Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What Is The Best American Express Credit Card

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American Express Cash Magnet

Best American Express Credit Cards (2019 Ratings/Rankings)
  • Rewards rate: 1.5%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Where it excels: This card received our highest rating for its welcome bonus and no annual fee

Terms Apply.

The American Express Cash Magnet Card does not offer any bonus category rewards instead, it provides an increased cash back rate for all purchases with your card. New cardmembers can earn $200 as a statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Rewards & benefits

In addition to the welcome bonus, cardholders will earn cash back at a rate of 1.5% on all purchases made with the card. All cash back earned with your card is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Here is a breakdown of some of the benefits that come with your card:

  • Receive access to exclusive ticket presales and cardmember-only events with American Express Experiences
  • Travel at ease knowing whenever you travel more than 100 miles from home, Global Assist Hotline is available 24/7 for any medical, legal, financial, or other emergency assistance needs

Editors note

The American Express Cash Magnet Card is best for those looking to avoid category-specific reward rates and instead earn a higher than average cash back rate for all purchases. With no annual fee, cardholders dont have to worry about spending a minimum amount on their card to justify its value.

To learn more about this card and what it offers, .

For Flat Rate: American Express Simplycash Preferred*

If you want a cash-back credit card but dont want the fuss of figuring out how the spending categories work, consider the American Express SimplyCash Preferred card. You get a flat rate of 2% cash back on everything you buy, periodwith no limit to how much you can earn. Plus, for new members, theres a juicy 10% cash-back promotional offer for the first four months . Additional cards are free , which will appeal to couples or families who want to combine their reward earnings. The drawback to be aware of is that rewards can be redeemed only once per year.

  • Annual fee: $99

Best For Dining: American Express Gold Card

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

$250
Rewards Earning RateEarn 4X Membership Rewards Points on Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too. Earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets .
Foreign transaction fee
  • Why We Chose This Card
  • Pros and Cons

Our choice for the best dining card from American Express is the American Express® Gold Card. It offers a generous 4x points on unlimited dining and up to $25,000 spent annually on groceries. Plus, you’ll earn 3x points on flights and 1x everywhere else. Although the card has a $250 annual fee, it includes $120 per year in Uber credits and $120 per year in dining credits. Travelers will also benefit from the $100 dining credit per stay when booking rooms with The Hotel Collection. It also has no foreign transaction fees, so you can use it anywhere in the world without being charged extra.

  • Exceptional points rewards with restaurants, supermarkets, and airlines

  • Annual dining and Uber credits offset the annual fee

  • Redemption options include 1:1 transfers to many airline and hotel partners

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • The annual fee is more than double that of many other cards

  • Grocery bonuses have a spending cap

  • Superstore and warehouse-club purchases don’t earn supermarket rewards

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How We Chose The Best Amex Credit Cards

After going through details for each specific card, lets now discuss our overall approach to this analysis and how we chose the best Amex cards. I started by selecting what I believe to be the best American Express credit cards on the market today based on the type of card, the benefits offered, the cost of card membership and more. Then I divided those cards into four categories:

  • Those that earn cash back
  • Those that earn transferable points
  • Those that earn points or miles in a specific program
  • Those that are suited for small businesses
  • Then, within each category, I broke down the individual perks of each card using the following criteria:

    • Welcome offer
    • Annual fee
    • Temporary benefits

    Finally, I tried to provide some context for each card and suggest to whom it might appeal based on a variety of factors, including spending habits, travel patterns and desired rewards. As always, you likely have your own criteria for these decisions, but hopefully, this analysis helps you get a jump start on your research for choosing the right card for you.

    Lets Compare Best American Express Cards You Can Get Right Now

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    With emphasis on the easier-to-get Amex cards Green card, Gold Delta card, and Blue Cash Preferred there are differences important to compare.

    First coming to these cards essentials, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is the only out of the two that require a yearly fee right off the bat while the other two require the same annual fee but not until after the first year. The APR, or interest rate, for the Blue Cash is 0% for the first 12 months then 14.49% to 25.49% thereafter while the Gold Deltas variable APR is listed at 17.24% to 26.24%. Meanwhile, the Green card has no interest rates as one must pay back dues on a monthly basis.

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    Best Aeroplan Credit Card For Premium Benefits

    • Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
    • At the same time, earn an Air Canada Buddy Pass, convertible into 30,000 Aeroplan points
    • Plus, earn a further 60,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,000 in each of the first 12 months
    • Also, earn 3x Aeroplan points on Air Canada purchases
    • Aeroplan preferred pricing, free checked bag, priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada flights
    • Unlimited Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access
    • Bonus Aeroplan points for referring family and friends
    • Annual fee: $599

    Any of the top-tier Aeroplan cards would get you the same perks, but the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card stands above the others thanks to its bigger bonus incentives for cardholders.

    As a premium Aeroplan cardholder, youll get the lowest Aeroplan reward ticket prices on Air Canada flights thanks to the preferred pricing benefit, free checked bags on Air Canada flights, priority airport services, and opportunities to spend your way to Aeroplan Elite Status, among other premium benefits.

    The card is currently offering a welcome bonus worth up to 90,000 Aeroplan points plus an Air Canada Buddy Pass.

    Why We Like This Card

    If youre a frequent traveler looking for top drawer perks, trip protections, and valuable credits, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a strong choice. The $695 annual fee is high but jetsetters will have no trouble recouping that in a few trips. Cardmembers earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel , as well as 5X points on eligible hotels booked through American Express Travel. All other eligible purchases earn 1X points.

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    How Does American Express’ Membership Rewards Program Work

    Membership Rewards are American Express’s rewards points currency. You earn points for every dollar spent with eligible rewards cards. You can then redeem those points for things like travel or statement credits.

    In general, however, you’ll get the best per-point value when you transfer your points to one of American Express’s hotel or airline partners. This turns your Membership Rewards into hotel loyalty points or frequent flyer miles that can be redeemed for free stays and flights. Once transferred, the value you get from your rewards will depend on how you redeem them with the other program. Smart redemptions can easily net $0.02 to $0.04 per transferred point.

    The current list of travel partners includes:

    • Aer Lingus
    • Hilton

    Most transfers are at a 1:1 rate, meaning you get 1 airline mile or hotel point for every 1 Membership Rewards point you transfer. Some partners may offer a lower or higher transfer rate. American Express occasionally offers transfer bonuses that give you a 30% to 35% extra when you transfer to the highlighted partner.

    If you’re not interested in transferring your Membership Rewards points, you can still redeem them, just don’t expect to get more than $0.01 per point. In fact, most alternative redemption options will give you far less than $0.01 per point.

    American Express Membership Rewards Points

    Best American Express Credit Card For Beginners

    The American Express Membership Rewards points program is often touted as the best in Canada due to its great value and flexible redemption options.

    Depending on if you go for the American Express Cobalt, Gold or Platinum cards, the rewards points you earn can be redeemed for any number of things:

    • Flexible Points Travel Program: lets you redeem points for virtually any travel expense in flat increments of 1,000 points for $10. You can charge the travel expense to your credit card and apply points against the purchase retroactively at a later date to offset the cost.
    • American Express Cobalt, Gold or Platinum cards are all eligible
    • Fixed Points Travel Program: lets you redeem points for only round-trip flights out of Canada according to a chart. This chart breaks up potential travel destinations into six regions – each requiring a set number of points . While slightly less intuitive than the aforementioned Flexible Points Travel Program, you can get far greater value provided you book the right flight and utilize the chart to your advantage.
    • American Express Cobalt, Gold or Platinum cards are all eligible
  • Hotel Transfers: Similar to airline loyalty program transfers, you can transfer the points you earn on your American Express card to either the Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honours programs.
  • American Express Cobalt, Gold or Platinum are all eligible
  • Other rewards
  • Ticketmaster: 2,000 points for $20
  • Gift cards:
  • Statement credits: 1,000 points for $7
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    American Express Blue Business Cash Card

    Best for business startups

    • This card is best for: Up-and-coming businesses that want to earn with simple flat-rate cash back.
    • This card is not a great choice for: Business owners with a huge budget. The all-inclusive 2 percent cash back is only eligible for $50,000 per calendar year. Once you reach this spending cap, your rate drops to 1 percent.
    • What makes this card unique? This card offers Expanded Buying Power, giving growing businesses the option of exceeding their credit limit without having to pay an over-limit fee. If you ever need to make a large purchase, its nice to know youre protected if you exceed your spending restrictions. Plus, theres a 0% introductory APR on purchases that can protect you from interest costs for the first 12 months .
    • Is the American Express Blue Business Cash Card card worth it? For a startup or smaller business, the Blue Business Cash might offer the perfect assistance. On top of the strong cash back rate and no annual fee, youll get several American Express business perks including Expense Management Tools, Global Assist® Hotline and Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.

    American Express Credit Card Promotions

    Cardholders enjoy travel, shopping, dining and entertainment offers which include KrisFlyer miles and hotel packages.

    Cardholders with the Amex Platinum Card are entitled to an exclusive S$3480 OTO Quantum Advanced Full Body Massage Chair, while Amex Platinum Reserve Credit Card members get a free 3D2N staycation every Card Membership year, to name a few current promotions.

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    Rogers World Elite Mastercard

    Frequent U.S. travellers and cross-border shoppers need a card that wont break the bank when it comes to the foreign transaction fees that most banks charge. It is usually 2.5% for purchases made in another currency. The Rogers World Elite gets this nod because it offers 3% cash back on U.S.-currency purchases, which works out to a 0.5% return when you factor in foreign transaction fees. Pair that with no annual fee, and 1.5% back on all other purchases, and you have a competitive card.

    However, world travellers will want to keep in mind that only the regular 1.5% earn rate will apply on foreign currency purchases outside the U.S., so you wont come out ahead after being hit with the 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

    This card does include travel medical insurance, which covers you for trips up to 10 days. However, it also comes with a $15,000-a-year minimum spend, and a steep annual income requirement. So youll want to consider another option if you dont make $80,000 a year as an individual, or $150,000 as a household.

    • Annual fee: $0
    • Welcome bonus: $25 when you make your first purchase within your first 3 months
    • Earn rate: 3% on purchases in U.S. currency and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
    • Income requirement: $80,000 individual $150,000 household
    • Additional benefits: Travel emergency medical insurance for 10 days rental car insurance trip interruption and cancellation coverage

    Summary

    Secured credit card for building credit$0

    Best Aeroplan Credit Card For Daily Spending

    Best American Express credit cards for 2020
    • Earn a total of 30,000 MR points upon spending $500 in each of the first 12 months
    • Plus, earn an additional 20,000 MR points upon spending $3,000 within the first three months
    • Earn 5x MR points on groceries, restaurants, bars, and food delivery
    • Earn 3x MR points on eligible streaming services
    • Earn 2x MR points on gas, transit, and travel purchases
    • Transfer MR points to Aeroplan, Avios, or Marriott Bonvoy
    • Enjoy the exclusive benefits of being an American Express cardholder
    • Bonus MR points for referring family and friends
    • Monthly fee: $12.99

    At 5 points per dollar spent on groceries and restaurants, the American Express Cobalt Card is unsurpassed when it comes to rewards on everyday spending.

    Since August 16, Amex has removed the Select distinction from the points earned by the Cobalt Card, and you can transfer the points to other airline partners, similar to the premium American Express Platinum Card.

    If youre looking to rack up a large Aeroplan balance powered by your grocery bill and restaurant spending, consider getting the Cobalt Card and using it as much as you can for the 5x categories.

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    Blue Cash Everyday Card From American Express

    Our pick for: No-annual-fee grocery and gas rewards

    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. The rewards aren’t as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn’t charge an annual fee. New cardholders get a decent bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period. If you’re buying groceries regularly but not necessarily all the time, it’s worth a look. Read our review.

    Best American Express Card For Daily Spending

    • Earn a total of 30,000 MR points upon spending $500 in each of the first 12 months
    • Plus, earn an additional 20,000 MR points upon spending $3,000 within the first three months
    • Earn 5x MR points on groceries, restaurants, bars, and food delivery
    • Earn 3x MR points on eligible streaming services
    • Earn 2x MR points on gas, transit, and travel purchases
    • Transfer MR points to Aeroplan, Avios, or Marriott Bonvoy
    • Enjoy the exclusive benefits of being an American Express cardholder
    • Bonus MR points for referring family and friends
    • Monthly fee: $12.99

    The best card for daily spending always depends on which categories you tend to spend the most on. For many people, the American Express Cobalt Card is a great way to maximize your points on everyday purchases.

    The card earns 5 MR points per dollar spent at grocery stores, restaurants, bars, and food delivery. If those make up a large chunk of your expenses, the sheer number of points youll earn is unbeatable.

    Since August 16, 2021, your Membership Rewards on the Cobalt Card will be gaining even more flexibility. In addition to the existing redemption options including hotel transfers and the Amex Fixed Points Travel Program, youll also be able to transfer your rewards to airline partners. This is great news, as frequent flyer programs tend to have the strongest cents per point redemption value out of all rewards programs.

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    Best With No Annual Fee: Amex Everyday Card

    Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

    Annual Fee
    Cons
    • Limited bonus categories
    • The information related to the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • 2X points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6K in purchases
    • 1X points on your other purchases
    • Membership Rewards® Pay with Points
    • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR, 12.99% to 23.99%

    The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a no-annual-fee version, which still offers solid rewards. It earns 2x points at U.S. supermarkets and at AmexTravel.com, and 1x on everything else. It also offers 20% more points when you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period.

    Read more: Amex EveryDay Card review

    Like most Amex cards, it features a few travel and purchase protections, as well as access to the Amex Offers program.

    While most people will be better off with the Preferred, the regular EveryDay is still a strong option especially since there’s no annual fee.

    Read more: Amex Blue Cash Everyday card review

    If you’re looking to make a major purchase and pay it off over time, like an appliance or an engagement ring, you can take advantage of the 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months after account opening ). You’ll earn cash back on the purchase, which you can put right towards paying it off.

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