Choosing the best American Express credit card for you

Apr 4, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

At TPG, our top priority is providing our readers with the information you need to make educated decisions about travel and your rewards-earnings strategy. This is not the best time to travel, domestically or internationally, as airlines have cut major parts of their route network. But we are sharing these card offers because they could provide value to cardholders for future travel once coronavirus concerns have subsided.


Choosing the best credit card is a tricky proposition, especially with so many great options from multiple issuers. Of course, some of the best cards on the market are offered by American Express and its partners. Amex has a card available for pretty much anyone, from credit card beginners to casual travelers to road warriors. With so many great cards to choose from offering a range of earning categories and benefits, how do you chose the right Amex card for you? We’ve pulled together our top 11 offerings from American Express and how they stack up against each other.

Before we dive in, remember that American Express is currently giving new cardholders more time to meet welcome bonus spending requirements. Here is the official statement:

Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible Card accounts approved from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible Cards are U.S. Consumer and Business Cards issued by American Express National Bank to a Basic Card Member.

So, if you have applied or will apply for an eligible Amex credit card anytime between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, you will have an additional three months to hit the welcome bonus on your credit card. Since American Express only allows you to earn a bonus once per card per lifetime, it’s so important to hit the bonus the first time you apply for a card. It’s great that Amex is being proactive to help give customers time to maximize their spending and enjoy the welcome bonus even during the current crisis.

Without further ado, here are our top Amex credit card picks:

The best American Express credit cards for 2020

In This Post

Comparison of the best American Express consumer cards

CREDIT Card Best for Bonus Annual Fee
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Maximizing Cash Back $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $95 (see rates & fees)
The Platinum Card from American Express High-end Benefits 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $550 (see rates & fees)
American Express® Green Card Beginner Travelers 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $150 (see rates & fees)
American Express Gold Card Dining 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $250 (see rates & fees)
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express Everyday Spending 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $95
The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express Students 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $0
Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express High-end Hilton Perks 150,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. $450 (see rates & fees)
Hilton Honors Surpass® Card from American Express Occasional Hilton Stays 125,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. $95 (see rates & fees)
Hilton Honors American Express Card No-annual-fee Hotel Credit Card (see rates & fees) 75,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply. None (see rates & fees)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card High-end Marriott Perks 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. Terms apply. $450 (see rates & fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Regular Delta Flyers 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms apply. $250 (see rates & fees)
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Occasional Delta Flyers Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

$95 (waived first year) (see rates & fees)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Cash Back Beginners $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Terms apply. None (see rates & fees)

 

The information for the Amex EveryDay and Amex EveryDay Preferred has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

All of these cards should be eligible for bonuses and discounts through Amex Offers, though the exact merchants and offers you’ll get will vary between cards. Note that you can only earn a welcome bonus on most of these cards once in your lifetime since American Express has tightened up its welcome-bonus policies.

Above is a general overview of our favorite American Express credit cards, but now let’s dive into the details of even more of the excellent cards Amex has to offer, broken down by type of credit card.

Amex credit cards that earn cash back

Even though they don’t offer opportunities to maximize your rewards, they do offer a consistent return and simple earning and redemption structures. During the current pandemic, these cards are even more valuable for those who want to save money on monthly expenses while they aren’t traveling. Here’s an overview of two American Express cards that fit into this category:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for maximizing cash back

The Blue Cash Preferred is a solid cash-back card for groceries and streaming services. (Photo by The Points Guy)

Bonus: Earn $250 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit.

Earning rate(s): 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1% thereafter); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations; 3% cash back on transit; 1% back everywhere else. Terms apply.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: This card may be a good option if you just want to put some spend back into your wallet, as we do value it as one of the best cash-back credit cards. A 6% bonus category is among the highest you’ll find with cash-back cards, though I wish the bonus extended to merchants other than U.S. supermarkets and select U.S. streaming services. Nevertheless, if you’re a big grocery shopper, getting a 6% return is solid.

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred Card review. 

APPLY HERE: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express ($250 cash-back bonus offer)

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Best for cash-back beginners

Bonus: Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit.

Earning rate(s): 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1% thereafter); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; 1% back everywhere else. Terms apply.

Annual fee: None (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: This card carries no annual fee (see rates and fees) but offers a lower bonus ($150) and lower bonus categories (3% and 2% instead of 6% and 3%) than the Blue Cash Preferred. If you’re debating between the Blue Cash Everyday and the Blue Cash Preferred, you’d need to spend $3,166.67 each year at U.S. supermarkets or $9,500 at U.S. gas stations/department stores to justify the Preferred’s annual fee, ignoring the welcome bonus.

APPLY HERE: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Amex credit cards that earn transferable points

Every traveler should have a card that earns transferable points to shield yourself from devaluations and give you flexibility when it comes time to redeem. American Express’ transferable currency is Membership Rewards points. The program partners with 19 different airlines including British Airways, Delta and Singapore Airlines.

You also have the option to transfer your points to three hotel chains: Hilton, Marriott and Choice. You can use your points to book flights or hotels directly through Amex Travel, but transferring them to a partner and then redeeming them typically results in the best redemption value.

There are a few popular credit and charge cards that allow you to earn Membership Rewards points:

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for high-end benefits

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
The Platinum Card carries a ton of perks to make your travel more rewarding and less stressful. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account.

Earning rate(s): 5 points per dollar spent for flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel as well as flights booked directly through the airline; 1 point per dollar everywhere else.

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: For a long time, the Amex Platinum was the premium travel rewards card, though this segment is now quite competitive. Nevertheless, the card does offer solid value that even a semi-frequent traveler should appreciate. The annual credits for incidental fees on airlines and Uber trips effectively reduce the annual fee to $150, and the earning rates on tickets booked directly with an airline makes it an attractive card for airfare purchases, especially given that TPG values Amex points at a solid 2 cents apiece.

The card now includes trip cancellation/interruption and trip delay insurance, making it more competitive in the luxury card segment. The lounge access on the card is quite wide and you’ll also get status with two hotel loyalty programs: Hilton and Marriott. These perks are compelling by themselves, so if you’re then targeted for a 100,000-point bonus through the CardMatch tool, I’d say applying is a no-brainer.

Of course, many might be wondering if the Amex Platinum is still worth it during the current COVID-19 pandemic. While TPG is recommending that everyone follow CDC advice and cease all nonessential travel, that’s an understanding concern. However, there are still perks on this card you can use while you’re home (such as the Uber credit on Uber Eats delivery). And, this will be a great card to have long-term once travel is back on the table. Considering Amex is extending welcome bonus deadlines right now, I’d argue that now is still a good time to consider applying for the card if you are a frequent traveler under normal circumstances.

Read our full The Platinum Card From American Express review.

APPLY HERE: The Platinum Card from American Express (60,000-point bonus offer)

American Express® Green Card: Best for beginner travelers

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Bonus: 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases in your first three months.

Earning rate(s): 3 points per dollar spent on worldwide travel, transit and restaurants.

Annual fee: $150 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The revamped Green from Amex is a great mid-tier card for beginner travelers. Amex expanded the bonus categories to include a wide range of travel purchases, including transit and homeshare rentals on top of traditional airfare and hotel purchases — something other Amex cards have yet to do. The card also got some upgrade features, such as a $100 Clear membership credit and a $100 LoungeBuddy credit. Although the annual fee did increase to $150, this card has jumped to the top of some TPGer’s wish lists. Terms apply.

Similar to the Amex Platinum, there is still an argument to be made for applying for this card now, even if you won’t use some of the benefits or redeem points until later in 2020 and into 2021.

Read our full Amex Green credit card review.

APPLY HERE American Express Green Card (30,000-point bonus offer)

American Express® Gold Card: Best for dining

Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy
The Amex Gold Card earns 4x at restaurants and supermarkets. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Bonus: 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $4,000 in purchases in your first three months. However, 50,000-point offers may be available through the CardMatch Tool (offer subject to change anytime).

Earning rate(s): 4 points per dollar spent on dining worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year, then 1x); 3 points per dollar on flights purchased directly with the airline or at amextravel.com; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Terms apply.

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The Amex Gold Card is a terrific option if you frequently eat out or order in, or shop at the supermarket (and pretty much everyone falls into one of these categories). The 4x earning rate on dining equals a stellar 8% return on your spending according to TPG valuations. I personally love my Amex Gold and use it all the time. During the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been spending more on groceries and food delivery, and it’s great that I get 4x on my supermarket purchases and any take out I order to support local restaurants. Plus, you can use the dining credit on GrubHub. Factoring in the $100 airline fee credit and up to $120 in annual dining credits, this card effectively costs just $30 per year. For more related content, visit our Amex Gold card hub.

 Read our full American Express Gold Card review.

APPLY HERE: American Express Gold Card (35,000-point bonus offer)

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express: Best for everyday spending

(Photo by The Points Guy)
This is a good card for those who spend regularly on supermarkets or gas. (Photo by The Points Guy)

Bonus: 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Earning rate(s): 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year); 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations; 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. If you make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, you’ll earn 50% more points on those purchases.

Annual fee: $95

Why we chose it: This card can get you into the Membership Rewards program without breaking the bank with a high annual fee. It’s also great if you don’t travel that frequently. You don’t get the significant perks of the Amex Platinum or Amex Gold but still have some solid category bonuses for everyday spending. If you do use it as your primary card, you should make a point of hitting 30 transactions a month to earn the 50% bonus.

Read our full Amex EveryDay Preferred card review. 

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express: Best for students

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card provides access to the Membership Rewards program with no annual fee. (Photo by The Points Guy)

Bonus: 10,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Earning rate(s): 2 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 point dollar after that); 1 point per dollar everywhere else. If you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period, you’ll earn 20% more points on those purchases.

Annual fee: $0

Why we chose it: If you’re looking for a card without an annual fee that still allows you to participate in the Membership Rewards program, this flavor of Amex EveryDay is a terrific option. I love that it still gives you a category bonus at supermarkets since many fee-free cards offer a flat earning rate across all merchants. It may take a while to get to a valuable redemption, but it’s a good way to start.

Read our full Amex EveryDay card review. 

Amex credit cards that earn hotel and airline points

In addition to cards that earn Membership Rewards points, American Express issues several credit cards that are specific for a particular airline or hotel chain. The big advantage with these cards is that they often carry extra benefits with the cobranded airline or hotel partner. However, you’re locked into earning points or miles in that specific program, leaving you at the mercy of the airline or hotel chain when it comes to devaluations that can wipe significant value from your accounts.

As mentioned before, it’s understandable to wonder whether travel credit cards like cobranded hotel and airline cards are worth it right now. While you shouldn’t travel right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this time at home to hit the welcome bonus on one of these cards before using the benefits and redemption options once travel is back on all of our agendas.

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: Best for high-end Hilton perks

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
The Hilton Aspire’s benefits can be worth far more than the annual fee, even for infrequent Hilton guests. (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Bonus: 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.

Earning rate(s): 14 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties; 7 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and U.S. restaurants; 3 points per dollar spent everywhere else

Annual fee: $450 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The card carries a host of valuable perks, including an annual $250 airline-fee credit (which works the same as the Amex Platinum’s credit) and an annual credit of up to $250 valid at select Hilton resorts. This card is the only cobranded hotel credit card that grants you automatic top-tier status, Hilton Diamond, with a hotel loyalty program. If you can max out the airline-fee credit, your effective annual fee drops to $200, and the value of the weekend night certificate should (by itself) nearly cover the rest. Then you have the terrific earning rates at Hilton properties, a return of 8.4% based on TPG’s most recent valuations, plus Priority Pass membership and the annual resort credit. Even if you’re only a semi-regular guest at Hilton’s various brands, it’s fairly easy to get outsized value from the card. Terms apply.

Read our full Hilton American Express Aspire Credit Card review.

APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express (150,000-point bonus offer)

Hilton Surpass Card from American Express: Best for occasional Hilton stays

Hilton DoubleTree in Fiji (Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
The Hilton Gold status that comes with the Hilton Surpass can snag you upgrades and breakfast. (Photo of the DoubleTree Resort Fiji by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Bonus: Earn 125,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Earning rate(s): 12 points per dollar of eligible purchases at Hilton properties; 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; 3 points per dollar spent everywhere else

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The Surpass card is a great option for those who visit Hilton properties a few (or several) times a year. You’ll enjoy complimentary Hilton Gold status with the card and the ability to upgrade to Diamond status by spending $40,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year. The card also awards a weekend-night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, and grants you Priority Pass Select membership (though you’ll only get 10 complimentary visits; each additional visit is $32). For an infrequent traveler, the 10 free visits to Priority Pass lounges may be sufficient. You’re still getting a very solid return of 7.2% on your Hilton stays plus 3.6% back on your dining, grocery and gas purchases in the U.S. You may want to sign-up for the Surpass even if your travel habits could justify the Hilton Amex Aspire with its higher annual fee.

Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card review.

APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card 

Hilton Honors American Express Card: Best no-annual-fee hotel credit card

Photo by Eric Helgas
The Hilton Amex is great for Hilton guests who don’t want to pay an annual fee. (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Bonus: 75,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first three months of card membership.

Earning rate(s): 7 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties; 5 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; 3 points per dollar spent everywhere else.

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: Earning a 4.2% return on Hilton stays and 3% return at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations is impressive for a no-annual-fee card. You’ll also enjoy complimentary Silver status with the card and the ability to upgrade to Gold status by spending $20,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year. Silver status is enough to get you a fifth night free on award stays, meaning you can spend as little as 20,000 points total for a five-night stay. The Hilton Surpass or Hilton Aspire will provide better value for most travelers — but if you’re opposed to paying an annual fee, the Hilton Amex is a solid card. Terms apply.

Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Card review. 

APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors American Express Card (75,000-point bonus offer)

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Best for high-end Marriott perks

(Photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy)
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card can provide solid value for Marriott guests. (Photo by Eden Batki/The Points Guy)

Bonus: Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): 6 points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 3 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines; 2 points per dollar on everything else.

Annual Fee: $450 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: You don’t need to be a hard-core Marriott loyalist to get some great value from this card. It offers a statement credit of up to $300 each year of card membership, and this applies to room rates as well as on-property purchases such as meals and spa treatments. Cardholders also get a free night award each year after their cardmember anniversary for properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night, plus complimentary Marriott Gold status (and the opportunity to earn Marriott Platinum status after spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year) and a Priority Pass Select membership. Between the $300 statement credit that can be used toward hotel stays, the annual free-night award and complimentary Gold elite status, it can be relatively easy to justify this card’s premium annual fee.

Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Credit Card review.

APPLY HERE: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card 75,000-point bonus offer)

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Best for regular Delta flyers

Bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first three months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first three months.

Earning rate(s): 3 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 2 miles at hotels, restaurants and U.S. supermarkets; 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else.

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: If you’re chasing elite status on Delta, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex is a solid choice. If you fly once a year with a companion, the card’s annual companion pass can easily save you at least the amount of the annual fee, since it’s good on many round-trip Delta coach fares. You’ll earn 10k MQMs at $25,000 and $50,000 in calendar-year spending, but remember that you no longer earn bonus redeemable miles. The revamped card is offering higher earning rates of 3x miles on Delta purchases (previously 2x miles) and at hotels (previously 1x mile); 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (previously 1x); and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (every four years for Global Entry, every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck).

Read our full Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex Card review.

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: Best for occasional Delta flyers

Bonus: Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first three months.

Earning rate(s):2  miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets; 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else.

Annual fee: $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: This card is a terrific option if you occasionally fly Delta. The free-checked-bag benefit will save you up to $60 on a round-trip flight, and priority boarding can help ensure that you snag space in the overhead bin. Plus, cardholders now receive a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year. However, keep in mind that Sky Club access (previously $29 for cardholders) and the Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) waiver on this card is no longer available, and the annual fee has increased. Even though Delta has significantly devalued its program over the last few years, there are still some solid redemptions using SkyMiles.

Read our full Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex Card review.

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Amex credit cards for business owners

There are plenty of benefits to using a small-business card for business purchases. For one, these cards often offer bonus rewards in categories more suited to business expenses, such as internet services or advertising. Plus, you want to be able to keep your business expenses separate from your personal finances and the best business cards come with management tools that make that process easier. Here are a few of Amex’s top business credit cards:

The Business Platinum Card from American Express: Best for frequent business travelers

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy.)

Bonus: Earn 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com; 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.

Annual fee: $595 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: Like its consumer-card counterpart, the Amex Business Platinum is best in class when it comes to benefits for frequent travelers. Many benefits are the same across the cards, including lounge access, up to $200 airline-fee credit, automatic elite status and more. The card comes with a 35% rebate when you book a business or first-class ticket — or any class flight with their selected qualifying airline — through American Express Travel using Membership Rewards points. You’ll also get an up to $200 annual Dell credit and access to Amex’s suite of business tools. Even though the card accrues valuable Membership Rewards points that can be used in a variety of ways, it offers very little in the way of spending bonuses, so it’s not the best option for maximizing everyday purchases. Terms apply.

Read our full Business Platinum Card from Amex review. 

APPLY HERE: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

American Express® Business Gold Card: Best for flexible earning on business expenses

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of card membership.

Earning rate(s): Earn 4 points per dollar on the two categories you spend most on each month. The choices include airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. advertising purchases in select media (online, TV, radio), U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions, U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and U.S. shipping purchases. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other spending.

Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: Unlike the Platinum business card, the Business Gold Card offers some valuable spending bonuses on categories that are popular for small businesses, so this is ideal for those of you wanting to boost your Membership Rewards balance. The flexible rewards structure that automatically chooses your top categories also makes it easier to maximize rewards each month.

Read our full Amex Business Gold Card review.

APPLY HERE: American Express Business Gold Card 

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express: Best for everyday business expenses

Photo by The Points Guy

Bonus: N/A

Earning rate(s): Earn 2 points per dollar spent on up to $50,000 annually; then 1 point per dollar.

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: Earning 2x on all purchases is the best flat earning rate for business expenses on the market today. It means you don’t have to juggle bonus categories and it’s perfect for business owners with smaller annual budgets. It’s a bummer that you don’t earn a welcome bonus with this card’s current offer, but there is still a lot to love about the simplicity of this card. Its lack of an annual fee also makes it a great card to pair with other Membership Rewards cards. For example, you could pair it with the Amex Business Platinum to earn 5x on business travel booked through amextravel.com and 2x on your other everyday business spending. Terms apply

Read our full Blue Business Plus Credit Card review.

APPLY HERE: Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card: Best for budget business travelers

Photo by The Points Guy

Bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first three months.

Earning rate(s): Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta, and at restaurants, on U.S. shipping and U.S. advertising; then 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: If you fly Delta for business travel, it’s a good idea to have a cobranded Delta credit card in your wallet. The card also comes with a free checked bag on Delta flights, along with priority boarding and 20% savings on eligible inflight purchases. Keep in mind this card just underwent similar changes to the personal Delta SkyMiles Gold card. You can now earn a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in a calendar year, but the annual fee did increase. Plus, you can no longer receive an MQD waiver or discounted Sky Club access.

Read our full Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Credit Card review.

APPLY HERE: Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

How we chose the best Amex Credit cards

After going through details for each specific card, let’s now discuss our overall approach to this analysis. I started by selecting what I believe to be the best American Express credit cards on the market today. Then I divided those cards into four categories.

  1. Those that earn cash back
  2. Those that earn transferable points
  3. Those that earn points or miles in a specific program
  4. Those that are suited for small businesses

Then, within each category, I broke down the individual perks of each card using the following criteria:

  • Welcome bonus
  • Earning rate(s)
  • Benefits
  • Annual fee

Finally, I tried to provide some context for each card and suggest to whom it might appeal based on a variety of factors, including spending habits, travel patterns and desired rewards. As always, you likely have your own criteria for these decisions, so feel free to use this analysis to help you come to your own conclusions.

Bottom line

As you can see, American Express offers a wide range of selections including some of the best rewards credit cards and best travel credit cards with benefits along with varied earning and redemption options. If you aren’t sure what card is best, start by figuring out what type of rewards you want to earn and the benefits you want to enjoy. Then you can consider each product to see which one carries the perks and points that’ll work best for you.

Now is a great time to apply for a credit card, especially since Amex has extended deadlines for earning welcome bonuses on eligible credit cards. While we may not be redeeming rewards for travel right now, you can still use these cards to maximize your current expenses so that you can take a great vacation once all this is over. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be in desperate need of a getaway once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Featured image by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday, click here.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: $250 Cash Back Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $250

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: New! Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back on transit. Plus earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) and 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.