Compare American Express Credit Cards
Thursday, 28th March 2013 (By Joe Taylor Jr.)
American Express fills a niche among credit card issuers by offering a variety of credit cards and charge cards for consumers, small business owners and corporate customers. While credit cards allow you to revolve balances, charge cards must be paid off each month. American Express cards for excellent credit offer some phenomenal cash back rewards. American Express cardmembers have access to benefits like roadside assistance, Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance, purchase protection programs and more. And even if you prefer not to carry a credit card or charge card, AmEx's ground-breaking prepaid debit card can connect you to many of the company's cardmember benefits.
- Earn 100 Reward Dollars after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership.
- Earn Cash Back: 3% at US supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations & select US dept stores, 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Access to Exclusive Benefits: Baggage Insurance Plan* when you travel, and shop with confidence with Extended Warranty* and Return Protection
- Use points for gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 of some of your favorite merchants
- Get discounts and low rates at hotels and resorts, plus a $75 hotel credit when you book through Gold Hotel Collection
- Limited Time Offer: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of Card membership
- Enroll and select a qualifying airline to receive up to $200 annually in statement credits for incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, charged by the airline
- 20% Travel Bonus when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
- Welcome Bonus: earn 7,500 points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of Cardmembership - redeemable for a $100 statement credit.
- Flexible Ways to Earn: earn 1 point for virtually every dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
- Unlimited Travel Options: Travel with any airline, hotel, cruise, car rental and travel package - with no blackout dates.
- Earn 25K Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership
- Premium travel benefits: access over 600 lounges worldwide when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, no foreign transaction fees
- Receive up to $200 annually in a statement credit with the airline of your choice to use towards baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and more
- Earn More: earn 25K Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2K during your first three months of Card membership; earn 15K points after you spend $30,000 within one calendar year
- Earn Fast: 3X points for flights booked with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets, 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- Use points for gift cards for dining, entertainment, and to shop over 300 of some of your favorite brands
- With no annual membership fee, it's a smart choice for your business
- Automatic cash back - cash back is earned on eligible purchases and automatically credited to your statement
- 5% at U.S. office supply stores & on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- Starpoints® bonus: Earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
- Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,100 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries and for flights on more than 350 airlines with SPG Flights -- all with no blackout dates
- Earn up to 5 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts participating in the Starwood Preferred Guest® program
- Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
- That's enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel like the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, or six free nights at a Category 2 Hotel
- Earn up to 5 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG hotels and resorts -- that's 2 Starpoints for using the Card in addition to the Starpoints you earn as an SPG member. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
- Flexible Payment Options: Get a 1.5% discount for paying early or up to 60 days to pay without interest, or both each month.
- Do Business On Your Terms
- $0 introductory annual fee for your first year, then $250.
- Bonus Miles: Earn 30,000 bonus miles toward Award Travel after you spend $500 on the Card within the first three months of Cardmembership.
- Earn As You Spend: Get 2X miles on Delta purchases and 1X miles for all other eligible dollars spent.
- Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card membership.
- Earn points even faster to get more rewards for your business.
- 3X points on airfare purchased from airlines. 2X points at US gas stations.
Disclaimer:*These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.
This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.
Discover is a paid advertiser of this site. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the Discover online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards.
Best-known American Express cards
Most consumers associate American Express with its series of charge cards bearing the familiar centurion logo. Though many of the company's customers start with the "green" charge card, cardmembers often graduate to Gold Card or Platinum Card status based on income and annual spending levels. The Platinum Card from American Express has become popular among frequent business travelers because of its generous rewards program and a list of perks that includes baggage fee reimbursements and airport lounge access.
The company's close ties with large companies often enables employers to put corporate charge cards in the hands of executives, purchasing agents, and managers. Many road warriors aspire to earn a Centurion Card, the invite-only "black card" that comes with a dedicated concierge and access to some of the world's most exclusive events. Its small business credit card lineup includes The Plum Card from American Express OPEN that offers flexible payment options.
Other types of American Express cards
While early AmEx cards required monthly payments in full, it now offers cards that enable consumers to carry a balance from month to month. Their line of travel credit cards includes co-branded accounts with Delta, JetBlue, and Starwood. Meanwhile, the company markets a collection of cash back credit cards under the "Blue" moniker, offering rebates of up to 6 percent on many everyday purchases for qualifying card members.
American Express has always positioned itself as an elite brand, but a few of its newest products aim to make the company more accessible to younger consumers. A series of prepaid debit cards from AmEx carry no service fees, challenging the status quo of more expensive cash management products.
American Express history
The way American Express does business today reflects its long corporate heritage. AmEx launched in the middle of the 19th century as one of a few "express" companies that transported bonds, cash, and other valuables from coast to coast. The company invented the travelers cheque and developed new technology to facilitate safe, secure cash transactions across borders. In 1957, AmEx responded to the popularity of the Diners Club card by launching its own iconic charge card.
After dabbling for a few decades in other financial services, American Express returned to its roots by focusing on services that add value for consumers, travelers, and merchants. AmEx often gets criticized for charging some of the highest credit card transaction fees, but American Express uses those revenues to help fund its fraud detection and purchase protection programs, not to mention its cash back rebates. If you travel frequently, make regular business purchases, or simply want to enjoy some generous membership rewards, an American Express card may be a great match for your needs.