American Express entered the credit card business by offering premium charge cards that required payment in full at each billing statement. But today the company has a wide array of credit cards, including many with a pay-over-time option.
While in the past American Express credit cards were often available only to consumers with excellent credit, the company now offers some of the best credit cards for consumers with average and fair credit as well.
Before you can decide which credit card you want, you'll need to know your credit qualifications. You should check your credit history and score annually to make sure there are no errors on your credit report. If your credit score is low, you may be denied the credit card you want or forced to pay a higher interest rate than someone with excellent credit, so be sure to pay attention to any negative information on your credit report and take steps to improve those issues.
American Express rewards credit cards
Since many people associate American Express with travel -- it began in the 19th century as a transporter of valuables -- this company naturally offers several rewards credit cards tied to airlines and hotels. If you are looking for a cash back rewards program for everyday purposes, American Express offers that too.
Here are some of the more popular American Express credit cards:
- American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card. If you have excellent credit, you can earn rewards points for airline miles, gas, groceries and other purchases with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. You'll also have access to special events and travel programs.
- Blue Cash Everyday from American Express. If you prefer a cash back credit card, you may want the Blue Cash Everyday credit card. This credit card has no annual fee and allows you to pay over time while earning cash back on gas, groceries, department store and other purchases without rotating categories or any spending minimums to meet.
- Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express. If your goal is to find a airmile credit card and you often fly Delta Airlines, the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card may be your best option. You can earn Delta SkyMiles for all your purchases that can be redeemed for flights, and also get priority boarding and free checked bags.
- True Earnings Card from Costco and American Express. If you shop at Costco, another option is the True Earnings credit card that functions as both a Costco membership card and an American Express credit card. You'll also earn rewards for your purchases that can be redeemed for airline miles, gift cards and merchandise.
If you love to fly on JetBlue airlines, or to stay in hotels in the Starwood chain or Hilton Hotels group, American Express offers credit cards tied to those companies as well.
American Express credit cards for business
If you own a small business, you may need a credit card that allows you to pay for purchases over time, make airline and hotel reservations, or buy gas for business trips. American Express offers business credit cards to match those needs.
- The Plum Card from American Express. If you have excellent credit and want to use your business credit card primarily for cash management, the Plum Card may be the right one for you. You can pay a balance over two months without interest or get a 1.5 percent discount for paying within 10 days.
- The New Business Gold Rewards Credit Card from American Express OPEN. If you'd like to earn rewards for your business expenditures, the New Business Gold Rewards credit card may be your best choice since you can earn from one to three rewards points per dollar.
If you've decided which American Express credit card suits you best, check out the offers on this page to find the next step.