Update: Some offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer available. View current credit card offerings from our partners at CardCritics here or on the issuer’s website.
American Express, Member FDIC, 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.
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, up to $6,000 a year, then 1%, on U.S. supermarkets and select U.S. streaming services is among the best cash-back rates you’ll find anywhere at any time. There is a relatively modest annual fee on this card. The card also offers a generous promotional APR of 0% for 12 months, followed by a APR.
The bonus earnings don’t stop just there, however. This card also pays 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases, in addition to 1% on all other purchases. The welcome offer for this card is currently $350 after spending $3,000 in the first six months.
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 welcome offer 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 flights booked directly with airlines 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.
The Gold Card features an APR of with no introductory offer on purchases or balance transfers at this time. However, additional perks include 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.
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 welcome offer of 40,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $2,000 in the first six months of card membership.
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 no 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. For starters, it features a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then rates of APR.
The primary cash-back categories for this card are supermarkets, gas and online retail purchases, with 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases, up to $6,000 per year in each category, then a 1% rate will follow. 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.
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. Not only will you earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 within the first 90 days, you can also earn three points per dollar on food delivery, gas and transit and at restaurants and supermarkets, 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 an APR, which is more competitive than the other American Express cards on this list.
Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.
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 on Sept. 6, 2022. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
All information about American Express card offers has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.