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American Express (Amex)

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540 User Reviews

9.3

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: October 26th, 2021

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

4.3

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540 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

61%

4 grade

23%

3 grade

8%

2 grade

3%

1 grade

5%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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Gabe Burton Riverton, UT

American Express is okay. It's accepted at many places, although my rate is a little higher than I'd like it to be, and they keep raising it even though I've NEVER missed a payment and my credit score is 730!!

1 month ago

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Leonard Leo Potomac, MD

AMEX used to be synonymous for customer service and perks. However, these qualities have gone down over the years. Their Blue card is no annual fee with cashback at 3% for groceries. Email status is great. You have to monitor your rewards, because special incentives are not always posted.

5 months ago

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Jessica C. Apex, NC

I no longer have a card with American Express since they broke from Costco, but I never had any problems with them. I liked their website much better than Citibank's (who Costco partners with now), and they were really good to take care of the couple times my husband's card number was stolen and used, so that was very appreciated. They aren't accepted everywhere which can get annoying, but overall they were pretty good and I liked them. The only reason we were with them in the first place though was because of the partnership with Costco.

4 years ago

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Mary Ann Johnson Thomasville, GA

i was not please when i tried to pay a bill and the company that i was paying said they did not honor american express cards, so i had to go and purchase a money order to pay my bill

3 years ago

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Morgan whiting Los Angeles, CA

We had an American Express 15 years ago. We made payments every month. One month we completely paid it off and they cancelled the card with no reason. We were very confused and not happy. We have now had an American Express for a few years and are happy with our current experience. My only complaint now is that some places don't take Amex.

1 year ago

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Jon Scoresby Saratoga Springs, UT

The card is good. the interest seems to be bit higher than other credit cares but as long as you don't forget to pay before the end of the month it's good. I have simple card and get a few points with every purchase. It adds up over time and eventually turns into a $25 gift card.

2 years ago

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Jennifer Ogden, UT

I had an American Express card for quite some time. I actually really liked the card and benefits but the yearly fees began to just be too much compared to my other 2 cards. I would recommend Amex to anyone who doesn't necessarily care about the annual fee.

2 years ago

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Nathan Hill Pleasant Grove, UT

I have always liked the perks with this card, but find them to be a little more expensive and a lot harder to use because not everyone accepts them. I still use this card and like it for the sky miles and the companion ticket.

2 years ago

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Lindsey B Orem, UT

Overpriced annual fees for a card with no added benefits. When I was looking for a card that offered great rewards I thought I had it with AMEX, it turns out that wasn't the case. The whole time I had the card I was underwhelmed. I would look into another card before signing up with AMEX.

2 years ago

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Kent Lehi, UT

I have an American Express card but I only use it when I have to. The cost to have the card is too much. And many times they charged me for services i didn't request. I had to cancel the services several times before they stopped charging me.

2 years ago

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Samantha Grabert Salt Lake City, UT

Used AMX for years but some of the fees were to much it needed to go.

2 months ago

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Garth

I thought the fees are too high for the services provided. I didn't think there was enough flexibility with the card. They give me no advantages I could take it vantage of.

1 year ago

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Mario D Miami, FL

They lower your redemption value for reward points based on what purchases you want to credit, so you always get less than 100% value of your points balance.

3 years ago

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Catherine Trujillo Glendale, AZ

Not widely accepted. Many businesses do not accept american express. I chose it over a visa because I thought it was a better card but I was a bit disappointed.

3 years ago

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Aubrey Rentschler Salt Lake City, UT

I had an American Express card for over ten years, until they split from Costco. I did like their rewards program and never had any problems with them.

4 years ago

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Brennan Orem, UT

I have found my American Express to be very underwhelming. The rewards aren't easy to redeem and use and it feels like the annual fees are too high. I wouldn't get an AMEX card if you are looking into them.

2 years ago

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Brody B Orem, UT

I've been underwhelmed by my American Express card. The perks aren't great and customer service is less than helpful. I would look into other options before enrolling with American Express.

2 years ago

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J Crawley Provo, UT

I've liked Amex in the past but I recently received an offer in the mail When I called Amex to inquire about it, I was told I did not qualify. Please don't send offers to me if I can't use them.

3 years ago

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Stan Burg

Their phone contact service is terrible. Kept repeating a representative will be with you in less than a minute but after 15 minutes I hung up.

3 years ago

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Cristiana Orem, UT

It took a long time to American Express accept my husband and I as a customer even thou we having good credit score. We only have the card because of Costco.

2 years ago

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Robin Orem, UT

i had to cut up this card and glad i did! Fees and interest rate is ridiculous. Customer service is awful. glad i don't have to deal with them anymore.

3 years ago

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NT Pleasant Grove, UT

interest rate is very high. i was sad when Costco stopped accepting American Express because that was the only reason i started using American Express was for that reason.

3 years ago

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Nell Damascus, MD

It was not great. We have not been satisfied with their customer service. I do not recommend Amex.

7 months ago

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Tony

do not use amex when purchasing in foriegn currencies, the fee over exchange rate is literally usury

1 year ago

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Tiffany Barney Salt Lake City, UT

Great card, but I prefer a card that will reimburse me for travel. I will keep my am ex though for emergencies.

1 year ago

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Carol Knight Salt Lake City, UT

High annual fee and when Costco dropped AmEx I dropped AmEx. Credit card competitors offer more value.

9 months ago

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Keiana Knowles Tallahassee, FL

I’ve had okay experiences with American Express. They offer great rewards but many places don’t accept this card so it can be frustrating

1 month ago

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Nathan D. Warrendale, PA

I've had my card since 2018 and used it when I first got it but now I haven't used it as much as they haven't offered me new incentives.

1 year ago

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Tony Riverton, UT

Used to have an American Express, but hated having to pay an annual for for no discernible added benefit. Not even accepted everyplace.

1 year ago

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Katie Kearney Vienna, VA

I like my Amex card, the only downside is that there are still so many places that will not accept Amex cards which can be so frustrating!

2 years ago

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David Orem, UT

Really the reason it's a 3 is because I got zero benefits from using the card - really zero.

3 years ago

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Edmond

Limited acceptance of the card. Amex is not accepted as much as Visa or Mastercard

4 years ago

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Raymond Hyde Park, UT

I like that I don’t have to wait an entire billing cycle for my payment to process.

11 months ago

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Nicole Richman Pearland, TX

Most of their cards are pricey, and don't really pay for themselves unless you're a really big spender.

1 year ago

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Martha Gourley Pleasant Grove, UT

American Express has good benefits for their card. They just raised their rates and it is too expensive for me.

1 year ago

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Jamie Neider Magna, UT

Ugh, currently paying such high interest rates. Other than that, a great way to earn miles to travel more!

1 year ago

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Courtney carlson South Jordan, UT

High interest rate. High fees. Like the sky mile rewards card. Like the easiness of managing on the app.

1 year ago

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Chase H Provo, UT

American Express is the odd-man out. Other cards are accepted in more places. Visa seems to be much more universal.

3 years ago

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JS

They were great company until they raise their rates for cards

1 year ago

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Trenton Prestwich Taylorsville, UT

Had an Amex before Costco changed to Visa. No issues to report. Pretty standard credit card.

2 years ago

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Michael Garry Lilburn, GA

Great customer service. Minimal hold time.

1 year ago

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Christine Hyattsville, MD

I've had a while, no problems with purchasing

4 years ago

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