You’ll find the message “Get a decision in as little as 30 seconds” on just about every American Express card online application. Whether an instant decision results in an instant approval will depend on your credit history, and those with fair to good credit are obviously more likely to get American Express’ best interest rates.
Below we profile all of the American Express credit cards that offer an instant decision on approval and have no annual fee. Note that none of these allow you to use the card today — even if you are approved, you will have to wait for the card in the mail to start making purchases.
- Blue Cash Everyday Card – No-annual-fee American Express credit card offers cash back on all purchases: 3% cash back at US supermarkets (on up to $6000 yearly purchases; rebate reverts to 1% after that), 2% cash back at gas stations and many major department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. If you use the card for at least $1000 in purchases within the first 3 months, you’ll get an extra $150 cash back. You could be approved at an interest rate anywhere from 13.99% to 24.99%, depending on your credit history.
- Amex EveryDay Credit Card – Reward credit card offers points in the Membership Rewards program — you get 2 points per dollar on supermarket purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases, plus a monthly 20% point bonus IF you use the card at least 20 times during that billing period. No annual fee, and you may be approved at an interest rate anywhere from 15.99% to 23.99% depending on your credit history.
- Blue Sky from American Express – Travel credit card offers 1 point for every dollar charged to the card, and you redeem points against travel purchases in increments of 7500 points for each $100 rebate. For example, if you redeem 7500 points on a trip that cost $600, you would receive a $100 statement credit, effectively reducing the cost of the trip to $500. No annual fee, and you could be approved at an interest rate of either 18.24%, 21.24%, or 23.24%, depending on your credit history.
- Blue Cash from American Express – This card’s cash back structure is meant to reward heavy card spenders. Until you hit $6500 in spending in a year, you will get a rather paltry reward: 1% cash back on gas, grocery, and drug store purchases, and just a 1/2% cash back on all other purchases. However, if you do spend a lot of money, this could turn good: after $6500 in spending you’ll get 5% cash back on gas, grocery and drug store purchases (up to $50,000 in such purchases) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Hilton HHonors Card from American Express – Rack up Hilton points with this no annual fee card — 7 points per dollar on Hilton purchases, 5 points per dollar on restaurant, supermarket, and gas station purchases, and 3 points per dollar everywhere else.
- Blue from American Express – The first American Express card to allow revolving balances is today probably the least interesting Amex credit card. It offers 1 Membership Rewards point for every dollar spent with the card, but the points are worth a penny or less when redeeming for most rewards. However, it may be more likely to give you instant approval than some of the other cards above, due to its less enticing rewards.
- Plenti Credit Card from American Express – This Amex card is a complement to the Plenti points rewards program that lets you earn and redeem points via a network of merchants (that is currently rather small). Get 3 points per dollar on supermarket purchases, 2 per dollar on restaurant purchases, and 1 per dollar on everything else.