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American Express Optima® Card

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Available exclusively by invitation, this card is designed to help improve your credit and is only offered if you’ve defaulted and settled your balance on another Amex card. You won’t find any rewards, perks, or special benefits, and it comes with a $49 annual fee.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Our rating
Min. credit level: Bad
Annual Fee: $49
Regular APR: Prime Rate + 14.99% Variable

American Express Optima® Card

Our rating
Bad Min. credit level
$49 Annual Fee

Highlights & Features

Balance Transfers

A balance transfer is a way to move debt from one card to another with the goal of saving money on interest.

Intro Balance Transfer APR N/A
Regular Balance Transfer APR N/A
Balance Transfer Fee N/A
How to Transfer a Balance on a Credit Card


Penalty APR Prime Rate + 25.99%
Late Fee Up to $40
Returned Payment Fee Up to $40
Additional Cards Annual Fee N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee 2.7%
Learn About Types of Credit Card Fees

Cash Advances

Borrowing cash on your card is a cash advance. Cash advances usually come with very high fees. Even worse, cash advances can signal to lenders that you’re being irresponsible with money.

Cash Advance APR N/A
Cash Advance Fee N/A
How to Get a Cash Advance with a Credit Card

Card Benefits

  • Zero Liability on Unauthorized Charges
American Express Optima® Card


  • Available exclusively by invite if you’ve defaulted and settled on a balance with another Amex card
  • Annual fee of $49

American Express

American Express has several card types depending on your needs.

Manage your Account & Pay your Bill

You can usually pay your bill online on your

Credit card issuer's website

Speak to Customer Service

1-800-528-4800 or

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See all Issuer Cards

Little is known about the Amex Optima card, but we do know a few things.

You’ll need an invite in order to apply, yet not for the reason you may think. It’s often referred to as the Amex Second Chance card because you can only get an invite after you’ve defaulted or become delinquent on payments. Consumers report the invite is offered in return for settling the balance, and if you use it responsibly you may become eligible for other American Express cards.

Because it’s a subpar card offered to help you get your credit back in line, there are no spending rewards and probably just one or two security benefits. It’s unlikely you’ll find many extra Amex features.

This card has an annual fee of $49.

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