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If you like to travel, you can’t ignore the best American Express credit cards. American Express offers some of the best luxury credit cards. But they also have good options for casual travelers who want a low or no annual fee. Let’s take a look at a couple of options that are some of the best American Express Credit Cards for travel.
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 credit cards for airline and hotel partners.
Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best premium credit 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
- Earn 5x points on hotels booked on AmexTravel.com
- Transfer points on 1:1 basis to airlines and hotel partners
- $200 airline fee credit
- 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 credit 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 credit cards.
This card also provides automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. And you can get a $100 credit at The Hotel Collection and up to $550 on-site benefits at Fine Hotels and Resorts.
However, the Platinum Card has a $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) that can be offset with the rewards. You can also use CardMatch to see if you qualify for this card’s highest-ever bonus offer of 100,000 Membership Rewards points worth $1,000 in award travel.
Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards
American Express Gold Card
Earn up to 4x Membership Rewards on dining, groceries, and travel with the American Express® Gold Card.
You also earn 4x points on any dining purchase and also the first $25,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets. 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 $100 airline fee credit and a $10 monthly dining credit ($120 total). And the annual fee is a more reasonable $250 (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.
Learn more: Rewards Credit Cards
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
American Express is the exclusive issuer of Delta Airlines credit cards. While there are four different Delta credit cards, the best fit for many flyers is the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, one of the best Delta credit cards.
However, this card’s most valuable benefit is the first free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions. That’s a $60 round-trip savings per person. You also earn 2x SkyMiles on Delta purchases and get 20% in-flight savings. All non-bonus purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
The introductory annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months then $95 (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Airline Credit Cards
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (Expired)
The information for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Delta loyalists might benefit more from the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card. The reason why is that you get an annual Domestic Main Cabin companion certificate. You only have to pay fees and taxes, which won’t exceed $75.
This is also a better option than the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card if you plan on spending at least $25,000 a year. You get 10,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 bonus Medallion Qualification Miles when you spend $25,000. If you spend $50k or more annually, you’ll earn an additional 10,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 MQMs.
Plus, you earn the standard 2x SkyMiles on direct Delta purchases and 1x mile on everything else. The annual fee is $195 (See Rates & Fees) but the annual companion certificate can easily be worth more.
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 credit cards.
Eligible Hilton purchases earn 12x points. You earn 6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Non-bonus purchases earn 3x points.
Another perk you may enjoy is 10 one-time Priority Pass lounge visits per year. 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
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
- Earn up to 6x Bonvoy points on eligible Marriott purchases
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 airline fee credit. Unique benefits including getting 35% of your points back when booking award flights on AmexTravel.com, up to 500,000 points. You can also transfer your Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.
Flights and hotels booked on AmexTravel.com earn 5x points. Purchases larger than $5,000 earn 1.5x points. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
Also, the welcome offer is 75,000 Membership Rewards points. To earn the 75k, you’ll first have to spend $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 3 months of card membership, which will earn you 50,000 points. Then, spend an extra $10,000 on qualifying purchases during the same 3 months to earn the additional 25,000 points.
Learn more in the Amex Business Platinum card review. You also get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork when you register by December 31, 2019. Additionally, cardholders can enroll to get up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits (cardholders get up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. Dell purchases – terms apply).
Blue Business Plus Credit Card
If you’re in the market for a no annual fee business credit 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 (then 1% back). Also, you can transfer your points to the 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partners. The Blue Business Plus is also a free way to earn 2x points on purchases your other credit cards only earn 1x points on.
Further Reading: Check out our Blue Business credit cards review to learn more about the Blue Business card family.
Membership Rewards Transfer Partners
The American Express credit 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
- Air France KLM
- El Al Israel
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Summary of Best American Express Credit Cards for Travel
In summary, the best American Express credit 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.
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.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, please click here.
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.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 Platinum Card from American Express
- 2 American Express Gold Card
- 3 Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
- 4 Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (Expired)
- 5 Hilton Honors Surpass American Express Card
- 6 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
- 7 Business Platinum Card from American Express
- 8 Blue Business Plus Credit Card
- 9 Membership Rewards Transfer Partners
- 10 Summary of Best American Express Credit Cards for Travel