American Express, often referred to as Amex, is a financial corporation in the US. The company is more than 150 years old and now provides charge cards and credit cards to consumers around the world. Their recognizable logo is a centurion. Their range of cards is for more affluent customers, as some have expensive membership fees. The best type of Amex card depends on your spending habits. Some American Express cards are better for particular uses than others. This guide will explain which Amex cards in the UK are the most beneficial for certain purposes.
Best Amex Rewards Card
American Express has a Rewards scheme which allows customers to earn points on their spending with Amex. They can choose to redeem these points for flights or hotel bookings and many more rewards. American Express Invites is an additional benefit, reserving sought-after event tickets for Rewards cardholders. There are multiple Amex cards which are also Rewards cards. The best one depends on the rewards you are looking to gain from it.
Starwood Preferred Guest Travel Card
On the face of it, the best value of Rewards card is the Starwood Preferred Guest Travel Card. This is because it does not have the highest APR or annual fee, but it does have the biggest introductory points bonus. The only limitation is that the rewards are travel rewards only, but this applies to most Amex Rewards anyway. The SPG Rewards card has the balance of a lower annual fee to earn similar levels of rewards to more expensive Amex cards. Below are the primary facts about this Amex card and the potentially major benefits which come with it.
- 39.7% variable APR
- £75 annual fee to hold the card
- 30,000 extra points for spending £1,000 on the card in the first 3 months
- 9,000 bonus points for referring a friend
- purchase protection and travel insurance cover
- automatic Gold Elite Status upgrade when you spend £15,000 in a year
- earn 3 points for every £1 you spend on the card (or 6 points per £1 at Starwood and Marriott hotels)
- redeem points for stays at 6,500 hotels or flights on 150 airlines worldwide (no blackout dates)
- transfer points to a major airline frequent flyer programme
Best Amex Travel Card
Although the previous card is also a travel card, there are other Amex cards with more extensive travel benefits. These cards come with the usual security and convenience of American Express cards, plus rewards for when you travel. You will have the regular refund protection and fraud guarantee to count on. Then you will have access to regular rewards, such as event invites. On top of these things, Amex travel cards offer more for frequent travellers.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
The best Amex travel card overall is the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card. As it is a credit card and not a charge card, you do not have to pay off the balance completely every month. There is a higher annual fee and APR, but in exchange, you can access more travel benefits than other Rewards cards. The points bonuses may be smaller, but they are more frequent. This is because you also have the chance to earn an annual bonus. Holders of these cards (as well as supplementary ones) receive free travel protection and 24/7 support from Global Assist.
- 57.6% variable APR
- £140 annual fee (free for the first year)
- 10,000 extra Rewards points for spending £3,000 in the first 3 months
- 10,000 Rewards points per year of membership (anniversary bonus for spending £15,000 during those 12 months from the membership start or renewal date)
- 6,000 bonus points for referring a friend
- earn 1 point for every £1 that you spend on the card (or 2 points per £1 for foreign currency or airline spending, or 3 points per £1 with the American Express Travel website)
- complimentary membership with the Lounge Club (and 2 free visits to an airport lounge per year)
- The Hotel Collection room upgrades and credits for 2-night stays at over 500 worldwide hotels
- complimentary membership with Hertz Gold Plus Rewards (and 10% car rental discount, upgrades for 5-day bookings, and no additional driver fee)
Best Amex Frequent Flyer Card
An even more specific type of travelling reward card is the kind for frequent flyers. These often allow customers to collect Avios rather than American Express Rewards points. Avios are a global currency which is redeemable for rewards through many airlines and their partners. This includes flight upgrades and hotel bookings. As an Amex credit card, these cards will also come with the usual legal protections, and Experience benefits like event invites.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card
Again, this card has a high APR and annual fee, but it comes with the potential for much larger bonuses. These will come in the form of Avios which are redeemable with many airlines for part or full payment of travel arrangements. If you already have bookings, you may be able to redeem your Amex Avios to upgrade them. You could get a return flight within Europe for as little as 9,000 Avios through the British Airways Executive Club, in partnership with Amex. There is also access to Global Assist services when travelling outside of the UK, for 24/7 support in your language.
- 76% variable APR
- £195 annual fee to keep the card open
- 25,000 Avios bonus for spending £3,000 in the first 3 months
- earn 1.5 Avios per £1 that you spend (or 3 Avios per £1 when spending directly with British Airways)
- 9,000 bonus Avios for referring a friend
- 2-for-1 travel with a Companion Voucher for spending £10,000 in each year of membership
- automatic British Airways Executive Club membership enrolment
- travel inconvenience and accident insurance
- free supplementary cards
Best Amex Premium Card
Premium cards are for people who enjoy the finer things (and can afford such luxuries). These afford even more privileges and quality service for Amex cardholders. Premium cards allow members to accumulate Rewards points faster and personalise some services. The Premium cards have higher annual membership fees and representative APRs, but that is because of their higher level of rewards. They enhance the lifestyle that you’ll be accustomed to.
Amex Platinum Card
As you can see from the list below, there are some high-quality privileges that come with being a Platinum Amex cardholder. Many of them are exclusive to the Platinum card. This is one of the most rewarding Amex cards overall, but with more rewards come more expenses. If you are paying almost £600 a year to have a Platinum card, then it is expected that you will receive extra benefits, such as bonus points and statement credits. If you don’t make use of all the extras, then you might as well pay less for a different Amex. However, it gains you elite status elsewhere.
- £575 annual fee to hold the card
- no interest charges, but you must pay in full every month
- 30,000 bonus Reward points for spending £4,000 in the first 3 months
- complimentary access to airport lounges (more than 1,200 lounges across 130 countries)
- 12,000 bonus points for referring a friend
- earn 1 point for every £1 you spend (and 1 additional point per £1 on American Express Travel online)
- complimentary hotel benefits at more than 1,000 worldwide luxury hotels (including upgrades, breakfast, and late check-out)
- access higher tiers of loyalty programmes including Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Avis Preferred, and Hertz Gold Plus
- Platinum Concierge service available for 24/7 travel assistance and advice
- reserved tables and exclusive experiences at the world’s best restaurants with the Global Dining Collection
- £10 monthly credit for booking a trip in the UK with Addison Lee or Tristar car service
- free supplementary cards (only one Platinum and up to four Green or Gold cards)
- worldwide travel insurance for up to 90 days
- Amex app for easy assistance
Best Amex Cashback Card
Many users of less prestigious credit card services do so because of the cashback benefits. Instead of points with limits on how you can redeem them, you can earn actual cash to spend however you like. Even American Express offers cashback options, which allow cardholders to earn unlimited cashback when spending on their Amex card. There are fewer Amex cashback cards available to choose from, but they are suitable for more types of consumer.
Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card
The Everyday credit card is a good choice of Amex for families in particular. It will be easy to meet the minimum spending requirements, and then earn cashback on your spending. This Amex comes with all of the regular legal protection benefits and access to event tickets with American Express experiences. The only benefit to this card is earning cashback. You can also access exclusive promotional offers from Amex partners as well, though these are nowhere near the benefits of other (more expensive) cards. Below are the primary points about this cashback card.
- 22.9% variable APR
- No annual fee to open and keep the card
- 5% cashback bonus (up to £100) for the first 3 months
- £20 bonus for referring a friend
- earn 0.5% cashback if you spend up to £5,000
- earn 1% cashback if you spend over £5,000
- selected offers from American Express partners (travel and retail)
- free supplementary cards
Best Amex Card No Annual Fee
There are several Amex cards which do not charge an annual fee to be a holder. The cards with annual fees are normally the ones which offer the most rewards and benefits for cardholders. However, those looking to save on annual card costs can still access some benefits. You don’t have to settle for the basic Amex charge card, with the suitably basic amenities. You can still get travel benefits with Amex without having to pay an annual fee for a card.
British Airways American Express Credit Card
The non-Premium version of the British Airways Amex can still garner some benefits for cardholders with lower spending who still like to travel. There is a comparatively low bonus and a slower earning rate, but it is still better than no rewards at all. You can redeem Avios as part payment for flight or hotel bookings even if you don’t have enough to pay in full yet. You will also have the usual benefits of purchase and refund protection as well as public transport travel insurance cover and access to in-demand event tickets. This is in addition to the following things:
- 22.9% variable APR
- No annual fee for membership
- 5,000 Avios bonus for spending £1,000 in the first 3 months
- earn 1 Avio for every £1 you spend on the card
- 4,000 Avios for recommending a friend
- enrolment in the British Airways Executive Club
- Companion Voucher for 2-for-1 travel (if you spend £20,000 in a year of membership)
- free supplementary cards