AmEx credit cards

American express or AmEx is a credit card issuing bank and financial company with its own global payment network.

AmEx became famous in 1950-60s with its charge cards, targeting affluent customers. Since then, a strong competition from almost all major banks in the upper end pushed AmEx from catering high net worth individuals to a more ‘retail spending’ category. 

Today the company extended its product lines with EveryDay revolving credit cards. Now AmEx offers typical credit cards with great rewards, no annual fee options and ability to carry a balance on a card. 

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR9.90 - 19.90% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 3% BT fee

$35 annual fee

reports to 3 bureaus

no penalty APR

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 6 monthsregular APR15.24 - 15.24% (V)
intro BT APR 15.24% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 3% on every $1 
  • earn 3% back on gas ($4,000 annual limit, then 1%)
  • 2% on travel purchases, dining out and Costco purchases
  • 1% on everything else 

the card was discontinued on March 2016

no annual fee with paid Costco membership

up to 3% back

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.49 - 19.49% (V)
intro BT APR 15.49-19.49% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1 or 5 points per dollar +25,000 welcome bonus
  • earn 5x points on reservations directly at Starwood Preferred Guest program hotels:
  • you get 3 points as a program member
  • you get 2 points as a cardmember 
  •  1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 25,000 points if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of the card

$95 annual fee, waived for the first year

best hotel rewards program

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 12.99-21.99%
rewards 1 2 3 points per $1 +20% or 50% monthly

basic card:

  • get 2x points at US supermarkets with a $6,000 limit in purchases annually (then 1x)
  • earn 20% bonus on your points if you use a card at least 20 times a month

Preferred card:

  • get 3x points at US supermarkets with a $6,000 limit in purchases annually (then 1x)
  • 2x points at US gas stations
  • earn 50% bonus on your points if you use a card at least 30 times a month
1 point per $1 on all other purchases for both card versions

no annual fee for basic card

$95 annual fee for Preferred card

up to 2.2-4.5x points on every dollar

10,000-15,000 intro bonus

free Amazon Prime membership

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at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% 2% 3% on $1 +$50 bonus
  • earn 3% back at US supermarkets (limited by $1000 spending annually, then 1%)
  • 2% on gas and in selected department stores
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • $50 sign up bonus after spending $1000 in purchases in the first 3 months

no annual fee

up to 2-3% cash back

Amazon Prime membership free

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Benefits

Some important benefits, included in AmEx cards package are:

  1. Car Rental Insurance. It offers Collision Damage Waiver for rental cars with MSRP below $50,000 for 30 days or less.
  2. Lost or stolen baggage. It covers up to $500 per trip for all persons combined. It works only if you pay for your tickets with American Express card.
  3. Global Assist Program or 24/7 Premium Assist Hotline Program for Platinum card holders.

 

Pros

  • AmEx still has a good recognition. You will not necessarily impress people with AmEx card, but some still look at AmEx as an upper end brand.
  • The company has good standards for customer service.
  • Usually high credit limits.

 

Cons

  • American Express is accepted at fewer places than VISA or MasterCard. The company is improving the situation, but small merchant locations tend not to accept AmEx cards. Overseas acceptance is worse than for VISA or MasterCard as well.


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