Everything You Need To Know About American Express

Most credit cards come with a variety of perks. But American Express, a big player in the credit card industry, might be leading in this regard. It offers a diverse portfolio of card options tailored to various consumer needs. This guide dives into the full spectrum of benefits provided by American Express, including the Amex Offers program, Membership Reward program and other benefits, illustrating the comprehensive value of being an American Express cardholder.

Exploring American Express Credit Cards

American Express presents a range of credit cards, including:

The Gold Card® From American Express
Annual fee: $250
Welcome offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months.
Dining benefits: Up to $120 in dining credits annually at select restaurants and food delivery services, 4x points on dining at restaurants worldwide and at supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
Travel benefits: 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amex Travel.
Other perks: No foreign transaction fees and a personalized travel service.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee: $695
Welcome offer: 80,000 Membership Rewards points after meeting a certain spending threshold in the first few months of card ownership. For example, 75,000 points after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
Travel benefits: Complimentary access to Uber savings annually, and a $200 Airline Fee Credit for incidental charges with one selected airline.
Other perks: Automatic Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, comprehensive travel insurance, and no foreign transaction fees.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee: $595
Welcome offer: 100,000 Membership Rewards points after making $15,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
Travel benefits: Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide including The Centurion® Lounge and Priority Pass™ lounges, up to $200 Airline Fee Credit, and 35% points back when using points to book flights on your selected airline or any business or first-class flight through American Express Travel, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year.
Business perks: 1.5x points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year), and complimentary Gold status in Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors programs.

**Please note**: these specifics, such as the annual fee, welcome offer, and detailed benefits, are subject to change and vary by region and over time. Always check the most current details directly through American Express or the official American Express website.

paying with AMEX
source: Unsplash – payin with AMEX

The American Express Membership Rewards® Program

What Is The American Express Membership Rewards® Program?
The American Express Membership Rewards® Program is a dynamic rewards initiative offered to holders of select American Express credit cards. This program allows cardholders to accumulate Membership Rewards points on purchases, with the rate of accrual varying by shopping category—some transactions earn points at a standard rate, while others may qualify for increased points based on the purchase type.

How To Earn American Express Membership Rewards® Points
Beyond earning points on purchases, cardholders can increase their balance via welcome bonuses, spending in specific categories, shopping through the Rakuten portal, and engaging with targeted Amex offers. Membership Rewards points offer diverse redemption opportunities, including travel, cashback, and gift cards, or transferring to airline and hotel partners for potentially higher value. Note: Transferring points may involve an excise tax offset fee, payable with points at a predetermined rate. In other words, transferring your points to a partner program may require you to redeem a portion of your points as a form of payment for this transaction.

The American Express Refer-A-Friend program presents an attractive avenue for cardholders to accrue additional Membership Rewards points. By referring new customers to American Express, and upon their approval, the referring member can earn a bonus ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 points. This depends on the referred card, with potential for even higher bonuses. There’s a cap on the total number of referral points a cardholder can earn annually, maxing out at up to 100,000 points. However, this cap refreshes each year, and notably, the limit applies per card, not per account holder. What sets the American Express referral program apart is its flexibility. It allows cardholders to refer potential new members to any American Express card, not just the one they own, ensuring a bonus is earned regardless of the new user’s card choice.

Amex Offers

What Are Amex Offers?
Amex Offers are specially curated deals available exclusively to American Express cardmembers who have enrolled their eligible Amex card. These offers, which can vary across your American Express accounts, are tailored to provide additional rewards on both online and in-store purchases, adhering to specific terms and conditions. Given the enrollment cap for these offers, prompt action is crucial to take full advantage of the deals you’re interested in. To explore the Amex Offers available to you, log into your American Express account online or through the mobile app, navigating to the Amex Offers & Benefits section.

Eligibility for Amex Offers
Most American Express credit cards issued in the U.S. are eligible for Amex Offers, including those that earn Membership Rewards® points and co-branded airline and hotel cards. Exceptions include corporate cards, gift cards, and most prepaid cards, except for American Express Serve and Bluebird cards.

Maximizing Membership Rewards with Amex Offers
Cards that accrue Membership Rewards points often boast the most enticing Amex Offers, such as substantial savings on flights purchased through the American Express International Airline Program. While co-branded airline and hotel cards are eligible for Amex Offers, the diversity and frequency of these offers can vary.

How to get targeted for Amex Offers
The criteria for targeting cardmembers with specific offers are not publicly disclosed. Active card usage and holding premium cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express can improve your chances of receiving more attractive offers. Engaging with the Amex Offers program by enrolling in available offers reveals new opportunities, as American Express limits the visible offers to 100 at any given time.

booking with AMEX
source: Unsplash – booking with AMEX

Utilizing Amex Offers
Benefiting from an Amex Offer involves enrolling in the offer and using your registered card for the purchase, paying attention to any specific conditions such as minimum spend requirements. Rewards typically post within 90 days, though credits often appear sooner.

Diverse types of Amex Offers
Amex Offers cover a broad range of categories, from dining and shopping to travel and entertainment, offering numerous opportunities to save and earn. It’s beneficial to periodically review these offers, as they are dynamically updated and can provide significant savings on planned expenditures.

Choosing the right card for Amex Offers
When possessing multiple American Express cards, selecting the right card for each offer is crucial. This decision impacts the availability of similar offers on your other cards and your overall reward strategy. Consider factors like current spending goals and the potential to earn bonus points when choosing the right card for each offer.

Reading the fine print
The terms and conditions of Amex Offers require careful consideration to ensure compliance and maximize the benefit. Some offers may have specific requirements, such as purchase location or participating outlets.

Leveraging shopping portals with Amex Offers
Combining Amex Offers with shopping portals can significantly enhance your rewards, allowing for additional points, miles, or cash back on top of what you earn through Amex Offers. This strategy can greatly increase the rewards earned through the program.

Other Benefits With American Express

Purchase protections
American Express cards offer robust purchase protections, including Purchase Protection against theft or accidental damage and Extended Warranty, which can double the manufacturer’s warranty period for eligible purchases.

Travel benefits and insurances
American Express shines with its travel benefits, offering features like earning Flying Blue points, elite status opportunities with hotel and airline partners, comprehensive travel insurance, and access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. You can also share your Platinum Flying Blue status with a second cardholder. Furthermore, purchasing tickets or making bookings with an American Express card activates a suite of insurance benefits. These are designed to protect against unforeseen events and complications, including travel accident insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage insurance plan, and car rental loss and damage insurance.

Entertainment and lifestyle perks
Cardholders enjoy exclusive access to entertainment through Amex Entertainment Access and unique dining experiences with the Global Dining Collection, enhancing the overall cardmember experience.

Financial management tools
Financial management tools like Spend Manager℠ and Year-End Summary aid in tracking and analyzing spending, providing valuable insights for financial planning and tax preparation.

Global Assist® Hotline
The Global Assist® Hotline offers 24/7 access to emergency assistance services for cardholders traveling more than 100 miles from home, further adding to the value of American Express card membership.

Centurion Lounge
source: American Express – Centurion Lounge


In the world of credit cards, American Express truly stands out, offering not just a gateway to earning rewards through everyday spending, but a whole universe of perks and advantages that cater to every aspect of modern life. From the exclusive and dynamic Amex Offers that put money back into your pocket, to the robust purchase protections that give you peace of mind with every transaction, American Express cards are designed to elevate your financial wellbeing.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Imagine traversing the globe with unparalleled travel benefits, from seamless access to luxurious airport lounges to comprehensive travel insurance, ensuring that every journey is as smooth and secure as it can be. Add to this the allure of premier entertainment access, allowing you to enjoy the best seats in the house at sought-after events, and the sophisticated financial management tools at your fingertips, enabling you to track and optimize your spending with ease.

By diving into and actively participating in these meticulously crafted programs, and making choices that align with your lifestyle and goals, American Express cardholders can unlock a level of spending efficiency, travel luxury, and overall quality of life that truly sets the American Express experience apart. Welcome to the vibrant world of American Express, where the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.

Christiaan van Amstel