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American Express (Amex)

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7.1

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 29th, 2022

As one of the most well-known credit issuers, American Express offers personal, business, and corporate credit cards to consumers with an array of rewards for a variety of uses.

As a more prestigious credit card issuer, American Express generally requires a good, if not excellent, credit score for approval on many of its cards. For such creditworthy consumers, American Express credit cards are a great option, providing generous rewards options, which may also require much higher fees than you would see with other credit card issuers. 

If you have poor to fair credit, American Express may have some card options available for you, but you will be limited in rewards and perks.

Continue reading for pros and cons, and American Express reviews from real customers.

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The Good

  • Variety of Cards
  • Rewards Options
  • Free Credit Score Monitoring
  • Amex Offers and Benefits
  • Cobrand Partnerships
  • Premium Car Rental Protection
  • Fraud Safeguards
  • Customer Reviews

Variety of Cards

American Express offers a variety of credit cards with various rewards, perks, and benefits. Types of cards include:

  • Cash Back
  • Rewards Points*
  • No Annual Fee
  • 0% Intro APR
  • Low Interest
  • Travel
  • Airline
  • Hotel

*Many of the rewards cards have high annual fees to consider.

An array of options allows consumers to compare cards and ultimately choose the best card for their needs. It is important to note that American Express also has business credit card and corporate credit card options.

Rewards Options

American Express offers several rewards programs, cash back rewards, travel rewards, and business rewards, allowing consumers to either earn cash back, points, miles, and/or other benefits.

Offering generous rewards on a variety of cards, American Express can be a good option for creditworthy consumers who will be most able to maximize on rewards through their spending and use of the card.

Keep in mind that cards offering exclusive rewards have a much higher annual fee than you might see with other American Express credit cards, or rewards cards from other lenders. It is important to ensure that your use of the card will be worth the money spent on a card's annual fee.

Free Credit Score Monitoring   

To manage and understand your credit score better, American Express offers the MyCredit Guide service.

You don't need to be an American Express cardholder to use MyCredit Guide, but you must make a MyCredit Guide account to access its services.

MyCredit Guide services include the following:

  • Free credit reports
  • Credit change alerts
  • Personalized recommendations for improving your credit score
  • Credit score simulator

MyCredit Guide is free to use and will not hurt your credit score. It is important to note that this service provides you with your VantageScore by TransUnion.

Amex Offers and Benefits

All American Express credit cards come with access to Amex offers and benefits which can save you money. These offers and benefits are provided by a variety of merchants and are generally point or cash back offers when you spend a certain amount of money.

Some offers have an enrollment quota, limiting the number of cardholders who can register for that specific offer. An offer may still appear on your account even if enrollment has been filled, but you won't be able to register.

Be mindful that some offers are card-specific. If you have multiple American Express cards, make sure you keep track of which offers you've unlocked and on which card.

Cobrand Partnerships

American Express has some cobrand partnerships that are exclusive to the company, such as Delta and Hilton. These partnerships provide cardholders with access to additional benefits and perks when they use their card on expenses specific to the cobranded company.

Premium Car Rental Protection

American Express Premium Car Rental Protection is an additional insurance product offered by the company.

This program helps you save more on car rental coverage and offers the following features and coverage:

  • Flat rate of $19.95/$24.95 per rental period, not per day
  • Pay only when you rent
  • Provided coverage is not subject to a policy deductible
  • Worldwide coverage
  • Up to 42 consecutive days of coverage
  • Coverage ranges from $5,000–$100,000

Liability coverage is not included.

Fraud Safeguards 

American Express offers solutions to prevent fraud, including card identification verification, counterfeit detection, electronic verification, and charge authorization. Through the American Express online Security Center, you can report cases of credit card fraud, report a lost or stolen card, and learn more about how American Express protects your information and credit cards.

American Express takes your security seriously and also provides mobile wallet security and SafeKey services to protect you while shopping online.

Customer Reviews

The majority of American Express reviews on BestCompany.com are four or five stars. Customers most often highlight excellent customer service and great rewards, particularly for travel.

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The Bad

  • Credit Score Requirements
  • Charge Cards
  • Fees

Credit Score Requirements

Many American Express credit cards require a good to excellent credit score to qualify. This may not be attainable for all borrowers, and we would recommend that low credit borrowers look elsewhere for a credit card, at least to compare offerings with American Express.

American Express' high credit requirement is due to the exclusive rewards offered with some of its cards, which is also an indication of higher annual fees.

Charge Cards

Some cards offered by American Express are charge cards not credit cards.

Charge cards and credit cards are similar in use, but a charge card has no spending limit and cardholders are generally expected to pay their bill in full each month, whereas a credit card cardholder can just pay the minimum balance. Although charge cards don't have a set credit limit, that does not mean that they offer unlimited spending.

The following American Express cards are considered to be charge cards:

  • Platinum card
  • Gold card
  • Green card

Make sure that you know the rates and terms of the card you are applying for, as you wouldn't want to end up with a charge card when you actually want a credit card.

Fees

Depending on the card, American Express can charge some of the most expensive annual fees in the industry. However, as with many credit card companies, the first year might have no annual fee.

American Express charges a late payment fee of $38 on any unpaid amount. A late payment may also result in a penalty APR.

While some companies in the industry do not charge a foreign transaction fee, American Express charges one, which can be inconvenient for frequent travelers.

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The Bottom Line

American Express credit cards are a great option for consumers with an established credit history, generally maintaining excellent credit. Offering various travel rewards cards, American Express may also be one of the best options for frequent travelers. However, American Express does offer a variety of cards meant for everyday purchases that may be a better option for some consumers.

American Express offers cash back, points, and miles rewards, in addition to membership rewards points, but some of the rewards cards have very high annual fees.

Based on customer reviews, we would recommend looking into American Express for your credit card needs, especially if you are looking for generous and exclusive rewards options.

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Star Rating

4.4

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660 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

61%

4 grade

23%

3 grade

8%

2 grade

3%

1 grade

5%

Sentiment Criteria

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Annie Naperville, IL

Pros: The customer account website is designed well and easy to navigate. They address concerns very promptly. It was SO easy to get my money back on my card when Swoop airlines canceled my flight without refunding me right away (like other airlines will do). A lot of people are having issues with that airline. Points for purchases are pretty good - although CON: I hear that companies do not like when you use AMEX because they charge the business more than other cards. Some companies do not take the card at all - and definitely not overseas (learned that the hard way years ago when I went to Ireland).

1 month ago

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Judy Greene Pahrump, NV

I really like my AMEX card I had several other credit cards but none would give me the credit line I wanted; American Express gave me more. They have percentage back on purchases as the other cards do but then they provide special offers like 25 cents per gallon off gasoline as certain stations, Dunkin and Coffee place gift cards, and other things each week. They give discounts on entertainment venues, travel, and games one can play for prizes. Their billing is accurate and easy to read. I like the ability I have to manage my account so that I get notifications on purchases and when my card is being used on the internet.

2 months ago

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Shirley Simolari

I've never been disappointed with a call to American Express! I've called while traveling with a family member in an extreme emergency, had to increase my credit line for a private jet in case my travel insurance didn't cover it! My line was increased in less than 5 minutes. My credit card was compromised a few times at no fault of mine and they handled everything to a T. I've called many times with questions the attendants on the phone are quick to answer, never a long wait, knowledgeable, they don't try to sell me anything and they make sure my questions are resolved. What more can you ask for?

2 years ago

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Robert C.

Excellent cashback rewards. Very good website. Well worth the annual fee for the special offers alone.

1 week ago

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Janine Jannicelli Wake Forest, NC

I LOVE my American Express card and TRULY never leave home without it ! Customer Service is amazing ! Follow up is amazing Eagerness to please is wonderful Perks are great

1 month ago

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Jewelleah Kempers Las Vegas, NV

American Express is a quality company with an excellent service oriented staff. They make you feel like you are important to them and they work to solve any problems so that you are a satisfied customer every time.

1 month ago

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Gisele Sasser New Smyrna Beach, FL

I used American Express a lot. Never had a problem. I have to admit that customer service was much better when it was located in the US. Now I try to use only online, or in a chat, to avoid speaking directly to a customer representative.

2 months ago

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Glenda Galloso Mission, TX

We have an American Express rewards card. We are able to earn points through purchases made. Gas purchases earn double points. We are able to use these points for hotel rentals and much more and don't have to spend a penny out of my pocket. We have had to cancel our reservations a few times and have never had a problem getting our points back for that. I highly recommend the American Express rewards card.

2 months ago

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Henry Lebensbaum Andover, MA

excellent service and customer support. They overcharge their providers more than their competitors. This is one reason why some places refuse to carry them. I also detest their annual fee.

1 month ago

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Shelton Germaine Rogers, AR

I have had my Amex account now for several years. I would place them in about the middle of the road. Their rates are not the greatest but also aren't the worst. I rarely use any of my CCs but this would be in my top 5 or so to use should the need arise.

1 month ago

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Jepheth White Fairfield, CA

I love the different options of credit limits you’re able to get. Plus the fact that regardless of which card you get, you still get AMEX deals and quality service.

1 month ago

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Enzo Croydon, CRY

I been a client of Amex since 2004 and had enjoyed great rewards from avios points to companion voucher. We went to Mexico from UK me and my partner and we saved nearly half of the money for the flight. One bad think about it you need to pay tax and fuel and that cost me lots of avios point Maybe to many.

2 months ago

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Shelley Wray Charlotte, NC

I’ve been an AmEx credit card customer for 20 yrs & love them! They have excellent customer service! Their rewards program has worked really well for me…I like flying free & 1st class!

2 months ago

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Phyllis Green Laguna Beach, CA

I've been with them for years. I have and use 3 of their credit cards for different things. My personal experience with any of their representatives over the phone has been very satisfactory. They are knowledgeable and answer questions clearly and with great patience. That's why I'm still with them.

3 months ago

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LovesToShop Chicago, IL

By far my favorite credit card. The fees associated with it are more than compensated for by the benefits I get from the card. Customer service is great! The website & app are easy to use. I just wish Amex was accepted everywhere!

3 months ago

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mary susan watkins Spring, TX

i have 2 amex cards for personal use and i have had great experiences with the company and the use of their cards..they are accepted almost everywhere and they now have a "pay on time" for expensive purchases, which at one time they did not have..i try not to us that however, and pay as i get the bill..i recommend amex cards,even though there is a yearly fee for the gold and platinum ones..their customer service is great and you get a REAL PERSON on the phone..thanks

5 months ago

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Joshua Richmond Lexington, KY

Great intro APR of 0% for new customers; but they are also one of the few credit card companies that once they start charging you interest, they make you pay that interest on top of your minimum payment. Which can confuse some people who are new to credit cards. Customer service was very rude as well when i asked about the minimum being so much they gave me attitude and asked if I read the agreement fully and that if I had read it properly then I would know about the interest being added to the minimum. Just overall the worst Credit card company Ive been with and I've had 2 capital one cards, a credit one card, and a discover card; all much better than AMEX

2 months ago

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michael L Wallace Arlington, TX

I had an issue with one of my American Express cards and I called customer service. I have never been happier. The representative was polite, listened to my concern and was able to correct the issue in a short amount of time. I also love them sending me my credit score on my monthly statement. Very good company.

6 months ago

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Jnt_421 Bethel Park, PA

I don't use my card very often, but I can say for sure that I have not had any issues with this company or using my card. Amex is accepted pretty much everywhere, as far as I know, and with fraud and id theft on the rise, they have security measures in place to protect the customers as much as possible.

3 months ago

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SomeoneElse Edgewater, FL

The reason I have stayed with American Express for so many years is that I believe there fraud detection is second to none. And, the very few times I've had to dispute, they've always been there for me. I won't use anything else but American Express because I know but I'm about as safe as I can be with their credit card.

4 months ago

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Jacqui Bopp Bedford, PA

I love my amex card! Its been a life saver in a pinch with the mobile check cashing bc I don't drive and I don't have a bank account to take checks to get cashed .. amex verified my identity without a bunch of hassle and the fact that u can have a sub account for another person is fantastic tool I didn't know I needed till I had it. I've had some horrible experiences with banks/ credit companies , I'd keep my money in a hole in a tree before trusting most of those companies but I've recommended amex to anyone who' has ears and would listen to me !

7 months ago

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jamee emens Scottsdale, AZ

The benefits of the platinum card significantly outweigh the hefty annual fee if you take advantage of the offerings.

2 months ago

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Sathvik Aithala Portland, OR

Excellent customer service, and very good product offerings. App is wonderful, and the card perks are nice.

1 month ago

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Jennifer Dunlap Kingston, WA

American Express has always been a good card but my only complaint is they must have high fees, because some businesses will not take it. I love that I can put my daughter on my account and set a spending limit. This helps with college expenses and maintaining a budget

8 months ago

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Devon Neil

Roadside assistance is included at no extra cost. It has many other perks and it truly makes it a piece of mind instead of it just being a ordinary, everyday credit card. Customer service is always polite, ensure the security of my card stay up to date, solve any issues I may have and ensure that I have a competitive interest rate. I have to admit that I was a skeptical customer at first but I'm a very proud user of my AMEX card and I highly recommend that everyone give them a try.

2 years ago

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Gioacco

I called to tell them about an upcoming large expense. It was a terrible expense, as my mom passed on and I had an unexpected funeral expense. The customer service rep. let me have a lower rate of 1.9% for all expenses on my AMEX card for the next 9 months to help me make ends meet in my budget. I am very thankful for the kindness and compassion of the people at AMEX.

2 years ago

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Jen Paxman Lehi, UT

I am fairly new to American Express. I have one of the Delta cards and I absolutely love it. The airline benefits are amazing, and have made it so we can take our family of 5 to Hawaii and not have to pay for a single ticket!!! Their customer service is so amazing to work with and are always kind and helpful. It is very easy to pay my bill online as well. I would, and do, recommend this card to anyone looking for a great airline card.

3 years ago

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Laura Howard Brooklyn, NY

My first AMEX card was in 1994, then I got the Delta Skymiles AMEX card just over a year ago. I have so many positive experiences it would be impossible to list all here, but in summary, AMEX have ALWAYS been there for me when I have had issues with vendors. The app is easy to use, the website is easy to use and customer service is absolutely wonderful.

4 years ago

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ps2os2 Chicago, IL

When it is needed to call the AMEX people you are treated nicely and when they answer the phone you do not have to repeat your card number as they have a system that identifies you as a legit caller and the people you talk too are reasonable . There was a time when AAA double charged me for a battery replacement and they saw it immediately and reversed the charge. Sadly AAA dropped AMEX soon after that.

4 years ago

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Adam Floyd Morrison, CO

I have the AMEX platinum card which is great for business and personal travel. While pricey, I always feel that I come out ahead. They reimburse travel expenses related to baggage, Uber, global entry, and others. In addition, I automatically get status at hotels, car rentals, etc. While I earn status on many of these already, some of them I only use on as needed basis. Their concierge service is wonderful. I have used them to obtain tickets and restaurant reservations in various cities and well as provide recommendations.

4 years ago

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Dale Ash Sandy, UT

This is a great company. They offered an American Express card as soon as I had my first job. I've been with them ever since. I did switch to a Delta American Express card. I like the mileage rewards. I also get a free companion ticket voucher every year. They are very responsive when you call. I appreciate the ability to categorize and evaluate your expenditures by purchase area. Their service professionals are always very friendly and helpful.

4 years ago

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Thomas Taylor Salt Lake City, UT

Well, American Express is a straight forward, well recognized card that has always been accepted everywhere with no questions asked. One time when there was a mistake on our monthly statement, a single phone call cleared it up in our favor with an apology from the company. Additionally, our card is a full AmEx card under a Delta Sky Miles plan that gives up credit for flights on Delta with every use!

5 years ago

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Eid Rehmat Collierville, TN

I use American Express for my everyday purchases they have excellent customer service

2 months ago

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Sarah Biondo Gilbert, AZ

Amex is our card of choice out of all of our cards because we have the largest credit limit on that card and the most perks and rewards. We have used the Amex to get local offers with cash back to the card and other offers that have rewarded us with cash back to the card, incentivizing us to use the card to shop at specific locations. They stopped offering gift cards for redemption of points on our Amex cards, which is a bummer, and they still offer cash back to the card each month.

9 months ago

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Mandi Colorado Springs, CO

I loved having my AmEx everyday credit card. I was able to use it for moving across the country and it saved me a ton of money in interest costs. The only downside to the company is that they will automatically close your account if you do not use it for a year or more. I would recommend using it once or twice a year if you want to keep the account open and receive all the awesome benefits it offers.

9 months ago

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Sirdriz77 Fairfield, CT

I've had at least one AMEX since I was old enough to have a credit card and they have never let me down. The rewards are great and easy to redeem, travel is awesome, the AMEX offers can save you a lot with great brands and the best part is the extended warranty protection. I've only had to use it one time but the process was quick and painless. My favorite credit card for sure.

9 months ago

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Carol Sampson Houston, TX

They're a great company I love their Bluebird program! Through Wal-Mart it's easy to use !!

1 month ago

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turner2001 Santa Clara, CA

I've been using AMEX for about 20 years. The best thing I can say about AMEX is that they've got your back. Unlike most credit card companies who usually side with the merchant when there's a charge dispute, AMEX usually takes the consumers' side during a charge dispute. That often results in a positive outcome for the consumer. AMEX often doubles warranty policy when using their card, and gives you car insurance coverage for rentals. AMEX has a very good free card, and though it only pay 1% back to you, the fact that they have your back is the main reason I use AMEX for most of my purchases. In my opinion, I unhesitatingly endorse AMEX.

2 years ago

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Ian F. Hattiesburg, MS

AMEX is my favorite credit card. I use two of them: the Hilton Honors AMEX and the AMEX Platinum. The Hilton Honors AMEX is my go-to card, because it gets me all kinds of points which I turn around and use at hotels. It comes in really handy whenever I'm on a small family trip or moving from one city to another, which I tend to do as an active duty military member. I like the AMEX Platinum card because it gives me free lounge access in select airport lounges. This is really helpful when I'm looking to let my hair down in an airport, it's quieter than the standard terminal, and the facilities are generally better and cleaner, and then there's the free drinks, fruit, sundries, and wifi.

2 years ago

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Steve Anderson Lindon, UT

I've been pleased with American Express. I have had my card for several years now. I use my American Express to pay ALL of my bills and other purchases. I've never had to pay late fees or penalty fees so I don't know what that part of the game is like. I make it a point to pay my monthly bills on time and 100%. If you can do that without fail, then they are a good card to have. For me, I like the frequent flier miles and the free baggage I get with my Delta American Express. What I get from that card makes the year fee worthwhile. I have run into only a few places that won't take this card, but I always carry another card with me in case I run into a store that won't take my American Express.

3 years ago

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Myreviewname Friendswood, TX

We got a card through my husbands work and we’ve been able to use the benefits. It’s been especially nice airports!

2 months ago

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Charles Hughes Southport, NC

We don't use this product very much because of its higher interest rate even though we pay off monthly. However, we recently started using for the reward points for lodging and it's been a very positive experience.

4 months ago

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Nathea Celeste Akeo Los Angeles, CA

I've used the Amex prepaid card at stores that accept Amex, and had no problems with it. Going thru checkout was fast and easy as opposed to some other prepaid cards. Amex was hassle free.

7 months ago

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Estelle Stevens Lehi, UT

There is no better card then my Amex. I love building my points and they have a great system. I know that when I'm spending money I am also making money back, it is a great feeling.

7 months ago

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Luke Swierczynski Waterford, MI

I used to have the Gold card but after a while the rewards became lack luster especially with all the new cards that have since been introduced that do not have an annual fee. Had no issues and at the time it made sense but have since closed the account since it was just a money suck

7 months ago

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Keerthana Manivannan Santa Clara, CA

I have the Amex Platinum. It's an expensive card to own but it's a great travel card. Had amazing bonus points to join Amex and that pulled me in. Their rewards programs are all aimed at high end luxury customers like for example the Equinox membership credit - but it's only applicable for the higher end of Equinox memberships and not the basic ones. Overall - okay I guess.

7 months ago

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Kurt Didenhover Salt Lake City, UT

I've had American Express cards for the past few years. They've been great. The benefits are worthwhile and anytime I've run into issues, they have been very helpful and responsive.

8 months ago

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Rod Jorgensen American Fork, UT

This company has been very helpful to work with and very quick to take care of our problem and get us back online and the problem solved so we can get back to what we need to do and feel better and know that we are ok.

8 months ago

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Claudia Patrick Austin, AR

A prestigious card to use, however, is not flexible when trying to pay off a payment plan to avoid interest or the fee they charge to establish a payment plan. To reduce interest, I had to pay off the entire balance. Never use the card to purchase a major appliance on a payment plan that you intend to pay off early. The company won't let you do it. The plan is not very friendly. The card is good only for purchasing items that you plan to pay off the next billing cycle. Otherwise, it's not a reasonable tool.

8 months ago

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JOHN M CAMPBELL ,

#1 in Customer Service! There are never long wait times, they always serve with the highest degree of professionalism, the first person who answers can always solve your issues (no getting transferred from agent to agent) and excellent fraud management services.

1 year ago