Best American Express Rewards Credit Cards

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American Express is one of the big players in the rewards credit card game, and it offers a wide range of cards tailored to the needs of various consumers. While the American Express Green Card was the original standard for elite credit cards, American Express has broadened its stable of cards to incorporate a variety of colors and benefits. Here are the five best rewards credit cards offered by American Express, with explanations of how they differ and what type of user might be most appropriate for each card.

Credit Card Features
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card Best for: Cash Back on Groceries and Streaming
  • Earn $300 back after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
  • 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
  • 6% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 a year
  • 6% cash back on streaming services
  • 3% cash back on transit
  • 3% cash back on gas
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months, beginning on the date account was opened
American Express Gold Credit Card Best for: General Membership Rewards Points 
  • Earn 60,000 membership rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR
  • 4x on dining
  • 4x points on groceries
  • 3x points on flights
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months beginning on the date account was opened
American Express Green Credit Card Best for: Membership Rewards Points for Travelers
  • Earn 45,000 membership rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR
  • 3x points at restaurants
  • 3x points on transit
  • 3x points on travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases
American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card Best for: No Annual Fee Cash-Back
  • Earn $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
  • 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
  • 3% cash back on us supermarkets, up to $6,000 annually
  • 2% cash back on gas
  • 2% cash back at select department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Navy Federal Credit Union More Rewards American Express Credit Card Best for: Navy Federal Credit Union Members
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points (a $150 value) when you spend $2,000 within 90 days
  • 9.65% to 18.00% variable APR
  • 3x points at restaurants and food delivery
  • 3x points at supermarkets
  • 3x points on gas and transit
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

Best for: cash back on groceries and streaming

If you spend a lot of money on groceries and streaming — which most of us have been doing throughout the pandemic — the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card offers a significant amount of cash back. The 6% cash-back on those categories is among the best cash-back rates you’ll find anywhere at any time. There is a relatively modest $95 annual fee on this card, but even that is waived for the first year of card membership. The card also offers a promotional 0% APR for the first 12 months, from the date of opening the account.

The bonus earnings don’t stop just there, however. This card also pays 3% cash back on transit and gas, in addition to 1% on all other purchases. Currently, the card also offers 20% back on Amazon.com purchases for the first six months of card membership, up to a maximum of $200 cash back. The sign-up bonus for this card is currently $300 after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

American Express Gold Credit Card

Best for: general Membership Rewards points

For an annual fee of $250, the American Express Gold Credit Card offers a host of benefits, particularly for those who only travel occasionally. The big category earners with this card are restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, where cardholders can earn four Membership Rewards points per dollar.

However, the 60,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in the first six months is also impressive. Travelers can still benefit greatly with this card, as it offers three Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on air travel and a $100 hotel credit for stays of at least two nights with The Hotel Collection, but it’s not a card that’s specifically dedicated to the frequent traveler.

Other perks with the Gold Card include a 12-month, 0% introductory APR on purchases, a $10 monthly dining credit, a $10 monthly Uber credit and 12 complimentary months of the Uber Eats Pass. The card also has no foreign transaction fees.

American Express Green Credit Card

Best for: Membership Rewards Points for Travelers

If you’re looking to maximize your Membership Rewards points primarily on travel-oriented purchases, you might be interested in the classic American Express Green Credit Card. This card only has a $150 annual fee but provides three points per dollar on restaurants worldwide and all travel expenses, from flights and hotels to taxis and tours. The card also offers one point per dollar on all other expenses.

The American Express Green Credit Card also offers additional travel-related perks, including a $100 annual CLEAR credit, a $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit and a free Baggage Insurance Plan. You can earn a sign-up bonus of 45,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $2,000 in the first six months of card membership, and you’re also entitled to a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months after opening the card.

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card

Best for: $0 annual fee cash back

If you want a cash back rewards card but don’t like paying fees, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card could be the right choice for you. As the card has a $0 annual fee, you shouldn’t expect the level of rewards of some of the other American Express rewards cards. However, considering you’re not paying anything for it, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card offers a lot of perks.

The primary cash-back categories for this card are supermarkets, gas and select department stores, with 3% cash back on groceries and 2% cash back on the other categories. That’s a substantial amount of cash-back. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all of your other purchases. The current Welcome Offer is $200 after spending $2,000 within the first six months of card membership.

Navy Federal Credit Union More Rewards American Express Credit Card

Best for: Navy Federal Credit Union members

If you’re a Navy Federal Credit Union member, there’s a special American Express card that’s just for you. While the sign-up bonus for the Navy Federal Credit Union More Rewards American Express Credit Card is modest, at just 20,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days, its other perks are significant. Cardholders enjoy three points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas, transit and on food delivery, with one point per dollar on all other purchases.

The standard features of the card are also money-saving, as it has a $0 annual fee, balance transfer fee, foreign transaction fee and cash advance fee. The card also offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months that also applies to balance transfers. The card is one of the few in the industry that offers a sub-10% APR, with variable rates ranging from 9.65% to 18.00%.

Methodology: GOBankingRates.com identified the best rewards credit cards by analyzing the following factors: (1) annual fees; (2) APR for purchases; (3) promotional APR; (4) sign-up bonuses; (5) rewards and features. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. Some bonus offers may or might no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how one accesses the web page. Data was sourced from each financial institution’s website or promotional material between Aug. 4, 2021, and Sept. 27, 2021. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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