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American Express has long been considered one of the most sought-after credit card lenders and extends credit to individuals with the best credit scores. American Express offers some of the best rewards programs in the industry, ranging from travel benefits programs to cash back programs. This article will go over the benefits of five of AmEx’s most popular credit cards: the Platinum Card, the Preferred Rewards Gold Card, Blue, Rewards Plus Gold Card, and American Express Preferred Rewards Green Card.
First up is the American Express Platinum card, which has great personal concierge services and comes with rewards earned on every purchase. When you first open a Platinum account you’ll get a welcome offer of double points on grocery and gasoline purchases. Afterward, you’ll earn one point on every dollar you spend and up to four points when you shop at the Bonus Points Mall. Points can be redeemed for travel, dining, shopping and entertainment through the Access First Collection. The Platinum card comes with an annual fee of $450 and there is no interest rate on purchases; instead, you pay your balance in full monthly. There is no pre-set spending limit. Special travel benefits that make this card stand out from other AmEx cards is the team of travel consultants, complimentary access to private airport clubs around the world, special amenities at hotels and resorts, companion tickets when you purchase first and business-class tickets and complimentary upgrades to premium when you rent a car. The Platinum card also gives you access to reservations at restaurants around the world, access to VIP events and a personal concierge service.
Preferred Rewards Gold Card
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card is different from the Platinum Card in a number of ways. Here’s a quick overview: there’s no annual fee for the first year when you open your account and for a limited time you earn double points on grocery and gasoline purchases. You earn one point for every dollar spent and up to three points per dollar when shopping at the Bonus Points Mall. After your first year, the annual fee is $125. Like the Platinum Card, there is no interest rate on purchases and balances must be paid monthly. The Preferred Rewards Gold Card comes with travel accident insurance up to $100,000 and 24/7 roadside assistance anywhere. This credit card also comes with access to preferred seating and an event ticket protection plan, along with extended warranties and more.
Blue from American Express
The Blue card is one of AmEx’s most popular credit cards, allowing you to earn rewards with no annual fee. When you open a Blue credit card account you receive 0% APR financing for up to one year. You earn one point for every dollar you spend and up to three at the Bonus Points Mall. The APR after the introductory period is a low prime plus 6.99% and you’ll receive a variable spending limit that depends on your credit history. The Blue card comes with no travel concierge service or access to private airport clubs, although you do get guaranteed hotel reservations and travel accident insurance up to $100,000. Since the Blue card has no annual fee, there are no unique dining and entertainment benefits like preferred seating or VIP events. The Blue credit card, like all American Express cards, offers extended warranties on purchases. It’s also the only card of the five that lets you pay over time.
Rewards Plus Gold Card
The Rewards Plus Gold Card offers more benefits than the Blue card, although the annual fee is $150. When you open your account you’ll receive no annual fee for the first year and an introductory period during which you earn double points on groceries and gas. Points earned are similar to the Blue: one point per dollar and up to 3 per dollar at the Bonus Points Mall. The Rewards Plus Gold Card has no preset spending limit and your balance is due in full each month. The travel accident insurance for this card is $250,000– the second highest after the Platinum. You also get access to preferred seating and event ticket protection. Other than the increased travel accident insurance, better roadside assistance and no pre-set spending limit, this credit card is very similar to the Blue card.
American Express Preferred Rewards Green Card
The Green card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year and earns points in the same way as the Blue card. Points you earn can be redeemed for dining, shopping, entertainment and travel with the ability to choose from over 500 brands and transfer your points to 20 frequent flyer programs. There’s no interest or pre-set spending limit. Roadside assistance is provided, but only if you’re greater than 50 miles from your home. Other than that and the ability to transfer your points, the Green card is too similar to the Blue card.
Overall, the Blue card from American Express is the best value and offers the most benefits other than the Platinum card. The Rewards Plus Gold Card, Green Card, and Preferred Rewards Gold Card offer few benefits over the Blue card but charge high annual fees, whereas no annual fee is charged to Blue cardholders. Unless you qualify for and have need for the premium benefits of the Platinum card, stick with the Blue card from American Express to get the best travel benefits and rewards for your money.