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Best American Express Credit Cards for September 2023

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Updated September 21, 2023

American Express is one of the leading credit cards issuers in the United States, and it offers a broad selection of cards for both consumers and small business owners. If you’re considering applying for a new American Express card, it makes sense to understand which card is ideal for your needs.

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Best Amex credit cards compared

Amex Credit CardBest forRewards RateIntroductory OfferAnnual Fee
Premium travel perks
1x - 5x
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)
Airport benefits on a budget
1x to 3x
Travel rewards
1x - 4x
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)
Supermarket spending
1x to 6x
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)
No annual fee
1% - 3% cash back
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)
Airline rewards
2x miles on Delta purchases, supermarkets and takeout in the U.S.
1x miles on all other eligible purchases
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)
Hotel rewards
12x points on hotels and resorts
Small business spending
1x - 4x
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)
Financing business purchases
1.5% cash back
annual_fees (Rates & Fees)

Our recommendations

Best for premium travel perks: card_name


The card_name is the original premium travel rewards card, and it’s been updated to ensure that it comes with more travel perks than nearly any other credit card. For example, you get access to Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass Select and American Express Centurion airport lounges. You also get $200 in annual airline travel fee credits, $100 in annual Saks Fifth Avenue credits and $240 in annual digital entertainment credits. Enrollment Required.

Other valuable travel perks include credits towards the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and a $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®. You also receive elite status with Hilton and Marriott hotels This card offers points in the Membership Rewards program. 

The annual fee for this card is annual_fees (Rates & Fees). 

Best for airport benefits on a budget: card_name


While big spenders will have a Platinum Card, there are many who want some airport perks without having to pay its hefty annual fee. The iconic card_name fills this role nicely by offering $189 a year towards CLEAR Plus memberships and a $100 LoungeBuddy credit. This card will bonus_miles_full, plus 20% back on travel and transit purchases made within six months, up to $200 cash back. It also offers 3x points on travel, transit and dining, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There’s just a annual_fees annual fee for this card. 

Best for travel rewards: card_name


The card_name excels at offering large amounts of bonus points that you can use for travel rewards. This card offers a spectacular 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants around the world , in addition to takeout and delivery orders. And when you’re eating at home, you also get 4x points for purchases from U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 spent each year. 

This card also includes 3x points on travel purchases and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points are earned in the Membership Rewards program, which offers numerous travel rewards options. 

This card has a annual_fees annual fee, but comes with $120 in annual dining credits and another $120 each year in Uber Cash that can be used for rides or Uber Eats (Rates & Fees).

Read more on how the American Express® Green Card stacks up to the card_name.

Best for supermarket spending: card_name


This card offers an amazing 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets, as well as on select U.S. streaming services. You also receive 3% cash back on transit, including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains and buses. Other benefits include up to $84 a year in credits towards Disney Bundles and $120 towards an Equinox+ membership. There’s a annual_fees annual fee that’s waived the first year (Rates & Fees).

Best for no annual fee: card_name


American Express knows that not everyone needs a high-end travel rewards card. For these customers, the card_name offers access to the Membership Rewards program, but with no annual fee. It offers double points for purchases made at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year), and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. 

When you use your card to make 20 or more purchases during a billing cycle, then you’ll get 20% extra points. This makes it one of the best travel rewards cards available with annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees). 

Best for airline rewards: card_name


American Express has a very close relationship with Delta, and it offers several Delta SkyMiles credit cards. For most people, the best deal will be the card_name. It offers 2x SkyMIles on dining purchases, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.

You also earn 2x miles at U.S. supermarkets and on purchases made directly with Delta and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. This card also features a 15% discount on miles redeemed when you book flights through or the Fly Delta app. Other benefits include a free checked bag and 20% back on in-flight purchases. There’s a annual_fees (Rates & Fees). 

Best for hotel rewards: card_name


Hilton Honors is one of the best hotel rewards programs offered, the annual_fees is a great way to earn these valuable points. With this card, you earn 12x points for purchases from Hilton hotels and resorts and 6x points for dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery. You also earn 6x points at U.S. supermarkets and on gas purchased from U.S. gas stations. You earn three points per dollar spent elsewhere. 

This card includes complimentary Gold status as well as a free night reward each calendar year that you use your card to spend $15,000. You also receive 10 visits each year to Priority Pass Select airport lounges. There’s a annual_fees annual fee for this card. 

Best for small business spending: card_name


The small business version of the card_name offers tremendous value. With this card, you can earn 4x points on your top two categories of spending. Eligible categories include gas, airfare, advertising, technology purchases and others. 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year, and 1x on all other eligible purchases. Benefits include strong expense management tools, as well as a 25% airline bonus when you book flights through and pay with points. There’s a annual_fees annual fee for this card (Rates & Fees). 

Best for financing business purchases: card_name


card_name is a powerful tool that small business owners can use to manage their cash flow. Cardholders can carry a balance for up to 60 days without incurring interest charges. This allows business owners to effectively receive a short term line of credit at no cost. Alternatively, you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on any portion of your balance you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date. There’s a annual_fees annual fee for this card (Rates & Fees). 

American Express requirements: who is eligible?

American Express has many credit cards to choose from, but not everyone will qualify for these cards. Here’s some things to keep in mind if you apply for a credit card from American Express.

Credit score

As with most premium credit cards, you will need to have good or excellent credit to be approved for American Express’s cards. Excellent credit is usually defined as having a FICO score of 740, while good credit is generally defined as having a FICO score of 670 or higher. The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to be approved. But you should also know that American Express can take other factors into account when considering a credit card application.

Limitations on earning a welcome bonus 

Although American Express offers generous welcome bonuses to new account holders, it also has a “once-in-a-lifetime” bonus restriction. If you’ve applied and received a welcome offer for a specific Amex card in the past, you’re generally not eligible to get another offer on the same card. Thankfully, American Express will let you know if you’re eligible to receive a welcome offer before you apply online. 

Other limitations

To be eligible for an American Express card, you must be at least 18 years old and have a Social Security number and a U.S. street address. 

What credit limit can you get with American Express?

American Express will assign a credit limit to most accounts based on your creditworthiness at the time you applied. However, select American Express cards, such as the card_name and card_name have no preset spending limit. With select American Express cards, you can request pre-approval for specific charges if you’re unsure if the transaction will be approved. 

What are American Express Membership Rewards?

Membership Rewards is the travel rewards program that’s offered by many American Express cards. These points can be redeemed for a variety of things, including merchandise, gift cards and cash back. But savvy award travel enthusiasts know that these points are most valuable when transferred to one of 20 travel partners including Emirates, Air Canada, Air France/KLM and Hilton. When you transfer your points to travel partners, and redeem them for high value award flights and hotel stays, it’s often possible to realize several cents in value per point redeemed. 

How to combine points on American Express cards

When you have multiple American Express cards that are part of the Membership Rewards program, the points you earn will automatically be combined. This includes points that you earn from all of your personal and small business credit cards. And when you transfer points to travel partners, you can combine those rewards by transferring your points to airline and hotel accounts held by anyone in your household. 

Pros and Cons of American Express cards

As with any credit card issuer, there are benefits and drawbacks to American Express cards. Benefits include the Membership Rewards program, which allows you to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. American Express cards also tend to have excellent travel insurance and purchase protection benefits, especially their premium travel rewards cards. Finally, American Express is generally known for having very good customer service. 

The downsides of American Express cards can include their annual fees. card_name has a very high annual fee of annual_fees (Rates & Fees), and even the card_name has an annual fee of annual_fees (Rates & Fees). Another downside is the once-in-a-lifetime policy for welcome bonuses. This will be unwelcome news to those who’ve had a particular card many years ago, but wish to apply for it again. 


We chose the best American Express cards by studying all of the available products, including their rewards, benefits and fees. Also, the author has over 15 years of experience analyzing and writing about credit cards and travel rewards.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

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For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

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For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is Amex Gold or Platinum better?

These cards are ideally suited for different types of cardholders. The Gold Card offers superior rewards, including 4x points on dining and at U.S. supermarkets. It has an annual fee of just annual_fees. And while Platinum Card doesn’t have these bonus point offers, it features numerous travel perks and benefits such as airport lounge access. The Platinum Card has an annual fee of annual_fees . In fact, some American Express customers consider these cards to be complementary and have them both. 

Which American Express card is easiest to get?

Applicants who are worried that they may not qualify would be best to consider the Amex EveryDay card, with no annual fee. 

What is the hardest Amex card to get?

The Platinum Card has the highest qualifications of any American Express card. There’s even an ultra-premium Centurion Card, sometimes called the black card, that’s only available by invitation.

What are the different American Express transfer partners?

Except as noted, Membership Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio.

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Aeromexico Club Premier (1:1.6)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways Guest Program
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue True Blue (1:0.8)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Amex hotel transfer partners
  • Choice Privileges 
  • Hilton Honors (1:2)
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Why do some merchants not accept American Express?

American Express tends to impose slightly higher merchant fees than Visa, Mastercard or Discover. As a result, some retailers try to save on their costs by choosing not to accept American Express. 

Which is better: American Express or Visa?

For credit card users, there’s really little difference between payment networks. In fact, it’s more important to consider the card issuer and the product. Some American Express cards are better than some Visa cards, while other Visa cards are superior to some cards from American Express.

*Welcome Offer not available to applicants who have or have had the card_name or the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card. American Express may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

All information about Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected independently by TIME Stamped. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is no longer available through

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