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American Express credit cards

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  • Avoid interest payments by paying off your balance in full each month
  • Missing a payment could cause your interest-free period to end prematurely

Who is American Express?

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.

What types of credit card are available with American Express?

American Express offers the following types of credit cards:

  • Premium and charge 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.

  • Travel credit cards

    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.

  • Reward credit cards

    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

    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.

What different levels of credit card does American Express provide?

There are three main levels of American Express credit card and each one offers a variety of benefits:

  • Platinum card

    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:

    • Membership Rewards points
    • Cashback paid annually
    • Worldwide Priority Pass access to lounges and restaurants
    • Comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for you and your immediate family
    • Shopping credits
    • Access to The Global Dining Collection - reserving tables for platinum card members at some of the world’s best restaurants
    • Hotel benefits around the world, including complimentary room upgrades
    • Platinum Concierge service - a 24/7 travel and lifestyle service
  • Gold card

    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:

    • Membership Rewards points
    • Two complimentary airport lounge visits a year
    • Deliveroo credit exclusively for Gold cardmembers
    • American Express Experiences for exclusive access to advance tickets for exciting events, gigs and films
    • Purchase and refund protection for eligible items bought using the card
  • Green card

    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
    • Two complementary supplementary cards for family members to help earn points faster
    • No pre-set spending limit
    • Travel inconvenience insurance to cover flight cancellations and delayed baggage on any flights bought with your card
    • 24/7 Global Assist service to provide help whenever you’re away travelling
    • Exclusive access to tickets for popular music, film and theatre events
    • A year’s extended warranty on purchases you make with your card (conditions apply)
    • Purchase and refund protection on any items bought using your card

How do American Express Membership Reward points work?

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:

  • Shop with a range of retail, travel and entertainment partners
  • Offset any purchases made on your card
  • Book travel through the American Express travel website
  • Buy gift cards from well-known brands
  • Transfer points to travel, hotel and retail loyalty programmes
  • Donate to charities

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.

How much do American Express cards cost?

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:

  • The Platinum Card - £575
  • The Platinum Cashback Credit Card - £25
  • The Preferred Rewards Gold card - £140 after the first year
  • The Green Card - £60

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.