American Express Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

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Savvy travelers know travel reward credit cards are great ways to collect the most points and miles for travel. But even if you limit your options to one financial company, there are still so many credit cards to choose from. How can you choose between them all? From welcome offers to points per dollar, we’ll help you find an American Express card for travel rewards.

American Express travel rewards cards are the first choice for many. AmEx is known for their customer service and support, security, and many credit card options. However, there is a downside. You can use American Express cards at far fewer establishments around the world compared to Visa or Mastercard. But they do come with benefits that many believe make the downsides worth it.

Getting access to the Centurion Lounge is just one of the many perks holding an American Express credit card can give you.

American Express Credit Cards For Travel Rewards

Naturally, there are as many American Express travel rewards card options as there are travelers. There are cards with low annual fees, low-interest rates, and crazy perks. The key is finding one that’s right for you. Most of them do require applicants to have a good to excellent credit score, though. And remember Amex limits welcome bonuses to once per lifetime. 

Delta and American Express Travel Rewards Cards

Delta branded cards are a good choice for those who fly with the airline frequently and will benefit from the Delta-specific perks but still want an American Express travel rewards card. The miles you earn go to your SkyMiles account, not to an AmEx Membership Rewards account.

The Gold card has a $95 annual fee that is conveniently waived the first year. You get 2 points for dollar you spend with Delta (flights, airline meals, in-flight entertainments) and 1 point per dollar on everything else. If you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll automatically get 30,000 bonus miles. If you make a purchase with Delta in those three months, you’ll also get a $50 statement credit. Other perks include priority boarding, a free checked bag on Delta flights, and discounted Delta Sky Club Access.

The Platinum card is a step up. The annual fee is $195 per year but includes baggage insurance, 20% discounts on many in-flight purchases, and a domestic round-trip companion certificate every year when you renew your membership. That is all on top of the Gold card benefits. Points per dollar are the same, but the welcome bonus is 35,000 miles and a $100 statement credit. Cardholders can also earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles and an extra 10,000 bonus miles if they spend $25,000 in the calendar year. The Platinum card is an American Express travel rewards card that is certainly geared more toward frequent flyers who already pay for the extras.

Last is the Delta Reserve, for business travelers who will put the benefits to use regularly. The annual fee is $450 and the card offers a bonus of 40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles if you spend $3,000 in three months. On top of that, if your spending totals $30,000 in eligible purchases in the calendar year, you’ll receive 15,000 more Medallion Qualification Miles and 15,000 bonus miles. Delta Sky Club Access is free with this one. You get premium roadside assistance and you can use the companion certificate on a first class seat instead of just in the main cabin.

The Premium Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

The Premium Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Between the Premier Rewards Gold card and the Platinum card from AmEx, Premier Rewards Gold (PRG) is the more accessible of the two. The annual fee of $195 is waived the first year. Point per dollar values are also higher than with the Delta cards. You’ll earn 3 points for flights booked directly with airlines, 2 points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants (in the U.S.), and 1 point on everything else. It also offers a 25,000-point bonus when you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

In addition to being able to book travel with the points you collect, you can also transfer them to many frequent flyer programs. This is often a great way to make your points and miles go further. With the Premier Rewards Gold card, you can also select your favorite airline from within your account. If you get a charge for in-flight entertainment, lounge passes, or baggage fees to your card, you can get a credit of up to $100 to your account. It’s a solid choice for frequent travelers who value AmEx’s travel protection.

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

Platinum Card from American Express

As its name would imply, the American Express Platinum is the upscale version of the Gold card. It’s good for frequent business and professional travelers who don’t mind high annual fees and will put the benefits to use. The card is $550 per year but has a long list of reasons to choose it.

Included with membership is $15 in free Uber rides every month (plus $20 extra in December) and access to the Centurion Lounge and Global Lounge Collection. They also get a $75 hotel credit plus 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar when booking with The Hotel Collection. Members get fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, Hilton Honors Gold Status enrollment, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status, Boingo internet access, and a $200 credit for airline fees like checked baggage. You’ll also receive 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in three months. If you travel often and already pay over $500 for these amenities, this may be the card for you.

Starwood Guest Preferred Card from American Express

Amex and SPG have recently announced that there will be a new SPG card product coming in August.  I will evaluate those on my cards list

Perks of American Express Credit Cards For Travel Rewards

You’ll get access to their Roadside Assistance and Global Assist Hotline, Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance, and Travel Accident Insurance with almost all American Express travel rewards cards. These are some of the reasons why this list consists of American Express cards for travel rewards and why they are so popular.

Mary Renking

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American Express Credit Cards for Travel Rewards
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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