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The Ultimate Guide to American Express Card Levels [2024]

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American Express is well-known for its premium card products and benefits, with many thinking the brand is just for those interested in luxury and travel. But did you know that Amex has many tiers or levels of cards? The bank offers many basic card options, including no-annual-fee cash-back cards, in addition to cards that are loaded with high-end benefits.

And what’s more surprising is that more premium isn’t always better when it comes to Amex cards. For some people, it makes the most sense to choose the card that earns more rewards instead of getting the best travel benefits.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through each level of Amex cards, from the most popular travel rewards cards to airline and hotel co-branded options.

Summarizing Amex’s Card Levels Across Different Card Families

* No longer open to new applicants

Amex Card Levels for Travel Rewards

Amex card family
Image Credit: American Express

Currently, there are 4 Amex card levels in the travel rewards category. These cards are ordered from the most premium level at the top to less premium towards the bottom:

The Centurion card, informally known as the “Amex Black card,” happens to be Amex’s most premium card. This invite-only product requires cardholders to have a longstanding history with Amex and a large amount of yearly spending to even be considered for the card.

For most of us, the Amex Platinum card is the highest reasonably attainable level of Amex cards. With a $695 annual fee (rates & fees), the Amex Platinum card’s benefits (some require enrollment) include access to 1,400+ lounges worldwide, complimentary hotel and car rental elite status, annual and monthly statement credits, and comprehensive travel insurance. The card also earns 5x points on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year) and on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com. As you can tell, there’s lots to love about the Amex Platinum card, which is generally the second-highest level of card available through Amex.

The next level down is the Amex Gold card. With a $250 annual fee (rates & fees), the Amex Gold card is actually one of the best cards for everyday spending because it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. It also earns 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) plus 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines and with AmexTravel.com. The card also offers monthly dining credits (enrollment required) and Uber Cash credits for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders when you add your Amex Gold card to the app, as well as basic travel insurance.

Lastly, there’s the Amex Green card, which is the entry-level Amex card in this family. For a much more pared-down $150 annual fee (rates & fees), it earns 3x points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and 3x points on transit and travel. Cardholders also get statement credits with LoungeBuddy and CLEAR Plus.

Amex Card Levels for Cash-back

Amex cash back card family
Image Credit: American Express

Just like Amex has a few different levels of cards in the travel rewards category, it also has a few options for those who are focused on earning cash-back. These cards include:

Although the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is considered to be more premium than the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card or the Amex Cash Magnet card, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is on the same level as the Amex Cash Magnet card.

With the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, you’ll earn up to 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year) and on select U.S. streaming services, as well as 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and on transit. With a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (rates & fees), the card also has monthly statement credits for The Disney Bundle (enrollment required).

Meanwhile, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card has a $0 annual fee (rates & fees) and comes with the ability to earn 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, on U.S. online retail purchases, and at U.S. gas stations (each category up to $6,000 per year). There are also monthly statement credits for The Disney Bundle and Home Chef (enrollment required).

Lastly, the Amex Cash Magnet card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash-back on purchases but doesn’t offer any major statement credit benefits. It also has a $0 annual fee (rates & fees).

Amex Card Levels for Delta

Amex Delta card family
Image Credit: American Express

Amex offers 4 distinct card levels for Delta co-branded credit cards with all varying levels of annual fees. These include:

All of the cards offer a 20% statement credit on Delta inflight purchases. All cards other than the Delta Blue card offer a complimentary checked bag and priority boarding on Delta flights (for the cardholder and up to 8 additional travel companions on the same reservation) as well as 15% off on all future Delta award bookings.

At a $650 annual fee (rates & fees), the Delta Reserve card is the ultra-premium Delta card and comes with perks such as an annual first class companion certificate, complimentary access to Delta Sky Club access and Centurion Lounges when you book with the card and fly with Delta same-day.

Meanwhile, the Delta Platinum card is the premium Delta card option with a $350 annual fee (rates & fees). The card offers an annual companion certificate and a special rate to access Delta Sky Clubs.

Hot Tip:

One of the easiest ways to get into a Delta Sky Club airport lounge is through eligible Amex cards — learn more in our guide on the best credit cards for Delta Sky Club access.

The Delta Gold card with a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150 annual fee and offers a Delta flight credit of up to $200 for future travel when you spend $10,000 in a calendar year (rates & fees).

Lastly, the Delta Blue card is the most basic option with a $0 annual fee (rates & fees).

Amex Card Levels for Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Amex card family
Image Credit: American Express

Currently, there are 3 distinct card levels for Amex’s Marriott Bonvoy co-branded cards. They are ordered below from most premium to less premium:

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card is considered an ultra-premium card as it comes with a $650 annual fee (rates & fees) and offers unique benefits like complimentary Platinum Elite status, an annual Free Night Award valid for up to 85,000 points, 25 Elite Night Credits per year, and more.

With the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card, you’ll get complimentary Gold Elite status, an annual Free Night Award Certificate valid for up to 50,000 points, 15 Elite Night Credits per year, and more. This card comes with a $250 annual fee (rates & fees).

Lastly, although the Marriott Bonvoy card is no longer open to new applicants, it’s still the lowest-tier Marriott Bonvoy co-branded Amex card. It gets complimentary Silver Elite status, an annual Free Night Award Certificate valid for up to 35,000 points, and 15 Elite Night Credits per year.

Amex Card Levels for Hilton Honors

Hilton Amex card family
Image Credit: American Express

The levels of Hilton Honors credit cards are below, with the most premium at the top:

The Hilton Aspire card ($550 annual fee) is the ultra-premium Hilton card product offering exclusive perks like Hilton Honors Diamond elite status, a Free Night Award every year after renewing your card, as well as up to $400 in Hilton Resort statement credits every year.

The next level down would be the Hilton Surpass card, which offers complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and a Free Night Award after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. This card comes with a $150 annual fee (rates & fees).

Lastly, the entry-level option is the Hilton Honors card, offering complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with a $0 annual fee (rates & fees).

Final Thoughts

Each family of Amex cards has its own set of levels. And in relation to the travel rewards cards that earn Membership Rewards points, the pecking order is the Centurion card, Amex Platinum card, Amex Gold card, and Amex Green card.

Meanwhile, with cash-back cards, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is at a higher level compared to the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card and the Amex Cash Magnet card.

With Delta, we’re looking at the Delta Reserve card being the top product, followed by the Delta Platinum card, Delta Gold card, and Delta Blue card.

On the Marriott Bonvoy side of things, there are 3 options: the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card, and Marriott Bonvoy card (no longer open for new applications).

Lastly, Hilton Honors has 3 tiers of co-branded cards: the Hilton Aspire card, Hilton Surpass card, and Hilton Honors card.

All in all, each of these cards could potentially offer tons of value to the right cardholder.


$84 Disney Bundle Credit: With your eligible enrolled card, spend $9.99 or more each month on an auto-renewing Disney Bundle subscription to receive a monthly statement credit of $7. Valid only at DisneyPlus.com, Hulu.com or Plus.espn.com in the U.S.

The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the American Express Cash Magnet® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees for The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different levels of American Express cards?

The most common level of Amex cards is surrounding the Membership Rewards-earning travel cards:
    • Centurion card — Most premium
    • Amex Platinum card — Ultra-premium
    • Amex Gold card — Premium
    • Amex Green card — Mid-market

Is Amex Centurion card higher than Amex Platinum card?

Yes, the Centurion card is a higher-tier/higher-level card than the Amex Platinum card.

What is the highest level American Express card?

The highest-level American Express card is the Centurion card, which is informally known as the Amex Black card. This card is invite-only and has an annual fee of $5,000, plus an initiation fee of $10,000.

Is Amex Gold card or Amex Platinum card better?

It depends. The Amex Platinum card is better for benefits while you’re traveling, such as airport lounge access, and the Amex Gold card is better for earning rewards on popular spending categories like dining and U.S. supermarkets. See our detailed comparison of the Amex Platinum card vs. Amex Gold card.

What is above Amex Platinum card?

The only card that is above the Amex Platinum card is the Centurion card, also known as the “Black card.”

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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