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Best American Express Credit Cards of 2021

Best American Express Credit Cards of 2021

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Dec 30, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Whether you want to earn bonus rewards on grocery purchases, access premium travel benefits or transfer a credit card balance without paying interest for an extended period of time, there’s an American Express card for you.

In this post, we break down some of the top American Express credit cards to help you determine which one is the best fit for your spending.

In this article:

Best for supermarket purchases: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

This offer and/or promotion may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

  • Earn up to $350 in statement credits. Terms Apply.

  • Earn 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. Terms apply.

  • 0% on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then 13.99%-23.99% Variable

Highlights
  • 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.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More Info

If you spend a large amount at supermarkets each month, you’ll benefit from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express’ high rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets. Cardholders earn: 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. Terms apply. Cash back earned may be redeemed as statement credits.

What else we like. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a welcome bonus of $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card within the first 6 months of card membership. Additionally, the card comes with an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months (after that a 13.99%-23.99% variable APR applies).

What to look out for. You can only earn the 6% at U.S. supermarkets on the first $6,000 each year, then you’ll earn 1%. That said, if you max out that amount, you’ll pocket $360 in cash back on your grocery purchases.

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase and return protection
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global Assist
  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection

To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express please click here.

Read our Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review.

Best for a simple rewards structure: American Express Cash Magnet® Card

 

If you prefer a straightforward approach to earning rewards, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is your best bet. The card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases, so there’s no need to keep up with rotating bonus categories or rewards spending caps. Cash back earned can be redeemed as statement credits.

What else we like. In addition to unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card lets you earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. The card also offers an intro APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months (after that a 13.99%-23.99% variable APR applies).

What to look out for. If you’re planning a trip outside of the U.S., the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is not ideal, since it charges foreign transaction fees of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase and return protection
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global Assist
  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection

Read our  American Express Cash Magnet® Card review.

Best for premium benefits: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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on American Express's secure site

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Highlights
  • 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.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a plethora of valuable benefits, including access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, up to a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year, up to a $200 annual Uber credit, a $100 hotel credit each time you stay at least two consecutive nights, up to $100 Global Entry fee credit every four and a half years or an $85 TSA Precheck credit every four years, as well as up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue statement credits each year. Cardholders receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. Enrollment may be required for some benefits.

Additionally, since The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, you won’t incur additional charges when using your card outside of the U.S.

What else we like. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.

What to look out for. These luxury benefits come at a high price: The annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express is $695. However, the value of the perks easily cover the annual fee each year if you take advantage of them.

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase and return protection
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global Assist
  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection

To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

Read our The Platinum Card® from American Express review.

Best for airline rewards: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.

  • Check your 1st bag free on every Delta flight*

Highlights
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $50 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

More Info

With the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, you can earn a generous amount of Delta SkyMiles while paying a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99. Cardholders earn Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, cardholders earn Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.

What else we like. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with a variety of travel perks, including your first checked bag free, 20% savings on in-flight purchases, car rental loss and damage insurance and a global assist hotline. Additionally, the card does not charge foreign transaction fees.

What to look out for. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with a solid welcome offer and standard travel benefits. But if you’re interested in more premium perks and a higher introductory bonus, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card will be a better fit. Keep in mind, though, that the card comes with an annual fee of $250.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.

  • 15.74%-24.74% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

More Info

Or, if you want a $0-annual-fee card that also offers bonus miles at U.S. restaurants ⁠— and you don’t mind earning a much smaller welcome bonus ⁠— the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card will be a better choice.

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase and return protection
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global Assist
  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection

  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants, now worldwide. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

Highlights
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants, now worldwide.
  • Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

More Info

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card please click here.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

To see rates & fees for Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card please click here.

Read our Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card review.

Best for balance transfers: The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

This offer and/or promotion may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

If you have high-interest credit card debt that you want to transfer to a card with a low or 0% intro APR, you should consider The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express. The card offers an introductory APR on balance transfers of 0% for 15 months, after that a 12.99%- 23.99% variable APR applies. Additionally, the card comes with a $0 balance transfer fee.

What else we like. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express offers 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months Additionally, earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), and 1x points on other purchases

Plus, when you use your card 20 or more times in a billing period, you earn 20% more points on those purchases.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s best to pay off the full balance of your transfer within the promotional period prior to focusing on earning rewards on purchases.

What to look out for. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is not a good card to take with you when traveling outside the U.S., since it charges foreign transaction fees of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars

Additional benefits include:

  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase and return protection
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global Assist
  • Trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Cellphone protection

Read our The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express review.

The bottom line

Essentially, choosing the right American Express credit card comes down to how you plan to use the card. For example, if don’t want the hassle of dealing with bonus rewards categories or spending caps, the flat-rate American Express Cash Magnet® Card will be the best fit. But if you are a frequent traveler who enjoys premium perks and doesn’t mind a $695 annual fee, The Platinum Card® from American Express will be a better choice.

The information related to  The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, and the American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.


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