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 Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
  • Read Rates & Fees
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Earn $150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Use a 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers in your first 15 months; a variable APR of 16.49% – 25.24% applies thereafter.
  • No annual fee.
  • No cash back redemption minimum.
  • 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 January 29th, 2020
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.49% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.24% to 26.24% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
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 14.49% to 25.49% variable)
$95
6% cash back at US supermarkets. Rates & fees
Hilton Honors American Express Card
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.24% to 26.24% 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
American Express® Green Card
3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
See Rates & Fees
$150
Earn 3x Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, 3x points at restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated January 29th, 2020
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
1.5% cash back on all purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.49% to 25.24% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
N/A
18.89% variable
$35
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Credit One Bank® Visa® Cash Back Rewards
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
19.49% to 25.49% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.

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.

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American ExpressSelect Amex cards (e.g., The Platinum Card® from American Express)Visa TraditionalVisa SignatureVisa Infinite
Extended warranty

Depends 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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