American Express credit card offers
For much of American Express's history, it wasn't known as a credit card company - because when the company was founded in 1850, credit cards hadn't been invented yet.
American Express started as a freight forwarding business and then by the 1890s, it started becoming well known for its travelers checks. Read more
Travelers checks aren't widely used today but when people carried cash around, travelers checks were considered a safer way to transport money without actually having to have physical money with them.
The first American Express charge card appeared in 1958. It was a charge card - and not a credit card. That is, it was designed to be paid off in full every month, as opposed to paying off the debt at a later date.
Later, American Express would develop credit cards along with charge cards, and over the years, the brand has grown into one of the nation's premier financial services firms. It's a Fortune 100 company based out of New York City that has 114 million credit cards in force and assets of $189 billion.
However, it's much more than simply a big business. American Express is well-respected and has been named one of the best companies for which to work. A recent survey by Fortune found it was also the 14th most admired company in the world. What's more, it consistently ranks number one in U.S. for customer satisfaction among credit card companies, according to J.D. Power.
CardRatings has named several American Express cards to its best cards of 2021 lists, including: (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser)
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express - Best American Express Card With No Annual Fee
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express - Best American Express Card for Groceries
- The Platinum Card® from American Express - Best American Express Card for Luxury Travel
- American Express Cash Magnet® Card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings) - Best American Express Card for Cash Back
- American Express® Gold Card - Best American Express Card for Everyday Spending
The company maintains a robust travel and rewards program which allows members to book trips, access airport lounges and obtain travel insurance among other perks.
American Express card offers have long been known for quality, trustworthiness and solid customer-friendly features. American Express offers cards with flexible payment options as well as those that require payment in full at each statement. There are American Express cards for individuals, small businesses and corporations, and there are plenty of options for people seeking a card for everyday purchases as well as those designed to reward your loyalty to a specific hotel or airline brand.
The name American Express is synonymous with luxury, and the company is particularly well-known for luxury perks and features for travelers, including airport lounge access and more. But, there are cards available from American Express for almost every budget, that offer rewards for grocery shopping and dining out.
What Are American Express Card Benefits?
There are a slew of benefits that come with having an American Express card. We'll go through several of them.
- The points. Each American Express card is a little different than the other one, but they all tend to offer generous rewards points when you spend money on certain categories such as supermarkets, travel and dining.
- The welcome offers. The cards are known for including a generous welcome offer for their customers. Some offer points for meeting the spending requirements that you can redeem for travel or gift cards. Others offer cash back in the form of a statement credit once you meet the spending requirements. Generally, you're going to get some generous reward when you become an American Express cardholder.
- Airline perks. American Express has always been an exemplary card to take on your travels, and it continues to be, even if many of us aren't doing as much traveling lately. There are offers for airline fee credits and other perks.
- No foreign transaction fees. One of the reasons American Express is a great travel card is that most of them don't offer a hidden fee on your travel (but a few do). Some credit cards will foist a foreign transaction fee, often around 3%, on purchases you make when you travel abroad - essentially making your vacation or business trip 3% more expensive. That doesn't make the credit card a bad credit card - many amazing credit cards have foreign transaction fee - but obviously if you're going to do a lot of international travel, it's smarter to get a credit card without the foreign transaction fee.
- Other travel perks. If you're looking for a credit card to offer rental car insurance - as in, coverage that your personal auto insurance won't pay - you can get that with your American Express's rental car insurance. Your card will also have a baggage insurance plan. If your luggage is lost, damaged or stolen, as long as you bought your ticket with your American Express card, you'll be covered.
- Event perks. Cardholders will sometimes, for certain events like concerns, get access to presale or preferred seating tickets - if you buy them with certain American Express cards. Believe us, these event perks were really cool back in the day when there were events to go to.
- Purchase protection. Most American Express cards have this, and some have incredibly generous coverage of up to $10,000 an incident (most will do $1,000 per incident). So what is purchase protection? It helps cover items that are damaged or stolen for up to 90 days after you make a covered eligible purchase using your American Express credit card.
Is It Hard to Get an American Express Card?
Kind of. Maybe. Maybe not.
We aren't being wishy washy. It depends on your credit. If you have an excellent credit score and credit history, you may well get an American Express card pretty easily.
If your credit score is a dumpster fire and your credit history is rife with late charges and non-payments, then it will probably be hard, if not impossible, to get American Express card.
What Is the Best American Express Card?
There arguably isn't a bad one in the bunch, but the best of them include…
Many American Express cards, because of the generous rewards and perks, have an annual fee. But not this card.
A few examples of what you probably will like…
- It has a generous welcome offer. Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases made on the card in the first six months of card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the same time frame. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- Excellent rewards. The cash back rewards are also plentiful. You'll receive 3% cash back on your first $6,000 on purchases every year at U.S. supermarkets (after the first $6,000, you'll get 1% back).
- You'll also receive 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
- On everything else you buy, 1% cash back. Generally speaking, there are always terms and limitations.
There are very few cards that offer these rewards rates in multiple categories plus a decent welcome offer with a low spending requirement, without charging an annual fee.
What's to like about this card? Well, if you do a lot of cooking and baking, plenty.
- Excellent cash back rewards. You'll earn 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year in spending. There other handy rewards, too, like 6% cash back on certain U.S. streaming services - and 3% back at U.S. gas stations and eligible transit.
- Introductory offer. Get a 0% intro APR n purchases for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
- Welcome bonus. Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases made on the card within the first six months of card membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 within the same time frame. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
- The $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. annual fee might give you some pause, but it shouldn't be much of a stumbling block if you end up using this card a lot.
There really isn't another card offering as much as 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets. Because of the high rewards and the rewards offered in other categories as well as the welcome offer, you can't go wrong with this card if you're looking for one to take grocery shopping.
Now, the first thing you'll probably notice is the $550 annual fee. If the first words out of your mouth are words you wouldn't want your grandmother to hear, well, maybe this isn't the card for you. But this is a card, after all, for luxury travel, and this card has a lot going for it to offset that fee. Several examples:
- You'll receive 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of membership.
- You'll receive 10X points on eligible purchases on your card at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership. After that, it's 1X point for each dollar you spend.
- You'll get 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year); 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com; and 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.
- There is 24/7 Platinum Club Concierge service to help with travel arrangements, obtaining tickets to events or even picking out the perfect gift for that special someone - or maybe someone who isn't all that special to you, but you feel like you should get him or her a gift, anyway.
- You'll also receive a credit of $100 or $85 for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®, respectively, application fee.
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
Nothing against the other American Express cards. Some people love following categories and don't mind in the least that supermarket foods give you a certain percentage off and gas is a different percentage.
But if that isn't you, and you'd just like one consistent number to remember, you may be excited about this card. Some of its cool features, include…
- The best part is you'll get an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No categories to consider. No spending thresholds. Just spend and always get 1.5% cash back.
- But you also might like the intro 0% APR on purchases for 15 months (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable).
- There is no annual fee.
- There is a very generous welcome bonus. After you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you'll get a $150 statement credit.
So you travel but you aren't a jet-setter? You do carryout a lot, but you're not a restaurant fanatic. You grocery shop and cook and eat in, but you don't consider yourself the second coming of Julia Child or Gordon Ramsay. But you will want to take note of the $250 annual fee.
This card is probably for you. Some of its cool features, include…
- It has a great rewards program for travel and dining – 4X points on restaurant purchases worldwide and on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $25,000 spent each year). Flying somewhere? You'll get 3X points per $1 on flights booked with airlines or through AmexTravel.com. Buying anything else? You'll get 1X per $1 spent.
- 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months.
- Perks you'd expect from American Express, like rental car insurance.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please see the following links: American Express® Gold Card (See Rates and Fees); The Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees); Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees); Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees); American Express Cash Magnet® Card (See Rates and Fees)