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American Express Credit Card Reviews

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American Express is consistently one of the highest rated credit card issuers. This could be because the customers are demographically different than average Visa and MasterCard customers. American Express customers are generally individuals and businesses with higher credit ratings, and they are more likely to make better financial decisions. Additionally, many American Express cards are charge cards. Charge cards don’t have associated interest rates, so every bill is due in full. As a result, American Express customers generally don’t buy what they can’t afford to pay back within 30 days.

In the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 credit card satisfaction survey this is the sixth consecutive year that American Express has taken the highest honors. American Express also won the highest accolades from personal finance bloggers, taking home the Best Credit Card in the First Annual Plutus Awards a couple of years ago, with the Blue from American Express card.

Here’s an overview of the major credit and charge cards from American Express and reviews for each.

American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card Sitting in between the Platinum Cards and the regular Gold Card is the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card. For new card holders this card currently offers 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 on purchases with your new card in the first three months of Card membership. On purchases, cardholders earn points quickly, with three points per dollar for flights booked with airlines, two points per dollar on gasoline at US gas stations, two points per dollar at US supermarkets, and one point per dollar on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. These points can be used for gift cards for entertainment and to shop at over 500 leading brands or transfer points to over twenty frequent traveler programs. You can also use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to book your next trip by using the American Express Travel site for your travel related expenses such as airfare, car rentals, accommodations and more. Members receive exclusive access to buy tickets for popular events. There are no interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

There is an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175. The annual fee is much less than the Platinum Card, but the benefits are not as extensive.

Platinum Card® from American Express The Platinum Card® from American Express is the flagship charge card, offering the best benefits American Express can offer. You can earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. When cardholders enroll and select a qualifying airline, they can benefit from up to $200 annually in a statement credit with the airline of your choice to use towards baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and more. There are no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your card. American Express has a 24/7 Platinum Card Concierge service for assistance with last minute restaurant reservations, travel, gifts, and more. As this is a charge card you pay your balance in full each month. If you are a small business owner businesses consider The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

These benefits come at a significant cost. With an annual fee of $450, the Platinum Card is not for the faint of heart. The potential benefits could outweigh this annual fee, but this is a personal decision.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express For travelers that fly on Delta Airlines frequently, the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is one of the best ways to earn relevant and valuable rewards. With the welcome bonus offer you may be rewarded with 30,000 bonus miles after your first $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within three months of Cardmembership and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. You can continue to earn miles at the rate of two miles per eligible dollar spent on qualifying Delta purchases and one mile per dollar for all other eligible purchases. With the Gold Delta SkyMiles card you can check the first bag free on every Delta flights which can add up to a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

While the annual fee for this credit card is $95, there is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express For consumers with excellent credit, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers one of the best cash back programs the issuer has to offer. Get 100 Reward Dollars, which is redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of Card Membership. Plus, after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period, you can get one year of Amazon Prime. As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited free two-day shipping on millions of items. With the cash back program consumers may earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets on the first $6,000 of purchases per calendar year, 3% cash back on gasoline at US gas stations, 3% cash back for purchases at select US department stores, and 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. In terms of how much cardholders can earn in cash back on their purchases, this is the best cash back offer that American Express has, and it is better than offers from many other issuers, as well. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express comes with a $75 annual fee.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Consumers with good credit can consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, offering consumers one of the better cash back programs the issuer has available. Earn 3% cash back at US supermarkets on the first $6,000 of purchases per calendar year, 2% cash back on gasoline at US gas stations, 2% cash back at select US department stores and 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. And as a welcome for new Card Members you can get 50 Reward Dollars, which is redeemable for a $50 statement credit, after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months of Card Membership. In addition, after you sign up for a new membership with your Card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period, you can get one year of Amazon Prime. As an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited free two-day shipping on millions of items. Unlike the Gold and Platinum cards, Blue Cash Everyday is a credit card, so purchases are subject to interest fees if the bills are not paid in full. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

There is no annual fee for being a Card Member of Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.

Blue Sky from American Express® and the Blue Sky Preferred from American Express The Blue Sky from American Express® and the Blue Sky Preferred from American Express are credit cards, not charge cards, focused on travel rewards. With the Blue Sky from American Express spenders can earn one point for virtually every dollar spent on the card, but those points are about 33% more valuable than typical rewards programs. According to the American Express website, “Each 7,500-point increment is equal to a statement credit of up to the amount of the eligible travel purchase capped at $100.” So you’ll want to maximize this by using it on purchases of $100 or more so as not to lose out on any reward benefit.

With the Blue Sky card, there is a welcome bonus: earn 7,500 points after you use your card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Cardmembership – redeemable for a $100 statement credit. The Blue Sky Preferred from American Express has the additional feature of earning two points for every dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels and for car rentals purchased directly from select car rental companies, as well as offering an annual $100 airline allowance in the form of a statement credit to cover airline fees such as airline meals and baggage fees. Points are earned only on eligible purchases. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

The Blue Sky has no annual fee, and The Blue Sky Preferred Card comes with a $75 annual fee.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Without fail, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is the readers’ favorite at Consumerism Commentary. This credit card currently features a Starpoints® bonus offer where you may earn up to 25,000 bonus Starpoints as follows: receive 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 Starpoints after you spend $5,000 on the card in eligible purchases in the first six months of Card Membership. Starpoints can be redeemed with more than 350 airlines with SPG Flights with no blackout dates and more than 1,100 hotels in nearly 100 countries around the world who are participating in the SPG program. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges. For small business owners American Express offers, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express offers a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then after the first year there is a $65 annual fee.

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express is another favorite among Consumerism Commentary readers. There is no bonus offer with this credit card, but the cash back arrangement is solid. Approved applicants can immediately begin receiving cash back at the rates of 3% on gasoline purchases at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco, for purchases up to $4,000 annually (then 1%); 2% on eligible purchases at US restaurants; 2% on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco and 1% on other purchases, including purchases at Costco. Terms and limitations apply. Cash back is issued in the form of an annual reward coupon. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

For Costco members in good standing, this credit card has no annual fee.

American Express bonus offers are not available to applicants who have or have had the product. Also you may not be eligible for the bonus offer if you currently have an American Express Card, please see application page for further information. Cash back and points are earned only on eligible purchases. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

Important Note! The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

Updated April 14, 2014 and originally published August 29, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar SteveDH

There are other less known associations such as the Macy’s American Express Card. I don’t know of any awards attached, but my Mom has one with two accounts associated with the same card. American Express and her Macy’s Store account.

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avatar oscar sussmann

a 16 years cuctomer of american express and when i ask for help with promotion problem i was not deal wit respect consideration or care,had more warm from this compueter that from all 4 of a/ex employees,so much for customer service and loyalty. oscar sussmann

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avatar Sultan Khan

The customer service is very bad. They ask me to send the requirement documents by fax but they don’t receive it. I try to upload the documents but the website don’t let me do it. I mailed the documents and for two weeks but they didn’t receive it till now. I have called them multiple times but every time some new story. The customer service has no idea what is happening in their main office. One can’t go so worst then this.

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avatar Emily

Unfortunately, I have recently had a very unfortunate experience with my Delta American Express card. I had my wallet stolen on a business trip and the only one of my credit card companies who offered to have a new card overnighted to my hotel was American Express. I was extremely grateful. I previously thought that I had autopay set up on each of my cards, but somehow missed my American Express card, so got hit with a $25 late fee and $5 finance charge on a $71 balance. I called the company and, as I had never missed a payment with American Express after being a customer for a year and a half, I expected that, like my other creditors, they would waive the late fee at least. However, I learned that my request was denied without reason and I could not get this decision overturned after have a frank conversation with a supervisor. Apparently, there are rigid criteria for extending customers this basic courtesy and I did not meet them fully. From this point forward, I will be avoiding American Express because they are the ONLY credit card company that has ever treated me this way–I have worked with companies including Chase, Target, Discover, etc., and have never been treated so much like a number and checklist. How unfortunate to read others’ similar stories throughout the web. I do hope American Express will one day listen to its customers before it’s too late!

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avatar Zeke

I spent 3 hours on the phone today with Amex trying to find out why I was refused an associate cardholder card on my wife’s new Delta Skymiles Amex Rewards card. I spoke to 12 people in 3 different departments. I was transferred from customer service to new accounts and back again numerous times. Approximately 80% of the connections were “fuzzy” or faint, which made the East Indian accents difficult to understand. Often it was clear that they had no idea what I was talking about and were simply reading from a script. On three occasions I was connected with someone whose native language appeared to be english. On the first, the connection was dropped right after she stated her name. On the second one, she gave me a number to call that she was sure could solve the problem. It turned out to be the parts department of an appliance business. The third person I spoke to who had any help to offer gave me the phone number of the correct department, but they had closed an hour earlier.

The information I was able to collect from the 12 people I talked to seemed to indicate that the problem was a bankruptcy I filed 14 years ago, wherein I defaulted on an Amex account. The bankruptcy has long since dropped off my credit reports, and since then I’ve had a 6 figure income, and impeccable credit with a credit score around 800. Looking on line, it appears that Amex keeps a blacklist of anyone who’s ever defaulted on an account, even a bankruptcy, and they will refuse to issue a new card, ever. Some people say they have been told that if they paid the default amount they would be CONSIDERED for a new card. This is, if not illegal, at least unethical, as during a bankruptcy debtors are forbidden from paying off some debts, but not others. I was once a fan of Amex. It used to be that I wouldn’t patronize places that didn’t take Amex, and I made sure they knew why. Now, as soon as my tax and investment situation permits it, I’m going to sell enough stock to pay off all Amex accounts (we do have a corporate account) and cancel the cards, and close the accounts. I have a blacklist too, and I’m done with Amex.

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avatar gloria

The ad by JetBlue/American Express: “Get 20,000 TrueBlue points after you spend $1,000 with your Card in your first 3 months of Card membership. Plus, a $0 introductory annual fee for the 1st year, then $40.” IS NOT TRUE. The 20,000 is bogus…it does not apply. — If American Express would have told us that we would not receive the 20,000 miles for opening an account, both my husband and I would have definitely NOT been lured by the ad, applied and opened an account with American Express Jet Blue. After we opened the account, we both charged and paid in a month more than the $1000 required in 3 months. Also we will be charged each $40 for nothing! because American Express refuses to honor the the 20,000 miles for opening the account — Over two years ago we opened an AE Jet Blue card, but because my mother became very ill, both my husband and I could not travel. Therefore instead of paying the yearly fee for a travel card that we would not use, we both canceled the cards. Now, after the fact and only after I called American Express and spent over 30 minutes on the telephone, do I find that we will not be granted the 20,000 miles for opening the accounts. American Express should advise out front, not wait to be called….What a waste of time and effort calling American Express customer service… the only answer I got was…oh, sorry, I have no authority…and of course, the supervisor was not available. Not to mention, since we could not travel while my mother was ill, my husband lost all his miles from the previous card and I did most of them, too. — do I sound like a happy customer?

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