Founded in 1850 and headquartered in New York, American Express offers financial services such as credit cards and insurance.

The Good

  • Competitive APRs 
  • Rewards program
  • Fraud safeguards

Competitive APRs

American Express offers credit cards with introductory rates of 0 percent for the first six to twelve months. After that, rates range from 13.24 to 25.24 percent*, which is competitive within the industry.

Rewards Program

American Express offers several rewards programs, cash back rewards, travel rewards, and business rewards.

Fraud Safeguards

American Express offers solutions to prevent fraud, including card identification verification, counterfeit detection, electronic verification, and charge authorization.

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The Bad

  • Annual Fees
  • Late Payment Penalty
  • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • No Free Credit Score

Annual Fees

Depending on the card, American Express charges annual fees up to $450, which is one of the steepest fees in the industry.

Late Payment Penalty

American Express cardholders who make a payment late will be charge a fee of up to $38.

Foreign Transaction Fee

While some companies in the industry do not charge a foreign transaction fee, American Express charges a fee of 2.70 percent for foreign transactions, which can be inconvenient for frequent travelers.

No Free Credit Score

Unfortunately, American Express does not provide its customers with free credit score tracking.

The Bottom Line

American Express offers competitive APRs, several rewards programs, and a number of fraud safeguards. However, the company charges annual fees, late payment fees, and foreign transaction fees. Additionally, American Express does not provide free credit score monitoring.

*Disclaimer: Listed interest rates were accurate as of May 2017 but are subject to change. Actual rates may differ from those listed in our review.

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