One of the most popular card issuers globally, American Express, Member FDIC, is known for its personal, small business and corporate credit cards and the many perks that come with them. These are the best American Express® credit cards in 2023.
The Best American Express Credit Cards: An Overview
Take a look at the top American Express credit cards and their primary features, including annual fees, APR and benefits.
Top 8 American Express Credit Cards
Understanding the pros and cons of the best American Express credit cards is essential before deciding on which one to choose. It allows potential American Express® Card Members to make a thorough comparison and pick the right option for their specific needs. Here’s a more in-depth look into the options.
|Hilton Honors American Express® Aspire
|American Express® Green Card
|The Plum Card® from American Express
Best for: High-end travel rewards
This American Express card comes at a pretty steep price, which may deter some people from applying. However, its luxury perks and high reward rates make up for the annual fee.
The APR for the American Express® Platinum card is pretty standard. Additionally, Card Members intrinsically pay less interest when paying their balance in full. The Platinum card is essentially a charge card, yet it comes with the Plan It and Pay Over Time features. These allow Card Members to set up monthly payment plans for eligible purchases.
The American Express® Platinum card is ideal for those with a high-end lifestyle. It requires good to excellent credit for approval, and Card Members have access to bonus reward categories, numerous transfer partners, automatic elite status and exclusive lounge access.
Platinum Card Members can earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards Points when spending at least $8,000 during the first six months of opening the account. The card’s reward-earning scheme does have caps on spending amounts on travel. However, Card Members would have to spend $500,000 yearly to reach that limit.
Best for: Groceries and dining
For a annual fee, the American Express® Gold card gives American Express® Card Members four points per dollar on their day-to-day U.S. grocery and dining expenses. Additionally, it currently has a generous welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 within the first six months.
The Gold card allows Card Members to add up to five authorized users at no extra charge. That’s why it could be a great option for large families that travel and dine out often. The card can also be used to earn points on grocery shopping, and it’s widely accepted in supermarkets across the U.S.
On the downside, the Gold Card has high interest rates and penalty fees if not paid in full each month. It’s imperative to assess paying capability before applying.
Best for: Cash-back offers
This option is one of the best reward credit cards available across issuers in 2023. It offers a whopping 6% on groceries at U.S. supermarkets — on up to $6,000 in purchases a year, then 1% — 6% back on select streaming services in the U.S., 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on everyday transit-related purchases and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. Plus, you can earn $250 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months of Card Membership.
The Blue Cash Preferred card has a annual fee, which is still a steal compared to other American Express alternatives. This card also comes with a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months then APR, allowing card members to use their card without accruing interest for a year.
Unlike the two previous options, this American Express® card is not a charge card. This gives Card Members the flexibility of paying their balance over time.
4. Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express® Card
Best for: Frequent flying
This is a great option for frequent customers of Delta Airlines. The Delta SkyMiles Reserve card has a hefty annual fee of $550, but it offers unmatched rewards for American Express® Card Members looking to travel in style. This card has a high mile rate and gives numerous other perks like free checked bags, early boarding and priority upgrades.
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve has a nice welcome offer bonus at 60,000 extra miles. However, it requires you to spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months. This luxury card may not be the best option for casual travelers. American Express and Delta have a few more affordable alternatives, like the Delta SkyMiles Blue, the Delta SkyMiles Gold and the Delta SkyMiles Platinum cards.
Good To Know
American Express® Card Members can maximize their earnings through the Membership Rewards program. Enrolling allows them to get rewards for every dollar spent and redeem them towards eligible purchases on their statement, gift cards and charity donations.
5. Hilton Honors American Express® Aspire Card
Best for: Frequent Hilton guests
Regulars at Hilton can benefit from this partnership card. The Hilton Honors Aspire is an excellent alternative for American Express® Card Members who want to complement the perks they get with their Hilton Honors membership. This premium travel card’s offerings easily outweigh the annual fee.
This American Express card comes with Hilton Diamond Status and gives Card Members 14x points at participating hotels and resorts. It also comes with a $250 yearly bonus in Hilton stays. That’s up to 34 points per dollar. Those looking for lower annual fees could have a look at other Hilton Honors American Express cards, but the advantages of the Hilton Honors Reserve are unmatched.
6. American Express® Green Card
Best for: Travel and dining with points
Card Members using the American Express® Green Card are in for a treat with 3x transferable points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. Although other American Express cards have higher rates, the Green card comes with a lower annual fee and more flexibility.
On the downside, this card offers some low-value redemption options when not using rewards directly for travel or transferring them to partner programs. Using points towards statement credit could significantly depreciate their worth.
7. The Plum Card® from American Express
Best for: Business financing
This business credit card is built for companies with irregular cash flow that need some flexibility on their accounts payable. It offers no spending limit based on the paying capabilities of American Express® Card Members and no reward caps. Additionally, it has a 60-day grace period to pay without interest and gives a 1.5% discount for Card Members who pay early.
However, the Plum Card has a not so wallet-friendly annual fee of $250. It comes with no welcome offer, and its rewards scheme could be complicated for some.
8. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express® Card
Best for: Frequent Marriot guests
American Express has always been known for its fantastic travel perks. It’s no surprise that it partners with travel and accommodation providers to meet the expectations of American Express® Card Members. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is yet another example of this, and it offers unparalleled benefits to Card Members who are also frequent Marriott guests.
This luxury travel card gives its users a solid welcome offer and robust rewards, such as 6x points on eligible hotels, 3x points on U.S. dining and flights and 2x on everything else. These easily offset the $650 annual fee. In addition, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card comes with automatic elite status. However, travelers that like mixing up their hotel settings may not benefit so much from a Marriott-centered credit card with such a steep price tag.
Before Applying for an American Express Travel Card
American Express has some excellent credit card options. However, this issuer has a reputation for low acceptance rates. Aspiring American Express® Card Members need to put a little work into building their credit before applying. American Express offers a prequalification tool that allows potential users to see where they stand on their credit.
Some of the cards offered by American Express are charge cards, meaning Card Members must pay their balance in full each cycle. Potential Card Members need to pay close attention to the type of credit card they’re applying for to avoid any problems and hefty late fees down the line.
The type of credit card a person should obtain depends heavily on their specific circumstances. American Express offers an alternative for everyone, but potential Card Members need to do their research and assess their particular needs before moving forward with their application.
The options listed above are the best American Express credit cards in 2023. Those interested in becoming American Express clients should compare the credit cards’ features and benefits to see which one suits their spending habits best.
FAQHere are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about American Express credit cards.
- Do all American Express cards have annual fees?
- No, American Express also offers credit cards with no annual fees, including the Blue Cash Everyday Card, the Cash Magnet Card and the Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express® Card.
- How do I get an American Express card?
- You can get an American Express card by filling out the credit card application for the card you are interested in online. You can even fill out this form online to see if you are pre-qualified for any American Express card offers.
- Which American Express card is best for everyday use?
- The Blue Cash Preferred Card allows you to earn cash back for everyday purchases like groceries from U.S. supermarkets, online shopping and gas, while the American Express® EveryDay Credit Card allows you to earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year, then 1% thereafter.
Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates, offers and requirements are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 12, 2023.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.
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