, the Platinum Card offsets its nearly $700 annual fee with more than $1,500 in potential credits. It also includes access to a vast network of airport lounges. Paying out-of-pocket for entry to some airport lounges even a few times a year could cost you several hundred dollars, meaning the card saves you money on luxury travel experiences.

Another perk of the Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards Points is that you can pool your points from multiple cards for large redemptions or transfers. A drawback is that the reward structures on American Express cards are often complicated—with many bonus categories and spending caps to keep track of.

Pre-qualification vs. Preapproval

American Express allows you to access personalized welcome offers for its credit cards by providing basic information about yourself. When you fill out the form, the company will try to pre-qualify you for its cards and give you a list of offers.

This pre-qualification differs from preapproval in that it doesn't closely examine your credit or financial details. You may receive final approval only if you get prequalified first.

Also note that neither pre-qualification nor preapproval guarantees final approval for a financial product, just that you have a strong likelihood of approval if you choose to apply.

Who is Amex best for?

American Express products can work well for many people thanks to the issuer’s numerous card options. However, frequent travelers who want luxury benefits, such as airport lounge access, will most likely benefit from an American Express card.

American Express Membership Rewards and benefits

The American Express rewards program is called Membership Rewards. You can use the points you earn on Membership Rewards cards for various redemption choices.

The best redemption options are usually to redeem premium travel rewards through an airline transfer partner or the American Express travel redemption portal. Amex transfer partners include British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Redeeming points for cashback may be tempting, but it’s usually a lower-value redemption option than travel. You’ll often get a much better return if you use the points toward travel, such as booking flights and hotels through American Express or transferring to a travel partner. It’s almost never a good deal to turn in points for merchandise.

Also, be sure to determine before you apply what type of rewards the Amex card you’re considering offers. Not all Amex cards earn Membership Rewards—some earn straight cash back, which can be redeemed as a statement credit, for example.

Is an Amex Card worth the fee?

Many American Express cards are known for their high fees, but these are often worth paying. The cards that charge annual fees typically offer credits and rewards that can easily offset the cost.

Methodology

Sound Dollar's credit cards team has spent hours analyzing hundreds of credit cards. We took a deep dive into the details of each product. That analysis and our years of experience covering credit cards informed us as we developed these credit card rankings. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best American Express card?

There is no single best American Express card. The best card for you depends on your spending habits and goals.

For example, the Blue Cash Preferred is likely the best cash-back card from our list for someone who spends a lot on groceries, but it’s not a good choice for someone who rarely cooks and travels frequently. 

Can I get an American Express card with bad credit?
Do all American Express cards have annual fees?
Why do some merchants not accept Amex?

About the Authors

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a financial writer, speaker, and consultant based in Ventura, California. He is an expert in topics including banking, credit cards, investing, cryptocurrency, insurance, real estate, and business finance. He has professional experience as a bank manager and nearly a decade in corporate finance and accounting. His work has appeared in many online publications, including Business Insider, Nerdwallet, Investopedia, and U.S. News & World Report.

Full bio
Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel

Robin Saks Frankel is a credit cards and personal finance writer and editor for Sound Dollar. Previously, she covered credit cards and related content at other national web publications including Forbes Advisor, NerdWallet, Bankrate and HerMoney. She's been featured as a personal finance expert in outlets including CNBC, Business Insider, CBS Marketplace, and has appeared on or contributed to The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio, ABC Radio, NPR, International Business Times and NBC, ABC and CBS TV affiliates nationwide.

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