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Why American Express is Good
Read more about American Express
In 2011, Fortune magazine listed American Express as one of the 20 Most Admired Companies in the World. Cardholders sign up with American Express because of its legendary customer service and generous reward programs.
This article describes the strengths and weaknesses of American Express as a company and explains who should consider signing up for one of their cards.
American Express cards offer a wide range of rewards. Most cards give you points for virtually all of your purchases. You can redeem your points for rewards like flights, hotel stays, gift cards, or merchandise.
Some American Express cards also give you cash back, which is a nice feature if you prefer the simplicity of cash.
Most premium American Express cards charge an annual fee. In exchange for the annual fee, American Express offers rewards that are typically more generous than no-annual-fee credit cards. More expensive American Express cards usually help you earn points faster than the less costly cards do. If you use your card often, you will earn rewards worth significantly more than you will pay in an annual fee.
No matter which card you choose, you will receive excellent customer service from American Express. The company is consistently ranked highest in customer satisfaction among the biggest card issuers.
Some American Express cardholders also gain access to the American Express concierge service. This service can help you make travel plans, buy tickets to sold out events, and make reservations at exclusive restaurants and hotels. The concierge service can also help you get free upgrades and discounts on your purchases. American Express offers various levels of concierge service.
American Express also offers a wide range of other perks and services to its personal and business cardholders. Many of their cards come with car rental loss and damage insurance, identity theft protection, purchase protection, 0% fraud liability, travel accident insurance, and an extended warranty program.
Their higher-end cards feature special event access; discounts at select retailers; and travel benefits, such as guaranteed room reservations, airport club access and airline fee credits. These benefits come at a higher annual fee.
American Express also offers a selection of partner cards that offer benefits or perks with companies like Costco, Delta Airlines, and Starwood hotels. Many of these cards help you earn bonus frequent flier miles or points with hotel loyalty programs, although partner cards not related to travel are also available.
A large number of the American Express cards are charge cards. The balance on a charge card must be paid off in full at the end of each billing cycle. You cannot carry a balance on an American Express charge card.
This can be both a good and a bad thing. The charge card forces you to be disciplined and does not charge interest, so it can be less expensive than a credit card. However, the lack of payment flexibility can be frustrating. American Express does offer a number of credit cards, so if you do not like the charge card style, you can get a credit card instead.
If you want to maximize your rewards and receive the best customer service, American Express is the place to go. While American Express does not offer the cheapest cards, the rewards and service far outweigh the annual fees.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.
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