The Best Credit Cards For Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points

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Update: These offers for the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


A reader emailed to ask me what the best US credit card is for earning Aeroplan miles. Aeroplan is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, but of course the best Amex card for your specific situation varies based on what categories you spend most in. This made me realize I don’t actually have a post outlining the best bonus categories offered by cards earning Amex Membership Rewards points.

So in this post I wanted to look at the cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points and offer some sort of bonus categories.

Personal cards

American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee: $250
Bonus categories: 4x points at US restaurants, 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year), 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, and 1x points everywhere else

Those are some extremely well rounded and potentially lucrative bonus categories, given how much many people spend on restaurants and supermarkets in the US. If you’re put off by the annual fee, the card comes with a $100 annual airline fee credit, which lowers your real “out of pocket” on the card.

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Annual fee: $95
Bonus categories: 3x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spend per year) and 2x points at U.S. gas stations; a 50% points bonus when you use your card 30 or more times per billing cycle, meaning you earn up to 4.5x points at supermarkets, 3x points at gas stations, and 1.5x points on everyday spend

For many families, the ability to earn 4.5x points on supermarket spend is huge. This is also the most rewarding Amex personal card for everyday, non-bonused spend, as you’re earning up to 1.5x points per dollar spent.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee: $0
Bonus categories: 2x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spend per year); a 20% points bonus when you use your card 20 or more times per billing cycle, meaning you earn up to 2.4x points at supermarkets and 1.2x points on everyday spend

If you like the idea of the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card but don’t want to pay an annual fee, this is a fantastically rewarding no annual fee card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee: $550
Bonus categories: 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines

Personally I greatly benefit from the 5x points category on airfare purchases, given that I spend a good amount on airfare. However, this is otherwise really a card that you get for the perks, which include a $200 annual airline fee credit, a $200 annual Uber credit, Delta SkyClub access, Amex Centurion Lounge access, a Priority Pass membership, Hilton Honors Gold status, and much more.


Access the Amex Centurion Lounge with the Platinum Card

Business cards

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee: $0
Bonus categories: 2x points on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year

For a fairly small business, it’s tough to beat earning 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best return on non-bonused spend offered by any credit card, business or personal. Add in the fact that the card has no annual fee, and this is a real winner.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $175
Bonus categories: 3x points on one category of your choice from the following: airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers; you earn 2x points on the remaining four categories, and the bonus points apply for the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the categories each year

This is the Amex business card that offers the most well rounded bonus categories, as you’ll earn 2-3x points per dollar spent on up to $500,000 of spend per year. This gives you huge points earning potential.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Annual fee: $450
Bonus categories: Earn 1.5x points per dollar spent on purchases of $5,000 or more

Frankly this isn’t that great of a card for the return it offers on everyday spend, but rather it’s a card that you get for the perks it offers, which include a $200 annual airline fee credit, Delta SkyClub access, Amex Centurion Lounge access, a Priority Pass membership, 10 Gogo wifi passes per year, Hilton Honors Gold and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, and much more.


Redeem Amex Membership Rewards points for travel in Etihad first class

Which cards are most rewarding?

As you can see, it really depends on your needs. Personally I have several of the above cards, though if you’re looking to have a lean card portfolio:

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Comments

  1. The Ameriprise Gold is no AF and only $1k spend for 25k points – easy pick up

    Open a schwab account – no fees, no min – and pick up the plat cards there too

    get the mercedes plat as well

    Use the airline credit for united – they codeshare with AC

  2. You need to edit what you wrote above. In your “Bottom Line”, you mention the Amex Everyday card twice when I think you meant to mention the Everyday Preferred first and the regular Everyday “if they really dont want an annual fee”.

  3. An article addressing all of the vendor-linked Amex cards (like those Scott mentioned above) would be really helpful. What are all of the options? How do they differ from the standard cards? What are the rules governing signup bonuses?

  4. I can tell you one of the worse cards for MR points is the corporate green Amex. Not only is it 1x and you may be required to use it by your employer but you also have to pay $90 a year just to be able to get the MR points.

    So some of these have caps of like $6k per year for supermarket spend at 3x. I assume you would still earn 1x after the $6k? Just wondering as AMEX works hard at trying not to let people earn or keep MR’s

  5. @DaninMCI – The Amex Everyday Preferred caps 3x points per dollar on grocery spend at $6,000 per year, after which you do earn 1 point per dollar spent. I have a family of four and spend more than $6,000 each year on groceries — so once I hit $6,000 on groceries on my Amex Everyday Preferred, I actually switch over to my Amex Premier Rewards Gold, which offers 2x points per dollar spent on groceries with no cap.

  6. @Lucky- The original question was about gathering Aeroplan points in the US. No mention of the Aeroplan card issued by TD Bank?

    I had this card a few years ago as I was a big AC flier at the time. The card came with no annual fee (1st year), 25k Aeroplan points, and a point earned for each usd spent.

    It, however, offered no benefit on AC (bags, upgrades), although I believe it offered a small multiple on AC purchases (2x?).

    I cancelled after the first year as I saw no benefit to keeping it for $95.

    Perhaps Luck could take a stab at this one, too?

  7. I do think the Blue Business Plus is a great card for earning. I picked up the Platinum for a 75K bonus, but once I have achieved that I’ll go back to the BBP for daily spending, except of course for air.

  8. Lucky or Scott: I already have a personal AMEX Platinum Rewards card (was targeted for and received a 75,000 point bonus) ; can I also apply for and get the 60, 000 bonus for AMEX Charles Schwab Platinum Rewards Card?? Thanks for clarifying this for me.

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