The best Amex travel card depends on your preferred type of travel, but the top contenders are Amex Platinum, Blue Cash Preferred, Starwood Preferred Guest and Delta Reserve. Each one shines in a particular rewards category. For example, the Starwood card offers free hotel nights, Blue Cash Preferred will save you money on gas, and Amex Delta Reserve is the way to go for airline miles. And for a good overall travel card, your best bet is Amex Platinum. You get a 60,000 point bonus for spending $5,000 in your first three months, access to 1,000+ airport lounges, and 5 points per $1 spent on flights and hotels.
But before you make your decision, you’ll want to read up on each card in more detail.
Here are the best Amex travel credit cards:
OVERALL: Amex Platinum
60,000 points for making $5,000 in purchases during your first three months. $200 Uber credit and $200 airline fee credit annually. 5 points per $1 for flights and hotels booked through the Amex travel website or directly with airlines. Access to 1,000 global lounges with a Priority Pass membership worth $359 per year. Good credit needed. $550 annual fee. No foreign transaction fee.
GAS REWARDS: Amex Blue Cash Preferred
$250 bonus for spending $1,000 in your first three months. 6% back on $6,000 spent at supermarkets per year. 3% cash back at gas stations and eligible department stores. 1% back everywhere else. Good credit needed. $95 annual fee. 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
HOTEL POINTS: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
30,000 points for spending $3,000 within the first three months. 4 points per $1 at Starwood hotels (5 with Starwood elite status). 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Good credit needed. $95 annual fee, waived the first year. No foreign transaction fee.
AIRLINE MILES: Amex Delta Reserve
40,000 miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles for spending $3,000 in your first three months. Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) earn you status in Delta’s tiered loyalty program. 2 points per $1 on Delta purchases, 1 everywhere else. Domestic round-trip companion certificate every year on your anniversary. 15,000 miles and 15,000 MQMs for spending $30,000 in a calendar year, plus 15,000 more of each for spending $6,000. Good credit needed. $450 annual fee. No foreign transaction fee.
There are several good options for an Amex travel credit card. But it’s worth noting that Amex cards don’t have the high global acceptance rates of Visa and Mastercard credit cards, so you could run into trouble if it’s your only travel option. And if you’re interested in non-Amex alternatives, the Capital One Venture Card offers a 50,000 mile initial bonus, 10x miles at Hotels.com, and 2x miles everywhere else for an annual fee of only $95.