American Express is one of the best credit card issuers in the industry. They have some of the best offers for transferrable points-earning, cash back-earning, and co-branded cards. Amex currently has 18 personal cards and 14 business cards in their lineup. But not all of them are created equally. Therefore, this post highlights the best American Express credit cards.


Membership Rewards Earning

Anyone who earns points and miles for travel should collect at least one type of transferrable points. American Express’ points are called Membership Rewards (MR) points.

Personal & Business Platinum Cards

Sign-Up Bonus: The personal version has a bonus of 60,000 points for $5,000 spend in 3 months. The business version has a bonus of up to 75,000 points for $20,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: Both versions earn 5x points on travel purchases from The business version also earns 1.5x on purchases greater than $5,000. And the personal version earns 5x on air travel booked directly with the airline.

Perks: Too many to list

Annual Fee: $550 (Personal), $595 (Business)

The Personal and Business Platinum Cards are the best cards in the industry if you want travel perks! You can realize thousands of dollars in value for just under $600 per year. But you must use the perks because the Platinum Cards are not suitable for expenses outside of The exception is air travel booked via the airline with the personal Platinum Card.

Business Gold Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 35,000 points for $5,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 4x points on any two categories of choice and 2x points on the other four. There is a limit of $150,000 per year for the bonus categories.

Perks: QuickBooks access and Amex Hotel Collection access

Annual Fee: $295

The Business Gold Card is great for business owners who can take advantage of its categories. It’s also a solid option for those who want a balance between perks, earning, and annual fees. You are not going to get the perks of the Business Platinum Card. But you will save $300 per year and have more bonus categories to earn valuable MR points.

Sign-Up Bonus: 35,000 points for $4,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 4x points at Grocery Stores in the United States and at Restaurants worldwide, 3x points on Airfare booked on

Perks: Amex Hotel Collection access, $120 in Dining Credits, $100 in Airline Incidental Credits

Annual Fee: $250

Foodies who want to travel will benefit from the Personal Gold Card. It’s a great standalone charge card that can also complement either Platinum Card. Plus, its credits can almost recoup the card’s annual fee if used in full.

The minimum spend requirement for the sign-up bonus used to be just $2,000 within the first three months. But Amex doubled it to $4,000 in October 2019 to better align with competitors. Unfortunately, this makes the Gold Card’s bonus much less desirable than it used to be.

Green Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 30,000 points for $2,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 3x points on Travel and Dining

Perks: Trip Delay Insurance, $100 CLEAR Credit, $100 Lounge Buddy Credit

Annual Fee: $150

The Green Card is a great option for those with varied travel and dining expenses. It has a similar earning structure to the Chase Sapphire Reserve with a much lower annual fee. Furthermore, it comes with $200 in annual credits and Trip Delay Insurance. The credits are geared towards travelers who don’t have or want a premium credit card like the Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum.

Everyday Preferred Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 15,000 points for $1,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 3x points at Grocery Stores, 2x points at Gas Stations, 50% points bonus if you use your card at least 30 times per month.

Perks: Return Protection

Annual Fee: $95

The Everyday Preferred Card is an amazing alternative to the personal Gold Card if its annual fee is too much for you. You can earn lots of points with the Everyday Preferred Card, especially if you use it often. That’s because it offers up to 4.5x points at the grocery store for a much smaller annual fee than the Gold Card.

While you are saving $155 per year in annual fees, you are missing out on the Gold Card’s airline incidental and dining credits. Which card is best for you depends on your spending habits and how useful the credits are.

Everyday Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 10,000 points for $1,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 2x points at Grocery Stores, 20% points bonus if you use your card at least 20 times per month.

Perks: None

Annual Fee: $0

The Everyday Card is the only credit card that lets you transfer points to travel partners for no annual fee. It also serves as a great downgrade option for the Everyday Preferred Card and a no-cost way to maintain your MR points balance. The sign-up bonus and earning structure are weak. But if you are just starting out or don’t spend much at the grocery store, you can still benefit with this card.

Blue Business Plus

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Earning: 2x points on Everything for the first $50,000 in annual expenses

Perks: None

Annual Fee: $0

The Blue Business Plus Card does not need much of an introduction. For some, its the single most generous credit card for non-bonus spend. The Blue Business Plus card is great for businesses with varying cash flow and expenses. It’s also a great option to transfer MR points for no annual fee.


Co-Branded & Cash Back

American Express is a nice issuer because they offer co-branded hotel and airline cards. The Hilton and Delta cards are some of their most popular.

Hilton Aspire

Sign-Up Bonus: 150,000 points for $4,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 14x points for Hilton purchases, 7x points for US Restaurants, Flights (booked directly with airlines or via, 3x points for everything else

Burning: Hilton hotel nights, cash back, travel partners, experiences

Perks: $250 Resort Credit, Multiple Annual Free Nights, Hilton Diamond Elite Status

Annual Fee: $450

Diamond Status and the resort credit are some of the highlights of the Hilton Aspire Card. Plus, Hilton points can be earned quickly because of the sign-up bonus and high category multipliers. Hilton loyalists should look at this card as their first Hilton credit card or as an upgrade option for a lesser Hilton card. The Aspire Card’s perks are unbeatable, and Diamond Status is very hard to earn organically for most travelers.

Hilton Surpass

Sign-Up Bonus: 125,000 points for $2,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 12x points for Hilton purchases, 6x points for Dining, Groceries, and Gas, 3x points for everything else

Perks: Hilton Gold Elite Status, Free Night after spending $15,000 on the card

Burning: Hilton hotel nights, cash back, travel partners, experiences

Annual Fee: $95

Amex and Hilton’s mid-tier Surpass Card offers Gold Elite Status and a free night after spending $15,000. It also earns points quickly in everyday categories, making it a great card for parents. Plus, its sign-up bonus is the most balanced of the three Hilton sign-up bonuses. This is a great card for Hilton loyalists, even though Gold Status can also be obtained with the American Express Platinum Card. It’s $95 annual fee is a bargain compared to the Aspire Card’s $450 annual fee.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 30,000 SkyMiles for $1,000 in 3 months

Earning: 2x SkyMiles for Dining and Groceries within the United States

Perks: Free Checked Bag, Priority (Zone 1) Boarding, 20% off in-flight purchases

Burning: Delta airfare, paid travel, cash back, travel upgrades, experiences, and merchandise

Annual Fee: $95

The mid-tier Gold Delta SkyMiles Card offers a free checked bag and priority boarding. These two perks alone can often be worth more than $100, justifying this card’s annual fee.

However, this card was revamped in 2019 for the better. It now earns 2x SkyMiles within two useful bonus categories, giving cardholders a reason to use it outside of travel. Before the revamp, it only earned one mile per dollar for all non-Delta expenses.

Blue Cash Preferred

Sign-Up Bonus: $250 for $1,000 spend in 3 months

Earning: 6% back at Grocery Stores and Streaming Services, 3% back at Gas Stations and Local Commuter Transit

Perks: Return Protection

Annual Fee: $95

The Blue Cash Preferred is American Express’ flagship cash back card. And it deserves a mention because cash back can sometimes be a great alternative to points and miles.

You can recoup this card’s $95 annual fee if you spend at least $61 per week between groceries and streaming services. The 3% categories offer more incentive to use this card and will lessen the threshold for groceries. Furthermore, the only way to redeem cash back is via statement credit. But you can charge parts of your travels onto these cards and “erase” them with the cash back / statement credit.


Final Draw

American Express is an excellent issuer because of how many cards they have available. That means you can easily find an American Express credit card for your needs. Some people prefer cash back while others prefer their co-branded cards. However, Amex is best known for their travel credit and charge cards, MR points, and high-value redemption opportunities.