2019’s Best American Express Card Alternatives

2019’s Best American Express Card Alternatives

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: April 22, 2019
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

Founded in 1850 as an express mail company, American Express became an international company with the creation of the Traveler’s Cheque in 1891. The company has continued to grow and evolve throughout the years, entering the credit card business in the second half of the 20th century and quickly making a name for itself in that space. Today, American Express has over 50 million cardholders with more than $700 billion in annual purchase volume.

But, while Amex is certainly holding onto its fair share of the market, the issuer’s high credit and income standards put its cards out of reach for many people — while others simply want a little something different. Luckily, each popular Amex credit card has several solid alternatives from which to choose, giving consumers plenty of options beyond the popular issuer.

Consumer Credit Cards | Business Credit Cards

Best Alternatives for the Top Amex Consumer Cards

Frequently cited as one of the top credit card issuers for customer service, it’s easy to see why millions of consumers around the globe carry American Express and its nearly two dozen sole- and co-branded credit cards in their pockets.

Even with its diverse collection of credit cards, however, American Express cards aren’t the best fit for every consumer. Luckily, there are many credit card fish in the proverbial sea, and we’ve found the best alternatives to many of the top American Express consumer credit cards.

Platinum | Gold | Cash Magnet® | EveryDay® | Blue Cash

3 Alternatives to the Amex Platinum Card

The iconic American Express Platinum Card has been sought after as a status symbol for years, but it is also a hugely popular as a travel rewards credit card due to its high 5X Membership Rewards® points per dollar on airfare and prepaid hotel purchases (through amextravel.com), as well as its extra benefits like hotel elite status and airport lounge access.

These days, however, the Platinum Card isn’t alone in the top-tier travel card field. Many of the biggest issuers have launched their own elite travel cards with big rewards and big benefits — and big fees — that can easily go head-to-head with Amex’s Platinum Card.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 25.99% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

This card has been popular from its very first day, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do cardholders earn 3X Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar on a wide range of travel and dining purchases, but they also receive an annual travel credit, airport lounge access, and extensive trip and baggage insurance protections.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

While this card isn’t quite as rewarding as Amex’s Platinum Card when it comes to airfare purchases, it’s by far the best for hotel purchases made on popular travel site hotels.com. And, with less than a quarter of the annual fee of the Platinum Card, this is a great alternative for travelers who are leery of such a large fee.

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card may be exclusive to U.S. Bank customers, but it could be well worth joining up to this Amex Platinum Card alternative. Users earn 3X points per dollar on both travel and mobile wallet spending, as well up over $300 in annual travel credits.

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

  • Earn 3X points per $1 on eligible travel purchases and mobile wallet spending
  • Receive up to $325 annual travel reimbursements
  • Pay a $400 annual fee

Cardholders can also enjoy other benefits common to these top-tier cards, including airport lounge access, a credit for Global Entry membership, and a variety of travel and purchase protections.

3 Alternatives to the Amex Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card got a facelift in 2018, unveiling brand new bonus rewards categories. This card now offers 4X Membership Rewards® points per dollar on dining purchases at U.S. restaurants, plus 4X points per dollar on U.S. grocery store purchases, a one-two punch that made waves in the rewards space.

But those waves aren’t big enough to swamp the competition — especially when the Gold Card’s $295 annual fee is taken into consideration. Our favorite alternatives offer competitive rewards on things like groceries and dining while charging only a fraction of the annual fee (or none at all).

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

This is one of the best cards for going head-to-head with the Amex Gold Card thanks to both its 4% cash back on dining and 2% back at grocery stores — neither of which has a spending cap or U.S. restrictions. Plus, cardholders can earn 4% cash back on select entertainment, a broad category that includes everything from museums to sporting events.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 25.99% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

With a strong 3X Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar on a wide range of dining, this card was the reigning restaurant rewards champ before the Gold Card was reintroduced. But, despite its slightly lower return and higher annual fee, this card is still a big favorite among many for its extra perks, including triple points on travel, airport lounge access, and car rental and trip insurance.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
5.0
OVERALL RATING
5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Although this card’s bonus rewards categories change each quarter, cardholders can still usually enjoy at least one quarter of 5% cash back on groceries and one quarter for restaurant purchases. Bonus rewards are limited to the first $1,500 in qualifying purchases each activated quarter, but it’s still a good alternative when you take into account its lack of an annual fee.

3 Alternatives to the Amex Cash Magnet® Card

One of the newest cards from American Express, the Amex Cash Magnet® Card is unique among the bank’s offerings. Not only is the Cash Magnet® Card one of Amex’s few cash back rewards cards, but it’s the only unlimited cash back card without category in Amex’s lineup.

While this card may have filled a vacancy in Amex’s array of card offerings, the greater credit card market is filled with alternative options from nearly every other major issuer. Some of our favorites also include additional benefits like mobile phone insurance or a higher unlimited rate.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
5.0
OVERALL RATING
5.0/5.0
  • New Offer! Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

With an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, no annual fee, and plenty of new cardholder bonuses, this card is a good Amex Cash Magnet® Card alternative all by itself. But, when paired with another Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards®, this card can be even more valuable thanks to the option to turn the cash back into Ultimate Rewards® points.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating
★★★★★
N/A
OVERALL RATING
N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Another card with all the fixings, this card has the same unlimited 1.5% cash back as the Amex Cash Magnet® Card, as well as a good signup bonus and an introductory APR offer. As added perks, this card also comes with 1.8% cash back on qualified mobile wallet purchases for the first year and up to $600 in cellphone protection when you pay your bill with your card.

CITI® RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
0.0/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.
  • Receive 0% for 18 months on balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back; transfer fee applies
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month
  • No categories to track and no caps on cash back
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
15.74% - 25.74% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

This is one of the very few cards on the market to offer a flat unlimited cash back rate greater than 1.5%, albeit a bit traditionally. You’ll earn 1% cash back when you buy and an additional 1% when you pay your balance. This card doesn’t earn a signup bonus, however, so consider that in your calculations.

3 Alternatives to the Amex EveryDay® Cards

With two cards focusing on groceries, the Amex EverDay® Card family is certainly hard to beat outside of another American Express card. The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card’s 2X Membership Rewards® points per dollar is a good return for a card with no annual fee, and the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card’s triple points can make its annual fee well worth paying.

At the same time, only the annual-fee version comes with gas rewards, and both cards cap your bonus rewards on grocery purchases. Some of our top alternatives, on the other hand, have cap-less earnings while including worthwhile categories like dining and other travel expenses.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating
★★★★★
N/A
OVERALL RATING
N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

If you want uncapped rewards on gas station purchases, the card should definitely be on the list. Unlimited 3X points per dollar on gas purchases is nothing to laugh at — especially when added to the 3X points on other travel purchases like airfare and hotel stays. Plus, triple points on dining means you don’t have to cook at home to earn big rewards.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Not only does this card offer unlimited 2X miles per dollar on grocery store purchases, but it also offers the same rewards rate on every purchase, making it a good go-to card no matter where you shop. And, with a good signup bonus and waived first-year fee, you can come away with some serious value in the first year.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card may not be from a big bank, but it certainly offers big-bank rewards with its 5X points per dollar on gas and 3X points per dollar on grocery store purchases.

PenFed Platinum Rewards VISA Signature® Card

  • Earn 5X points per dollar on gas at the pump, 3X points per $1 on groceries
  • Earn unlimited 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

Although you need to be a member of PenFed Credit Union to qualify for this card, there are several ways to become eligible for membership, including joining the National Military Family Association or Voices for America’s Troops for a small one-time fee.

3 Alternatives to the Amex Blue Cash Cards

When it comes to gas and groceries, the two cards from the American Express Blue Cash family have definitely helped set the standard. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card’s remarkable 6% cash back on groceries has yet to be beat outside the Amex portfolio, and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card is still competitive among no-fee options.

But other issuers have been stepping up their grocery game, and several credit cards are available that offer some solid return rates on groceries and gas — though, admittedly, not always at the same time. Check out some of these alternatives to the Blue Cash family of cards to see the competition.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

This card’s 2% cash back at grocery stores isn’t going to out-earn either Blue Cash card on those purchases, nor does it suffer from the Amex cards’ spending cap. Plus, cardholders can earn 4% cash back on their meals out, giving them a way to save no matter how they dine.

BEST OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
5.0
OVERALL RATING
5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Although this card’s rotating categories mean you won’t enjoy the same bonus rewards all year long, history indicates that you’ll get at least one quarter each year of 5% cash back on groceries and one to two quarters of bonus cash back on gas purchases. Keep in mind that only the first $1,500 in purchases will qualify for the 5% cash back each activated quarter.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
0.0/5.0
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Plus, earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on everything else
  • Bonus rewards capped at $2,500 is combined bonus category purchases each quarter
  • No annual fee
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 12 Billing Cycles
0% Intro APR for 12 Billing Cycles (for balance transfers made in the first 60 days)
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

A strong alternative to Amex’s Blue Cash Everyday® Card, this Bank of America offering includes bonus rewards on grocery store, and wholesale club purchases — the latter a category unmatched by the Amex card. Plus, choose your own 3% cash back category from options that include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Note that bonus category purchases have a quarterly spending cap.

Best Alternatives for the Top Amex Business Cards

At even a quick glance, it’s easy to see that American Express has a big role in the business credit card market. The bank and network has more than half a dozen cards issued on its own, plus another double handful of co-branded business cards to round out its portfolio.

Despite its strong array of offerings, however, American Express isn’t the only big name in business credit cards, nor is it necessarily the best, especially for those still working on building that business credit. To help you scout the field, we’ve put together the best alternatives for some of the top Amex business credit cards.

Platinum | Gold | Green | Blue Business℠ | SimplyCash®

3 Alternatives to the Amex Business Platinum Card

Amex’s marquee business credit card, the American Express Business Platinum Card is sought after as much for its perks and benefits as for its 5X hotel and airfare rewards categories. But the card’s sky-high annual fee can be a big turn-off for many business owners, as can the fact that, as a charge card, the Amex Business Platinum Card must be paid off each month.

On the bright side, a number of issuers have business credit cards that offer similar travel rewards for less than half the annual fee. These cards are also all regular revolving credit lines, making it easier to carry a balance when you need a little more time.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

In many ways, this alternative is a better card for travel than the Amex Business Platinum Card thanks to the broader 3X travel category. Not only do more travel-related expenses qualify for triple-point rewards — including tolls and parking fees — but you won’t have to purchase them through a specific website to earn bonus rewards.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® application fee
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Not only does this card earn 2X miles per dollar on travel purchases, but it earns those double miles on every purchase. And, as a beneficiary of Capital One’s revamped travel rewards program, this card’s miles can be worth well more than their face value when transferred to a participating travel partner.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles as Amex’s Business Platinum card, but the U.S. Bank card’s broad Travel and Entertainment category will offer users rewards on more purchase types than the Amex card’s limited airfare and hotel bonuses.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

  • Earn 3X rewards points on a broad bonus category of your choice, including day-to-day expenses, automotive, and travel/entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 1X point on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

In addition to offering bonus rewards on more purchase types, the U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card is much more affordable than the $450 Amex alternative, coming in with $0 annual fee as well as an introductory 0% APR offer that may be worth even more to some cardholders.

3 Alternatives to the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card

The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card stands out from many of Amex’s other business cards thanks to its user-selected bonus categories. Cardholders can choose two 4X points bonus categories from a list that includes common business expenses like airfare, advertising, gas, and shipping purchases.

Despite the card’s customization options, however, it only offers two bonus categories, and it comes with a particularly high $295 annual fee. While the cards on our list can’t top the 4X points per dollar, they can offer rewards that are nearly as good in many of the same categories — and for a fraction of the annual fee (or none at all).

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

While the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card makes users choose just two categories from the list, this card offers many of those options at once in its 3X points bonus category, including travel, shipping, and advertising. Just watch out for the yearly spending cap on rewards purchases.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

For a card with no annual fee, this alternative offers pretty competitive rewards in many of the same categories as the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card. Users can earn up to 5% cash back on office supplies and telecom services, plus up to 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card doesn’t offer quite as high an earnings rate on its rewards as the Business Gold Rewards Card, but the U.S. Bank card makes up for it by offering bonus rewards on more purchase types through broad categories that users can select themselves.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

  • Earn 3X rewards points on a broad bonus category of your choice, including day-to-day expenses, automotive, and travel/entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 1X point on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

The Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card’s bonus categories include Day-to-Day Expenses (good for shipping, advertising, and office supplies), Automotive — including gas, service, tires, and tolls — and a Travel and Entertainment category that offers bonus rewards on things like airfare, auto rentals, and restaurant purchases.

3 Alternatives to the Amex Business Green Rewards Card

As with many of Amex’s business credit cards, the American Express Business Green Rewards Card offers an opportunity to save on travel purchases. However, just as with those cards, the Business Green Rewards Card has a major restriction on its 2X bonus rewards category: You have to go through amextravel.com to book your travel.

For some business owners, that restriction is hardly a deal breaker, especially for double points on travel purchases. But, with just a little research, it’s easy to find comparable business credit cards that offer the same or better return on travel purchases — without the travel portal limitations.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Cardholders can beat the Business Green Rewards Card’s double points by picking up this card, which offers a full 3X points per dollar on all travel purchases (up to the category cap). And this card earns Ultimate Rewards® points, a currency considered to be one of the most valuable for its range of transfer partners.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® application fee
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Thanks to a revamp of Capital One’s miles program to allow for transferable miles, this card’s double miles on every purchase can be worth as much as the Business Green Rewards Card’s Membership Rewards® points, making it a solid alternative to the American Express card.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card meets and exceeds the Business Green Rewards Card’s offerings when users select the Travel and Entertainment category. Cardholders can not only earn triple points on all travel purchases, but they’ll also earn triple points on dining purchases.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

  • Earn 3X rewards points on a broad bonus category of your choice, including day-to-day expenses, automotive, and travel/entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 1X point on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

The Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card also surpasses the Business Green Rewards Card on both its annual fee — $0 fee for the U.S. Bank card versus a $95 fee for the Amex card — but the Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card also offers a revolving credit line with an introductory 0% APR offer.

3 Alternatives to the Amex Blue Business℠ Plus Card

For many rewards junkies, bonus categories are the name of the game, as they tend to offer high return rates that make it easier to accumulate rewards. But, not all purchases fit nicely into common bonus categories. For those purchases, the American Express Blue Business℠ Plus Card is a popular choice.

The Amex Blue Business℠ Plus Card offers 2X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on every purchase, regardless of category, on up to $50,000 in purchases each year. While this is definitely a really solid return, however, business owners have many other options for earning category-free rewards — many of which don’t come with the same obnoxious spending cap.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

This card has the same category-free unlimited rewards rate, but it offers cash back instead of the Membership Rewards® earned by the Amex Blue Business℠ Plus Card. While some may argue that 2X Membership Rewards® points are worth more than 2% cash back, the Capital One card doesn’t have the pesky earnings cap, potentially increasing its value significantly.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.7
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

A solid competitor to the Amex Blue Business℠ Plus Card, this card is also a triple threat with purchase rewards, no annual fee, and an introductory 0% APR offer. But, unlike the Amex card, this alternative has no limit on the rewards you can earn. Plus, if you own a card that earns Ultimate Rewards® points, you can turn your cash back into points for even more value.

Huntington Voice Business Credit Card

The Huntington Voice Business Credit Card isn’t a flat-rate unlimited card like the Amex Blue Business℠ Plus Card, but cardholders may find better value in the Huntington Voice alternative’s user-selected 4% cash back categories, especially given that users can select a new category each quarter to match their spending habits.

Huntington Voice Business Credit Card?

  • Earn 4% cash back in a category of your choice on up to $7,000 in category purchases each quarter
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

Cardholders can choose their bonus rewards category from a selection of 10 options, including general categories — such as gas stations, travel and entertainment, grocery stores, and restaurants — as well as business-centered and niche options like electronics and computer stores, utilities and office supplies, home improvement stores, and auto parts and service purchases.

3 Alternatives to the Amex SimplyCash® Plus Business Card

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Card from American Express is undoubtedly a solid business credit card, offering big 5% cash back bonus categories for two popular business expenses: office supplies and wireless services. And the no-annual-fee card rounds out its rewards with a user-selected 3% category that includes things like gas, restaurants, and advertising purchases.

But, while the SimplyCash® Plus Business Card’s rewards categories are certainly useful to many business owners, they’re also commonly offered by many business credit cards. This means you have a lot of options for finding similar rewards, including some of the alternatives below, even if you can’t qualify for an American Express business card.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

An obvious contender to take on the Amex SimplyCash® Plus Business Card, this card offers the same 5% cash back categories and $0 annual fee. However, rather than limit cardholders to a single 3% category, this card offers 2% cash back on both gas station and restaurant purchases.

BUSINESS CARD RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

This card hits the Amex SimplyCash® Plus Business Card’s two main bonus categories, as well as offering triple points on travel and advertising purchases. And while it may seem that the SimplyCash® has a higher return rate at 5%, the 3X Ultimate Rewards® points are easy to redeem at 1.5¢ per point or more when you redeem for travel or transfer to a travel partner.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

The U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card gives users the ability to select three broad rewards categories. With the Day-to-Day Expenses category, you can earn triple points on both of the SimplyCash® Plus Business Card’s main categories — office supplies and telecom services — as well as triple points on shipping and advertising purchases.

U.S. Bank Business Edge™ Select Rewards Card

  • Earn 3X rewards points on a broad bonus category of your choice, including day-to-day expenses, automotive, and travel/entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 1X point on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

In addition to matching most of the SimplyCash® Plus Business Card’s rewards categories (and then some), the Business Edge™ Select also matches the SimplyCash® Plus Business Card’s $0 annual fee and introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases.

Explore Your Options Beyond American Express

Looking at the variety of American Express credit cards, it’s impossible to say the issuer isn’t a strong competitor in the industry. However, the credit card market is home to literally hundreds of credit cards, making it easy to find good, if not better, alternatives to many of the issuer’s top credit cards.