Earn up to $400 Back in the form of statement credits: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back - plus, earn $200 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
Access to Global Assist® Hotline - 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services
0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership
Earn 4X Points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases. Also earn 4X Points on restaurants, 3X points on flights when booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.
Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed and other participating partners. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees, like checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Gold Card account
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of card membership
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, 1.5X points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (that's an extra half point per dollar) up to 1 million additional points per calendar year, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
Select one qualifying airline and get up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card®
Access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries and counting with the American Express Global Lounge Collection®
Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
Earn 10X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases on your new Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
$200 annual hotel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $25 monthly Equinox credit, $15 monthly Uber cash credit, $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Centurion Lounge
Welcome Offer: Receive a $125 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
5% Back or 90 Days Terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership on the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year, 1% Back thereafter
2% Back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
1% Back on other purchases
Expense management tools to help you track and organize expenses
Earn up to $300 Back in the form of statement credits: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership - plus, earn $150 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases
Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases, then a variable rate applies
Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and more
Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases and up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants on your new Card in your first 3 months
Earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your card up to 4 times/year
Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases made directly with Delta -- all other purchases earn 1 mile per $1
Complimentary access into Delta Sky Club® plus two Delta Sky Club One-Time Guest Passes each year
Receive a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+®, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend
You can get double Membership Rewards® points on every dollar of eligible travel purchases—such as prepaid hotel stays, vacation packages, and cruises—when you use your card to book your trip through AmexTravel.com
Amex Offers rewards you at places you like to shop, dine, travel, and more. Simply log in to your account or use the American Express® App to add offers to your card. Then use that same card to pay and enjoy rewards directly on your statement.
Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into clear and simple monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest
Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months
Earn 3X miles on Delta purchases and hotels, 2X miles at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and U.S. supermarkets, all other purchases earn 1 point per $1
Get your first bag free on Delta flights booked with your card
Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your card
Receive either a statement credit available every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit available every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA Pre✓® (up to $85) with an eligible Card
Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on your new card at U.S. restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
You will receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - only available to the Basic Card Member
Earn 6X Points on hotels for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3X Points at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X Points for each dollar on everything else
Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel.
With Card Membership, you can enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying
Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle, including airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio), U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions, and U.S. purchases at gas stations, restaurants, or for shipping. Applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
Earn 1X Membership Rewards® points on other purchases
Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points and get 25% of those points back, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year
The Schwab Investor Card® from American Express is only available to clients who maintain an eligible Schwab account.
Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back automatically deposited into your eligible Schwab account for purchases made with your Card.
Earn a $200 Card Statement Credit after spending $1,000 in purchases on your Schwab Investor Card® from American Express in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
0% introductory APR on purchases for 6 months starting from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, 13.99% to 16.99%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
The Navy Federal nRewards Secured credit card lets you earn rewards while building your credit
No annual fees, no balance transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no cash advance fees
Deposit at least $200 into your membership savings account (before submitting your application) to back your spending. Once approved, we’ll hold your deposit in your account as your card’s credit limit.
After just 3 months, you could be eligible for an upgrade. If you qualify, we’ll provide you with additional credit to allow for spending beyond your deposit. Then, at 6 months, we’ll review your account monthly to see if you’re eligible to have your hold removed and be upgraded to a cashRewards unsecured card.
Must be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to qualify
Get rewarded with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you spend money in stores or online. The funds are available to add to your Account as soon as the transaction settles with us, so you don't have to wait to enjoy the rewards.
You can withdraw your money without a fee at over 30,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations nationwide.
Can’t find your Serve card? No need to worry - you can quickly freeze it while you look for it and unfreeze it when you find it. And for extra reassurance, know you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges.
With Emergency Assistance, you can get select access to select emergency coordination and assistance services when you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home.
Amex Offers provide a range of offers – shopping, dining and more – from places you love. It’s easy and free.
The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which CardRates.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.
20 FAQs About American Express Credit Cards
By: Anna Baluch
Personal Finance Writer
CardRates.com Guide: American Express®
While American Express is certainly one of the world's largest payment processors, the company is also a major global issuer, offering more than 24 consumer and business credit and charge cards designed for a wide range of cardholders.
If you’d like to put one of the best American Express credit cards in your wallet, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how they work. Below, we’ll dive deep into some of the most frequently asked questions about American Express cards.
1. What is American Express?
American Express, also known as Amex, is a multibillion-dollar corporation headquartered in New York City. People from all walks of life use their credit cards to get rewarded for their spending. The company’s cards offer various perks that include cash back, travel points, 0% APR offers, priority boarding, airport lounge access, and more.
American Express dates back to 1850 when it was founded as a freight forwarding company in Buffalo, New York. It was originally created to ship large parcels and valuable items and was considered to be more reliable than the U.S. Postal Service at the time.
The reputation of reliability and integrity American Express developed led to decades of near-monopoly status in the financial services industry. In 1882, the company decided to expand into the money order business and soon became the preferred alternative to U.S. Postal Service money orders.
More than a century after its founding, the company introduced a charge card to provide customers with a convenient payment method. The interest in these cards was so strong that 250,000 were issued even before the official launch date in 1958.
The American Express® Gold Card made its debut in 1966 and its Platinum Card came about in the 1990s. Over time, American Express has continued to evolve and bring new credit cards to the market and is known for its top-tier rewards credit cards.
By the early 21st century, the company had a presence in more than 40 countries. Today, it is known as one of the largest global payments networks. In addition to personal and business credit card options, American Express offers travel-related products, including tour packages and travel planning services.
You’ll be able to borrow as much or as little money as you’d like up to your credit limit. Factors such as your income, credit score, and debts will dictate your credit limit.
American Express will process every credit card transaction you make on its cards. This means they’ll ensure the money makes its way to the merchants and you get billed. When your bill comes, you can pay the minimum amount due or pay the entire balance in full. You can also pay any amount in between.
Ideally, however, you’d pay your entire balance no matter which Amex card you have so that you can save on interest costs. The less you pay on your bill, the more you’ll have to dish out on interest charges.
It’s important to always pay your bill on time because American Express will report your payment history to the credit bureaus. Missed or late payments can ding your credit score and leave you with hefty late fees.
If you apply for an American Express charge card, such as the renowned Platinum Card or Amex Gold Card, you will need to pay your bill in full by the due date every month. The benefit of a charge card is that it won’t come with a preset spending limit or interest charges. This type of card can help you avoid debt and still allow you to reap the benefits of credit card rewards, but only applicants with good to excellent credit scores will qualify.
3. What Are the Benefits of Having an American Express Card?
Generally speaking, you’ll enjoy the following perks as an American Express card member:
Mobile App: The Amex mobile app can allow you to make payments, monitor your account, redeem your rewards, and more. You’ll also be able to receive your monthly statements through the app and set alerts to inform you when they’re available.
Airport Lounge Access: If you travel often for work or pleasure, you’ll receive complimentary or discounted access to airport lounges around the world. While each lounge varies, most offer free food, drinks, WiFi, and comfortable chairs.
Concierge Service: You can use the concierge service to help you plan a trip, find a restaurant, or book a hotel room. Best of all, you won’t have to pay a dime.
Global Assist Hotline: The Global Assist Hotline can support you any time you’re missing luggage, need a medical or legal referral, have a question about your service, or are in search of translation services.
Amex Express Checkout: With Amex Express Checkout, you can pay for your purchases without entering your card number. All you have to do is log in with your Amex credentials at qualifying retailers. Not providing your card number provides extra fraud protection at checkout.
Entertainment Access: You can receive access to a variety of virtual and in-person events related to music, sports, and theater, among other experiences.
Amex Offers: Amex is infamous for its Amex offers, which are special rebates for making certain purchases using your Amex credit card. These offers change regularly and vary by card. You can add an Amex offer to your card in the app or through the email message you’ll receive when new Amex offers are available.
Hotel Statuses: Several Amex cards offer automatic status upgrades at certain hotel brands, like Hilton and Mariott, that unlock special perks while staying at these hotels. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Card offers cardmembers Silver Status in addition to lucrative Hilton Honors bonus points.
The Amex credit card you select will determine the specific benefits you enjoy.
4. Which is the Best American Express Card?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question because the best American Express Card depends on your unique situation. While the Platinum Card may be right for your friend, you may be better off with the Blue Cash Preferred Card. Consider the following to find the ideal card for you:
Spending Habits: Some cards, like the Amex EveryDay®, reward you for eligible net purchases while others like the American Express® Business Gold Card have certain bonus categories that offer more cash back reward dollars or rewards points. The card you select should reward you most for what you frequently buy.
Rewards: Think about your lifestyle and what type of rewards card would be the most meaningful to you. Would you like to earn some extra cash at the end of every month? Or do you prefer points that can be used toward airfare or travel?
Annual Fee: Many American Express cards come with annual fees. That’s why it’s important to do the math and make sure a card’s benefits outweigh the fees. Choose a card because you like what it has to offer, not because it comes with the lowest annual fee or no fee at all.
Interest Charges: In a perfect world, you’d pay every credit card bill on time and in full. Since you may make partial payments or even miss payments from time to time. Looking at the interest charges that come with a card is essential. If you receive a sky-high interest rate, you may want to look for another card.
Read each card’s terms and conditions to ensure the card is a perfect match for you before submitting an application.
5. Does American Express Offer Credit Cards for Bad Credit?
Most American Express credit cards require good or excellent credit for approval. However, this doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if your credit is less than stellar.
The closest credit card available from American Express for someone with bad credit is the Blue from American Express®, which is a great Amex starter card. However, you likely need a score closer to the fair range, which is a score of between 580 and 669, to qualify for this card.
The Blue card provides one Membership Rewards point for every dollar you spend. You can earn as many points as you’d like.
American Express also offers a few prepaid cards that allow you to make purchases everywhere Amex is accepted, but these aren’t technically credit cards, nor do they come with all of the benefits mentioned above.
You may want to focus on improving your credit score if your credit disqualifies you from the American Express credit card you desire. Pay your bills on time, keep your debt-to-income ratio low, and only apply for credit when you absolutely need to. In time, you’ll notice a boost in your credit score, and may be eligible for the American Express card of your choice.
6. Is an Amex Card Worth It?
In most cases, an Amex card is worth it because you can pay for online and in-person purchases conveniently, you won’t have to carry around cash, and you may earn rewards for your everyday spending.
The best American Express credit cards will reward you with generous cash back reward dollars and a 0% intro APR or rewards points for airfare, hotels, and other travel purchases. In addition to rewards, an Amex card can treat you to a variety of other perks.
You may receive access to airport lounges via the Global Lounge Collection. Or you may earn a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Other potential rewards include rental car loss and damage insurance and discounts on in-flight purchases.
While an Amex card is usually a great choice, you’ll want to forgo it if the annual fee outweighs the benefits it provides. Also, if you tend to overspend on credit cards and don’t feel confident you’ll be able to make timely payments, an American Express card may steer you into debt.
Essentially, an Amex card makes sense if you find its rewards and benefits to be valuable, consider yourself a responsible borrower, and believe the perks you’ll earn will cover the fee to own one.
7. Is American Express Prestigious?
American Express has been around since 1850 and today is a multi-billion dollar company with offerings in countless countries. So, yes, most people would consider Amex to be prestigious. It’s a credible, innovative credit card issuer with a long-standing history of success in the credit space.
Of course, some American Express credit cards are more prestigious than others. The Centurion, or Black Card, for example, is only available to those who receive an invitation and meet large annual spending requirements. With the Centurion, you’ll enjoy elite status to prominent hotel brands like Hilton Honors Diamond and Marriott Bonvoy Gold.
You’ll also qualify for exclusive retail perks such as the Centurion Shopping Program, InCircle Rewards, and the NET-A-Porter Shopping Service. In addition, you’ll be invited to the exclusive Hertz Platinum status and Avis President’s Club.
We can’t forget the access to a 24/7 concierge service, which can take care of your travel planning and gift-giving tasks. If you’re a big spender and receive an invite to apply for the Centurion, the luxurious benefits may make your life easier and more enjoyable. Just be sure to pay the large initiation and annual fee.
8. Is American Express Better than Mastercard or Visa?
Many people believe that American Express is a superior option to Mastercard and Visa. To understand why let’s look at the key differences between them.
Mastercard and Visa are payment networks and offer cards that are issued by banks like Wells Fargo and Citi. American Express, however, is a payment network and issuer. This means Amex provides a simpler transaction process and can therefore reduce its fees.
The four payment networks are American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.
If you choose American Express over Mastercard and Visa, you’ll notice that the company has developed strong relationships with a variety of airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies, and other businesses. It’s also earned countless positive reviews from critics and customers alike.
Some of the most noteworthy standout benefits of American Express cards are higher-end airport lounge access, Uber credits, reimbursements for Global Entry and TSA Precheck, and generous rewards for your net purchases. You’ll also notice that while American Express does tend to cater to the high-end borrower, it offers a wide range of credit card options to meet various needs.
While an American Express credit card may cost you an annual fee, you’ll likely find that its higher-than-average rewards, long list of perks, and stellar customer service make the fee well worth it.
9. Which FICO Score Does American Express Use?
You can expect American Express to pull your credit history when you apply for an Amex card. They’ll use your credit to determine what kind of borrower you are and whether they should approve you. The higher your credit score and the stronger your credit history, the more likely you’ll get approved.
It is reported that in most cases, American Express will look at your Experian credit report. While the company may also occasionally look at the two other major credit bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion — Experian is their preferred bureau.
If you’re wondering how your credit looks with Experian, visit AnnualCreditReport.com to receive a free copy of your report. If you notice any errors or inaccuracies, be sure to dispute them with Experian right away. Failure to do so can lead Amex to deny your credit application because of faulty information.
Keep in mind that American Express typically only performs hard credit pulls for new applications.
This means that they may not ask Experian for a copy of your report if you already have an Amex card. As long as you pay your bills on time, keep your debt balances low, and have a debt-to-income ratio of 30% or below, your credit should be in good shape.
With the Blue Business Cash™ Card, you can earn a high cash back rate for spending at grocery stores and on U.S. streaming subscriptions. You’ll also be able to make great money for purchases on transit, including gas, taxi, and ride-share services, as well as parking and tolls.
Another popular cash back credit card is the Cash Magnet® Card, which is a smart choice if you’d like unlimited cash back on every eligible purchase you make. If you spend a lot for work, you may want to consider the Blue Business Cash™ Card. It offers cash back on all eligible purchases up to a certain amount per calendar year. Once you reach this amount, you’ll still earn cash back at a lower rate.
No matter which cash back card you choose, you can redeem your rewards in a few different ways. You can apply the cash back to your statement balance, request a check, transfer the cash to your bank account, or use your cash as reward points.
11. Which Amex Cards Offer Points?
If you choose a card that offers credit card points, you’ll receive a certain number of rewards points for every dollar you spend. The types of purchases you make may play a role in the value of the points. Oftentimes, a travel credit card will offer more points or miles per dollar spent on travel-related purchases.
A few Amex cards operate on the Amex Membership Rewards® points system, including the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. You’ll receive points on various eligible purchases and even more points every time you shop at a U.S. grocery store.
The American Express® Gold Card also rewards you with extra rewards points for spending at grocery stores, restaurants, and flights booked directly on the American Express or an airline website.
You may want to consider the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card if you like to travel and have a preference for Delta Airlines. You’ll earn miles at restaurants and eligible purchases you make directly with Delta. You can redeem your points to cover the cost of flights and other Delta purchases.
Fortunately, there’s no annual fee and you can save money if you redeem your points via Pay with Miles on Delta.com.
12. What Amex Cards are Available for Business Owners?
If you own a business, you can get rewarded for your business expenses with an Amex card. American Express offers a few cards that are specifically designed for business spending.
The American Express® Business Gold Card is one option. It rewards you the most with points on the two categories where your business spends the most, every billing cycle.
These bonus categories include technology purchases from select providers of hardware, software, and cloud solutions, gas stations, restaurants, and airfare. If you book flights for your business trips via American Express Travel with your rewards points, you’ll receive 25% of your points back.
Business Platinum Card® will reward you generously with points every time you book flights and hotels through American Express Travel or make eligible purchases of $5,000 or more. In addition, Business Platinum Card® offers statement credits each calendar year. You can use these credits toward baggage fees and other incidentals with the airline of your choice.
You’ll also receive access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection™ so you can relax on business trips at any of the thousands of airport lounges across the world. For a cash back business card, you can’t go wrong with the Blue Business Cash™ Card.
The Blue Business Cash™ Card rewards you with cash back on all eligible purchases. There is no annual fee and you may earn statement credits on certain purchases with participating merchants.
13. How do American Express Membership Rewards Points® Work?
American Express Membership Rewards Points® allow you to earn rewards when you make purchases with some of Amex’s most popular cards. The Platinum Card® and Gold American Express® Card are two examples. Your Membership Rewards Points® can be used toward a number of different rewards:
Cash or Gift Cards: While you can exchange your Membership Rewards Points® for cash or gift cards, the value of this type of redemption is fairly low. You may want to consider other redemption options before you go this route.
Check Out Online: If you shop online at major retailers, including Amazon or Best Buy, you can use your points at checkout with these retailers. You may pay with all or a portion of your points. Special promotions may sometimes make this option worthwhile.
Book Travel: You can use American Express Travel to book airfare, hotels, cruises, rental cars, or vacation packages with your points. Your membership reward points will hold the highest value if you use them toward airfare.
To get the most for your hard-earned American Express Membership Rewards Points®, it’s best to save them for travel-related expenses. If you aren’t traveling any time soon, you may want to keep collecting rewards points so you can eventually splurge on a nice, expensive trip.
14. Do All Amex Cards Offer a Welcome Bonus?
Most Amex cards offer a welcome bonus (or signup bonus), which means you can earn bonus rewards that include cash back, miles, or points when you use your card after you receive it. To earn the welcome bonus, you’ll have to reach a minimum spending requirement within the first few months of opening your account.
It’s important to note that American Express has a special rule when it comes to welcome bonuses. You can only claim one signup bonus per card per lifetime.
In other words, you can apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card and take advantage of the welcome bonus only once. You cannot close the account and sign back up for the same card in the future in hopes of receiving the welcome bonus again.
15. What is the Amex Global Lounge Collection?
At its core, the American Express Global Lounge Collection is a network of more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries. While its flagship lounges include the Centurion Lounge and the International American Express, you may also receive access to one of its partner lounge networks.
A few examples of Amex cards that offer access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection include The Platinum Card®, Business Platinum Card®, and the Centurion® Card. At every lounge, you’ll enjoy complimentary food and drinks, free high-speed WiFi, phone charging stations, and comfortable seating. Depending on where you are, you may also benefit from additional features like showers and dedicated work areas.
Regardless of whether you’re a frequent or occasional traveler, the American Express Global Lounge Collection is sure to make your time at airports more comfortable and enjoyable. While visitor restrictions vary by lounge, almost all lounges allow one guest or immediate family member to enter for free.
You’ll need to present your boarding pass, a photo ID, and eligible credit card to gain entry to an airport lounge. These lounges are solely for American Express card members. You cannot purchase a day pass or membership to them.
16. Is it Hard to Get an Amex Platinum Card?
The Platinum Card® is one of the most desirable travel cards in the American Express lineup. While it does come with a high annual fee, its generous benefits and valuable American Express Membership Rewards Points® often make it well worth it.
Platinum cardmembers receive a host of perks, including free airport lounge access, Uber VIP status, and travel credits, among several other benefits.
That’s why you will need excellent credit to get approved for The Platinum Card and take advantage of the membership reward program. The average Platinum card member has a minimum credit score of 700. However, you may still get approved if your credit score is in the high 600s.
You’ll have the highest chances of approval if you have good or excellent credit, a low debt-to-income ratio, and only open new accounts when you absolutely need them. You should also be at least 21 years of age and be able to afford the high annual fee.
If you’re worried you won’t get approved for The Platinum Card®, you may want to apply for another Amex card first. This way you can establish a relationship with American Express and improve your credit through timely payments. The American Express® Gold Card is one option and known as one of the best American Express credit cards.
While the American Express® Gold Card doesn’t come with all the extra travel benefits, it can still give you the opportunity to cash in on Membership Rewards® points and statement credits for a much lower fee.
17. Which American Express Card is the Easiest to Get?
Fortunately, several of the best American Express credit cards are fairly easy to get. If you don’t have the best credit, Amex prepaid cards may be the way to go.
You can load cash onto these cards and use them to pay bills, buy groceries, withdraw cash, or shop online. The most popular prepaid card is known as the Serve® American Express® Prepaid Debit Account. It comes with free early direct deposit, free online bill pay, and free withdrawals at over 30,000 ATMs.
If you think you’ll reload cash often, the American Express Serve® Free Reloads may be a solid pick. You’ll receive all the benefits of the traditional Serve® card plus free cash reloads at over 45,000 locations.
The last prepaid option is called the American Express Serve® Cash Back. In addition to the benefits of Serve, you’ll enjoy cash back when you spend online or in person.
If you’re not interested in a prepaid option, consider the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. You may get approved with good credit and it offers a welcome bonus plus rewards points on eligible purchases. There’s no annual fee and a 0% intro APR offer.
The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card is another card that may approve you if you don’t have top-notch credit. It may be right for you if you like to fly on Delta Airlines and wish to earn miles that can be used toward travel instead of cash back rewards.
18. Will an American Express Card Improve My Credit Score?
Your credit score won’t magically get higher if you simply get approved for and use an Amex card. You’ll need to make your credit card bill payments on time, every time. Unfortunately, even one late or missed payment can take a toll on your credit.
If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to make timely payments, you may want to enroll in autopay or set up calendar reminders on your phone.
While you can make the minimum payments, it is in your best interest to pay your balance in full every billing cycle. This way you’ll be able to avoid hefty interest charges and credit card debt.
An Amex card may also lower your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you’re currently using divided by the total amount of credit you have available. Ideally, your credit utilization ratio should be no more than 30%.
If you have poor credit or no credit, an Amex card can help you position yourself as a responsible borrower. You’ll be more likely to get approved for credit cards and loans with lower interest rates and more favorable terms with an improved credit score.
19. Can I Transfer My Membership Rewards Points to Other Loyalty Programs?
You may be able to transfer your Membership Rewards points to other loyalty programs. This strategy can help you receive an upgrade or cash in on a reward flight or hotel room. If you decide to transfer your Amex points, it’s essential that you link your Membership Rewards account to a participating frequent flyer or guest program account.
If you wish to transfer your rewards points to book a flight or hotel, be sure to check availability as well as how many points you need before you complete the transfer. Once you initiate the transfer, check your loyalty program to make sure every membership rewards point has transferred correctly. Then, you can redeem directly with the airline or hotel of your choice.
Keep in mind that all transfers are final. So once you transfer your Membership Rewards points, there’s no going back. You won’t be able to transfer them back to your Membership Rewards account.
You’ll earn bonus points or miles after you meet a certain spending threshold within your first three months of opening the card. Delta SkyMiles® Blue can also hook you up with miles for restaurant purchases (takeout and delivery) and purchases made directly with Delta.
Additionally, you’ll receive a 20% statement credit once you use your card on in-flight Delta purchases that include food, beverages, and headsets. If you book your flight via Pay with Miles, you’ll get a discount for every 5,000 miles you redeem. Best of all, there’s no annual fee.
You’ll find Delta SkyMiles® Blue to be quite flexible because it allows you to pay in full or carry a balance (with interest). This is great news if you use it to cover everyday purchases as well as occasional large expenses. You’ll be able to continue to earn rewards, regardless of how you pay your bill, as long as it’s paid on time and your account is in good standing.
Other noteworthy benefits of Delta SkyMiles® Blue are that your miles will never expire, there are no blackout dates, and you can earn as many miles as you wish. The card also allows you to redeem your miles for one-way flights and book at one of Delta’s airline partners, including AeroMexico, AirEuropa, and KLM, among others.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
The information on this page was reviewed for accuracy on .
About the Author
Personal Finance Writer
Anna Baluch is a finance writer who enjoys writing about personal money management topics, including credit and lending, mortgages, retirement, insurance, and investing. Her work has been published on LendingTree, Business Insider, Experian, Credit Karma, Inc.com, ValuePenguin, MagnifyMoney, and other well-known online publications. Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northwood University.
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