Best of

4 Best Charge Cards of 2019

NerdWalletDecember 5, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet's Best Charge Cards of 2019

Our pick for

Luxury travel perks

American Express Platinum Credit Card

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

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
If you prefer to travel in style (rather than just wish you could), The Platinum Card® from American Express may well be worth the steep $550 annual fee.

Pros

First, there's the great welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply. You earn 5 points per dollar on qualifying travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases (terms apply; see card details). You get complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges, a yearly $200 credit for incidental airline fees, up to $200 in credits per year for Uber, an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, and complimentary benefits worth hundreds of dollars at certain fine hotels. You also receive automatic Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

Cons

That $550 annual fee speaks for itself. This card is best suited for heavy travelers who can take advantage of the card's many benefits to offset that fee. There are no foreign transaction fees, but American Express cards are less widely accepted than Visa and Mastercard, especially internationally.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with American Express:

Our pick for

Premium rewards

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card

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

Rates & Fees

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

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$250

Rewards Rate

1x-4x

Points

Intro offer

35,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
If the annual fee on The Platinum Card® from American Express is too rich for your blood but you still want generous rewards and yearly airline credits, the American Express® Gold Card is a worthy option. 

Pros

Earn 4 points per dollar spent at worldwide restaurants, 4 points per dollar on up to $25,000 a year spent at U.S. supermarkets, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. You also get a yearly $100 credit for incidental airline fees and up to $120 in annual dining credit (available in monthly credits on select purchases). Welcome offer: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Cons

The annual fee isn't as high as on this card as on its platinum-colored sibling, but it's still a doozy: $250. Many of the same drawbacks apply, including limited international acceptance.
  • 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 when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • 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.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Business travel

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

Rewards Rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
If you travel and spend a lot for business, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express makes life on the road not only comfortable but rewarding, too. 

Pros

Start with the welcome offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Earn 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com; 1.5 points per dollar on purchases of $5,000 or more; and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. When you use Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible flight, you get 35% of those points back. You'll receive an annual $200 airline fee credit and access to hundreds of airport lounges, plus other benefits. Terms apply.

Cons

There's a high annual fee ($595) and a high spending requirement for the welcome bonus. American Express cards are less widely accepted than Visa and Mastercard.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases made on your Business Platinum Card® 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.
  • 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 flight is booked on amextravel.com.
  • 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.
  • Terms Apply
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Flexible business financing

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

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro offer

$0

Recommended Credit Score
The value offered by The Plum Card® from American Express doesn't come in the form of rewards or perks. Rather, it provides cash-flow flexibility to businesses with large expenses.

Pros

This card offers both a discount for paying early and extra time to pay without interest. Here's how it works: When your monthly statement period closes, you'll have a minimum amount due. Pay at least that much within 10 days of the closing date, and you'll get a discount of 1.5% of the amount you paid. (The discount appears as a credit on your next statement.) As long as you pay the minimum by your due date, you'll have up to 60 days to pay the rest of your balance interest-free. Terms apply.

Cons

There's an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $250. Unlike with the other cards listed here, you can't earn rewards or a bonus to offset that cost. However, the fee is a tax-deductible business expense — and if you make early payments of about $16,700 in a year, you'll cover the fee.
  • Paying early pays off: Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, if you pay your minimum due.
  • 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
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® Gold 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 Plum Card® from American Express, please visit this page.

Last updated on December 5, 2019

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.