The best American Express credit cards of 2020

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American Express has cards that offer huge travel card intro bonuses, elite status with hotels, valuable Amex Offers and more. Each rewards card, however, comes with its own mix of benefits and perks, which can make it hard to choose the best one for you.

The best American Express card for your wallet depends on your travel and financial goals. Lots of Million Mile Secrets readers have more than one of these cards because American Express cards offer lucrative welcome bonuses and terrific everyday spending categories, which can have you on your way to a vacation in no time at all. In addition, Amex has taken an additional step to help cardholders during the coronavirus pandemic by adding limited-time credits and bonus categories to certain cards.

We’ve ranked our favorite American Express cards by category so you can pick the best travel credit card for your financial goals.

Best American Express credit cards of 2020

Comparing the top Amex credit cards

Card nameBest forAnnual fee
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressFlights$550 annual fee (see rates & fees)
American Express®️ Green CardGeneral travel purchases$150 annual fee (see rates & fees) 
American Express® Gold CardRestaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases$250 annual fee (see rates & fees) 
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressCash back$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.(see rates & fees) Offer Expires 12/10/2020
The Business Platinum® Card from American ExpressBusiness card perks$595 annual fee (see rates & fees) 
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressNo annual fee business cardNo annual fee (see rates & fees)
American Express® Business Gold CardU.S. advertising and U.S. shipping purchases$295 annual fee (see rates & fees
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire CardHotel card$450 annual fee (see rates and fees)
#1 FOR TRAVEL PERKS

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express APPLY NOW

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card APPLY NOW

American Express® Gold Card

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express APPLY NOW

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express APPLY NOW

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

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American Express® Business Gold Card

American Express® Business Gold Card APPLY NOW

American Express® Business Gold Card

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Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card APPLY NOW

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

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The information for the Amex Green card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Deep dive into the best credit cards from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

With the Amex Platinum card you can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • 5x Membership Rewards on airfare (booked either directly with the airline or through Amex Travel; on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year as of Jan. 1, 2021)
  • 5x Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • One point per dollar on everything else
  • Terms apply

The card has a $550 annual fee, which is not waived (see rates & fees). If you use the perks and credits, you’ll easily come out ahead and find the Amex Platinum’s annual fee worth it.

Why it’s the best for flights

The 5x Membership Rewards points you’ll earn on flights booked directly with the airlines and on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel is the highest earning rate for flights of any credit card.

The Amex Platinum is useful for anyone looking to earn a nice stash of Amex Membership Rewards points through travel spending, especially if you can make the most of the card’s perks.

The Amex Platinum’s benefits include (terms apply):

  • Up to $200 in Uber credits annually
  • Up to $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020)
  • Up to $200 annual airline-fee credit
  • Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
  • Airport lounge access
  • Elite car rental status with Avis, Executive status with National Car Rental and Gold Plus Rewards with Hertz
  • Automatic Hilton Honors and Marriott Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)

And later this year eligible The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can earn up to a $200 statement credit on qualifying purchases made through Amex Travel. Here are the terms:

  • Valid between August 2020 and December 2021
  • Valid for the personal version of the card only, and only for those who renew their card between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020

For information on lounges at your home airport or favorite airport, check out this post on how to find Amex Platinum airport lounges. This card also now has new travel coverages, including trip delay insurance and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.

American Express® Green Card

You can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your Amex Green card in your first three months of account opening.

The Amex Green card earns 3x Membership Rewards points on travel, restaurant purchases worldwide and one point per dollar everywhere else.

And due to the coronavirus pandemic, Amex has added up to $80 in statement credits when using your Amex Green card to pay for wireless telephone services directly from U.S. service providers (up to $10 per month from May through December 2020).

Why it’s the best for general travel purchases

The Amex Green Card is worth it if you can use the card’s unique benefits that can save you time and money on your travels. The card does carry an annual fee of $150 (see rates & fees), but it’s not hard to come out ahead.

Along with the good earnings rate on travel purchases, cardholders will get perks like up to $100 in yearly statement credits when you use your Amex Green card to pay for a CLEAR membership. Plus, up to $100 in LoungeBuddy statement credits per year. For frequent travelers, benefits like these can certainly make your flying experience a better one.

The Amex Green card is a great choice for travel purchases like hotels and subways. (Photo by Wyatt Smith.)

American Express® Gold Card

The American Express Gold card has a welcome bonus of 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.

The Amex Gold card’s benefits and perks are loaded with valuable credits. You can earn up to $120 dining credit ($10 monthly) each year at participating restaurants (enrollment required).

Best for restaurant and U.S. supermarkets

With the card’s earnings rates and perks, this card has essentially become one of the best cards for restaurants. Plus, the $250 annual fee is quickly covered when you eat out and shop for groceries at U.S. supermarkets and account for the value of the statement credits you can earn make the Amex Gold card worth it for many people.

There’s a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), but the credits you’ll earn will offset most of that cost.

This card also has no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred has a limited time offer: $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of opening your account. Offer expires 12/10/2020.

In addition to the $300 welcome bonus, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred comes with benefits and perks like, free two-day shipping from over 140 online stores with a complimentary ShopRunner membership. It also has purchase protections, including extended warranty coverage (one additional year) on purchases with a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less and 90-day return protection on purchases made in the U.S. or U.S. territories (up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year).

Why it’s best for cash back

For folks who regularly spend at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and on transit, this card could provide some serious cash back. You can read more about the card in our Amex Blue Cash Preferred review.

With the Blue Cash Preferred, you’ll earn 6 % cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit and 1% back on everything else.

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred’s annual fee is $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $ 95 (see rates & fees).

Redeem cash back for any purchase, like cruises, with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card. (Photo by

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

You’ll earn the Amex Business Platinum card’s 75,000-point bonus after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, making it one of the best small business credit card offers.

With the Amex Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5x Amex Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+ (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year). In addition, airfare and prepaid hotels booked through the Amex travel portal will earn 5x points and all other purchases earn one point per dollar.

Why it’s the best for small business owners

The ability to earn 5x Amex points on airfare or prepaid hotels is the best earning rate for those categories for any American Express small-business credit card. This card also now has a solid mix of travel insurances, like trip delay insurance and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.

And the card comes with lots of perks, including:

  • 35% of your points back for all first-class or business-class flights booked through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points
  • 35% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points (up to 500,000 points per calendar year)
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, inflight food and drink, etc.)
  • Up to $200 annual Dell statement credit ($100 from January to June, $100 from July to December)
  • Up to $200 in additional statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell ($100 in additional statement credits from May 1 through June 30, 2020 and up to $100 in additional statement credits between July 1 and December 31, 2020)
  • Up to $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S (up to $20 per month on each, from May through December 2020)
  • Ability to book hotel stays through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • Amex Platinum Concierge
  • Amex Premium roadside assistance
  • Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, Escape and American Express Centurion Lounges)
  • Bonus points or statement credits when taking advantage of an Amex Offer
  • Elite car rental status with Avis, Executive status with National Car Rental and Gold Plus Rewards with Hertz
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (up to $100)
  • Terms and limitations apply

The Amex Business Platinum annual fee is $595 and it is not waived for the first year (see rates and fees). This is a hefty fee, but it can certainly make sense for those who are able to make the most of the Amex Business Platinum card’s benefits and perks.

If you can qualify for business credit cards and meet the minimum spending requirement, this is a “platinum” card that is actually worthy of the name. It is always a strong pick, especially for frequent travelers, because it is easy to offset the annual fee with the welcome bonus, perks and benefits.

If you can take full advantage of the many statement credits and lounge access, it can be easy to justify the annual fee.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Amex Blue Business Plus Card  earns 2x Amex Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year (then 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 on all purchases). Having a no-annual-fee credit card (see rates & fees) that earns 2x points per $1 on $50,000 in purchases per year is an excellent deal. Similar no-annual-fee small-business cards have a lower earning rate.

Although the Amex Blue Business Plus Card is a credit card with a set credit limit, Amex offers the ability to spend above your limit. This is helpful for small-business owners with a large upcoming purchase.

Cardholders will also get access to perks like:

  • Amex Offers
  • Free employee cards (see rates & fees)
  • Extended warranty
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Free Shoprunner membership

Why it’s the best no annual fee business card

With the no-annual-fee Amex Blue Business Plus Card  you’ll earn 2 Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year (1 Membership Rewards point per $1 on all purchases after that).

If you spend the maximum, you could earn 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points per year. That’s a great deal for a card with no annual fee. I plan to keep mine forever to have a card that delivers bonus points without thinking about bonus categories. For more detailed information, check out our full Amex Blue Business Plus review.

American Express® Business Gold Card

With the Amex Business Gold you’ll earn 4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on two categories where you spend the most each month (capped at the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, then one point per dollar):

With the American Express Business Gold Card, you can earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Best for U.S. advertising and U.S. shipping purchases

The Amex Business Gold’s benefits and perks are wide ranging and include baggage insurance, purchase protection, roadside assistance and access to Amex Offers. One of my favorite perks of the card is a 25% points rebate if you use your Amex points for flights booked with Amex Travel (up to 250,000 points back each calendar year). The rebate will kick in for first and business-class tickets, as well as coach tickets on your selected airline.

  • 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
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

Even better, you’ll automatically earn those 4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on two categories you spend the most on each month. You never have to take the step of choosing categories. You’ll earn 1x Amex Membership Rewards point per dollar for everything else.

There’s a $295 annual fee (see rates and fees), but the credits you’ll earn will help offset most of that cost.

With the Amex Business Gold’s earning structure, this card is suited best for those who spend a lot in categories like airfare, advertising and shipping. And by transferring the Amex Express Membership Rewards points you earn to any of Amex’s direct airline and hotel partners for award travel, you can turn your business expenses into free travel.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Aspire card has a bonus of 150,000 Hilton points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

With the Amex Hilton Honors Aspire, you’ll earn 14x Hilton points at participating Hilton hotels, 7x points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies. All other eligible purchases earn 3x points.

Why it’s the best for hotel card

The Hilton Aspire’s benefits make it one of the top hotel credit cards on the market. For starters, you’ll get top-tier Diamond Hilton status as long as you have the card. That gets you 100% bonus base points on Hilton stays, free breakfast and upgrades up to a suite (when available). You’ll also get a free weekend night award every year and you can earn a second weekend night award if you spend $60,000+ on the card in a calendar year.

This is also one of the few hotel cards that comes with airport lounge access. You can enroll in Priority Pass and get unlimited lounge visits for you and up to two guests. It also has a yearly airline fee credit of up to $250 and up to $250 in Hilton resort credit, which is valid for purchases like room rates and hotel dining. You’ll have to select an airline for the fee credits and the resort credits are valid at Hilton’s participating resorts.

You can also get up to $100 in credits per 2+ night stay at Conrad or Waldorf Astoria locations. You are eligible for this credit once per stay for an unlimited number of stays, but taxes, fees, room rates and gratuities are not eligible for the credit. To qualify, you need to book through this link or call 855-292-5757 and reference the code “ZZAAP1.”

This can also be a good choice for paying for other travel because the card comes with trip interruption/cancellation coverage and trip delay insurance.

The Hilton Aspire’s annual fee is $450 (see rates and fees).

The Hilton Aspire’s ongoing perks are borderline absurd. There are very few people who won’t be able to easily recoup much more value than the cost of the annual fee. And even though there isn’t a Hilton award chart, Hilton points can still be extremely useful for booking award stays when you take advantage of the 5th night free feature.

Want to visit the British Virgin Islands? Several of our favorite American Express cards can help get you there. (Photo by cdwheatley/iStock.)

How we choose the best Amex credit cards

Welcome bonus

Earning a big welcome offer is the quickest way to rack up valuable travel rewards and make your dream trip a reality. In fact, many cards will offer lucrative welcome bonuses that are worth several times what they charge in an annual fee. That’s why a card’s intro bonus is so important when it comes to ranking the best cards (of any kind).

Ongoing earnings

We want you to find a card that works the best for your personal spending habits and travel goals. That’s why we consider each card’s ongoing earnings when determining the best offers. A strong earnings rate means you can quickly accumulate points to redeem for something meaningful in a reasonable amount of time. 

Flexibility and ease of redeeming rewards

Having options when it comes to redeeming your rewards means you’ll be more likely to use them. Plus, the more flexibility a card offers, the more likely it is to offer more value too.

Special perks

It’s never easy to put an exact value on all of a card’s benefits as some have no specific monetary value, but some will certainly make your travel experience a lot more enjoyable. That’s why cards that offer perks like airport lounge access and statement credits to TSA PreCheck or Global Entry often make the top of our list.

American Express card application rules

For most Amex cards the applications guidelines are straight forward. You can only earn a welcome bonus on a specific card once per lifetime. Also, Amex limits you to having five Amex credit cards at a time (in most cases).

Amex also considers the number of its cards you have opened or closed and “other factors” when reviewing an application. Even though that’s a bit vague, if you’re ineligible for a welcome offer Amex will let you know during the application process with a handy pop-up window. At that point, you can cancel your application before Amex completes a hard pull on your credit report.

For more travel and credit card news, deals and analysis sign up for our newsletter here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, please click here.

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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