American Express vs Visa credit cards: Which is better? | finder.com
American Express next to Visa cards on a pink wallet

American Express vs. Visa credit cards

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Make a decision based on features you value, such as rewards points or acceptance rate.

Both American Express and Visa offer credit cards with unique rewards programs that could suit one person over another. For example, if you’re looking for more opportunities to earn rewards points, Amex might suit your needs better. But, if you’re looking for a card with a wider acceptance rate, you might want to try Visa. In the end, both providers offer great features. Choosing between them is just a matter of personal preference.

Compare two cards: Amex vs. Visa

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Read Rates & Fees
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U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

  • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
  • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
  • No limit on total cash back earned.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.99% - 25.49%
  • No annual fee
  • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
  • Read Rates & Fees
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Things to consider when comparing American Express and Visa credit cards

  • Limits and expiration for reward points. If you’re saving for something big like a flight then it’s important to know that your points won’t expire before you rack them all up. Similarly, if you spend a lot and there is a limit on what you can earn, you’re missing out on major points.
  • Annual fee. Many Visa and Amex cards will come with no annual fee or have promotions that waive the annual fee for the first year. That said, depending on the card you get from either, the fee could be anywhere from $25 to upwards of $500.
  • Interest rates. American Express generally charges an interest rate between 11% to 27%. Visa cards can come with either a variable or a fixed interest rate and can range anywhere from 8.25% to 29.99%.
  • Customer service. Both Visa and American Express have a reputation for its customer service and providing a concierge that can help you in any situation, whether its an emergency or not.
  • Complimentary insurance. Both Visa and American Express have credit cards that offer complimentary insurance when you pay for your travel in full with the card. However, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions before you apply.

Compare American Express and Visa credit cards

Updated September 16th, 2019
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
N/A
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
2x miles at US restaurants and on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
See Rates & Fees
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
$95
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated September 16th, 2019
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
1.5% cash back after earning 3% on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then earn 1.5% cash back after that.
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
$0
Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
18.99% to 25.99% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
15.99% to 25.49% variable
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Pros and cons of American Express credit cards

Pros:

  • Potential to earn more points.
  • Indicates personal financial status.

Cons:

  • Less accepted than Visa.
  • Fees could eat up any rewards.
  • Strict eligibility criteria.
  • Higher interest rates.
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Pros and cons of Visa credit cards

Pros:

  • Accepted more than American Express.
  • Less fees.
  • Flexible eligibility criteria.
  • Generally a lower interest rate.

Cons:

  • Less potential to earn points.
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What features and services do American Express and Visa offer?

While Amex and Visa offer some similar benefits, looking at the features and services that set them apart can help make your decision. For example, Amex products uniformly offer features such as purchase protection and travel insurance. These features are mostly issuer-dependent among Visa cards, however. Choosing between the providers just depends on what you value.

American ExpressSelect Amex cards (e.g., The Platinum Card® from American Express)Visa TraditionalVisa SignatureVisa Infinite
Extended warrantyDepends on issuer
Purchase protectionDepends on issuer
Return protectionDepends on issuer
Price protectionDepends on issuerDepends on issuer
Car rental insurance
Global assist hotline/travel and emergency assistance
Roadside assistance
Travel accident insuranceDepends on issuer
Baggage insuranceDepends on issuer
Trip cancellation/ interruption insuranceDepends on issuer
Concierge

The verdict

Your personal shopping habits and how you’ll be using the card should point you in the direction of what will better suit your needs. If you use your American Express for 50% of your everyday shopping you’ll get the most value. However, If you want a card that’s more widely accepted and has a lower annual fee, Visa is your pick.

Best of both worlds?

If you can’t decide whether you want to choose between American Express or Visa, you can always get both and use one as a backup. Having both Visa and American Express means that you can use either of them as much as possible while earning more points.

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