American Express vs Visa credit cards | finder.com
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American Express vs. Visa credit cards

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The positives and negatives depend on how you’ll use your American Express or Visa card, make a decision based on what features you need.

Both providers offer credit cards with unique reward programs that could suit one person better than the other. There are Visa cards in the market that earn a decent amount of reward points, but American Express reward cards tend to earn more.

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 fee or have promotions that waive the annual fee for the first year. That being said, depending on the card you get from either, the fee could be anywhere from $25 to upwards or $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.

American Express credit cards

Pros:

  • Potential to earn more points.
  • Can indicate personal financial status.

Cons:

  • Less accepted than Visa.
  • Surcharges to use American Express could hinder any rewards value you earn.
  • Eligibility criteria is more strict that Visa.
  • Generally a higher interest rate.

Comparison of American Express credit cards

Rates last updated June 21st, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
0% Intro APR for 15 months
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
Blue Cash Preferred® Card
Earn $250 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $250 back in the form of a statement credit.
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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.
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$550
Fair (660-699)
Blue from American Express® Card
Earn rewards with no annual fee.
16.99%, 19.99% or 21.99% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
0
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
Fair (660-699)
Blue Sky® Credit Card
Flexible travel rewards and no annual fee.
19.99% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
Earn 75000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 or more in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Earn 35000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Fair (660-699)
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$450
Fair (660-699)
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
17.49% to 26.49% variable
$195
Good (700-739)
American Express® Green Card
Shop with more confidence
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Fair (660-699)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card
Earn bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
16.99% to 20.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Good (700-739)

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Visa credit cards

Pros:

  • More acceptance than American Express.
  • Barely any surcharges.
  • Flexible eligibility criteria.
  • Generally a lower interest rate.

Cons:

  • Less potential to earn points.

Comparison of Visa credit cards

Rates last updated June 21st, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Free Credit Score Tracking
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Fair (660-699)
Apply now Read review
Official NASCAR® Credit Card from Credit One Bank®
Get double cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore, terms apply.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
18.64% variable
$35
Apply now Read review
UNITY Visa® Secured Credit Card
Borrow up to $10000 and get your credit score back on track.
9.95% Intro APR for 6 months (with Whichever is greater: $10 or 3% balance transfer fee)
17.99% fixed
$39
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
The First Access VISA® Credit Card
Access credit even if you have poor or limited credit history.
29.99% variable
$75 annual fee for the first year ($48 thereafter)
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
Give your credit a boost with credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
Credit One Bank® Visa® with Free Credit Score Tracking
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV, terms apply.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 to $75 first year annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
 Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.
9.99% fixed
$48
Apply now Read review
Green Dot primor® Visa® Classic Secured Credit Card
Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! You decide where you want to start and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
13.99% fixed
$39
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card
Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
9.99% fixed
$49
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® Credit Card
Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability. Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 to $75 annual fee for the first year ($0 to $99 thereafter)
Poor (Below 660)
Apply now Read review
Simmons Visa®
The Simmons Visa® offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
10% variable
$0
Simmons Rewards Visa Signature®
Excellent Credit Required - Applicants that do not have excellent credit will not be approved
12% variable
$0
AccountNow® Prepaid Visa Card
The AccountNow Prepaid Visa Card gives you quick access to your money, and is a convenient alternative to traditional bank accounts.
Poor (Below 660)
AccountNow® Gold Visa® Prepaid Card
The AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card is a debit card that allows cardholders the convenience of direct deposit without having to open a checking account.
Poor (Below 660)
Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card
The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card is a credit card that comes bundled with many bonus offers.
0% Intro APR for 12 months
12.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
A great way to establish or improve your credit history.
13.00% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
Disney® Visa® Card
Earn 1% in Disney Rewards Dollars on all card purchases.
17.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
16.49% to 24.49% variable
$75
Fair (660-699)
Disney® Premier Visa® Card
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
17.49% variable
$49
Fair (660-699)
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Earn 5% Back at Amazon.com
15.74% to 23.74% variable
$0
AeroMexico Visa® Secured Card
Now you can earn Miles that take you to Mexico and build your credit too!
24.74% variable
$25
Poor (Below 660)
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Earn Costco cash rewards everywhere Visa® is accepted.
16.74% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
British Airways Visa Signature® card
Earn Avios on every purchase and 3 Avios per $1 on British Airways purchases.
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$95
Asiana Visa Signature® Credit Card
No matter where you're travelling, feel free to use your Asiana Visa Signature® credit card without incurring foreign transaction fees when making purchases.
16.49% to 24.49% variable
$99
Fair (660-699)
24k Prepaid Visa® RushCard
The 24k Prepaid Visa® RushCard offers online and in-store purchasing without a credit check.
$0

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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 can consistently do your everyday shopping (say about over 50%) without any surcharges, then American Express could provide the most value for you. However, if this is not the case, then you may want to consider a Visa card.

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. Whenever a surcharge applies for American Express, you can use the Visa.

Black Cards

When you are considering American Express versus Visa, don’t forget to take a look at their Black cards. These cards are not open to the general public and are issued by invite only. If you get an American Express Black card you will need to spend $250,000 on it yearly. They both come equipped with a concierge service that you can use to make arrangements for just about anything you need. If you get a Visa Black card, you will be given a credit limit based on your credit history and income level.

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Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.49
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
The First Access VISA® Credit Card
The First Access VISA® Credit Card

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
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