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The best American Express cards of August 2021

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The best American Express cards of August 2021:

American Express is most famous for its travel cards like the Platinum Card and premium “experiential” offerings like concierge service, but it also offers cards with non-travel perks and lower annual fees. 

Amex cards also offer various benefits like travel insurance and purchase protection. Additionally, all American Express cardholders get access to Amex Offers that can earn you bonus points or get cash back when you shop with certain retailers.

If you’re looking for the best Amex card for you, here are the ones you should consider.

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Featured Reward

100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards
    • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
    • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
    • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
    • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
    • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
    • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
    • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
    • $695 Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.


    Read Our Review
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    At $695 (See Rates), the Platinum Card has one of the highest annual fees of any mainstream card. However, as long as you’re willing to float it up front, you can get way more value back from the card — for instance, it’s possible to get more than $2,000 in value from it during your first year.

    Read more: Amex Platinum card review

    The Platinum Card offers 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline, as well as flights and pre-paid hotels booked through Amex Travel (starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year).

    It earns 1x point on everything else (Note: New Platinum Card® cardmembers can earn 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and small businesses, on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months of card membership). American Express Membership Rewards points are worth, on average, 1.8 cents apiece based on Insider’s points and miles valuations.

    The card comes with a long list of perks, including access to more than 1,200 airport lounges within the Priority Pass** network, as well as Delta Sky Clubs (when you’re flying Delta) and proprietary American Express Centurion Lounges. It also offers complimentary Gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton hotels**, as well as up to $100 per year in shopping credits at Saks Fifth Avenue**, up to $200 in Uber credits** each cardmember year, and access to special events.

    Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
    • Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
    Cons
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus
    • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
    • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
    • Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Annual Fee is $250.
    • Terms Apply.


    Read Our Review
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    The Amex Gold Card is one of best cards available for dining, unless you’re only interested in cash back, rather than potentially more valuable rewards points.

    Read more: Amex Gold Card review

    The Amex Gold Card earns 4x points at restaurants and on up to $25,000 per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (and 1x point after that), 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on everything else. Based on the fact that you can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1 cent of value each, that makes this the highest-earning card for everything food-related.

    The Amex Gold Card adds up to $120 of dining credits** — split into up to $10 each month — at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations. It also offers up to $120 Uber Cash (up to $10 per month credits) each calendar year (this is only applicable to U.S. Eats orders and Rides, and the Gold Card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit).

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro for the first year, then $95

    Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable APR

    Featured Reward

    20% back on Amazon.com purchases (up to $200 back) in your first 6 months of Card Membership, plus $150 back as a statement credit after you spend $3,000 on the Card within the first 6 months

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Generous bonus rewards, especially at U.S. supermarkets
    • One of a small handful of credit cards that offer bonus rewards on select streaming services
    • Intro APR offer
    Cons
    • Unlike many other cash-back cards, it charges an annual fee
    • If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets each year, you’ll want to use another card once you reach that cap
    • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
    • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
    • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
    • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
    • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
    • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
    • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • Terms Apply.


    Read Our Review
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    If you’re less excited about earning Membership Rewards points — which can be valuable, but also require some effort to redeem for maximum value — and want to stick with cash back, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the best option, despite its $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee (See rates).

    Read more: Amex Blue Cash Preferred card review

    You’ll earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% back on all transit. That’s in addition to 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year (and 1% after that), 3% back at U.S. gas stations, and 1% cash back on everything else (cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars).

    The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, before switching to a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR (See rates)

    The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a handful of travel and purchase protections as well. Cash back comes in the form of a statement credit, so effectively you can use it to “erase” purchases.

    If you travel but don’t want to pay for the Amex Platinum: Amex Green Card

    Regular APR

    See Rates & Fees

    Featured Reward

    30,000 points after you spend at least $2,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • 3x bonus categories of travel and restaurants that rival the more-expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve
    • Reasonable annual fee compared to many other travel rewards cards
    Cons
    • Annual statement credits with CLEAR and LoungeBuddy won’t be useful to everyone
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus
    • The information related to the American Express® Green Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.
    • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
    • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
    • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • $150 Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.


    Read Our Review
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    The Amex Green Card has become a top option for earning Membership Rewards points on travel and dining. 

    Read more: Amex Green Card review

    You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all eligible travel, which includes everything from subway fare to hotels to flights. You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide. In terms of points-earning, this puts the Amex Green Card on par with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which also offers 3x points in these spending categories.

    Other benefits include up to $100 in statement credits toward CLEAR membership each year**, and up to $100 in statement credits per year toward LoungeBuddy purchases** (for airport lounge access).

    The Amex Green card has a $150 annual fee, but that’s relatively moderate, especially if you can take advantage of those two annual statement credits.

    Regular APR

    14.24 – 22.24 Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within your first 3 months of card membership

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • More travel benefits than you’ll find on any other business credit card
    • Generous airport lounge access options, from American Express Centurion Lounges to Priority Pass (enrollment required)
    • Complimentary hotel elite status (enrollment required)
    • Access to Amex concierge services
    Cons
    • Very high annual fee
    • Limited opportunities to earn bonus points
    • Annual statement credits won’t be useful for everyone
    • Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
    • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
    • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
    • Breeze through security with CLEAR® where available and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card.
    • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
    • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
    • Terms Apply.


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    The Amex Business Platinum Card is Amex’s top-of-the-line business card, and it has many of the same perks you’ll find on the personal Platinum Card, including up to a $200 airline fee credit each year**, access to airport lounges including Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass lounges**, and up to a $100 credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

    Read more: Amex Business Platinum card review

    It also offers several benefits that cater to business owners, such as a 50% points bonus on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points each year) and up to $200 in annual statement credits for Dell purchases** ($100 each half of the year).

    If you use Amex points to book travel, you’ll appreciate the 35% Pay With Points rebate, which applies to business- and first-class flights or flights in any class with a selected qualifying airline booked through Amex Travel.  You can get up to 500,000 points back in a calendar year.

    The personal Platinum Card has the advantage when it comes to bonus categories — it earns 5x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, while the Business Platinum only earns 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel. For more info, read our comparison of the Business Platinum and the personal Amex Platinum.

    Regular APR

    13.24% to 19.24% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months from account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • The rare no-annual-fee card to earn Amex Membership Rewards points
    • Solid earning rate on the first $50,000 in purchases each year
    Cons
    • For spending above $50,000 each year, you will only earn 1 point per dollar
    • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
    • You’ve got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
    • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to American Express, and other factors.
    • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% – 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
    • No Annual Fee
    • Terms Apply


    Read Our Review
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    The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express earns 2x Amex points on the first $50,000 you spend each year, then 1x points. Up until that $50,000 threshold, you’re effectively earning a 3.6% return on all your purchases, based on Insider’s points and miles valuations.

    Read more: Amex Blue Business Plus card review

    Another bonus is that The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee (See Rates). Just remember that it is a small-business credit card, so if you don’t have a side gig or a small enterprise that would qualify you for a business card, you won’t be eligible.

    Great bonus categories for families: Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

    Regular APR

    12.99% to 22.99% Variable

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Strong rewards at US supermarkets
    • You can earn a 50% points bonus each billing period when you make at least 30 purchases
    Cons
    • Annual cap on earning bonus rewards at US supermarkets
    • Not the best option for earning rewards outside of US supermarkets and US gas stations — especially if you don’t make at least 30 purchases per billing statement to earn the bonus
    • The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card has been collected independently by Business Insider, and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer
    • 3x points at US Supermarkets
    • 2x points at US gas stations
    • 1x points on all other eligible purchases
    • Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms apply.

    The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card is a strong option for anyone looking for a Membership Rewards card, but who’s not interested in a premium card like the Platinum or the Amex Gold. It also has a strong points-earning scheme and a lower annual fee of $95.

    Read more: Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card review

    The card earns 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 each calendar year — 1 point per dollar after that), 2x points at U.S. gas stations, and 1x point on everything else. You can also get 2x points on reservations made through Amex Travel.

    Best of all, if you make 30 or more purchases in a billing period, you’ll earn a 50% bonus. That means that those little $3 and $4 charges for things like coffee or a snack can help you get a ton of points quickly.

    The card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening, before switching to a 12.99% to 22.99% Variable APR. If you have a big purchase coming up and want some time to pay it off, but don’t want to pay interest fees, this is a great option.

    Best with no annual fee: Amex EveryDay Card

    Regular APR

    12.99% to 23.99%

    Featured Reward

    Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • 20% points bonus when you make at least 20 purchases in a billing period
    • No annual fee
    • Access to Amex Offers
    Cons

    • 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 (again up to $6,000 of purchases per calendar year, then 1x after that) 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.

    Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    20% back on Amazon.com purchases (up to $150 back) in your first 6 months of Card Membership, plus $100 back as a statement credit after you spend $2,000 on the Card within the first 6 months

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Good bonus cash-back rate at US supermarkets
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets in a year, you should use another card to earn bonus rewards once you hit that cap
    • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 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 first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
    • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
    • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
    • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
    • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
    • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
    • No annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.


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    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is similar to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, with a different earning structure and no annual fee (See Rates).

    Read more: Amex Blue Cash Everyday card review

    The card earns a lower 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 each calendar year — and 1% after that — 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else (cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars). While many people spend enough in the bonus categories to make the Blue Cash Preferred the better option, this remains a decent card for anyone who’s strictly opposed to paying an annual fee.

    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 (after that, it reverts to a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR (See Rates)). You’ll earn cash back on the purchase, which you can put right towards paying it off.

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