Card Best for Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus Earning Rate Annual Fee
The Platinum Card® from American Express Best for high-end benefits 75,000 points

  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

$550
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Best for frequent business travelers 85,000 points

  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.

$595
American Express® Business Gold Card Best for flexible earning on business expenses 70,000 points

  • Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month.
  • Is earned for other purchases. **

$295
American Express® Gold Card Best for U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide 60,000 points

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

$250
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Best for maximizing cash back $300

  • Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • Cash Back on other purchases

$0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Best for cash-back beginners $200

  • Cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • Cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • Cash Back on other purchases

$0
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Best for occasional Hilton stays 130,000 Points

  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card

$95
Hilton Honors American Express Card Best no-annual-fee Hilton card 80,000 Points

  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Best for high-end Marriott perks 125,000 points

  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels.
  • 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

$450
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card Best for regular Delta flyers 90,000 miles

  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.

$250
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Best for occasional Delta flyers 70,000 Miles

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Best for everyday business expenses N/A

  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners
  • 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter

No annual fee

Amex credit cards that earn cash back

Even though they don’t offer opportunities to maximize your rewards with airline and hotel transfer partners, cash-back cards 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)

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

Earning rate(s): 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per calendar year, then 1%), 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, waived the first year (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: This card may be a good option if you just want to put some cash 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, although 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. Just make sure that you’ll spend enough each year to offset the card’s $95 annual fee, waived the first year (see rates and fees).

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred Card review.

APPLY HERE: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express 

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

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.)

Welcome offer: Earn $200 cash back (via statement credit) after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening

Earning rate(s): 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per calendar 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 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/U.S. department stores to justify the Preferred’s annual fee, ignoring the welcome offer.

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 you from devaluations and give you flexibility when it comes time to redeem. Many American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to 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.

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)

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first six months of account opening. Also, earn 10x on eligible purchases made at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, up to $15,000 in combined spending during the first six months of card membership.

Select applicants may be targeted for an incredible 125,000-point offer by checking the CardMatch Tool (note that offers are subject to change at any time).

Earning rate(s): Earn 5x points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 1x points per dollar everywhere else. New cardholders earn 10x on eligible purchases made at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, up to $15,000 in combined spending during the first six months of card membership.

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The Amex Platinum was the original premium travel rewards card, although this landscape is now quite competitive. Nevertheless, the card does offer solid value that even a semifrequent traveler can appreciate. Additionally, unlike typical credit cards, the card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. The annual credits for incidental fees on airlines and Uber trips effectively reduce the annual fee to $150, and the earning rate 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 includes trip cancellation/interruption and trip delay insurance, making it even more competitive against other luxury credit cards. The Amex Platinum card also offers the most comprehensive airport lounge access of any card on the market, including a Priority Pass Select membership, access to Amex Centurion lounges, access to Delta Sky Clubs on same-day Delta flights, along with Airspace and Escape lounges.

When it comes to hotel stays, Platinum cardholders also get Gold elite status with two hotel loyalty programs: Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. These perks are compelling by themselves, so if you’re then targeted for a 125,000-point bonus through the CardMatch Tool (offer subject to change at anytime), I’d say applying is a no-brainer.

And this will be a great card to have long-term once travel is back on the table. 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 (75,000-point bonus offer)

American Express® Gold Card: Best for dining at restaurants

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of account opening

Earning rate(s): Four points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar 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 for foodies — whether you eat out, order delivery or cook at home. The 4x earning rate on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarket purchases equals a stellar 8% return on your spending according to TPG valuations.

I personally love my Amex Gold and use it all the time, and have come to appreciate it even more 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 takeout I order to support local restaurants. Plus, you can use the dining credit on Grubhub (among other popular chain restaurants). Factoring in the new up to $120 Uber Cash for U.S. services ($10 monthly credits per calendar year) and up to $120 in annual dining credits, this card effectively costs just $30 per year. Note: The card must be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit.

Additionally, the Rose Gold variant of the Amex Gold is back. Originally available in late 2018 (and briefly by referral only in 2019), the card color is now back by popular demand for new cardholders.

Read our full American Express Gold Card review.

APPLY HERE: American Express Gold Card (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)

Welcome offer: 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): 3x points per dollar spent on worldwide travel, transit and restaurants.

Annual fee: $150 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The 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 home-share rentals, on top of traditional airfare and hotel purchases — something other Amex cards have yet to do. The card also got some upgraded features, such as an up-to-$100 Clear membership credit and an up-to-$100 LoungeBuddy credit. Although the annual fee did increase to $150, this card has jumped to the top of some TPGers’ wish lists.

Read our full Amex Green credit card review.

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

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

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

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: 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): 3x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per calendar year), 2x points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, 1x points 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 you can still access 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% earning bonus.

Read our full Amex EveryDay Preferred card review. 

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

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)

Welcome offer: 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): Two 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 no-annual-fee 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 place to start.

Read our full Amex EveryDay card review.

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

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 of 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.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: 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)

Welcome offer: 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): 14x points per dollar spent at eligible Hilton properties; 7x 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; 3x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Annual fee: $450 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: The card carries a host of valuable perks, including an annual up to $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 annual fee essentially drops to $200, and the value of the weekend night certificate should 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 semiregular guest at Hilton’s various brands, it’s fairly easy to get outsized value from the card.

Read our full Hilton American Express Aspire Credit Card review.

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

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Best for occasional Hilton stays

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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

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 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 complimentary 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 restaurant, grocery and gas purchases in the U.S. You may want to apply 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 courtesy of American Express)

Welcome offer: 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): 7x points per dollar spent at eligible Hilton properties; 5x points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; 3x points per dollar spend on all other eligible purchases.

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 (see rates and fees). You’ll also enjoy complimentary Silver elite 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.

Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Card review. 

APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors American Express Card (80,000-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)

Welcome offer: Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first six months of card membership. Offer ends 5/12/2021.

Earning rate(s): 6x points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee: $450 (see rates and fees)

Why we chose it: You don’t need to be a hard-core Marriott loyalist to get 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. Based on TPG’s valuation of Marriott points at .8 cents each, the free night certificate is worth $400 though it’s certainly possible to get more value from it. This means you’re looking at $700 or more in value each year from just the free night certificate and the annual credit, before even factoring in the card’s other perks.

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

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

Welcome offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): Three miles per dollar spent on eligible Delta purchases and at hotels and 2 miles at 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 card is offering 3x miles on Delta purchases and at hotels, 2x miles at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit (every four years for Global Entry, every 4 1/2 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

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

Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): Two 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 first free-checked-bag benefit on Delta flights 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 waiver on this card is no longer available, and the annual fee has increased. Although Delta 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 credit 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)

Welcome offer: Earn 85,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, earn 5x points on eligible purchases in five select business categories, up to 80,000 bonus points per category in the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): 5x points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com, 1x 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 annual airline fee credit, automatic elite status and more. Similarly to the consumer card, unlike typical credit cards that have a credit limit, this product has no preset spending limit.

The card also comes with a 35% rebate when you book a business- or first-class ticket (up to 500,000 points per calendar year) — or any class flight with your selected qualifying airline — through American Express Travel using Membership Rewards points. 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 (for new cardholders; existing cardholders as of Nov. 1 can access a variety of new bonus categories), 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)

Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Earning rate(s): Earn 4x points per dollar on the two categories you spend most on each month (on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year, then 1x). 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 1x points 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. This card also functions the same as the consumer and Business Platinum cards in that it allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all.

Read our full Amex Business Gold Card review.

APPLY HERE: American Express Business Gold Card

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

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: None.

Earning rate(s): Earn two points per dollar spent on up to $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then one 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, especially from a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. It means you don’t have to juggle bonus categories and it’s perfect for business owners with smaller annual budgets.

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 70,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of account opening.

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 mile 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 underwent similar changes to the personal Delta SkyMiles Gold card earlier this year. 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 and how we chose the best Amex cards. I started by selecting what I believe to be the best American Express credit cards on the market today based on the type of card, the benefits offered, the cost of card membership and more. 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 offer
  • Earning rate(s)
  • Benefits
  • Annual fee
  • Temporary benefits (when applicable)

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, but hopefully, this analysis helps you get a jump start on your research for choosing the right card for you.

What is the best American Express credit card?

This largely depends on the individual. Each card has different benefits suited to different lifestyles. If you eat out a lot, go for the classic Gold. If you’re a frequent traveler, the perks of the Platinum are huge. There’s an Amex for points and cash back, too, of course. Evaluate your spending patterns and then there is surely an Amex card out there for you!

Related: Why there’s no such thing as the ‘best’ credit card

What are Amex Membership Rewards?

The American Express Membership Rewards program is a benefit that allows customers to accumulate points through purchases that you can then redeem for gift cards, travel rewards, immersive experiences, statement credit or even to cover recent card charges. Of course, you’ll almost always get the best value when you redeem these points for travel.

Related: The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards

You earn points on most everyday purchases (depending on which card you have), and there are no expiration dates and no limit on how many points you can earn — just use your card for purchases, large or small, and watch the points add up.

In the points and miles world, Membership Rewards points are considered one of the most valuable currencies around. They are valued at a respectable 2 cents apiece per TPG valuations.

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 which 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.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong and Hayley Coyle.

Featured image by Wyatt Smith/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.