Best American Express Cards for 2021

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American Express offers some of the most exclusive credit cards and luxury benefits available, but its excellent customer service and high-value perks are more widely available than you might realize. Along with premium travel cards, American Express offers co-branded options from popular brands like Delta and Hilton, and cash back cards that help you save on everyday purchases.

Still, much of Amex’s appeal for loyal cardholders is in these lofty benefits and exclusive access. American Express is also the largest credit card issuer by purchase volume, meaning American Express users swipe, big time. But if you’re unable to take full advantage of premium lounge access or hotel savings, the cost of those cards may not actually bring you any added value.

Before you jump on any new card offer, make sure you consider a card’s rewards categories, cost, and other features to fit your spending habits and credit needs. Look back on the categories you tend to spend in the most; then determine whether you’re willing to pay an annual fee, if you’d benefit from an introductory 0% offer, and what type of rewards structure you’d prefer.

Our picks for the best credit cards from American Express are all rewards credit cards with strict credit requirements. Before seeking to maximize cash back or points earned on your purchases, make sure you pay off any existing credit card debt and can pay down your balances each month. If you revolve debt balances on these cards, any rewards you earn will be easily wiped out by high-interest accrual.

The Amex cards below offer the most value for a range of consumers, but your needs may vary. Use this list as a guide to help you navigate Amex’s offerings alongside your evaluation of what you’re looking for in a new credit card.

Best American Express Credit Cards

American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Good for Simple Cash Back
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Good for Maximum Rewards on Everyday Spending
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
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The Platinum Card® from American Express
Good for Premium Perks and Benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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American Express® Gold Card
Good for Everyday Rewards and Travel Redemptions
American Express® Gold Card
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American Express® Business Gold Card
Good for Flexible Business Spending
American Express® Business Gold Card
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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Good for Loyal Delta Flyers
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
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Hilton Honors American Express Card
Good for Hilton Lovers
Hilton Honors American Express Card
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American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Good for Simple Cash Back

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

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Rewards rate:

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $150
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The American Express Cash Magnet is a straightforward, flat cash back credit card that’ll earn you 1.5% back on every purchase. Based on average American consumer spending, we’ve calculated the Cash Magnet’s annual rewards value at $198.87, after a first-year value of $349. 

It’s one of American Express’s few no annual fee cards, and comes with an offer of $150 back if you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You’ll also benefit from an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening. After that you’ll take on a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99%.

This card is as simple as it gets with American Express. Great for entry-level and seasoned credit card users alike, the Cash Magnet has a no-frills structure perfect for everyday purchases. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use rewards card, the American Express Cash Magnet is good to swipe at every register (except abroad— it comes with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee). 

But be aware that this card won’t earn you Membership Rewards points, the rewards currency offered by many American Express cards. If you’re looking to cash in for a vacation or pool rewards from multiple cards onto a single account, a similar no-annual-fee Membership Rewards option like the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card* might be a better choice.  

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Good for Maximum Rewards on Everyday Spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Rewards rate:

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 on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $250
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 13.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers a high cash back percentage across a few categories. You’ll get an impressive 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1% after that), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and transit, and 1% cash back on everything else. 

Based on average American consumer spending (and after accounting for the annual fee), we’ve calculated the annual rewards value of Blue Cash Preferred at $302.96 after a first-year value of $552.96.

This cash back potential comes with a $95 annual fee, but if you spend frequently in those top earning categories it can make that fee more than worth it. You’ll also earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening, and be able to benefit from a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months from the date of account opening. After that you’ll be subject to a variable APR of 13.99%-23.99%. 

Read our full review of the Blue Cash Preferred card

For strong rewards value on everyday budget categories, the Blue Cash Preferred definitely excels, especially for families who make multiple trips to the supermarket each week or anyone who feels like they’re constantly refueling at the gas station. And if these are your high-spend categories, your rewards will easily offset the $95 annual fee.

If you’re looking for an extra cash back boost in the categories you spend most, then the Blue Cash Preferred is a great option. The whopping 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets is one of the highest percentages you’ll find for the category across any card, but be aware of the $6,000 annual spending cap before that’s bumped down to 1%.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Good for Premium Perks and Benefits

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Rewards rate:

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. 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

  • Intro bonus: 75,000 points
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Platinum Card from American Express pulls out all the stops when it comes to premium perks and luxurious benefits — for a price. A $550 annual fee, to be exact.

You’ll get 5x points on flights booked through American Express Travel on up to $500,000 per year, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel, 2x points on any other travel booked through amextravel.com, and 1x point on other eligible purchases.

The card also comes with a valuable welcome offer of 75,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first six months of account opening (worth $750 when used to book flights through American Express Travel). You’ll receive 10x points at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets in the first six months, on up to $15,000 in purchases. 

For even more value, The Platinum Card offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, up to $200 in Uber Cash annually, up to $100 in annual statement credits toward Saks Fifth Avenue purchases, and a $100 credit toward activities when you book stays with The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel, among other perks.

If you don’t just like traveling, but you like to travel in style, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a card that offers more benefits than the Platinum Card. You can relax pre-flight thanks to American Express Global Lounge Collection access, and book the nicest rooms as a Hilton Honors Gold Status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status member. 

But be sure your spending makes that hefty $550 annual fee worth it. If you don’t travel a lot, or can’t use these premium perks, look elsewhere. It’s also even more important to pay off your balance each month: unlike other credit cards, the Platinum card allows you to carry a balance on certain charges via Amex’s Pay It, Plan It feature, but not all. If you don’t pay your full amount due on time, you may be subject to high fees, denied charges, and account closure. 

You’ll also have access to Pay Over Time, which you can use to pay eligible purchases off (up to your Pay Over Time spending limit) at your variable Pay Over Time APR.

American Express® Gold Card
Good for Everyday Rewards and Travel Redemptions

American Express® Gold Card

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Rewards rate:

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. 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.

  • Intro bonus: 60,000 points
  • Annual fee: $250
  • Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The American Express Gold card can help you stack up points on today’s everyday purchases to redeem toward your next vacation. You’ll earn 4x points at restaurants, 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year, then 1x), 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1x points on all other purchases. 

It charges a $250 annual fee, but if your regular spending aligns with these categories (and you can take advantage of added benefits and credits), your rewards can quickly offset the cost.

The card also has a welcome offer of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within six months of opening your card (worth $600 when you redeem for flights through Amex Travel), and a 15.99% to 22.99% variable Pay Over Time APR. You should always pay your statement balance in full and on time each month, but that’s even more important with this card; unlike other credit cards, you can only carry a balance on certain charges (using Amex’s Pay It, Plan It feature). 

You’ll also have access to Pay Over Time, which you can use to pay eligible purchases off (up to your Pay Over Time spending limit) at your variable Pay Over Time APR.

Amex Gold excels in earning points at places you spend everyday, like supermarkets and restaurants. If you frequently swipe in those categories, then your points will add up fast, and you can seriously knock down the price of your next vacation.

You’ll also get some premium benefits to help offset the $250 price tag: up to $120 in annual dining credits, up to $100 in airline fee credits (through 12/31/21) and $100 back on qualifying hotel charges for reservations made through the American Express Hotel Collection. If travel spending doesn’t make up the majority of your budget but you are looking to save on a few trips each year (and you can max out these extra benefits), this is a great option.

American Express® Business Gold Card
Good for Flexible Business Spending

American Express® Business Gold Card

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Rewards rate:

Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **

  • Intro bonus: 35,000 points
  • Annual fee: $295
  • Regular APR: 14.24% – 22.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The American Express Business Gold Card tailors rewards to categories in which you spend the most. Each billing cycle, you’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards points on two categories where your business spent the most from this list (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 1x):

  • Airfare purchases directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
  • U.S. purchases made at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

You can get 35,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. The card has a $295 annual fee with a variable APR of 14.24%-22.24%. 

This card gives businesses without uniform spending patterns the opportunity to maximize rewards. Even if your spending changes month to month, you can still earn 4x points in those categories where you swipe the most.

It’s also a great flexible option for business travelers, with rewards in travel categories, travel redemption options through Membership Rewards, and a 25% bonus on your points when you use them to book flights through Amex Travel.

Before applying, evaluate whether your regular business spending aligns with the eligible 4x categories, so you can ensure you offset the annual fee with rewards earned. And if your business spending exceeds $150,000, then you might consider a card with no rewards cap. 

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Good for Loyal Delta Flyers

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

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Rewards rate:

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.

  • Intro bonus: 35,000 Miles
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
  • Regular APR: 15.74% to 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

With the Delta Skymiles Gold card, you’ll get 2x miles per dollar on purchases made directly with Delta; 2x miles on purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery; 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets, and 1x miles on all other purchases. 

You’ll also get Delta-specific benefits like one free checked bag on Delta flights and a $100 flight credit after making $10,000 in annual purchases. The card has a welcome offer of 35,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in purchases on your card within the first three months of account opening. The annual fee is waived for the first year, and $99 each year after that.

If you live near a Delta hub, or simply prefer Delta flights, then a co- branded Delta card from American Express can save you a lot of money on your travels. It’s important to remember that with the Delta SkyMiles Gold card you’ll receive miles redeemable for Delta flights, not American Express Membership points. But those miles can add up fast and knock down the sticker price of your future adventures, as long as you can stick with Delta for the flights. 

Even if you only fly Delta a few times each year, the credit for your first checked bag free (a $30 cost) will outpace the $99 annual fee after just two round-trip flights. There are a few tiers of Delta co-branded cards available from American Express, so if you fly more often, you may want to consider leveling up to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, or even the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.

Hilton Honors American Express Card
Good for Hilton Lovers

Hilton Honors American Express Card

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Rewards rate:

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.

  • Intro bonus: 80,000 points
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.74% to 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Hilton Honors Card from American Express is the entry-level co-branded offering from the pair, but offers no shortage of rewards for travelers who prefer Hilton properties.

You’ll get 7x Hilton Honors points on Hilton purchases, 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants, 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. gas stations, and 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases. The card also comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Silver Status — all for no annual fee.

You can earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in your first three months of card membership. And remember, your points are redeemable under Hilton’s rewards program, not Amex Membership Rewards. The Hilton Honors card from American Express has a variable APR of 15.74%-24.74%.

Any traveler who stays at Hilton properties a few times each year can benefit from the Hilton Honors Card’s impressive rewards rate, especially for a no annual fee card. Whether you make several trips each year to DoubleTree or Hampton properties, or you like to splash out for an annual vacation suite with Hilton Grand Vacations, this card offers simple, low-cost savings.

But depending on how much you travel and stay in Hilton properties, it might make more sense to choose one of the higher-tier Hilton cards, like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*. 

Best American Express Cards Summary

CardGood ForBonus OfferAnnual FeeCredit Requirement
American Express Cash MagnetSimple Savings$150 when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership$0Good to Excellent (670-850)
American Express Blue Cash PreferredMaximum Rewards on Everyday Purchases$250 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening$95Good to Excellent (670-850)
The Platinum Card from American ExpressPremium Perks and Benefits75,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first six months of account opening$550Good to Excellent (670-850)
The American Express Gold Card Everyday Rewards and Travel Redemptions60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within six months of opening your card$250Good to Excellent (670-850)
The American Express Business Gold CardFlexible Business Spending35,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership
$295
Good to Excellent (670-850)
Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express CardLoyal Delta Flyers35,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months of having your card$99 (waived the first year)Good to Excellent (670-850)
Hilton Honors American Express CardHilton Lovers80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in your first three months of card membership$0Good to Excellent (670-850)

Guide to American Express Cards

American Express may be best-known for its premium travel card options, but the issuer has good cards for more basic everyday use, as well. Here’s a rundown of all the options available from Amex. While not all of these cards made it onto our top picks, you may find one that better aligns with your spending and credit needs: 

Cash Back American Express Cards

American Express offers a few different cash back cards for easy earning and straightforward redemptions on your everyday purchases. We like Blue Cash Preferred and the American Express Cash Magnet, but if you find your spending patterns differ from the rewards categories for those cards, these are all of the cash back options from American Express:

Points-Earning American Express Cards

American Express’s valuable rewards currency, Membership Rewards Points, is one of the issuer’s main draws, and many of the highest-value Amex cards earn Membership Rewards. You can redeem your points in a number of ways, including statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise. But the most valuable way to redeem points is for travel booked through American Express Travel. Here are all of the cards that earn Membership Rewards points: 

Airline and Hotel American Express Cards

American Express partners with airlines and hotel brands to offer co-branded credit cards. While general travel cards usually offer the best value for your money, if you always fly with Delta, or always stay with Hilton, then a co-branded credit card could make sense for you:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Credit Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Credit Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Business American Express Cards

American Express offers a slate of business cards tailored to the needs of business owners and sole proprietors, from everyday cash back to travel rewards cards and even co-branded cards if your business purchases are usually with the same retailer.

You’ll need a few things to apply for a business card from American Express: your legal business name (if you’re a sole proprietor, use your full name), the name to go on the card, your business address, industry type, company structure (sole proprietor, etc.), years in business, annual revenue, estimated monthly spending, number of employees, and Federal Tax ID.

Take your business spending habits into account when deciding which card is best for you:

  • American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • American Express Business Gold Card
  • The Plum Card® from American Express
  • American Express Business Green Rewards Card*
  • Amazon Business American Express Card*
  • Amazon Business Prime American Express Card* 
  • Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express*
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card

No Annual Fee American Express Cards

While the most premium American Express cards with high-value benefits usually come with an annual fee, there are a handful of great American Express cards that have no annual fee and can still unlock great rewards potential and other perks on both everyday spending and travel: 

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card 
  • Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
  • American Express Cash Magnet Card
  • Amex EveryDay Credit Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card
  • Blue from American Express

What Is Pay It, Plan It?

Pay It, Plan It is a flexible payment feature offered by Amex. Pay It allows you to pay off eligible purchases under $100 anytime before your statement is due. Plan It lets you opt into a monthly installment plan for eligible purchases over $100. Instead of accruing interest on those purchases, you’d instead be subject to a monthly fee and fixed payment schedule.

The Platinum Card, American Express Gold Card and the American Express Green Card used to be considered charge cards, but have become something of a hybrid with the introduction of Pay Over Time. This feature allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all, and your card limit will still be flexible.

Check your card account to see if you have access to Pay It, Plan It. Access can vary by card member and which card you have.

Certain Amex cards (like the Platinum Card, Amex Gold, and Amex Green) have no preset spending limit, but may allow access to Pay Over Time, which you can use to pay eligible purchases off (up to your Pay Over Time spending limit) at your variable Pay Over Time APR. If you have one of these cards and access to Pay Over Time, you can activate at any time. But use it wisely; the program carries the same high-interest debt risks as carrying a balance on any credit card.

What Are American Express Membership Rewards?

American Express Membership Rewards points are the points you earn on Amex consumer rewards cards (those that aren’t co-branded to earn another points currency, like Hilton Honors Bonus Points or Delta SkyMiles).

You earn Membership Rewards points by using your card for purchases within qualifying categories that earn points. If you have multiple points-earning rewards cards with Amex, they will automatically pool into your Membership Rewards account each billing cycle. Then you can choose how you’d like to redeem. 

You can use your points to cover charges on your cards in the form of statement credits, pay with them directly at checkout while shopping online, or redeem them for gift cards, but these are generally the lowest-value redemption options. One of the most valuable ways to redeem points is by booking travel through American Express Travel, typically at a rate of 1 cent per point. Transferring points to one of American Express’s many transfer partners is another high-value option.

Here are the transfer values of Membership Rewards points. Depending on the partner’s redemptions and your individual travel plans, the final monetary value of your transferred points may be much higher:

Transfer Partner1000 Membership Rewards Points =
Aerclub by Aer Lingus1000 Avios
AeroMexico Club Premier1600 Premier Points
Aeroplan1000 Aeroplan Points
Air France KLM1000 Flying Blue Miles
Millemiglia by Alitalia1000 Alitalia Miles
ANA Mileage Club1000 ANA Mileage Club Miles
Asia Miles1000 Asia Miles
Avianca LifeMiles1000 LifeMiles
British Airways Executive Club1000 Avios
Delta SkyMiles1000 SkyMiles
El Al Israel Airlines Frequent Flier Club20 Matmid Points
Emirates Skywards1000 Skywards Miles
Etihad Guest1000 Etihad Guest Miles
Hawaiian Airlines1000 HawaiianMiles
Iberia Plus1000 Avios
True Blue by jetBlue250 Membership Rewards Points = 200 TrueBlue points
Qantas Loyalty500 Membership Rewards Points = 500 Qantas Points
Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer1000 KrisFlyer Miles
Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub1000 Virgin Points
Hilton Honors2000 Hilton Honors Points
Marriott Bonvoy1000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Bottom Line

American Express can be intimidating to unpack if you’re not familiar with the issuer or travel rewards and redemptions. But with fantastic customer satisfaction and one of the largest portfolios of credit cards available, it’s a natural choice to consider if you’re looking for a new card — especially if you’re travel-minded. Whether you’re looking for cash back, Membership Rewards, or miles toward your airline of choice, you can get some serious benefits with your American Express card. Evaluate your own spending and credit card needs before applying to ensure you choose an option that best suits you long-term. 

*All information about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, American Express Green Card, Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card, Blue from American Express, American Express Business Green Rewards Card, Amazon Business American Express Card, Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, and the Lowe’s Business Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your credit is going to need to be good-to-excellent to qualify for the majority of American Express cards (minimum 670).

Cash back cards earn a percentage of eligible purchases back, which you can use to offset the cost of purchases (think of it as a small savings on your spending). You’ll get a statement credit for your earnings.

Membership Rewards points are similarly earned on eligible purchases, but offer many more redemption options at varying redemption rates. You’ll get the most value for your points when you use them to book flights through American Express Travel or transfer them to a travel partner.

Pay It, Plan It is a flexible payment feature offered by Amex. Pay It allows you to pay off eligible purchases under $100 anytime before your statement is due. Plan It lets you opt into a monthly installment plan for eligible purchases over $100. Instead of accruing interest on those purchases, you’d instead be subject to a monthly fee and fixed payment schedule.

All information about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Next Advisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Our Methodology

Our list of best American Express cards begins with an evaluation of popular cards across available categories — from cash back and travel to business and co-branded options. Because rewards are such a big part of any Amex card’s value, we determine our top picks primarily based on features like introductory offers, rewards structure, annual fees, and perks and benefits. We don’t place as much weight on things like fees, APRs, or credit requirements (nearly all Amex cards require a very good credit score as a starting point for approval). Our picks reflect those we believe offer the most value relative to cost for a broad range of consumer types.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.