Compare American Express credit cards
Founded in New York in 1850, American Express set out to create new financial products and travel services to make life easier for people and businesses.
As well as inventing the travellers cheque system, it also launched one of the first US credit cards, known as the Amex card - offering customers a new and convenient way to pay.
Today, American Express is one of the world’s best-known credit card providers, standing apart from most other card issuers by having its own network to process card payments.
American Express offers the following types of credit cards:
American Express premium and charge cards are designed to help you buy items and pay for them in full later on.
They come with a host of luxurious perks and reward points, which can really add up if you use the card often and for expensive purchases like flights and hotels.
To provide a higher-end experience, these cards come with an annual fee - which can be up to £575 if you have the Platinum card.
With such a pricey annual fee, it’s important to make sure that the perks are worth it. If you’re not going to take full advantage of the rewards scheme, you’d be better off with a different card.
This a type of credit or charge card designed to be used for your travel needs, alongside everyday purchases.
When you pay for flights and hotel accommodation using your card you can earn Membership Rewards or air miles, like Avios.
You can use the points you build up to help pay for future trips and hotel stays. Plus, you can still enjoy other benefits, like access to airport Priority Pass lounges.
An American Express reward credit card helps you to earn rewards every time you spend money using your card.
Your reward points can be used to help pay for things like flights and hotel stays, as well as giving you discounts on shopping, theatre and event tickets, and more.
You can even turn your points into gift cards from one of American Express’ wide range of retail, travel and entertainment partners.
It’s important to pay back the balance in full each month to avoid being charged interest, otherwise it can really stack up and quickly wipe out any rewards you’ve earned.
Cashback credit cards from American Express allow you to earn cash rewards every time you use your card to make a purchase.
Provided as a percentage of each transaction, the cashback is paid to you as a statement credit every year - reducing your credit card bill.
But make sure you pay off your balance in full each month, so that the interest charges don’t outweigh the cashback.
No matter what type of credit card you’re searching for, always compare options from different lenders to find the very best deal for you. Look at interest rates, introductory periods and potential fees to get the full picture of what they offer.
There are three main levels of American Express credit card and each one offers a variety of benefits:
The platinum card is a premium Amex card designed for people who like to spend, travel, and fly frequently.
Available as a cashback credit card or a charge card, the platinum range offers you a suite of enhanced benefits.
Depending on the type of card you choose, these can include:
The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card has been designed to suit people who enjoy travel and adventure.
It offers plenty of perks and membership rewards and provides the best reward earning rates in the American Express Membership Rewards programme.
Benefits of the Preferred Rewards Gold card include:
The iconic Green American Express card is a charge card designed for people who want the ease of using one card to make all their travel purchases.
While it doesn’t have the airport lounge access benefits of the gold or platinum cards, the Green card still helps you earn points and provides travel and shopping related protection.
The Green card benefits include:
Membership Reward points are a way of earning money back every time you use your American Express card.
You’ll earn one point for every pound you spend, plus there are no limits to how many points you can earn and they’ll never expire.
You can use your Membership Reward points to:
If you take out supplementary cards for your family, when they use their cards, they can also help you build up your reward points. Just make sure you all agree on how much can be spent.
Depending on the card you take out, some American Express cards come with an annual fee. This gets charged to the card and you’ll need to pay it every year.
Some example fees you might pay:
When you’re taking out an American Express card, you’ll also need to consider spending limits that might be applied, along with any interest charges and late payment fees.
Millions of retailers around the world accept American Express cards and there are also plenty of places you can use it in the UK.
However, if you’re worried about your card being refused, it’s a good idea to carry a backup one with you from a different payment network, like Visa or Mastercard.
Avios are reward points that you can build up by using your Amex cards to do everyday shopping and buying things like holidays or airline tickets.
The points are aimed at people who are frequent travellers and can be used to help towards the cost of flights, hotels and car rentals.
Collecting Avios points can help frequent flyers get a discount on their international travel costs and you can also use them to spend on online shopping.
When you apply for an American Express card, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria, and this will differ depending on the card you apply for.
To be eligible, several factors will be taken into account including your income and your credit history.
You can check your eligibility for an American Express card without impacting your credit rating by using our smart search tool.
This will depend on the level and type of card you take out - some cards will include this as one of the benefits they provide.
For example, if you take out a Platinum card you can enjoy comprehensive travel insurance for you and your family.
At a more basic level, the American Express Green card will cover you for flight cancellations and delayed baggage.
Before you make travel plans, check your card details to find out if travel cover is included.