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The Best American Express Credit Cards of 2015

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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: 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.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Pros

  • 0% for 15 mos on transfers

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Sign-up 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.

Annual Fee

$75

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

APR

  • Min APR: 12.99%, Variable
  • Max APR: 21.99%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.24%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • 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.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Earn Cash Back: 6% US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms and limitations apply.

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.

American Express Starwood Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Pros

  • High rewards rate

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $65.

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • Min APR: 15.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 19.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 27.24%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn free nights at over 1,100 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates.
  • Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
  • Earn up to 5 Starpoints on purchases at participating SPG hotels.
  • That's 2 Starpoints for which you may be eligible as a Card Member in addition to the 2 or 3 Starpoints for which you may be eligible as an SPG member.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65.
  • Terms and Limitations Apply.

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.

American Express Platinum Credit Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit

Sign-up Bonus

Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Annual Fee

$450

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • Purchase: N/A

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Up to a $200 Airline Fee Credit Annually.
  • To receive the statement credit, you need to select a qualifying airline.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card.
  • Platinum Card Concierge is your personal resource to help secure a last minute restaurant reservation, or shop for a hard-to-find gift.
  • Terms and restrictions apply