American Express Credit Cards Review

(April 2024)

American Express Credit Cards Review

In This Article

Our Verdict

American Express is one of the leading credit card issuers in the world, offering a range of cards with different features and benefits. Whether you are looking for travel rewards, cash back, dining perks, or luxury benefits, there is an American Express card that suits your needs and preferences.

Pros

  • Offer excellent rewards programs.
  • Give enticing travel perks.
  • Provide top-notch customer support.

Cons

  • Require high annual fees.
  • Suffer limited acceptance.
  • Offer once-in-a-lifetime welcome bonuses.

Who American Express Credit Cards Is Best For

Opt for an American Express credit card of you’re someone who:

  • Possesses good to excellent credit.
  • Values premium perks and rewards
  • Travels often and Amex-accepted locations
  • Seeks business credit cards.
  • Prefers to pay annual fees for benefits

Who American Express Credit Cards Isn’t Right For

Think of a better alternative if you’re someone who:

  • Has less-than-perfect credit score
  • Prefers cash back rewards
  • Wants a wide acceptance internationally
  • Prioritizes travel benefits

What American Express Credit Cards Offers

Wondering what credit cards American Express offers? Wonder no more. Consider applying for any of the following:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: If you are a traveler who places premium on luxury, this credit card is best for you.
  • American Express® Gold Card: Are you a dining enthusiast? If you say yes, opt for this credit card.
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Use this credit card to enjoy high cash back rates and worry less about paying any annual fee.
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Get up to 6% cash back rate on selected category with this credit card.

American Express Credit Cards Details

The Platinum Card® from American Express

This Platinum Card® from American Express is the ultimate card you can consider if you’re a  luxury traveler. You enjoy access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, up to $200 in annual Uber credits, up to $200 in annual airline fee credits, and a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. The card also offers 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights you book directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and on prepaid hotels you book on amextravel.com. The card has a high annual fee of $550, but the value of the benefits can easily outweigh the cost if you travel often.

American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is your best option if you’re a dining enthusiast, who can earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). The card also offers a $120 annual dining credit at select restaurants and food delivery services, a $100 annual airline fee credit, and 3X points on flights you book directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. The card has a moderate annual fee of $250.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is the best card for no annual fee, offering generous cash back rates on everyday purchases. The card offers you a 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases. The card also has a welcome offer of $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the best card for high cash back rates, offering up to 6% cash back on select categories. The card offers 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), and 1% cash back on other purchases. The card has a low annual fee of $95.

Where American Express Credit Cards Stands Out

  • Offer premium perks and exclusive benefits: American Express credit cards often come with premium features like airport lounge access, concierge services, and purchase protection. You can access exclusive events, offers, and discounts.
  • Promise enticing rewards programs: American Express credit cards typically offer generous rewards, including cash back, points, or miles. You can earn these rewards on everyday spending and redeem them for a variety of items, such as travel, gift cards, or merchandise.
  • Offer excellent customer service: American Express is popular for its top-notch customer service. You’re going to experience responsive and helpful support, including 24/7 assistance for lost or stolen cards.
  • Prioritize emphasis on travel-related benefits: Most American Express credit cards are specially for you if you’re a frequent traveler. The cards offer benefits like travel credits, airline fee reimbursements, and accelerated rewards for travel spending. Some cards also provide rental car insurance and travel insurance coverage.
  • Support extensive selection of premium and co-branded cards: American Express offers a wide range of credit cards, from premium options with high annual fees to co-branded cards in partnership with airlines and hotels. This variety allows you to choose a card that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.

Where American Express Credit Cards Falls Short

  • Offer limited acceptance: Amex credit cards are not as widely accepted globally when you compare them to Visa or Mastercard.
  • Require annual fees: Many Amex cards come with annual fees, which might not be ideal for you if you’re seeking no-annual-fee options.
  • Give lower cash back rewards: Some Amex cards offer lower cash back rewards compared to competitors.
  • Require high credit: Amex typically requires a good to excellent credit score, which may exclude you if you are with a lower credit score.
  • Lack intro APR: American Express credit cards do not offer introductory 0% APR periods for balance transfers or purchases.
  • Charge foreign transaction fees: American Express credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, which can be inconvenient if you’re an international traveler.

How to Qualify for American Express Credit Cards

Qualifying for American Express credit cards typically involves meeting certain criteria. However, it’s essential to carefully review the specific eligibility requirements for the American Express card you require, as different cards have varying criteria. Keep in mind that meeting the basic requirements doesn’t guarantee approval, as the decision ultimately depends on your creditworthiness and other factors such as:

  • Good to excellent credit score: American Express often requires a good to excellent credit score, typically above 700 FICO score, for its premium cards.
  • Income requirements: While Amex doesn’t categorically state this requirement, having a stable income that can support your credit card payments is important.
  • S. residency: Many American Express cards are designed for U.S. residents, and you may need a Social Security Number for personal cards.
  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old to apply for an American Express card, and the minimum age may be higher for some cards.
  • Limited recent card applications: Applying for multiple credit cards in a short period can negatively impact your chances of approval, so having a conservative recent application history is advisable.
  • Amex’s internal criteria: American Express has its own internal approval criteria, and the specific requirements may vary among different card offerings.

How to Apply for American Express Credit Cards

Before you apply for any American Express credit card, be sure to read the fine print and any special offers that relate with the card you’re interested in. To apply for an American Express credit card:

  • Visit the American Express website: Start by visiting the official American Express website (com) or use its mobile app.
  • Choose a credit card: Browse through the available credit card options and select the one that best suits your needs, whether it’s a rewards card, a travel card, or another type.
  • Check eligibility: Review the eligibility requirements for the credit card you choose to ensure you meet them. This typically involves having a good credit score and being a U.S. resident.
  • Click “Apply Now“: Once you select the credit card you require and verify your eligibility, click the “Apply Now” button on the credit card’s page.
  • Fill out the application: Complete the online application form with your personal information, financial details, and employment information.
  • Submit required documents: If requested, submit any necessary documents to verify your income and identity.
  • Review and confirm: Carefully review your application for accuracy, including terms and conditions, interest rates, and fees associated with the card. Confirm your application.
  • Wait for a decision: American Express is going to review your application and may conduct a credit check. Expect to receive a decision within a few minutes, but it can take longer in some cases.
  • Accept or decline offer: If American Express approves your application, you can choose to accept or decline the credit card offer.
  • Activate your card: Once you receive your credit card, follow the instructions Amex provides to activate it.

Alternatives to American Express Credit Cards

Visa Credit Cards

Visa is one of the largest credit card networks globally and offers a wide variety of credit cards. Visa cards are widely welcome both in the United States and internationally, making them a convenient choice to consider if you travel frequently. Visa credit cards come in various categories, such as cash back, travel rewards, and low-interest options, catering to different financial needs.

Mastercard Credit Cards

Mastercard is another major credit card network with a diverse range of credit card options. Like Visa, Mastercard cards are widely in use around the world. Mastercard offers various benefits, including rewards programs, purchase protection, and travel perks. Mastercard also provides a wide selection of cards for you irrespective of your credit profile and preferences.

Customer Reviews

American Express receives a bad rating of 1.6 out of 5-star based on 3,730 customer reviews on TrustPilot. Happy customers commend Amex for top-notch customer support.

Pro Tips

If you’re hellbent on getting an American Express credit card, remember to:

  • Check your credit score: Before applying, ensure your credit score meets the requirements for American Express cards.
  • Research card options: Investigate the different Amex cards to find one that aligns with your spending habits and rewards preferences.
  • Build a strong credit history: Improve your creditworthiness by paying bills on time and reducing outstanding debts.
  • Maintain stable income: A steady source of income demonstrates your ability to repay credit, improving your approval chances.
  • Apply sparingly: Avoid multiple credit card applications in a short period, as it can negatively impact your credit and approval odds.
  • Utilize prequalification: Use Amex’s prequalification tools to gauge which cards you’re likely to be approved for before submitting an application.

Recap

American Express credit cards offer a diverse range of options tailored to various financial needs, including cash back rewards, travel benefits, and premium perks. However, they may not be the best fit for you if you’re seeking broad global acceptance, as Amex cards are not as universally welcome as Visa or Mastercard.

Additionally, some Amex cards come with annual fees, making them less appealing if you’re a cost-conscious consumer, and they may have higher credit score requirements. Nevertheless, if your credit score is anything from good to excellent and if you prioritize unique rewards, exceptional customer service, and exclusive benefits, American Express cards can provide a rewarding and tailored credit card experience for you.

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