Best American Express Credit Card

American Express offers a wide range of credit cards and charge cards. The company is well known for its superior customers’ service and lavish perks on many of its cards, but the real appeal of American Express is that they have varied card offers which offer a suite of perks customized to the needs of different customers. They have zero-interest credit cards, along with credit cards with signup bonuses. They offer a range of both personal as well as, business cards, along with their signature charge card. The travel perks on their top-rated cards provide luxurious access to the best travel lounges around the globe as well as concierge access to top shows and events.

Discover the Best Credit Cards

About American Express

The American Express Company is a publicly traded financial services company that is headquartered at the World Financial Center in New York. The company was established in 1850 and is best known for its charge card and credit card businesses. In its latest annual filing for 2016, the company reported that nearly 23% of its business came from credit card transactions, with nearly half of the volume coming from the United States.  American Express cards were the first U.S. credit card companies to increase security with the addition of chip technology added to their credit cards. American Express is also the largest global provider of traveler’s checks.

Who Should get an American Express Card?

Most American Express cards require good to great credit scores, but there are some credit cards where you can qualify for the fair credit. Many of the American Express cards have an annual fee, which means you should be interested in the perks offered by the card you choose. If you travel often, American Express offers some of the best travel benefits, including access to dozens of airport clubs, as well as, a series of fine hotels and results that have special perks.

The company offers a wide range of perks that are geared toward the lifestyle you live. If you have a family, they have a card that is geared to you.  If you are a frequent spending they have a card that is right for you. Small businesses can cash in with a credit card that customized to meet your needs, and premium perks are available for those who cherish luxury.

Most of the American Express cards offered are for customers that have good to great credit, but they will extend offers to customers who have fair credit occasionally. American Express charges vendors elevated fees, which means that there are many businesses that will not accept American Express and prefer Visa or Mastercard.

Best American Express Cards

American Express provides credit and charge cards that are tailored to your personal or business needs. The best one is the one that provides the most benefits for your lifestyle and spending habits. For frequent spenders, the Amex EveryDay Credit Card is very valuable, while the Platinum Card is most advantageous for those who are looking for premium perks.

There are a few categories and the card that bests fit that lifestyle:

Frequent Spenders

  • The Amex EveryDay Credit Card – This credit card provides double the membership reward points for every dollar spent at supermarkets, capping out at $6,000 in purchases per year and reverting to 1 point per dollar on all future purchases and on all purchases. The card rewards frequent spenders by providing a bonus of 20% extra points on purchases if you make 20 or more purchases on your card during a billing period, which is usually a month. So, if you visit a supermarket multiple times a week, or another store like a gas station or deli, you can really boost your reward points.  This card provides a signup bonus of 10,000 reward points if you market $1,000 worth of purchases in your first 3-months. If you plan on making some large purchases initially, this card can be of assistance as there is a 0% interest rate for the first 12-months on purchases and balance transfers. After the initial 0% term is complete, the rate reverts to an APR of 13.99% – 23.99% based on your credit rating. There is no annual for this credit card.

Frequent Travelers

  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card allows you to earn 5-Starpoints for every dollar spent, which can be used for purchases at SPG hotels. There are additional earnings where you can earn 2-Starpoints at Marriott properties, and 1-point on all other purchases. Starpoints are worth $0.023 for every point redeem for free hotel stays, making it one of the most attractive rewards programs available. The signup bonus is solid, as you receive 25,000 Starwood points after you spend $3,000 during the first 3-months of owning the card. There is no annual fee for this card in the first year, but in subsequent years American Express charges $95. The downside is that Starwood has a limited worldwide collection. Starwood has more than 1,300 hotel properties worldwide.

Best Card for Families

The Blue Cash Preferred Cards allows you to Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, but caps the percentage at $6,000 in purchases per year and then the cash back reverts to 1%. You can also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and specific U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The signup bonus available provides a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. The card has a 0% interest rate on all purchases and balance transfers for the first year, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% – 24.99%, which is based on your credit rating. There is a $95 annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred Card.

Best American Express Cards for Small Businesses

  • SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card provides you with 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, which can be a large allocation of your spending, depending on the business you are involved in. In addition, you also can choose a category where you would receive 3% cash back as well as 1% cash back on other purchases. The 5% and 3% cash back apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, then 1% applies thereafter. Limited liability companies as well as S corps, fall into this category. So, if you have a pass-through business, this card can be really attractive. As a signup bonus, American Express allows you to receive a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or other qualifying purchases on your card within the first year of membership. When you get the SimplyCash Plus card the introductory APR is 0% on Purchases for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% – 20.24%, which is based on your credit score. There is no annual fee for this card.

Best American Express Card for Medium to Large Business

  • If your business is medium to large, and you travel a lot, there are several perks that you can receive that will make this card attractive. The signup bonus for this card is 75,000 reward points, and you can earn an additional 50,000 membership rewards after you spend $10,000 and an additional 25,000 points on qualifying purchases within the first 3-months of card membership. The card offers 5-times reward points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel. The card offers 1.5 points per dollar on qualified purchases of $5,000 or more.  You can receive a 35% airline bonus when you pay with points on all parts of your flights with select airlines and you can get 35% of the points back up to 500,000 points per year. You also get 35% of your points back on all first and business class flights with all airlines book through American Express Travel. The card provides access to the American Express Lounge Collection. The annual membership is $450, and rates for portions that are allowed on over time balances are 14.99% to 29.99%. As a charge card, the amount you can charge is very high, in some cases as much as $250,000.

Premium perks for Personal Cards

  • The Platinum Card – The benefits of this card are substantial, but with a hefty $550 annual membership fee, you will need to use them to make this card worthwhile. The Platinum card allows you to earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Additionally, you can earn 5 points per dollar spent on eligible hotels book through American Express Travel. You can earn 2 points per dollar spent on other travel booked through American Express and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

As a signup bonus, you can earn 60,000 membership reward points after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3-months of receiving your new card. You can receive up to $200 per the calendar year in statement credits for airline incidental fees, which include baggage fees, and up to $200 in credits per year for using Uber, the card provides a $100 credit toward Global Entry application and complimentary access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. The Platinum card also gives you access to Fine Hotels and Resorts which is a program only for Platinum cardholders and above. This program has special access to fine hotels and deals including 4-night free, as well as, a credit of up to $100 per stay. In addition, breakfast for 2 is accompanied with all stays. There is also special access to events and concerts that are offered to Platinum cardholders. The Platinum card is a charge card where you are obligated to pay off your balance at the end of the statement period except for purchases that fall into pay over time. This is usually traveling related expenses. Rates on over time balances are 14.99% to 29.99%. As a charge card, the amount you can charge is very high, in some cases as much as $100,000.

How to Apply for An American Express Card?

You can apply for an American Express Card online or on the phone. The application process is relatively straightforward. If you are applying for a personal card, American Express will ask you for a plethora of personal information, including your social security card, and run a credit check. Charge cards generally are easier to attain then credit cards as you are expected to pay off your balance every month. If you are applying for a business card, American Express will ask you for your Federal Identification Number, as well as, information regarding your business. This will include the amount of revenue expected per year, as well as, any assets the company holds. They will need the address and telephone number of the business and possibly historical tax returns for the business.

Conclusion

American Express has a wide offering of both credit cards and charge cards.  With a credit card, you can finance your balance. The typical charge card has specific items that can be financed but the expectation is that you will pay off your balance at the end of the statement period. The best American Express Card you can receive is based on your lifestyle and spending habits. You should determine how much you spend on a credit card, what perks you are looking for, and whether you want to use an American Express Card for business or personal use. If you perform some due diligence you will be able to evaluate the American Express Card that is the best fit for you.