Updated on Oct 15, 2020

Best American Express Credit Cards of 2020

Consider an American Express credit card to help you earn major rewards for spending.
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The best American Express credit cards provide exclusive rewards, convenience and plenty of travel benefits. From travel credit cards to business credit cards, American Express has one for every spending habit. See the best credit cards offers from American Express below.

Summary

The Best American Express Credit Cards for 2020

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for everyday spending Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for luxury travel The Platinum Card® from American Express
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website
  • American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for double cash back American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website
  • American Express® Gold Card APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for dining and travel American Express® Gold Card
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for Delta frequent flyers Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website
  • The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for 0% intro APR period The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
    Apply Now On American Express's secure website

American Express is a leader in providing credit cards to consumers, small businesses, mid-sized companies and large corporations. The company offers some of the most exclusive credit cards on the market, with travel benefits and exciting rewards to boast.

In 2018, American Express added 12 million new cardholders and grew worldwide spending on its credit cards by 9%, with particularly among small and mid-sized businesses and across international regions.

American Express continues to grow merchant acceptance of its cards around the world, adding more than a million new merchant locations in the United States in 2018, according to a 2018 annual filing. If you’re looking to add a rewarding credit card to your wallet, it might be worth getting an American Express credit card. Check out the best American Express credit card offers below.

Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for everyday spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Current Offer Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020. Terms Apply.
Rewards overview 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms apply.

Redeem for... Reward Dollars (redeemed as a statement credit)
Annual Fee Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020 (See Rates & Fees)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 12 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 13.99% - 23.99% Variable (See Rates & Fees)
  • Penalty APR: 29.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

Anyone who spends a lot on everyday purchases — such as groceries and gas — will benefit from the perks of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

How to use it
With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Consider this

  • 3% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater (See Rates & Fees)
  • Annual fee of Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020 (See Rates & Fees)
  • High penalty APR of 29.24% Variable (See Rates & Fees)

Why you'll love it

This card’s high rewards rate for grocery shopping gas makes up for its annual fee, making it a top quality choice for frequent shoppers or families. And if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months, you’ll qualify for a $300 statement credit (limited time offer that expires 12/10/2020) that you can use to pay down your balance.

Start your application now Back to top

Pro Tip


Pro tip: If you spend at least $80 a week at U.S. supermarkets, the 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets alone could cover the cost of the card’s annual fee.
Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for luxury travel

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Current Offer 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
Rewards overview 5x Membership Rewards® points for flights. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Terms Apply.

Redeem for... Flights, hotel rooms, and more.
Annual Fee $550 (See Rates & Fees)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more when you select one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $550 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A*
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: See Rates & Fees
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A*
  • Ongoing APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Platinum Card® from American Express is for travelers who don’t mind paying a high annual fee (See Rates & Fees) to unlock access to luxury travel perks. With glamorous perks like airport lounge access, elite status at hotel accommodations and $200 airline fee credit (up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline) travel credits, this card offers benefits as shiny and alluring as its physical exterior.

How to use it
The luxury travel perks of The Platinum Card® from American Express include access to more than 1,200 airport lounges, free room upgrades and breakfast. You’ll earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months, as well as 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
Consider this

  • $550 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee
  • Can’t earn welcome bonus if you’ve ever earned one in the past
  • American Express is not as widely accepted as cards in the Visa or Mastercard network

Why you'll love it

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a travel rewards card aimed at those who take multiple trips each year, use Uber for transportation while traveling and prefer airport lounges over hanging out with the general population while waiting for their flight.

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Pro Tip


Pro tip: If you can hit the welcome bonus spending target, you can easily neutralize the hefty $550 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee.
Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for double cash back

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Current Offer Earn up to $300
Rewards overview Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement. Terms Apply.

Redeem for... Cash back
Annual Fee No annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • From workflow to inventory to floor plans, your business is constantly changing. That's why you've got the power to spend beyond your credit limit with Expanded Buying Power.
  • Just remember, the amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 12 months from date of account opening
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 13.24% - 19.24% Variable (See Rates & Fees)
  • Penalty APR: 29.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card could be a great choice for small business owners who want a 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year (then 1%) with no annual fee (See Rates & Fees) and a simple rewards structure.

How to use it
With no annual fee, you can quickly rack up cash back for your business with the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card. You’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year and then 1% cash back once you pass the spending limit.
Consider this

  • 2% cash back on eligible purchases is capped at $50,000 per year, then 1%
  • Potentially high APR after intro period

Why you'll love it

On top of having no annual fee, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card offers lots of perks. For starters, you won’t have to pay interest on anything you buy for 12 months from date of account opening (then ongoing 13.24% - 19.24% Variable (See Rates & Fees) APR). If you need to go over your credit limit to provide immediate cash flow to your business, this card lets you do so without penalty. You’ll just have to pay the amount you spend over your credit limit in full at the end of your billing cycle.

Start your application now Back to top

Pro Tip


Pro tip: With the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card‘s expanded buying power feature, the amount you can spend above your credit limit adjusts with your use of the card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources and other factors.
Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for dining and travel

American Express® Gold Card

Current Offer 60,000 points
Rewards overview Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).Terms Apply.

Redeem for... Travel, gift cards, statement credits and more. Terms Apply.
Annual Fee $250 See Rates & Fees
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $250 See Rates & Fees
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees

Our two cents

Who should get it

The American Express® Gold Card is the perfect companion for anyone who loves to dine and shop. It’s a charge card for those with good to excellent credit that rewards you for common experiences, such as eating out, grocery shopping and traveling.

How to use it
The American Express® Gold Card earns 4X points at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery, and 4X points at U.S. supermarkets up to $25,000 in purchases per year before converting to 1x. Furthermore, it earns 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com, making it a lucrative rewards card.
Consider this

  • High annual fee: $250 See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty fees are up to $40 for a late payment
  • High spending requirement to earn welcome bonus

Why you'll love it

While there is a high annual fee, there are also some noteworthy benefits that offset it – a $100 annual airline fee credit and a $120 annual dining credit (up to $10 per month) at participating locations. The rewards structure of this card is perfect for foodies, professionals who charge lots of business meals and families who make frequent trips to grocery stores.

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Pro Tip


Pro tip: Your points never expire, which are most valuable when used for travel. Points can be transferred directly to American Express travel partners’ programs.
Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for Delta frequent flyers

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Current Offer 50,000 miles
Rewards overview 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. One mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.

Redeem for... Travel
Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (See Rates & Fees)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • New! Earn now. Travel when you're ready. After you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 15.74% - 24.74% Variable (See Rates & Fees)
  • Penalty APR: 29.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you’re already part of the Delta frequent flyer program, you can maximize your miles and optimize your travel with the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. The welcome bonus alone has the potential to cover the cost of a flight for those looking to reap the rewards from a travel card.

How to use it
Use this card to buy Delta airfare and to take advantage of promotional point purchases from partners. Enjoy free bag check, priority boarding, seat upgrades, and other in-flight perks when you have this card.
Consider this

  • Annual fee of $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (See Rates & Fees) after the first year
  • Only worth the cost for frequent Delta flyers
  • American Express network isn’t as extensive as Visa or Mastercard

Why you'll love it

With perks like priority boarding and free checked bags, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a worthwhile travel card to keep in your wallet. Earn 2x miles per dollar spent with Delta Air Lines and 1x mile on all other purchases.

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Partner Offer Apply Now On American Express's secure website

Best for 0% intro APR period

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Current Offer Earn up to $300
Rewards overview 2X Membership Rewards® points

Redeem for... Travel, gift cards, statement credits and more. Terms Apply.
Annual Fee $0 (See Rates & Fees)
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to put more purchases on the Card and earn rewards when you buy above your credit limit*.
  • You’ve got the power to use your Card beyond its credit limit* with Expanded Buying Power.
  • More buying power for your business means more opportunities to earn points. That’s everyday business with the Blue Business Plus Card.
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors.
  • 0.0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.24% - 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $0 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 12 months from date of account opening
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 13.24% - 19.24% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is ideal for small business owners who want to use a single business credit card to make tracking expenses easier.

How to use it
As a business card with no annual fee (See Rates & Fees), you can benefit from business purchases with 2x points on expenditures such as office supplies or client dinners (first $50,000 per year, then it’s 1x point).
Consider this

  • Potentially high APR after intro period
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.(See Rates & Fees)

Why you'll love it

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a hybrid of sorts – it’s a credit card, but it has the feature of a charge card in the sense that you can go over your credit limit. More buying power for your business means more opportunities to earn points, within reason.

Start your application now Back to top

Pro Tip


Pro tip: If you need to make any large purchases or transfer a balance, take advantage of the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express’s intro APR period and pay 0% interest for 12 months from date of account opening (then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 19.24% Variable See Rates & Fees APR).

Best American Express Credit Cards of 2020: Summed Up

Best for... Credit Card
Everyday Spending
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Partner Offer
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply Now
Luxury Travel
The Platinum Card® from American Express Partner Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply Now
Double Cash Back
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card Partner Offer
American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
Apply Now
Dining And Travel
American Express® Gold Card Partner Offer
American Express® Gold Card
Apply Now
Delta Frequent Flyers
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Partner Offer
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Apply Now
0% Intro Apr Period
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express Partner Offer
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Apply Now

Compare the Best American Express Credit Cards of 2020

Card Annual Fee Rewards Rate Welcome Bonus
Best for everyday spending: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020 (See Rates & Fees)
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Terms Apply
Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020. Terms Apply.
Best for luxury travel: The Platinum Card® from American Express $550 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Terms Apply
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.
Best for double cash back: American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card No annual fee (See Rates & Fees) Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back. Terms Apply. Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Best for dining and travel: American Express® Gold Card $250 See Rates & Fees
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x point)
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel
  • Up to $120 dining savings (at select locations)
  • $100 airline fee credit (when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your card)
  • Terms Apply
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.
Best for Delta frequent flyers: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99 (See Rates & Fees)
  • 2x miles per dollar spent directly with Delta
  • 1x mile per dollar for all purchases
  • First checked bag is free
  • Terms Apply
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
Best for 0% intro APR period: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express $0 (See Rates & Fees) Earn 2x points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 with no category restrictions, then 1x point. Terms Apply. Earn up to $300 back to boost your business. You can earn up to $100 in the form of statement credits at each of the following merchants: Dell Technologies, DocuSign or FedEx after you make an eligible purchase on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Should I get a credit card?

Getting a credit card can make you feel like an adult and be financially beneficial if you use it responsibly. It’s a decision that can be an important step towards building a credit history that will eventually open the door to buying big-ticket items and being more financially responsible, but it can also have long-term consequences. With a credit card, you’ll get access to a revolving line of credit from the card issuer. Your credit limit is determined on your creditworthiness. You can continue using the card for purchases as long as your outstanding balance stays within your credit limit. If you’re new to credit, you might not have enough of a credit history to qualify for some of the best credit cards available. That’s where secured credit cards come into play. Unlike unsecured credit cards (regular credit cards), secured cards require a down payment. That makes them less risky for lenders and easier to apply for.

How credit cards work

A credit credit is similar to a loan, in that it offers you a line of credit that can be used to make purchases, balance transfers or cash advances. After you use it to make purchases, you are required to pay back the amount you spent. A minimum payment is typically required every month by a specific date on the balance, but it is better to pay any balance in full to avoid interest charges. Some credit cards might have an annual fee, which the fee amount depends on the card and can vary after an introductory period. There may also be other fees associated with credit cards depending on the activity, such as cash advance fees, balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees. The biggest pro of having a credit card is the ability to build or improve your credit score, as it is important if you ever want to buy a car or get a mortgage loan, among other things. If you can regularly use your credit card responsibly, you can build credit and grow financially.

How to apply for a credit card

Applying for a credit card is one thing, but getting approved for one is another. It’s as simple as entering your information into an online application. However, it can require some planning and research beforehand. Knowing what credit card issuers are looking for can be useful when you’re completing your application. Here are steps to apply for a credit card:

  • Check your credit score
  • Determine what type of card you need
  • Choose where to apply
  • See if you’re pre-qualified
  • Prepare for a potential impact to your credit
  • Practice responsible credit card habits

When should I pay off my credit card bill?

Always strive to pay your credit card balance in full by your statement due date. There’s no better way to build a solid credit history and healthy credit score. Credit is a powerful tool when seasoned with self control, but without discipline, it can wreak havoc on your financial future. Case in point – the average American household has $16,000 of credit card debt. If your card has an 18% interest rate and you’re only making the minimum payment (usually around 3% of the total balance), you’ll rack up over $2,000 in interest charges every month and continue to lose ground. Paying your credit card off in full also helps to keep your credit utilization ratio low. Your credit utilization ratio is the percentage of your available credit that you have used. Credit bureaus use this metric to gauge how responsible you are. When it comes to credit utilization ratio, low is best. Credit cards can negatively affect your credit utilization if you continuously run large balances. We recommend keeping your credit utilization for each credit card below 30%.

Pro tip: You can track your credit utilization on your credit card with some simple math — your balance divided by your credit limit equals your ratio.

How credit utilization affects your credit score

There are five factors that influence your credit score: payment history, age, mix of credit, inquiries, and your credit utilization — which can impact up to 30% of your score. Credit utilization (sometimes referred to as your credit utilization ratio) represents the percentage of your available credit that is currently active. Imagine you have two credit cards with a total credit limit of $20,000 – one with a $5,000 limit and another with a $15,000 limit. On the first card, you have a $3,200 balance, and on the second you have a zero balance because you just paid it off. Right now, your credit utilization is at a healthy 16%. If you cancel the second card, your total credit limit will drop to $5,000 and your credit utilization will rise to a whopping 64%. That’s important to keep in mind because experts say that once your utilization ratio exceeds 30% your credit score may be at risk.

How many credit cards should you have?

The number of credit cards someone should have depends on the individual. You should never have more credit cards than you can handle. The short answer is that you should strive to have at least two credit cards – ideally from different issuers and that offers different rewards. The average American has 3.1 credit cards, according to a 2017 Experian survey. Whether you have two or 20 cards, what’s important is that you use your cards responsibly and take full advantage of the benefits that come along. Make sure you’re not juggling so many cards that you get overwhelmed and can’t keep track of all the payment due dates. The main point of having more credit cards is earning points or cash back on your everyday spending that you pay off every month.



For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please click here
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here
For rates and fees of the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here
For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

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