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American Express Credit Cards

Sean Bryant
Updated on: 07/04/2017
Our Rating
RE®: 99
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2017Gold Standard for Travel Rewards and Customer Service

American Express offers some of the best rewards credit cards on the market. With a variety of cards for a wide range of customers, Amex is the go-to credit card for many people. It’s also the gold standard when it comes to travel rewards and customer service. If you’re in the market for an elite travel credit card, the American Express Platinum benefits are known for being worth the annual fee. On the other end of the spectrum, the American Express Serve prepaid card is one of the most popular prepaid cards out there, boasting low fees and convenient features. Whatever you’re looking for, Amex offers what you need.

Rewards Credit Cards From American Express

If you want to have access to the very best rewards, getting a credit card from Amex is the way to go. American Express offers a variety of rewards cards, including Membership Rewards cards, co-branded cards and cash back cards.

Membership Rewards is Amex’s own rewards program. The points you earn with Membership Rewards cards are very flexible and can be redeemed in a number of ways. You can transfer them to 17 different airline partners or buy travel directly through the Amex website.

Co-branded cards are issued in partnership with a particular airline or brand of hotels, and when you spend money there, you’ll earn bonus reward points. You’ll be able to cash in your rewards for things like free airfare, complimentary hotel rooms, and travel upgrades. American Express co-branded credit cards offer elite perks such as access to luxury airport lounges, free bag check on flights, and priority boarding.

Cash back cards are the easiest to use. Just redeem the points you earn for statement credits or get a check in the mail. Amex has several cash back cards, so there’s sure to be one that fits your needs.

Membership Rewards Credit Cards

12 cards

American Express Membership Rewards program gives cardholders the ability to earn points for every dollar they spend with their eligible cards. Those Membership Rewards points can then be redeemed for a variety of rewards or transferred to several different loyalty programs.

Airline Credit Cards

6 cards

Delta and American Express offer a lineup of credit cards that are part of the airline’s frequent flyer program, SkyMiles. You can redeem the miles you earn with these cards for flights on Delta or any member of the SkyTeam alliance.

Hotel Credit Cards

4 cards

Starwood and Hilton both partner with American Express to offer co-branded hotel cards. The Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card has the most flexible rewards currency available. SPG points can be transferred to over 30 different airline partners.

Cashback Credit Cards

6 cards

American Express offers a number of credit cards that can earn cash back. The Blue Cash Preferred card is a standout because of its very high returns for popular categories of purchases, including 6 percent back for groceries and 3 percent back for gas.

The best rewards cards from American Express offer high returns for spending, great sign-up bonuses and fantastic travel perks. If you take advantage of everything a card has to offer, it can more than pay for its annual fee. The Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex card, for instance, comes with a 30,000-mile sign-up bonus, a $50 statement credit, free checked bags, two miles per dollar spent with Delta and more, all for just a $95 annual fee. It’s hard to beat that sort of value.

Best Travel Credit Cards from AMEX of 2017

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

  • 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 3xPoints on Airfare
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
RATING: 95Points Card

Best Starter Card for Membership Rewards
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

  • 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollar
  • 2xPoints at US Supermarkets
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
RATING: 90Points Card

Compare AMEX Credit Cards

American Express credit cards are known for coming with amazing benefits, outstanding value and excellent customer service. From basic, no annual fee cashback cards to premium, benefit-packed travel cards, Amex has it all.

If you love to travel, no wallet is complete without a card in the American Express Membership Rewards lineup. The program gives you many ways to earn miles and unsurpassed flexibility and ease of redemption with a variety of travel partners or through Amex’s own travel center. And if you often fly with Delta or stay at Starwood or Hilton properties, don’t forget about Amex’s co-branded cards. They offer both rewards and valuable perks with those specific travel partners.

For non-travelers and those who prefer the simplicity of cashback, Amex has many cards to choose from. While the no-fee Blue Cash EveryDay card earns an impressive 3 percent back for groceries and 2 percent for gas, the Blue Cash Preferred, which has an affordable $95 annual fee, earns even more. Whatever your spending habits, there’s an Amex cashback card to help you maximize your returns.

Credit Card
Annual Fee
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest®
RATING: 99Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xStarpoints at Participating Marriott Rewards® hotels Purchases
  • 1xStarpoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

RATING: 82Points Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • 7xPoints on Hilton Purchases
  • 3xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

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Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 91Points Card
Annual Fee
$95
APR
13.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollar
  • 3xPoints at US Supermarkets
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Business Gold Rewards Card

Business Gold Rewards Card

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 95Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $175
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 3xPoints on one of the following: Gas, Shipping, Advertising, Hardware and Software
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

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Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

SkyMiles®
RATING: 91Miles Card
Annual Fee
$195
APR
16.74% to 25.74% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Delta Reserve Credit Card

Delta Reserve Credit Card

SkyMiles®
RATING: 88Miles Card
Annual Fee
$450
APR
16.74% to 25.74% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

SkyMiles®
RATING: 90Miles Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
APR
16.74% to 25.74% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

SkyMiles®
Miles Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
16.74% to 25.74% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases and Dining
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express

The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express

Membership Rewards®
Points Card
Annual Fee
$95
APR
16.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • 5xPoints on Mercedes-Benz Purchases
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 87Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
  • 2xPoints on Travel
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card

SkyMiles®
Miles Card
Annual Fee
$450
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 93Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $160
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xPoints on Airfare and Dining
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Platinum Card® from American Express

Platinum Card® from American Express

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 94Points Card
Annual Fee
$550
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 5xPoints on Airfare and Hotels
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

SkyMiles®
RATING: 90Miles Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Blue from American Express®

Blue from American Express®

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 68Points Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
16.24% to 21.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • 2xPoints on Travel
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

SkyMiles®
Miles Card
Annual Fee
$195
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xMiles on Delta Purchases
  • 1xMiles on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Plenti® Credit Card from Amex

Plenti® Credit Card from Amex

Points Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
15.99% to 25.99% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 5,000 bonus points after you spend $250 in the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • 3xPoints at U.S. Supermarkets
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest®
RATING: 99Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 2xStarpoints at Participating Marriott Rewards® hotels Purchases
  • 1xStarpoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Business Platinum Card®

Business Platinum Card®

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 94Points Card
Annual Fee
$450
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 5xPoints on Airfare and Hotels
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Blue Cash® Card from American Express

Blue Cash® Card from American Express

Cash Back Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
18.24% to 23.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • %1% at Supermarkets, Select Drugstores and on Gas
  • %0.5% on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

The Plum Card®

The Plum Card®

Cash Back Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $250
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card

Cash Back Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
13.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • %5% at Office Supply Stores and on Wireless Telephone Services
  • %1% on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 90Points Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
13.99% to 23.99% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollar
  • 2xPoints at US Supermarkets
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Points Card
Annual Fee
$75
APR
16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
  • 12xPoints on Hilton Purchases
  • 3xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Business Green Rewards Card

Business Green Rewards Card

Membership Rewards®
Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 5,000 bonus miles after your first purchase
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • 2xPoints on Travel
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card

Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card

Membership Rewards®
Points Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
12.24% to 20.24% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • 2xPoints on Travel
  • 2xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Membership Rewards®
RATING: 95Points Card
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $195
APR
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • 3xPoints on Airfare
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Cash Back Card
Annual Fee
$95
APR
13.99% to 24.99% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • $150 Back after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • %6% at Supermarkets
  • %1% on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Cash Back Card
Annual Fee
$0
APR
13.99% to 24.99% Variable±
Bonuses & Rewards
  • $100 Back after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • %3% at Supermarkets
  • %1% on All Other Purchases
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Membership Rewards Program

Whether you’re an experienced travel hacker or a complete novice, Amex has the perfect Membership Rewards card for you. Geared toward people with good credit who know the value of a great credit card, the Membership Rewards program is easy to understand, offers excellent value and will give you a new appreciation for how you can harness the power of credit to make your travel dreams a reality.

If you want to make the best possible use of frequent flyer miles, you’ll have plenty of options with Membership Rewards’ 17 airline transfer partners. You’ll have access to all three of the major airline alliances: SkyTeam via Delta, the Star Alliance via Air Canada or Singapore Airlines, and oneworld via British Airways.

Some of the programs other excellent partners include Air France KLM, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JetBlue, Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines and more. You can also transfer points to three hotel loyalty programs—Choice Hotels, Hilton and Starwood—or redeem for even more options through Amex’s online travel portal.

Redeeming and transferring Membership Rewards points is easy to do online, and a dedicated customer service line is available to elite cardholders who have access to round-the-clock concierge service.

How to Use American Express Membership Rewards

You’ll get the most value for your Membership Rewards points by transferring them to a partner airline’s frequent flyer program and then redeeming for flights. Booking through AmexTravel.com will give you more options, but you’ll only get one cent per point and you’ll often end up paying slightly more for airfare.

Despite recent devaluations, Delta still offers solid value for domestic and many international destinations if you can redeem at the lowest award level. For example, a roundtrip from the U.S. to Australia, which is typically a very expensive route, is just 90,000 miles. Another solid award is a flight to Great Britain redeemed through Delta on Virgin Atlantic for just 60,000 miles. Best of all, you’ll avoid Virgin’s high fuel surcharges.

If you transfer to Air France KLM’s Flying Blue program, you can book a one-way seat from the lower 48 states to Hawaii for just 15,000 miles. And if you want one of the most luxurious experiences in the sky, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Emirates all offer over-the-top first class service to a variety of international destinations.

Rewards Value

Redeem Points for:
Flights, hotel stays, cash back, gift cards
Number of Airline Partners:
17, including Star Alliance, SkyTeam and oneworld
Number of Hotel Partners:
3, including Choice Hotels, Hilton and Starwood
Value of Points Transferred to Partners:
Depending on where you transfer, 1 to 3 cents; average of 2 cents each
Value of Points Redeemed Through Membership Rewards program:
1 cent each
Learn More

American Express

American Express Credit Cards Benefits

American Express cardholders enjoy unparalleled benefits that come in handy on the road or at home. Things like purchase protection, return protection and extended warranties ensure that you’ll be happy with the things you spend your money on, while roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance ensure smooth journeys for you and your travel companions. Plus, the Global Assist Hotline is there to answer questions and help you out if you ever find yourself in a jam; it’s there 24/7 to provide cardholder assistance.

Specific benefits may vary according to Amex card type; check the terms and conditions to see which ones come with the card you’re applying for.

Roadside Assistance

Get help if your car breaks down, whether its towing, winching, lockout services, battery jump, flat tire change or fuel delivery. Service charges may apply.

Travel Accident Insurance

Purchase your entire fare with your card and get up to $500,000 of coverage against unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of life.

Baggage Insurance Plan

If your luggage is lost or damaged, you can be reimbursed for up to $3,000 per passenger.

Global Assist Hotline

24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services.

Car Rental Insurance

Deny the rental agency’s insurance and receive coverage against theft and damages for your rental. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.

Purchase Protection

Covers your items for 90 days against theft or damages and for up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year.

Return Protection

If the merchant won’t accept your return, Amex may reimburse you up to $300 per item and $1,000 per year.

Extended Warranty

Extends the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty up to one year and for up to $50,000 a year.

American Express Credit Card Network

American Express is the world’s largest card issuer by volume, processing millions of transactions each day. Amex tends to cater to a wealthier clientele, and charges merchants a higher transaction fee than other card networks. For that reason, it’s not as widely accepted as MasterCard or Visa. If you have an Amex card, it’s a good idea to carry a backup. However, it is accepted at tens of thousands of merchants around the world and at places ranging from gas stations to bars.

American Express Online Banking

If you have an Amex card, you’ll be able to easily access your American Express account online, so you can see all your transactions anytime. You can also pay bills, transfer funds, review your statements and check for any unusual activity. Access your account from any laptop, desktop or via the Amex Mobile app. It’s easy to sign up for paperless statements, analyze your spending, manage your Membership Rewards Points and contact customer service. Eligible members can also access the 24/7 concierge service and locate airport lounges though the website or app.

Mobile Banking

It’s easy to keep up with your American Express account on the go with mobile banking options that allow you to track your spending and rewards, take advantage of special Amex Offers, pay your bill from your Smartphone and track any potentially fraudulent activity with real-time alerts. If you want to redeem Membership Rewards points online, you can do so through the app. The Amex Mobile app is available for free through the App Store for Apple iOS, or Google Play for Android operating systems, and serves folks with personal, small business, and corporate accounts.

Amex cards are compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. These digital wallets are a convenient and secure way to make purchases both in stores and online.

American Express Fraud Protection

The American Express Security Center regularly monitors accounts for unusual activity and other possible fraudulent use. If there is suspicious activity on your account—that is, activity that differs from your normal, everyday use, or otherwise raises a red flag with Amex—they will attempt to contact you to verify the activity before approving the charge. If they cannot get in touch with you, they may put a temporary hold on your account, effectively freezing it and preventing it from being used until they can reach you. If your card is lost or stolen, or your account is compromised, you are fully protected from liability for any fraudulent charges, thanks to Amex’s zero fraud liability policy.

How to Report Suspected Fraud

If you suspect that your account may have been compromised, contact American Express Immediately. Call the phone number on the back of your Amex card, or go to the American Express website and search the tab labeled Contact Us. The best thing to do is to call customer service, but if you are in a place where calling is difficult or impossible, you can go online to report the suspicious activity. You can also report emails that you suspect to be phishing attempts.

RewardExpert’s Best AMEX Credit Cards

Credit Card
Best for

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

  • If you are an Amex cardholder, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that their Membership Rewards program is one of the most flexible, useful and valuable credit card rewards programs out there. You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to a variety of frequent flyer programs and purchase free flights, upgrades and discounted airfares.

    You can also transfer points to hotel rewards programs for free stays, room upgrades and other perks to make your next stay more comfortable. Depending on the card you have, points can be used to make purchases on Amazon or to pay off statement charges.

    Amex’s online travel portal is another option, allowing you to use points to book flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises with most major companies. Though AmexTravel.com has excellent customer service and is easy to use, it doesn’t always offer the best prices. Be sure to check directly with the travel provider or through another online travel agency to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

  • Amex cards are known for carrying amazing benefits; which ones your particular card has will vary according to the type of card. Benefits include purchase protection, extended warranties, roadside assistance, rental car insurance, travel insurance, lost baggage protection and concierge service that is available anytime of the day or night, seven days a week.

    Many Amex cards also offer rewards and special travel perks to cardholders. The best of these cards typically come with annual fees, though they offer a lot of benefits in return. Depending on the card, you may get free checked bags, complimentary upgrades, early check-in/late checkout, priority boarding, airport lounge access, airline fee credits, TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee reimbursements, special discounts and offers, no foreign transaction fees and more. Look for co-branded airline and hotel cards or cards that are part of the American Express Membership Rewards program for these types of perks.

    To find out exactly what perks your American Express card comes with, log on to your account online, contact customer service, or take a look at a full list of Amex cards and what they offer, here.

  • The best card for you will depend a lot on your spending habits and goals. Amex essentially offers three types of cards: Membership Rewards cards, cashback cards and co-branded cards. If you like to travel, you should consider either a Membership Rewards card or a co-branded card.

    Amex offers cards in partnership with Delta, Hilton and Starwood. If you often use any of these brands, you should consider a co-branded card. Not only will you earn points in their respective loyalty programs, but you’ll get special benefits, such as free checked bags with Delta and early check-in/late checkout with Hilton and Starwood properties.

    While Starwood Preferred Guest points are very flexible and can be transferred to over 30 different frequent flyer programs, the miles and points you earn with Delta and Hilton are much more restricted. For instance, you can only use Delta miles to book flights on Delta and its partners through the SkyMiles program.

    If you want more flexibility, consider a Membership Rewards card. They generally offer better earning potential than the co-branded cards and you can redeem your points in a variety of ways. Membership Rewards has 20 airline and hotel partners, plus you can buy just about any travel you want through AmexTravel.com.

    There are a wide variety of cards in the Membership Rewards lineup, including the excellent no-fee Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, the affordable high-earning Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and the top-of-the-line Platinum Card® from American Express. They all earn bonus points for different types of purchases, come with sign-up bonuses of various amounts and include a variety benefits that are generally geared toward travelers. Compare these cards carefully to see which one will fit best with your travel goals and spending habits.

  • For those who are not into traveling, you should consider one of Amex’s cashback cards. They are easy to use and rewarding. American Express offers three cards in its Blue Cash lineup. The best one for you will depend on your spending habits.

    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash® Card from American Express do not have annual fees. These are great choices if you’re just getting into rewards cards or if you want something to supplement other cards in your wallet. There’s no risk since there’s no cost to carry them. Of the two, the EveryDay card is better. It comes with a $150 sign-up bonus, earns 3 percent back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year) and 2 percent back at gas stations and department stores.

    The standard Blue Cash card earns only 1 percent back at supermarkets, gas stations and drugstores and 0.5 percent everywhere else until you spend $6,500 in a year. After that you’ll get 5 percent back at in the bonus categories and 1 percent for everything else.

    The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 annual fee, but it also offers the highest returns. You’ll get an impressive 6 percent back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year) and 3 percent back at gas stations and department stores. Gas and groceries are purchases that most of us consistently spend a lot of money on, making this a particularly lucrative card. It also comes with the biggest sign-up bonus of the group at $250.