The Best American Express Credit Cards of 2015
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: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 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. There’s also a signup bonus: Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
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 Preferred® Card from American Express 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: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from 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 2.4 cents when redeemed at SPG hotels. A rate like that has even the hyped Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card beat. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has a signup bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Multiply that by 2.4 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 Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express makes luxury practical, offering perks that are hard to pass up, despite its infamous $450 annual fee. There’s an impressive signup bonus: 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 Card® from American Express actually makes up for the fee and more through its member benefits. You’ll get a big bang for your bucks. Frequent travelers will be more than compensated for the hefty annual fee with ease of travel, fee cuts and refunds, and auxiliary perks.