American Express was founded in 1850 and has grown into one of the largest credit card companies in the world. It has more than 110 million active cards and accounts for nearly one-quarter of all credit transactions in the US. In addition to offering several of its own branded credit cards, American Express has dozens of co-branded cards for specific airlines and businesses.
The various cards offered by American Express are made to benefit different types of spending.
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred cards are cashback cards designed to reward you for everyday purchases on groceries and gas. You’ll earn 2% back on gas and department store purchases and 3% back on groceries with the Blue Cash Everyday card. With the Blue Cash Prefered card, you’ll earn 3% on gas and transit purchases and 6% back on groceries.
The Blue Cash Everyday card doesn’t have an annual fee, so it’s suited for anyone in search of a fee-free rewards card. The Blue Cash Preferred has no annual fee for the first year, then a $95 annual fee, making it ideal for those who spend enough on gas, transit, and groceries every year to cover that fee.
The Gold Card and Platinum Card offer membership rewards points that you can use to book travel, transfer to airline or hotel loyalty programs, or redeem for cash. The Gold Card offers 4X points on dining and groceries and 3X points on flights, as well as $120 in Uber credits and $120 in dining credits each year.
The Platinum Card offers 5X points on flights and hotels. It also comes with $200 in hotel credits, $200 in airline fee credits, $200 in Uber credits, $179 in CLEAR airport security credits, and a free Walmart+ membership each year.
Both the Gold and Platinum Cards are great for travelers and people who like to dine out. The Gold Card is better if you mostly spend on dining and groceries or don’t want a card with a large annual fee. The Platinum card is better for those who spend a lot on flights and hotels and who can take advantage of all the statement credits on offer.
The Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred cards carry interest rates of 13.99%-23.99% APR. The Blue Cash Everyday has no annual fee, while the Blue Cash Preferred has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the 1st year. Both cards have a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.
The Gold Card and Platinum Card carry interest rates of 15.99%-22.99% APR. The Gold Card has a $250 annual fee, while the Platinum Card has a $695 annual fee. There are no foreign transaction fees on either card.
|Annual Fee||APR||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Blue Cash Everyday||None||13.99%-23.99%||2.7%|
|Blue Cash Preferred||$95 (waived for 1st year)||13.99%-23.99%||2.7%|
The Blue Cash Everyday and Preferred cards offer cashback on purchases that you can redeem for statement credits. The Blue Cash Everyday offers 3% cashback on groceries (up to $6,000 in purchases), 2% on gas and department store purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. When you sign up and spend $2,000 in your first 6 months as a cardholder, you’ll get a $200 statement credit.
The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cashback on groceries (up to $6,000 in purchases) and streaming subscriptions, 3% on gas and transit-related purchases (including parking, Uber and Lyft, and bus tickets), and 1% on all other purchases. You’ll get a $300 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in your first 6 months as a cardholder.
The Gold Card and Platinum Card offer membership rewards points that can be redeemed for flights and hotels, gift cards, statement credits, and more. The Gold Card offers 4 points per dollar on dining and groceries (up to $25,000 in purchases), 3 points per dollar on flights, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. You also get up to $120 in statement credits for Uber and $120 for partner restaurants each year. When you spend $4,000 within your first 3 months, you’ll get a 60,000 rewards points bonus.
The Platinum Card offers 5 points per dollar on flights and hotels and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. For your first 6 months, you’ll also receive 10 points per dollar at restaurants and small businesses. The Platinum Card comes with several annual statement credits, including:
In addition, you’ll receive 100,000 rewards points when you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months as a cardholder.
You can apply for any American Express credit card online and get a decision in as little as 30 seconds. You just need to enter your personal information and submit to a credit check. For new applicants, this is a hard credit check that may impact your credit score. For existing American Express cardholders, the company performs a soft credit check when you apply for a new card.
American Express offers 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and live chat. You can also find answers through the company’s detailed online knowledgebase.
Online chat hours: 24/7
Phone call hours: 24/7
American Express has a dedicated fraud prevention team and assures cardholders that you’re never responsible for fraudulent purchases with your card. You get shopping protection and fraud alerts, and your online account is protected by biometrics in addition to 2-factor authentication. When you’re traveling, you have access to a 24/7 hotline for emergency assistance, and American Express can replace a lost or stolen card anywhere in the world within a few days.
Does American Express charge foreign transaction fees?
The Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred have a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. The Gold Card and Platinum Card have no foreign transaction fees.
How much are American Express membership points worth?
American Express membership points are usually worth $0.005-$0.01 per point, depending on how you use them. You can redeem 1 point for $0.006 as a statement credit.
American Express offers the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred for cashback and the Gold Card and Platinum Card for membership rewards points. The Blue Cash Everyday comes with no annual fee, so it’s great if you want cashback on a small volume of purchases. The Blue Cash Preferred offers extra cashback on gas, transit, and groceries, so it’s a good option if you spend a lot in these categories. The Gold and Platinum Cards have higher annual fees and offer extra rewards for dining and travel. The Gold Card is better for those who mostly spend on dining and groceries, while the Platinum Card is more suited to those who spend big on flights and hotels.
This review was completed using information on the American Express website.