American Express Optima Card: Benefits and Application Process

Getting a credit card is considered a badge of honor. Does it not feel fascinating or give you the feeling of an “adult” when you take out the plastic card from your wallet? Nevertheless, is creating an account a wise idea aside from a transient sense of success? That relies on what you’re doing and whether the card you receive meets your specific requirements.

Many customers have discovered that it is a decision with long-term ramifications. On the other hand, if handled correctly, it is a vital step in establishing a solid credit history that will ultimately help you gain in the future.

American Express issues the ‘American Express Optima’ card. It should not be confused with the suspected American Express Optio card. The Optima card was American Express’s first credit card, which was introduced in 1987. But why is it so popular on the internet? Keep on reading to reveal!

American Express Optima Card

What is so special about American Express Cards?

American Express Credit Cards provide customized advantages and incentives to help you get the most out of your money. American Express intends to make you enjoy the things that you love. An American Express Credit Card entitles you to exquisite shopping, eating, and travel rewards, among other things. The Amex Credit Card is an excellent approach to managing costs while providing the necessary luxury lifestyle.

What is an American Express Optima Card?

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American Express’s dedicated card for weak credit people is the Amex Optima. The card is only available by invitation to Amex Members. If you have paid debts with Amex and require assistance restoring credit, you can avail of this card. It has no points, no perks, and an annual cost. This card is for individuals with little or no option, with a huge penalty APR.

The Amex Optima card is sometimes called the “second chance” card. This might be because the card can only be applied once an Amex Member has defaulted on and resolved an amount on a previous Amex account. It has no official website promoting its features.

The card includes an annual charge and few benefits or incentives. It levies a foreign transaction fee and late and returned payment penalties. The usual purchase rate APR for the card is prime plus 14.99 percent, whereas the penalty APR is plus 26.74 percent.


This card has no real benefits for the $49 annual fee. It’s also not a rewards-earning card. Former Amex members who have gotten an offer for this card may have an excellent opportunity to regain creditworthy status with Amex, but it is critical to read all of the small print.

Ensure that whatever conditions caused a previous account default has passed and that defaulting again isn’t a concern.

American Express Optima Card Application process

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You can not apply directly; you must be invited to apply. Unlike premium cards like the American Express Black card, you don’t want to be asked to apply for this one. Generally, this is available to cardholders who had a connection with American Express but later defaulted or failed to repay. Once these amounts are cleared, American Express makes this card available as an alternative. This option is because American Express does not provide a secured credit card. Hence, this is also known as a second chance credit card.

Comparison with Other Cards

American Express Optima Card Vs. Discover it Secured Credit Card

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The American Express Optima is an unsecured card, but the Discover it® Secured Credit Card needs a cash deposit as collateral. Unlike the Amex Optima, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers cash-back benefits and a variety of typical Discover features such as Discover’s Cashback Match, access to FICO ratings, $0 fraud liability, and more. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the gold standard for secured cards.

American Express Optima Card Vs. Avant Credit Card

Avant Credit Card helps find the information on their advertisement, making it a more transparent option. The Avant card, which has a high baseline APR and a relatively modest credit limit, levies a sliding annual fee structure based on how an applicant learns about the card. But with no rewards and no major perks, the annual fee of Amex Optima is at the upper end of the Avant’s yearly fee range. These cards are reasonably well matched for those applying for both.


  1. What happened to the American Express Optima Card?
  2. Amex canceled the whole Optima range a few years ago, but people who possessed this card were permitted to keep it. It has no yearly charge and allows me to earn Membership Rewards Points.
  3. Does the American express optima platinum card have any travel benefits?
  4. Amex optima card has no perks or benefits, neither for entertainment, traveling, or business.
  5. Can you upgrade your Amex Optima Platinum Card?
  6. No, Amex does not allow you to upgrade your American express optima card. You have to apply for another card, and that account will be separate from the optima card account, which leads to the loss of optima card credit history with Amex.

Final words

American Express Optima Card application is only for those with a previous credit relationship with American Express. Hence, only those who have gone through the hardship of default may get a second chance through American Express Optima Card. Nonetheless, Suppose you already have this old card and are still keeping it with you for the sentiments attached. In that case, you may keep it as it gives you the benefit of showing other banks or American Express your long bank credit history.


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