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The long-time leader in rewards credit cards has been American Express. In recent years, other issuers like Chase Bank have challenged that title by introducing highly competitive travel rewards cards, but, Amex still has a loyal customer base. One of the primary reasons is American Express continues to offer some of the most valuable purchase rewards in the credit card industry with the Membership Rewards program. The following will compare all the personal and business American Express Membership Rewards credit cards.
No-Fee Amex Membership Rewards Personal Credit Cards
Amex offers two different credit cards that do not charge an annual fee. They do not pack the same punch as the cards that do charge an annual fee, but they still might be an option to consider as a secondary credit card to supplement another Amex credit card.
|Card Name||Amex EveryDay [Expired]||Blue from American Express|
|Welcome Offer||10,000 points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months – Terms Apply||None|
|Purchase Rewards||· 2x points at U.S. Supermarkets & Amex Travel|
· 1 point for all remaining purchases
|1 point for all purchases|
|Additional Perks||·20% point boost if 20 or more purchases are made during billing cycle|
·CDW Rental Car Protection
|CDW Rental Car Protection|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.7%||2.7%|
The clear winner in the no-fee category is the Amex EveryDay Credit Card since it’s the only no annual fee personal Amex card that earns Membership Rewards. This is helpful in being able to keep your Membership Rewards points active at no cost. The Blue series is more designed to serve as a cash back credit card offering like the Blue Cash EveryDay or Blue Cash Preferred.
Annual Fee Amex Membership Rewards Personal Credit Cards
This comparison only factors in the non-branded Amex credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points. There are 5 different options to choose from and are arranged in increasing order based on their annual fee. As a brief side note, keep in mind that Amex will only offer you a welcome offer “once in a lifetime” per credit card.
|Card Name||Green Card||EveryDay Preferred||Gold Card||Platinum Card|
|Annual Fee||$0 first Year|
|$95||$250||$550 primary card & $175 each additional card|
|Welcome Offer||25,000 points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months||15,000 points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months||35,000 points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months||60,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months|
|Purchase Rewards||*2x Amex Travel purchases|
*1 point all other purchases
|*3x U.S. Supermarkets|
*2x U.S. Gas Stations & Amex Travel
*1x all remaining purchases
|* 4x points at U.S. restaurants|
*4X points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per year in purchases
*3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
*1 point all other purchases
|*5x points for airline tickets from Amex Travel or directly from airlines|
*2x all other Amex Travel reservation
*1x all other purchases
|Additional Perks||CDW Coverage||50% point boost if card used 30 times during billing cycle||$100 Annual Airline Credit||$200 airline fee credit|
Global Lounge Access
$100 Global Entry Credit
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.7%||2.7%||0%||0%|
Terms Apply for the others above – Info about the EveryDay Preferred has been collected independently by JohnnyJet. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.”
Comparing the personal annual fee Amex Membership Cards is a bit more difficult.
American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card is the weakest offering of all the cards. If you only plan on using the card for travel reservations, it might be worth the welcome bonus as you will not have an annual fee the first year, but, upgrading to the Premier Rewards Gold to use the $100 annual credit can cancel out the additional annual fee and there is the potential to earn more points on airfare plus gas & groceries.
The EveryDay Preferred is a good option for a family to charge their daily purchases to as it earns the most points for some of the largest household budget items, gas, and groceries. Plus, if you can use the card at least once per day each month, you can also receive a 50% point boost which can come in handy.
Gold from American Express
For those that do not want to pay the $550 annual fee to own an Amex Platinum premium travel rewards card, the American Express® Gold Card is the best option. The earning potential is high, especially if you frequently go out to eat or do a lot of cooking. The $100 annual airline credit can be used for what American Express classifies as “incidental expenses” such as checked baggage fees and in-flight purchases.
Platinum Card from American Express
The “Cadillac” travel card offered by Amex is its Platinum card. The competition has been fierce in the recent months in the premium travel category as Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve, which many consider the best of the premium credit cards.
To address this issue, Amex increased the purchase reward payout to 5 points per $1 spent on air travel booked directly from an airline or using the Amex Travel portal and American Express has hinted at adding additional benefits in the near future as well.
In addition to earning 5 points per $1 are earned on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, Platinum cardholders will also enjoy complimentary airport lounge access to the Centurion Club, Airspace, Delta Sky Clubs, and International American lounge networks. There is also an annual $200 airline fee credit, and a $100 Global Entry reimbursement.
If you spend a lot of time in the air, it might be worth carrying this card in your wallet instead of the Amex Premier Rewards Gold.
Amex Business Credit Cards
You might be in the position to consider applying for a business Amex instead of a personal card. If so, there are four options to choose from that earn Membership Rewards. Plus, applying for a business credit card will not count against Chase’s 5/24 rule, if you intend to apply for a personal Chase credit card in the near future. And there’s several limited time offers on Amex business cards currently!
|Card Name||Blue Business Plus||Business Green||Business Gold||Business Platinum Card|
|Annual Fee||$0||$0 first year then $95 annually||$295||$450|
|Welcome Offer||Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 with no category restrictions||5,000 points after 1st purchase||Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month (4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year)||50,000 points after spending $10,000 and additional 50,000 points after spending $15,000 on qualifying purchases within first three months|
|Purchase Rewards||· 2X 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.
|· 2 points on Amex Travel|
· 1 point on all other purchases
|· 4x points on 2 categories where your business spent the most each month|
· 1 point on other categories
· 1 point on all other purchases
|· 5x points on Amex Travel|
· 1.5 points on purchases $5,000 or more
· 1 point for all other purchases
|Additional Perks||Option to earn additional MR points with select merchants||No preset spending limit||Similar benefits as personal Platinum card|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||2.7%||2.7%||0%||0%|
Terms Apply – Info about the Business Amex cards has been collected independently by JohnnyJet. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.”
The best card will largely depend on your spending habits, as each offers different purchase rewards.
Blue Business vs. Business Green
Each business has different needs, but the best Amex Business choices are the Blue Business, Business Gold, or Business Platinum to earn Membership Reward Points.
Deciding between the Gold personal card or the Business Gold card will largely hinge on your spending habits. The American Express® Business Gold Card doesn’t come with the $100 travel credit, but, rewards business spending.
Regarding its purchase rewards, you can choose two of the following six categories to earn 4x points and the other four will earn 1x:
- Direct purchases from airlines
- Select advertising costs
- U.S. restaurants
- Select U.S. Gas Stations
- Select computer hardware and software purchases
If you are responsible for business purchases, the purchase reward tiers might be an excellent way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases that can be redeemed for travel.
Enhanced Business Platinum Card (now expired)
The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® currently has a tiered welcome bonus of 100,000 points. All spending must occur within the first three months, but, you receive 50,000 points after spending the first $5,000 and an additional 50,000 points after spending the second $5,000. Which is a significantly better offer than the personal Platinum, if you can meet the minimum spending requirements.
Another new benefit is a 30% redemption bonus on air travel booked with the Amex Travel portal. Amex will only award the bonus if the travel is on the same airline that you select to use the annual $200 air travel credit on, however. In addition to these perks, the business Platinum enjoys the same benefits as the personal Platinum Amex including the $200 air travel credit, lounge access, Global Entry reimbursement, and complimentary Boingo wireless internet hotspot access.
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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.