The Best American Express credit cards of October 2020

Here's our rundown of Amex's top performers for cashback, points, air miles and more.

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Which is the best American Express credit card in the UK?

This depends on what you want from your credit card. As one of the world’s most popular credit card providers, American Express offers probably the UK’s widest selection of cards offering benefits like cashback, rewards, airmiles and luxury travel perks.

So if you’re looking to earn money back on your spending, an Amex cashback credit card will be your best bet, whereas if you’re a regular traveller, you’d want to look at a frequent flyer deal. Here are our picks from the (extensive) range.

Best American Express card for cashback

Amex offers dedicated cashback-earning cards, where a percentage of your day-to-day spending comes back to you in the form of account credit.

To get the best earn rates you’ll need to make your peace with an annual fee. Whether or not that’s worth shouldering will depend on how much you expect to use the card (if you’ll spend a lot on the card, you’ll earn enough cashback to cover the fee), and whether or not you expect to clear your balance each month (if you don’t clear your balance each month, you’ll likely pay much more in interest than you earn in cashback).

American Express Platinum Cashback Card

American Express Platinum Cashback Card

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

27.3%

Representative APR

£25

Yearly account fee

Up to £125

Intro cashback

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

Despite a few T&Cs, this cashback deal is hard to beat – offering a whopping 5% on purchases in your first 3 months. After that you'll earn 1% on the first £10,000 you spend annually and 1.25% thereafter (uncapped). Like most Amex cards, it comes with a raft of benefits to keep you interested, like travel accident insurance (subject to enrolment) and refer-a-friend bonuses.
  • A cashback deal that's hard to beat
  • No limit on cashback earnings after the introductory period
  • Complimentary supplementary cards
  • Earn rewards for each friend/family member that successfully applies
  • Minimum spend requirement to access the top earn-rate
  • Account fee of £25 per annum
Availability Available to new customers
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 3% (min. £3)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).

Best American Express card for points

The vast majority of Amex cards earn Membership Rewards points on all your day-to-day spending. And since these points can be redeemed against card purchases, they effectively do everything the cashback cards can. In fact, collecting points is perhaps an even more versatile choice, because Amex has regular opportunities to redeem your points for more than their equivalent cash worth (one Membership Rewards point is typically worth around 0.5p).

Amex cards also tend to come with lump-sum points bonuses when you sign-up for a card, when you recommend a friend (and they apply and get approved) or on your anniversary of card membership (how romantic).

The best points-earning credit cards keep you interested – in other words, when you’ve had the card for a year there are still engaging ways to earn and redeem points. Amex is pretty good at this, and you’ll get the best out of the points deals by engaging with the app to find points-earning and points-redeeming offers that you can take advantage of.

American Express Rewards Credit Card

American Express Rewards Credit Card

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

22.2%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

5,000 points

Max. intro bonus

1 point

per £1 spent

Enjoy a simple but versatile rewards scheme with the American Express Rewards Credit Card. You'll earn one Membership Reward point for virtually every pound you spend, and with no annual fee to worry about, you're free to use the card as little or as much as you wish. If you do manage to spend £2,000 in your first 3 months you'll enjoy an impressive 5,000-point bonus.
Availability Available to new customers
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 3% (min. £3)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).

Best premium American Express card

While the near-mythical “Centurion Card” might be invitation-only (and come with a couple-of-thousand-pound joining fee), Amex offers a number of more attainable, but nonetheless premium, cards. If you like to squeeze every last perk out of your card, then these deals have more to offer than most of their Amex peers. They’re likely to best suit big-spending regular travellers who clear their balance each month.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

56.6%

Representative APR

20,000 points

Max. intro bonus

1 point

per £1 spent

2 points

per £1 spent with select partners

This statement premium rewards card offers Membership Rewards points by the bucketload plus a variety of enticing benefits like airport lounge access and travel inconvenience and travel accident insurance (subject to enrolment). Although there's an annual fee, it's waived in year one.
  • It's a gold Amex... enough said. OK, not enough said – a good credit card has to do more than just look the part – but it's certainly a card that raises a few eyebrows.
  • The array of benefits the card offers is enormous. This could be Amex trying to keep customers on board after year one, because there's a decent chance cardholders will still be uncovering new benefits at 12 months in!
  • Amex customer service is refreshingly good. When we put it to the test there was no waiting on hold and no being transferred from pillar to post.
  • The app is better than many we've seen and gives you a good deal of control.
  • Despite the network's recent "Shop small" campaign, if you're in the sticks and paying at a small independent merchant, Amex could well be off the table. To its credit, Amex is trying to fix this (you could earn cashback on your spending at participating small businesses), but it's not going to change overnight. Carry a decent back-up option and it's not really a problem.
  • Some of the card's perks take a bit of research and "activating" on your own part. It's all about getting cardholders engaged.
  • That annual fee... it's not small. However you can use year one to try the card on for size, and to get an idea of the true value to you personally of all those perks, points and offers.
Availability Available to new customers
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 3% (min. £3)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 56.6% APR (variable).

Best American Express card for frequent flyers

Amex has partnered with Avios to offer a small but well-formed range of Avios-earning cards. These deals are all about collecting Avios on all your day-to-day spending, to be redeemed against flights. As you might expect, they’re best suited to frequent flyers who clear their balance in full every month.

British Airways American Express Card

British Airways American Express Card

★★★★★

Go to site Read review

22.2%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

5,000 points

Max. intro bonus

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

A great everyday credit card that lets you earn Avios points on almost all purchases. Your points can then be redeemed for flights with a range of airlines, flight upgrades, hotels and more. You'll also pay no annual fee, and can earn up to 5,000 bonus points if you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earn Avios on all your spending, without paying an annual fee.
  • Big spenders who clear their balance in full each month may get more from the Premium Plus card.
Availability Available to new customers
Residency UK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
Foreign usage charge (EU) 2.99%
Cash advance fee 3% (min. £3)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).

Best American Express card for bad credit

American Express credit cards are generally offered to customers with a good credit score, so unfortunately you’re unlikely to be approved for the best Amex cards if you have poor or bad credit.

However, those with limited credit history may still be eligible for an American Express credit card, especially standard cards like the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card, or charge cards like the American Express Green card or American Express Basic Charge card.

Balance transfers? 0% deals?

Er, no. Sorry. Amex is more about the rewards than the savings.

But in better news, you can expect good old fashioned American customer service – Amex came top in Finder’s 2020 customer satisfaction league table, with 85% of customers willing to recommend Amex to a friend.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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