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Come one, come all: find the best American Express cards for suburban homemakers, luxury travelers, and five-star hotel-goers, and let us help you do it. Get fancy with luxurious perks like airport lounge access, travel in luxury with special hotel amenities, or rack up rewards on everyday purchases like groceries. Here are our top Amex picks for every spending profile.
Best card for families: the Blue Cash Preferred
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred is a good fit for the “everyday” shopper. You’ll get 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at supermarkets and unlimited 3% cash back at department stores and gas stations. All other purchases will get you 1% cash back. The has a signup bonus of 100 Reward Dollars when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months..
But wait, there’s more. Shop smart, and you can earn 6% rewards on just about everything by purchasing gift cards to your favorite stores and restaurants at the grocery store (just keep in mind the $6k spending cap). The Blue Cash has an annual fee of $75, but spend at least $25 in groceries weekly, and you’ll nix the fee with change to keep.
Best travel card: The Starwood Preferred Guest
The Starwood American Express is a top choice for high rollin’ luxury hotel-goers. You’ll earn up to 5 Starpoints per dollar spent at SPG hotels and 1 per $1 spent elsewhere. A 1-point base rate doesn’t sound so impressive, but each Starpoint is valued at 2.3 cents when redeemed at SPG hotels. A rate like that has even the hyped Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card beat. The has a signup bonus of 25,000 Starwood Points when you spend $5,000 . Multiply that by 2.3 cents, and you’ve got yourself a deal that more than makes up for the $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $65.. You can redeem your Starpoints for miles on major airlines, including Delta and United, at a base rate of 1.25% – still better than most. And, of course, there are additional perks, e.g. your fifth night free and elite status credit. If you’re a frequent Starwood guest, this card’s a no-brainer.
Best prestige travel card: The American Express Platinum
The Amex Platinum makes luxury practical, offering perks that are hard to pass up, despite its infamous $450 annual fee. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. In addition, you’ll get:
Priority Pass airport lounge access (valued at ~$400 by itself)
Access to Centurion and select Delta and Airspace lounges
An annual $200 airline incidentals credit to offset fees and extras
The Global Entry program, which lets you skip customs lines when returning to the US (for anyone who’s gone through customs, you can’t put a price on happiness)
Starwood Preferred Guest Gold elite status
A really good concierge service
Special offers at hotels, destinations and more
…we could go on. Despite the sticker shock, the Platinum actually makes up for the fee and more through its member benefits. You’ll get a big bang for your bucks, all 450 of ‘em. Frequent travelers will be more than compensated for the hefty annual fee with ease of travel, fee cuts and refunds, and auxiliary perks.
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