Best American Express Cards

Find the best in class option for you

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American Express is a world leader in charge cards and credit cards targeting higher-end consumers and small-business owners with compelling travel and entertainment rewards. We have researched Amex's most popular cards and applied our objective screening criteria to rate the company's best cards across multiple categories. Below are our picks for the best in class.

Best American Express Cards for April 2021

Best Overall : Cash Magnet® Card

Rating as an American Express Card
5.0
Cash Magnet® Card
Current Offer

Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

The Cash Magnet Card ranks as our top-rated American Express card due to its solid cash rewards structure on all spending, no annual fee, and overall annual earnings potential based on typical spending patterns. This is an excellent option for those who favor simple cash-back earnings irrespective of spending category without the need to justify an annual fee.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Competitive bonus offer and no annual fee

  • Cash back without having to remember categories

  • 15-month 0% APR introductory purchase offer

Cons
  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Penalty APR

  • Limited acceptance of American Express

Best for Groceries : Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Rating as an American Express Card
4.8
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Current Offer

Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6% back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back on eligible transit and US gas stations, and 1% back on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is Investopedia's choice for the best grocery earnings card with its eye-popping bonus for purchases at U.S. supermarkets. Blue Cash Preferred also offers bonus earnings on purchases at U.S. gas stations. The annual fee is $95, but that can be easily justified if this is used as a primary card, especially for grocery spending.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Outstanding 6% cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in spending and on select U.S. streaming services

  • Generous $300 bonus offer for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership

  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases

Cons
  • $95 annual fee after the first year

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

  • Cashback rewards on groceries are capped, and some wholesale and superstore chains excepted

  • American Express isn't as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard outside of the U.S.

Best for Points With No Annual Fee : Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Rating as an American Express Card
4.5
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 points per $1 at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year. Earn 1 point per $1 for other eligible purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is our choice for the best card for points with no annual fee. It earns 2x points on groceries (up to $6,000 each year) and 1x points on everything else. Additionally, you'll earn 2x points when booking travel with Amex Travel. When you use the card at least 20 times in a month, you'll receive 20% more points. An intro 0% APR promotion for purchases is available for the first 15 months after being approved.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Enhanced (2 points per dollar spent) rewards rate on U.S. supermarket purchases

  • 20% points bonus for making 20 or more monthly transactions

  • 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months

Cons
  • U.S. supermarket rewards have an annual cap

  • Some big-box groceries are excepted from the U.S. supermarket rate

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

Best for Business : American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Rating as an American Express Card
4.5
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.24% - 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee If eligible, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance Fee This product does not offer cash advances.
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

We selected the American Express Blue Business Cash Card as the best business card option from Amex because of its generous 2% cashback on all purchases for up to $50,000 in business spending each year, then 1% after that. This high level of cashback on all purchases can allow small-business owners to earn over $400 a year, based on average spending levels. The Blue Business Cash Card also has no annual fee.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Earn 2% rewards

  • Flexible credit limit

  • 0% introductory offer on purchases for 12 months

  • Free employee cards

Cons
  • Bonus rewards are capped at $50,000 per year

  • No balance transfer APR promotion

Best for Hotels : Hilton Honors American Express Card

Rating as an American Express Card
4.4
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Current Offer

Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 7 points per $1 for eligible Hilton purchases. 5 points per $1 for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. 3 points per $1 for all other eligible purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is the best Amex hotel option because of its rich rewards structure with high points multiples for Hilton purchases as well as those at gas stations, restaurants, and U.S. supermarkets in the U.S. The base earning rate of 3 points per dollar on all other purchases is particularly impressive given that the card charges no annual fee. Other Hilton cards from American Express do provide higher bonus points for Hilton purchases, but those come with high annual fees.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Rewards are competitive

  • Easy to stack rewards as a Hilton Honors loyalty program member

  • Fast track your way to Hilton Honors Gold status

Cons
  • Short on premium travel perks

  • No introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers

Best for Travel : The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rating as an American Express Card
4.2
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Current Offer

Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $550
Rewards Earning Rate 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

The Platinum Card from American Express is our choice for the best travel card available from Amex because of its huge bonus earnings on airfare purchased directly from airlines or through Amextravel.com and on prepaid hotel purchases. The Platinum card also provides an array of valuable travel perks, including airport lounge access, primary auto rental insurance, and TSA Pre/Global Reentry fee offsets. There is a high $550 annual fee, but that can be justified for frequent travelers.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Outstanding rewards on flights and hotel stays

  • Generous one-time offer for new cardholders

  • Exceptional luxury travel benefits

  • Annual credits reduce the net cost of the annual fee

Cons
  • $550 annual fee, which is high even for a premium travel card

  • Restrictive options for booking airlines and hotels

  • No non-travel high-rewards categories

Best for Points, Daily Use : Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Rating as an American Express Card
4.1
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
Current Offer

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 12.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 points per $1 at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year. Earn 2 points at US gas stations, and 1 point on other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

People who use credit cards regularly will benefit from the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card. It is our choice for the best credit card for daily use because you'll receive a 50% bonus on points earned when you use the card 30 times a month. The card earns 3x on groceries (up to $6,000 per year), 2x at U.S. gas stations at Amex Travel, and 1x everywhere else. The 0% APR promotion on purchases for 12 months gives new customers more time to pay off their charges. It also includes return protection in case a store won't accept your returns within 90 days of purchase.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Competitive rewards earning rates on routine purchases

  • More points for frequent spenders

  • Flexible travel rewards

Cons
  • Annual fee

  • Earning caps may limit grocery rewards

  • Weak bonus for new cardholders

Best for Dining : American Express® Gold Card

Rating as an American Express Card
4.0
American Express® Gold Card
Current Offer

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards(R) points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4X Membership Rewards(R) Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too. Earn 4X Membership Rewards(R) points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

Our choice for the best dining card from American Express is the American Express Gold Card. It offers a generous 4x points on unlimited dining and up to $25,000 spent annually on groceries. Plus, you'll earn 3x points on flights and 1x everywhere else. Although the card has a $250 annual fee, it includes $120 per year in Uber credits and $120 per year in dining credits. Travelers will also benefit from the $100 dining credit per stay when booking rooms with The Hotel Collection. It also has no foreign transaction fees, so you can use it anywhere in the world without being charged extra.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Exceptional points rewards with restaurants, supermarkets, and airlines

  • Annual dining and Uber credits offset the annual fee

  • Redemption options include 1:1 transfers to many airline and hotel partners

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons
  • The annual fee is more than double that of many other cards

  • Grocery bonuses have a spending cap

  • Superstore and warehouse-club purchases don't earn supermarket rewards

Best Airline : Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card

Rating as an American Express Card
3.9
Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card
Current Offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants and on eligible Delta purchases, and earn 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros & Cons
Why We Chose This Card

The Delta SkyMiles Blue Card scored highest among American Express co-branded airline cards due to its bonus miles on Delta and restaurant purchases in combination with its lack of an annual fee. While the card doesn't carry the travel-related perks of other Delta Amex cards, it can be a good fit for those who have Delta loyalty but don't fly often enough to justify the higher annual fees involved.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Matches the rewards of the Delta Skymiles Gold Amex in some key categories

  • No annual fee

  • Miles can can be used through Delta on more than 20 airline partners

Cons
  • Lacks travel benefits

  • Small welcome offer

Final Verdict

American Express has a variety of credit cards for consumers and small businesses that offer rewards, benefits, and more to meet their needs. Many of its cards earn airline miles or hotel points in loyalty programs that are popular with travelers. Amex offers a mix of cards that charge annual fees and those that don't, so you can easily find one that works with your budget.

Our choice for the best American Express credit card is the Cash Magnet Card. It earns an unlimited 1.5% cashback on every purchase and offers a generous welcome bonus with a low minimum spending requirement. The card also offers a 0% APR promotion on purchases for 15 months which can be helpful for consumers looking to make a large purchase.

Compare the Best American Express Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee Intro Offer Rewards
Cash Magnet® Card Best Overall $0 $200 after spending $1,000 in 3 months Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express  Best for Groceries $95 (first year waived)  $300 after spending $3,000 in 6 months  6% on groceries and streaming, 3% on transit and gas, 1% all else 
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card  Best for Points with No Annual Fee $0 10,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months  2x on groceries, 1x on all else
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card  Best for Business $0  No bonus 2% on $50,000, then 1% on all else
Hilton Honors American Express Card  Best for Hotels $0 80,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months 7x Hilton, 5x dining, groceries, and gas, 3x all else
The Platinum Card® from American Express  Best for Travel $550 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in 6 months, 10x on gas and groceries for 6 months  5x flights and prepaid hotels, 1x on all else
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card Best for Points, Daily Use  $95 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months  3x groceries, 2x gas, 1x all else
American Express® Gold Card  Best for Dining $250 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months 4x dining and groceries, 3x flights, 1x all else
Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card  Best Airline $0 10,000 miles after spending $500 in 3 months  2x dining and Delta, 1x all else

Editorial Picks for Best American Express Credit Cards

Cash Magnet® Card

Best Overall

The Cash Magnet Card earns an unlimited 1.5% cashback on every purchase without remembering bonus categories or needing to sign up for any promotions. New cardholders can earn a $200 welcome bonus when they spend at least $1,000 during the first three months.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best for Groceries

You'll earn up to 6% cashback on groceries with the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, making it the best card to use at the supermarket. The card also includes a 0% APR on purchases for 12 months and a $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 within six months.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Best for Points with No Annual Fee

The best card to earn Membership Rewards points with no annual fee is the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. You'll earn up to 2x points on groceries and receive a 20% bonus when you use the card 20 times in a month, plus you can earn a 10,000 point welcome bonus.

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

Best for Business

Business owners can earn up to 2% cashback on every purchase with the American Express Blue Business Cash Card. It has no annual fee and employee cards can be added for free.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Best for Hotels

The best card for hotels is the Hilton Honors American Express Card because it earns 7x points at Hilton properties and offers a bonus of 80,000 points. Cardholders receive automatic Silver elite status and can be upgraded to Gold status based on spending.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Best for Travel

The Platinum Card from American Express is the best Amex card for travel based on its airport lounge benefits, automatic elite status with Hilton and Marriott, and annual airline fee credits. You'll earn 5x points on flights and pre-paid hotels when booking with Amex Travel or directly with the airlines.

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Best for Points, Daily Use

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card is our choice for the best card for daily use because you're rewarded with a 50% bonus if you have 30 transactions in a month. You'll earn 3x on groceries and 2x on gas in addition to a competitive welcome bonus and an APR promo for purchases.

American Express® Gold Card

Best for Dining

You'll earn 4x points on dining and groceries with the American Express Gold Card, making it one of the most rewarding cards for meals. The card also includes $120 of Uber credits and $120 of dining credits that offset almost all of the card's annual fee.

Delta SkyMiles® Blue Card

Best Airline

The Delta SkyMiles Blue Card is the best airline credit card from American Express because you can earn Delta SkyMiles without paying an annual fee. You'll earn 2x miles on dining and Delta purchases, plus receive a 20% discount on all in-flight purchases of food and beverages.

FAQs

What Is the History of American Express?

American Express is a storied and diversified global financial services powerhouse with roots reaching back to the 19th century. It was launched in 1850 to provide express shipments of goods, securities, and currency within New York state. Today, the company is a leader in charge card, credit card, and traveler's check lines of business.

What Kinds of Credit Cards Does American Express Issue?

Since American Express is both a network and a card issuer, it issues cards exclusively on its network-branded platform and doesn't issue Visa, Mastercard, or Discover network-branded cards. Amex primarily offers rewards charge cards and credit cards with cash back, generic travel points, and points tied to co-branded partner loyalty programs. It also has several cards catering to the small-business community.

The types of cards that American Express issues include: 

  • Flexible points cards
  • Airline credit cards
  • Hotel credit cards
  • Cashback credit cards
  • Business cards

How Do You Qualify for an American Express Card?

American Express generally requires exceptional or very good credit for its card products but also offers a few cards aimed at those with merely good credit. Amex does not offer cards for fair or bad credit and doesn't have options for student or secured credit cards.

These are the credit score ranges, according to Experian:

  • Exceptional: 800-850
  • Very good: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Very Poor: 300-579

How Does Amex's Membership Rewards Program Work?

American Express Membership Rewards are offered on purchases with a select number of Amex cards. Some provide a flat number of points on all purchases, while others offer bonus points on certain spending categories like airfare, prepaid hotels, restaurants, gas, or groceries.

The following American Express cards offer Membership Rewards:

  • American Express Green Card
  • American Express Gold Card
  • The Platinum Card from American Express
  • Amex Everyday
  • Amex Everyday Preferred
  • Blue Business Plus Credit Card
  • Business Green Rewards Card
  • Business Gold Card
  • Business Platinum Card

For more details on Membership Rewards, please see our Ultimate Guide to American Express Membership Rewards.

Aside from the American Express rewards program, Amex offers other rewards cards that include cash back (both flat-rate rewards and those with bonus cash back on specific spending categories) and partner-based programs like airline, hotel, and retailer loyalty points.

How Good Is American Express Customer Service?

American Express received first place for its customer service, scoring 838 out of 1,000 points in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The average score among major national issuers was 810.

Is an American Express Card Right for Me?

American Express offers a wide variety of credit cards depending on what benefits, rewards, annual fees, and APR promotions you're looking for. If you have at least an average credit score, then Amex has many options to choose from. People with fair or poor credit scores should focus on boosting their credit scores before applying to give themselves the best chance at approval.

Are American Express Cards Worth It?

While many credit cards from American Express have an annual fee, the benefits they offer and the ability to earn rewards are worth it when you maximize its features. Amex no annual fee cards are worth it based on the welcome bonus, rewards earned, and available benefits. All Amex cards are eligible for Amex Offers, which are exclusive promotions to earn cash back, discounts, and bonus rewards at participating merchants.

How We Chose the Best American Express Cards

To select the best American Express credit cards, we reviewed and analyzed every one of its available credit cards. We gathered data points on rewards earned, welcome bonuses, benefits, annual fees, interest rates, and more to assign a ranking for each card. The cards were selected based on features that are important to a variety of potential cardholders in each category. We continuously monitor the details for these cards to update our rankings to ensure that readers receive the best recommendations.

Meet Our Credit Cards Expert

Ben Woolsey is Investopedia's Senior Editor for Credit Cards. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including marketing for banking and financial institutions such as Associates First Capital and Bank One. Prior to Investopedia, he managed credit card content for CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com.