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If you like to travel or enjoy things like dining perks and exclusive access, you can’t ignore the best American Express cards. Our favorite American Express credit card is currently the Amex Gold. It has a 60,000 bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months, 4x on dining/groceries, and more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

American Express offers some of the best luxury credit cards to help elevate your travels but also has some of the best cards for groceries to help you earn rewards on everyday purchases. But they also have good options for casual travelers who want a low or no annual fee option. And while there are several co-brand airline and hotel cards, there are several options to fit both the casual and frequent travelers’ needs.

One of the best travel cards from American Express comes with a new welcome bonus. New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Use the best American Express Cards to see the world and earn rewards on everyday expenses. American Express Gold Credit Card (pictured above) is available in rose gold. Credit: American Express

You may focus on getting cards that earn Membership Rewards points. Any card that earns these points lets you transfer them to over a dozen airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. However, be aware of how long it takes to transfer American Express points to travel partners.

Amex also offers several co-brand cards for airline and hotel partners and cash back options. Hopefully, this review can help you find the best option that works for you.

Best American Express Credit Cards

  • Amex Gold: 60,000 welcome offer, 4x earning on dining, groceries
  • Amex Platinum: best premium travel credit card
  • Delta Airlines: great for Delta flyers
  • Business Platinum: Centurion lounge access

American Express Gold Card

Earn up to 4x Membership Rewards on dining and groceries with the American Express® Gold Card. Cardholders earn 4x points on any dining purchase worldwide, including takeout and deliveries, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too. Cardholders also earn 4x points on the first $25,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets, then 1x per $1. Flights booked directly from the airline or on AmexTravel.com earn unlimited 3 points per $1. All non-bonus spend earns 1 point per $1.

This is the next-best Amex alternative to the Platinum Card if you prefer lifestyle rewards to only travel rewards. For instance, you get a $10 monthly dining credit for select merchants ($120 total, enrollment required). The annual fee is a more reasonable $250 and there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).

Your points are most valuable when booking award flights on AmexTravel.com or transferring to the 1:1 Membership Rewards airlines and hotel transfer partners.

Uber Perks

American Express® Gold Card cardholders can also get up to $120 in Uber Cash annually. Plus, you’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards® points for each Uber Eats purchase on your card. To use this perk, simply add your card to your Uber account and you’ll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash each month in your Uber account for U.S. Uber Eats orders or U.S. Uber rides. Any unused Uber Cash expires at the end of each month (it does not roll over to the next month).

Cardholders also get up to 12 complimentary months of Eats Pass when you subscribe with your American Express Gold Card. That’s a value of up to $119 annually (based on the $9.99 monthly price over 12 months). With the Uber Eats Pass, you can get unlimited $0 Delivery Fees and 5% off orders over $15 at eligible restaurants. Note that taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum.

This benefit applies only in the U.S. on U.S. orders at eligible restaurants and on eligible restaurant purchases.

Enrollment is required by 12/31/2021. After that, the Uber Eats Pass will begin auto-billing 12 months after your enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly price. Learn more about the Uber Eats partnership for more information.

New American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months. Also, Rose Gold is back! Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold. 

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best premium cards you can get. It’s best for frequent flyers and people who stay at hotels because of these benefits:

  • Earn 5x Membership Rewards on flights booked directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
  • Prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel earn unlimited 5x points
  • Transfer points on 1:1 basis to airlines and hotel partners
  • Up to $200 in Uber credits
  • Free airport lounge access (Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and others)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit

You can earn 5x points on plane ticket purchases, which is double the amount most cards earn. Your points are most valuable when transferring to 1:1 airline transfer partners including Delta, Emirates, and British Airways. It’s also one of the best metal cards.

This card also provides automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

And you can get a $100 onsite credit at The Hotel Collection for qualifying activities like dining or spa treatments (qualifying activities vary by property). There is a minimum 2-night stay required to be eligible for the benefit.

Cardholders can also enjoy an average total value of $550 in perks at Fine Hotels and Resorts when they book with American Express Travel.

However, the Platinum Card has a $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) that can be offset with the rewards.

Additional Perks for 2021

The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can receive up to $180 back ($30/month via statement credits) on purchases made at eligible merchants with PayPal through June 30, 2021 (terms apply). New and existing Platinum cardholders can receive up to $30 in PayPal statement credits each month. However, eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Also, eligible Platinum cardmembers who have had their card as of November 1, 2020, can access up to $1,700 in statement credits after they enroll in Amex Offers with select merchants through June 30, 2021. These offers include:

  • Avis Car Rental – Spend $250+ on eligible purchases, Get $75 back, up to two times
  • BestBuy.com – Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
  • Goldbelly – Spend $100+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to three times
  • Home Chef – Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to three times
  • HomeDepot.com – Spend $50+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
  • Instacart – Spend $250+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
  • Samsung – Spend $1,000+ on eligible purchases, Get $200 back, one time
  • Scribd – Spend $9.99+ on eligible purchases, Get $9.99 back, up to five times
  • The Container Store – Spend $150+ on eligible purchases, Get $50 back, up to two times
  • Virtual Personal Training by Equinox – Spend $780+ on eligible purchases, Get $130 back, up to five times
  • Wine Insiders – Spend $30+ on eligible purchases, Get $30 back, up to two times

Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Platinum Card Welcome Bonus

New cardmembers can earn 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

American Express is the exclusive issuer of Delta Air Lines cards. While there are four different personal Delta cards, the best fit for many flyers is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, one of the best Delta cards.

However, this card’s most valuable benefit is the first free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions on Delta flights. That’s a $60 round-trip savings per person. You also earn 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery), and at U.S. supermarkets. You also 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. All non-bonus eligible purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent.

If you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel for whenever you are ready to travel again.

The introductory annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months then $99 (See Rates & Fees).

New cardholders can earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on their new card in the first 3 months. This offer expires on 04/28/2021.

Learn more: Airline Credit Cards

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Delta loyalists might benefit more from the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. The reason why is that you get an annual Domestic Main Cabin companion certificate upon card renewal. You only have to pay fees and taxes, which won’t exceed $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage fees and other restrictions do apply though.

However, your first checked bag flies free on Delta flights. There’s also a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Plus, with this card, you can 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.

Cardholders can accelerate their path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost. Plus, in 2021, they can earn even more bonus MQMs to help cardholders reach Medallion Status.

Plus, you earn the standard 3x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2x SkyMiles at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery) and at U.S. supermarkets, and 1x SkyMiles on everything else.

The annual fee is $250 and there are no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees) but the annual companion certificate can easily be worth more.

The welcome bonus is the ability to earn 90,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first 3 months of account opening. This offer expires on 04/28/2021.

Learn more: Airline Credit Cards

Hilton Honors Surpass American Express Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card gives you a free weekend night certificate with at least $15,000 in annual card purchases. You also get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status which lets you enjoy complimentary breakfast and space-available room upgrades. It’s also one of the best Hilton Honors cards.

Earn 12x points per dollar spent on eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio. You also earn 6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Non-bonus purchases earn 3x points (if eligible).

Another perk you may enjoy is 10 one-time Priority Pass lounge visits per year.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is offering 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you use your new card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.

The annual fee is $95 and there is no foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees).

Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. It’s also one of the best Marriot cards.

It has a $450 Annual Fee (See Rates & Fees) and comes with these key benefits:

  • $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit
  • 1 free night award each card anniversary (redeemable at 50,000 points or less)
  • Instant Marriott Bovoy Gold Elite status
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

Cardholders earn 6x Bonvoy points on eligible Marriott purchases. They also earn 3x points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with the airlines. All other eligible purchases earn 2x points.

New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 in purchases in their first 3 months. Plus, they can earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of card membership. This offer expires on 05/12/2021.

Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. Credit: American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Upscale business travelers get the most travel perks from The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

It has many of the same travel benefits as the personal Platinum Card including airport lounge access and the $200 annual airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits at one qualifying airline for incidental fees). Unique benefits including getting 35% of your points back when booking award flights on AmexTravel.com, up to 500,000 points annually. You can also transfer your Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.

Flights and prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com earn 5x points. Purchases larger than $5,000 earn 1.5x points, up to 1 million annually. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.

New The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders have the opportunity to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards as part of the welcome offer. To earn the 100,000 bonus points, they need to spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on their card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Additionally, cardholders can get up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits (cardholders get up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. Dell purchases – terms apply). The annual fee is $595 (See Rates & Fees). 

Learn more in the Amex Business Platinum card review.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card

If you’re in the market for a no annual fee business card, check out The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (See Rates & Fees).

You earn 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually on everyday business purchases (then 1x point thereafter). Also, you can transfer your points to the 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partners.

Cardholders can also enjoy more flexibility to use their card for more purchases and rewards when buying above their credit limit. While this amount is not unlimited, it does adjust with card use, payment history, credit record, financial reasons known to AMEX, and other factors. Expanded Buying Power gives businesses more ways to earn points and maximize their card.

Blue Business Plus is also a free way to earn 2x points on purchases your other cards only earn 1x points on.

Further Reading: Check out our Blue Business cards review to learn more about the Blue Business card family.

American Express Business Gold Card

The American Express® Business Gold Card earns 4x points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month (the 4x points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases annually, all other purchases earn 1x per $1 spent). Your bonus category options include:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Gas stations (U.S. purchases)
  • Shipping purchases (U.S. purchases)
  • Restaurants (U.S. purchases)
  • TV, radio, and online advertising (U.S. purchases)
  • Computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions technology provider (U.S. purchases)

This can be one of the best cards to maximize gas purchases. If you happen to advertise your product on local media or mail some of your finished goods to individual consumers, you can earn bonus points on the shipping charges and advertising purchases.

Your rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for award flights. Each point is worth 1 cent each when booking award flights on AmexTravel. You can get up 25% of your points back (up to 250,000 points per year) on one airline of choice. Another option is transferring your points to an airline partner at a 1:1 ratio to loyalty programs including Delta SkyMiles and British Airways.

Cardholders also have access to a Pay Over Time Option, which is a flexible payment option, with interest, to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more (terms apply).

New American Express® Business Gold Card cardholders can earn 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.* 

*Terms apply.

The annual fee is $295 (See Rates & Fees).

Membership Rewards Transfer Partners

The American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points are most valuable when booking award flights. Each point is worth one cent each when booking award travel on AmexTravel.com. Note that you can almost always find more value when transferring to your frequent flyer account at these airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France KLM
  • Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • EL AL Israel
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Jetblue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

American Express Hotel Partners

  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

Summary of Best American Express Cards for Travel

In summary, the best American Express cards for travel are those that earn Membership Rewards points in many cases. However, their co-brand Delta Airlines, Hilton Honors, and Marriott Bonvoy are a good value if you frequent these travel brands.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

And for rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, please click here.

And for rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

And for rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.

Josh Patoka
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2 Comments On "Best American Express Cards For Travel (New 100k Bonus, Rewards)"
  1. Shree Dhordo Gram Pravas Vikas|

    Thanks For sharing information. Very Helpful this.

  2. Pearle Rufus|

    According to another poster. Sam’s is issuing refunds. I’m calling tomorrow.

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