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Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

Best Charge Cards of 2018

Charge cards are a good option for consumers and businesses that are looking to have a card they can use in lieu of cash but do not ever plan on building a long term credit card balance. Since these cards require you to pay off your monthly balance you never have to worry about interest payments and can help build financial discipline around your spending. While there aren't many options when it comes to charge cards for consumers or business, we break down the available choices.

Our Favorite Charge Cards For Consumers from Our Partners

1. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a premium charge card caters to luxury travelers. Unlike other cards that focus on rewarding you for spending, the biggest advantages of The Platinum Card® from American Express reside in the benefits that come from having the card. Almost all the best perks with the card revolve around travel related spending and fees, and is one of the better cards for consumers with significant luxury travel costs. 

The most notable is enrollment to Priority Pass Select, a program that allows travelers to enter over 600 lounges regardless of which carrier or class they fly. (Guests are charged a fee of $27 per person.) For consumers that fly Delta, you and a companion will have complimentary access to the SkyMiles lounge anytime you have a Delta airlines ticket. The annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express is steep, at $550 annually, but is offset by an annual $200 credit applicable to airline fees. As the rewards itself are average at best getting value out of the card is really a matter of how much you travel. 

Highlights

  • Priority Pass Select: Access to over 600 lounges regardless of which carrier or class you fly on
  • Annual $200 airline fee credit.
  • Companion ticket when purchasing a qualifying business or first class ticket.
  • Points can be transferred directly to 20 airline loyalty programs
  • 24/7 Concierge that can help you arrange flights or handle personal shopping requests

Who Should Use This Card

  • Frequent flyers that value lounge access and may be spending a significant amount of time in airports. Ideal for business travelers that may be on the road a large portion of the year where these amenities matter.
  • Consumers that want to take advantage of concierge services to help them manage and organize personal requests
  • International travelers that will benefit from the cards no foreign transaction fee

2. Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is American Express's rewards focused charge card. The card is structured like many of the rewards credit cards other companies offer, with additional Membership Rewards, on flights, US gas stations and US supermarkets. Whereas The Platinum Card® from American Express focus is on the peripheral benefits, this card focuses on offering rewards to compensate for travel spending expenses.

Highlights

  • 3x membership rewards for flights booked with airlines, 2x rewards at US gas stations, 2x points at US supermarkets
  • $195 annual fee that is waived for the first year
  • Points can be transferred directly to 20 airline loyalty programs

Who Should Use This Card

  • If you have routine travel expenses that the Membership Rewards can be used for. 
  • If you want a charge card that will allow you to earn travel rewards on purchases you make. It is more rewarding if you spend more money on airfare as that category has the highest Membership Rewards earnings.
  • Plan to spend at least 1,500 monthly on the card.

Other Consumer Charge Cards

The cards above are the ones that we think stand out among charge cards, but for the sake of comprehensiveness we discuss the other cards you may seen or heard about below.

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

The standard American Express® Gold Card offers consumers all the incidental perks of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, but without the bonus Membership Rewards on travel, US gas stations or US supermarket spending. It is somewhat cheaper as a charge card with an annual fee of $125, or $70 less than the Premier Rewards. This card is only worthwhile if you really value the incidental perks and access gained from being an American Express member. The 1% rewards rate on travel is below average when compared to other rewards cards, so this is not a card you'll want to use just for earning rewards.

Best Charge Cards For Businesses

1. Chase Ink Bold

Chase Ink® Bold Business Charge Card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

The Chase Ink Bold has the highest potential rewards rate for office related spending. While the benefits and rewards for American Express branded charge cards general focus on travel rewards and related benefits, the Bold's rewards can be more valuable to businesses with fewer travel expenses. The standout benefit of the card is the 5x points on the first $50,000 spent at office supply stores, cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. These are expenses that nearly businesses have in one form or another, making the Bold a reasonable option for just about anyone.

Unlike the charge card options from American Express, the Bold gives you additional employee cards for free, making it easier to extend access to the charge card and manage overall expenses.

Who Should Use This Card

  • Businesses looking for a charge card that earns rewards without significant travel expenses
  • Small businesses that need to manage expenses and may have a smaller budget when it comes to perks

2. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

From a features and benefits standpoint, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is very similar to its consumer counterpart but it has a lower annual fee of $450. As with the consumer card its a card that makes the most sense if the people in the business spend a large amount of time in airports and on the road. 

One feature specific to the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is the Office Program that gives cardholders access to 1,500 Regus business lounges. Regus runs temporary offices in many cities around the world, and the Office Program will allow you to use these properties while you're on the road. This perk can be really useful for sales people as a place to check-in to or act as a workstation while away from the home office.

Who Should Use This Card

  • Businesses with staff that are frequently traveling (sales, meetings) and may need access to remote offices and airport lounges
  • Companies that can afford to spend more for these employee related perks.

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.