The 4 Best American Express® Cards
Selecting the best American Express credit card will largely depend on the types of rewards each person values. All of the top American Express cards provide a generous sign-up bonus and many offer multiple opportunities for bonus rewards on a variety of common purchases. The cards all have an annual membership fee, though the fee is waived for the first year of card ownership. Comparing the best American Express credit cards can be difficult as each card has different trade-offs and some are more difficult to get accepted to than others.
The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card stands out as the best American Express® credit card because of the numerous opportunities to earn bonus points on common purchases. With the Premier Rewards Gold card, cardholders can look forward to triple points on airfare, double points on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, double points at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, and single points on other purchases. New cardholders can also earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 during the first three months of card membership, and an additional 15,000 points after spending $30,000 within one calendar year. Recommended for those with strong credit, the card has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175 for each year thereafter. This annual fee may be a drawback for some, but with so many bonus point opportunities, the card can easily pay for itself. Because the Premier Rewards card is a charge card, those looking to carry a balance from month-to-month may be disappointed as the card requires the balance to be paid in full each month.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express ranks among the best American Express® credit cards by offering impressive cash back rewards. With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, cardholders can get 6% cash back at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, 3% cash back on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations and select major department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cardholders will also earn 150 Reward Dollars after making $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. One minor drawback of all of these generous rewards is the cash back limit placed on supermarket purchases, as only the first $6,000 of purchases at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets in a calendar year qualifies for the 6% cash back (1% thereafter). Recommended for those with excellent credit, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card has an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $75 for each subsequent year. For those looking for a solid cash back rewards card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card will be pretty difficult to beat.
The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card is one of the top travel rewards credit cards available. With five points per dollar spent on airfare purchases, and a 20,000 PenFed points bonus after spending $2,500 within the first three months of opening the card account, cardholders will be able to accumulate points quickly. In addition, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, a great benefit for those that travel internationally often. There is also no annual membership fee, and an excellent balance transfer rate will be appreciated by those with existing credit lines looking to transfer a balance. One drawback of the card is that cardholders must be a , which requires the cardholder to be in the United States Military or Uniformed Services, to be an employee of a qualifying organization, or through two charity memberships, which will cost you a small one-time fee.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Card from American Express® is a travel rewards credit card that rounds off the list of best American Express® credit cards. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Card allows you to earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first three months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first three months. You also earn two miles on Delta purchases and one mile for all other eligible dollars spent. Cardholders will benefit from some Premium Travel Perks, including the ability to settle in sooner with priority boarding. International travelers should note that the card charges a foreign currency transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 for each subsequent year. However, you'll be able to check your first bag free on every Delta flight – that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.