Some people think American Express is bad because it does not have the same widespread international acceptance as other major card networks, and merchants often take issue with Amex's high interchange fees. American Express credit cards also require good credit or better for approval, and they often come with high fees.
However, American Express is not a bad credit card company overall. Many Amex credit cards have excellent rewards and other worthwhile benefits. American Express credit card customer service is highly rated, too.
Yes, it is good to have an American Express credit card because Amex cards offer bonus rewards on a variety of purchases for people with good or excellent credit. American Express cards also come with an array of welcome offers and introductory 0% APR promotions, in addition to a certain air of prestige.… read full answer
As good as American Express cards are to have, they’re not for everybody. For example, American Express does not offer credit cards for students, or cards for applicants with less than good credit, such as secured cards. Additionally, Amex cards aren’t always the cheapest credit cards to own. While a number of Amex cards provide great value with a $0 annual fee, a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express – which has lots of high-end perks – charges an annual fee of $695.
In terms of credit card acceptance, the number of U.S. merchants that take American Express cards has risen in recent years to 10.6 million, slightly lower than the Visa and Mastercard networks. Worldwide, the number of countries where American Express cards are accepted trails the other three major credit card networks. Even in countries where American Express is accepted, some individual merchants may not accept it.
The difference between Visa and American Express is that American Express is both a card issuer and a payment network, while Visa is only a payment network. Visa is also more widely accepted than Amex, as Visa cards work in over 200 countries and territories, compared to 160+ for American Express cards.… read full answer
Differences Between American Express and Visa
Point of Comparison
Credit Card Issuer?
Accepted in 160+ countries and territories
Accepted in 200+ countries and territories
Accepted at 10.6 million U.S. locations
Accepted at 10.7 million U.S. locations
Cards in Circulation
$0 Fraud Liability Guarantee
Merchant Processing Fees
$0 Liability Guarantee?
For merchants, the biggest difference between American Express and Visa is how much they charge a merchant for processing payments. Amex processing fees are on the higher end, while Visa’s fees are on the lower end.
Although there are a handful of big differences between American Express and Visa, most people will not be affected unless they travel abroad, as Amex has less acceptance outside of the U.S. than Visa. Otherwise, for the average cardholder, there are far more similarities between the two payment networks than differences.
American Express Membership Rewards points are worth 0.61 cents per point, on average. The value of American Express Membership Rewards points depends on how they are redeemed. For example, points from American Express Membership Rewards are worth up to 0.76 cents each when redeemed for gift cards, and they are worth 0.6 cents each when redeemed for cash back. … read full answer
American Express Membership Rewards Point Values
Average Point Value
Value of 1,000 Points
Tips for Maximizing the Value of American Express Membership Rewards Points
Use This Card for Travel Purchases
You’ll earn the most American Express Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on Travel purchases. Maximizing the number of points you earn will ensure that you get the most redemption value possible at the end of the day.
Redeem American Express Membership Rewards points regularly.
American Express Membership Rewards points do not expire due to account inactivity, but stockpiling points does put you at risk of rewards devaluation.
Redeem points for Gift cards.
American Express Membership Rewards points are worth the most when redeemed for gift cards.
Pay your bill in full every month.
The American Express Membership Rewards card’s regular APR is high enough to erode your rewards earnings if you carry a balance from month to month.
Read the rewards program rules.
Every credit card with rewards also has rules for when unredeemed earnings could be lost – usually as a result of closing your account or missing payments. Double-checking these details can help you keep every cent of rewards value you earn.
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