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Best American Express Cards of August 2020

NerdWalletAugust 6, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

American Express made its name with charge cards that were as much status symbols as payment cards. In the 21st century, the issuer offers a complete line of charge and credit cards with generous rewards and valuable perks.

NerdWallet's Best American Express Cards of August 2020

Best American Express Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Family spending: Groceries, gas, transit, streaming

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers top-notch rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, as well as on transit expenses and select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

Pros

You'll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms Apply. There's a great bonus offer for new cardholders and a nice 0% intro APR period, too. Terms apply.

Cons

The $95 annual fee is a steep for a cash-back credit card, but you'll make up for it with rewards by spending just $31 a week at U.S. supermarkets.

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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 at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Travel rewards on everyday spending

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$250

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The American Express® Gold Card gives foodies and travelers a large side of Membership Rewards with their bites and flights. The rewards you earn are ideal for redeeming toward travel.

Pros

The card offers 4 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide; 4 points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 spent annually; 3 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com; and 1 point per $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases. Other benefits include a $100 annual airline fee credit and up to $120 a year in dining credit (available only in monthly increments on qualifying purchases). Plus, you start with superb bonus offer.

Cons

The $250 annual fee may be a dealbreaker for some. The perks can defray the cost, but only if you make full use of them. This is also a charge card rather than a credit card, meaning your balance is generally due in full every month.

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

No-annual-fee grocery and gas rewards

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score

TheBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a decent option if you spend regularly on groceries and gas but can't stomach the fee on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (described above).

Pros

This card earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on everything else. Terms apply. There's a good 0% period and a solid bonus offer for new cardholders, too.

Cons

If you spend at least $61 per week at the supermarket, you’re actually better off paying the annual fee on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because you'll come out ahead with the higher rewards rate. This card also lacks the bonus streaming and transit rewards of the "Preferred" version.

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Luxury perks for business travelers

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$595

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can add value and luxury to your travel experience, if you don’t mind the sizable cost of card ownership.

Pros

This card is a match for business owners who spend big and prefer to travel in comfort. If that’s you, the card’s long list of perks can elevate your travel experience and offer more value for your money. You’ll start off with a nice welcome offer, then enjoy airport lounge access, a credit of up to $200 for incidental fees (like checked bags) on one airline, and a raft of other perks. As for rewards, you get 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com; 1.5 points per $1 on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more; and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Terms apply.

Cons

The sky-high $595 annual fee is worth it only if you travel frequently enough to make full use of the card's perks. (The fee is a deductible business expense, though.) You’ll get the VIP treatment with this card, but only at places that accept it.

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Simple rewards for small business

American Express The Blue for Business® Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended Credit Score

Come for the 0% intro APR offer; stay for the ongoing rewards. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a good fit for entrepreneurs looking for a no-fee, no-fuss card.

Pros

The card gives you 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on everything, on up to the first $50,000 in purchases made every year, and 1 point per dollar after that. (Terms apply.) The 0% introductory APR offer is outstanding for a business credit card, and the annual fee is $0

Cons

The $50,000 spending cap on double points reduces this card's value for businesses with high operating expenses. There's no traditional bonus offer for new cardholders, either. Prefer cash to points? See the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.

  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • You’ve got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
  • More buying power for your business means more opportunities to earn points. That’s everyday business with the Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Simple cash rewards for small business

American Express® Blue Business Cash Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended Credit Score

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card earns a solid cash-back rate on purchases (up to a point) and gives you a good 0% introductory APR period for an annual fee of $0.

Pros

This card offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 a year in eligible purchases, then 1% back. Terms apply. Cash back is automatically credited to your statement. Business owners also can get a break on interest payments with an 0% introductory APR offer.

Cons

The $50,000 annual cap on spending that earns 2% cash back will be a serious limitation for some businesses. If you're willing to pay an annual fee, there are other cards that offer unlimited 2% rewards. There's also no traditional bonus offer for new cardholders, which could otherwise help a business owner offset some costs.

  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That’s why you’ve got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.
  • Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Customized rewards for business

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$295

Regular APR

14.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

The unique rewards structure on the American Express® Business Gold Card automatically changes with your spending. It can mean big rewards — if your purchases match its 4X categories.

Pros

You earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar in the two categories where you spend the most each month. All other spending earns 1 point per dollar. The categories: airfare purchased 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. gas stations; U.S. restaurants; and U.S. purchases for shipping. Terms apply. There's a welcome offer for new cardholders, too.

Cons

The $295 annual fee is steep. If your business doesn't spend much in the 4X categories, you'll have an uphill climb to break even.

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*
  • MORE REWARDS: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month. 1X is earned for other purchases. **
  • **4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • AIRLINE BONUS: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • PAY OVER TIME OPTION: A flexible payment option with interest to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Flexible financing for businesses

American Express Plum Card Credit Card

on American Express's website, or call (866) 512-6673

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $250

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Businesses with high working capital needs but sometimes inconsistent cash flow might find The Plum Card® from American Express a perfect fit. Pay early and get a discount, or enjoy up to 60 days interest-free.

Pros

Pay your bill within 10 days of your statement closing date, and you get an automatic 1.5% discount. If you need more time, pay the minimum due, and you can get up to 60 days interest-free to pay the rest. The card also has no preset spending limit. Terms apply.

Cons

With a hefty annual fee after the first year, this card is designed for businesses that spend big. And while it offers flexible terms, it's still a charge card, meaning your balance will be due in full — you can't spread out the cost of a purchase over several months.

  • Paying early pays off: get a 1.5% Early Pay Discount, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, when you pay your minimum due by the Payment Due Date.
  • Use the power of the Plum Card to buy big for your business.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $250
  • Terms & Restrictions Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST AMERICAN EXPRESS CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

CONSUMER CARDS

Our pick for: Family spending: Groceries, gas, transit, streaming

If your household spends a lot on groceries, gas, transit and streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is for you. The rewards it pays in those categories — particularly at U.S. supermarkets and on select streaming services — are among the richest of any card. There's a nice bonus offer for new cardholders and an introductory 0% APR period, too. The generous benefits come at a cost, though: Unlike most cash-back cards, this one charges an annual fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: No-annual-fee grocery and gas rewards

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. The rewards aren't as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn't charge an annual fee. New cardholders get a decent bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period. If you're buying groceries regularly but not necessarily all the time, it's worth a look. Read our review.

Our pick for: Simple, flat-rate cash back

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card pays a simple, flat cash-back rate on all purchases, with no limit to how much cash back you can earn. Plus, get a decent bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period. If you want an AmEx card with a no-hassle rewards structure, this is your card. Read our review.

Our pick for: Luxury travel perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a hefty annual fee, but travelers who like to go in style (and aren't afraid to pay for comfort) can more than get their money's worth. Enjoy extensive airport lounge access, hundreds of dollars a year in travel and shopping credits, hotel benefits and more. That's not even getting into the high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases and the rich bonus offer for new cardholders. Read our review.

Our pick for: Travel rewards on everyday spending

The American Express® Gold Card can earn you a pile of points from everyday spending, with generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, at restaurants worldwide and on certain flights booked through amextravel.com. Other benefits include hundreds of dollars a year in available dining and travel credits and a solid bonus offer for new cardholders. There's an annual fee, though, and a pretty substantial one, so it's not for smaller spenders. Read our review.

Our pick for: Travel and dining rewards

The "original" American Express card is a great fit for travelers who can make use of its extensive list of airline and hotel transfer partners and its rich rewards on dining and travel. The American Express® Green Card also offers some potentially valuable credits and a good bonus opportunity for new cardholders. There's an annual fee to consider, however, and getting maximum value can take some work. But if you're committed to the AmEx Membership Rewards, it's a fine option. Read our review.

Our pick for: Balance transfers + rewards

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card is a rare bird in the credit card game. It's a top-notch balance-transfer card that can allow you to pay off debt without fees or interest. But it's also a decent rewards card. It's the only American Express card without an annual fee that gives you Membership Rewards points. Get it for the balance-transfer benefits or the introductory 0% APR period, and keep it for the rewards. Read our review.

SMALL BUSINESS CARDS

Our pick for: Luxury perks for business travelers

Like the consumer version of this card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a big annual fee. But business travelers who prefer to go in style will find plenty that appeals to them: high rewards on certain travel purchases, bonus rewards on larger non-travel purchases, a superb newcomer bonus offer, extensive airport lounge access, elite hotel status, hundreds of dollars a year in available credits and a list of perks as long as your arm. It's not cheap, but luxury never is. Read our review.

Our pick for: Simple cash rewards for small business

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card boasts one of the better 0% introductory APR offers among business credit cards. Beyond that, you earn a solid cash-back rate (at least for a while — the rate drops after you hit a spending threshold). There's no annual fee, but there's no new-cardholder bonus offer either. Read our review.

Our pick for: Simple rewards for small business

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a near-twin to the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, with one key difference: Rather than cash back, it pays you in AmEx Membership Rewards points. Read our review.

Our pick for: Customized rewards for business

The rewards on the American Express® Business Gold Card adjust according to your spending: The card has six bonus categories, such as travel, U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations. You automatically earn bonus rewards in the two categories where you spend the most each month. That can translate into outstanding rewards, as long as your business spends money in those categories. If it doesn't, the steep annual fee probably isn't worth it. Read our review.

Our pick for: Flexible financing for businesses

Businesses with high working capital needs but sometimes inconsistent cash flow might find The Plum Card® from American Express a perfect fit. Pay early and get a discount, or enjoy up to 60 days interest-free. There's a substantial annual fee, but if you're using the card for, say, big inventory purchases, the benefits could far outweigh the costs. Read our review.

Other cards issued by American Express

American Express issues branded credit cards in partnership with airlines, hotels and others. Learn more about these cards by reading the reviews linked below:

Delta Air Lines credit cards

Hilton Hotels credit cards

Other credit cards

'American Express' cards not issued by American Express

Several banks offer credit cards that operate on the American Express payment network, but these cards are not issued by American Express itself. You can use them anywhere that accepts AmEx, but their rewards, perks, fees and rates are dictated by the card issuer, not American Express. Those cards are not included on this page.

Examples include the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card and the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer of this card.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the The Plum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

Last updated on August 6, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.