At least some of the Amex cards have changed to traditional credit cards in which you don’t have to pay off the whole balance.
Depending on the card you have you may have:
Additional free traveler insurance
Really good help with problem transactions such as internet magazine subscriptions that auto renew at a much higher price and won’t cancel when you call the number.
Extended warranty service: EG, an extra year beyond the manufacturer’s for free.
They have specialty cards with different programs.
Fpr those who travel a lot for business for example there is the Hilton Honors card, when you spend you get points that add up to free rooms at Hilton Hotels worldwide, but no good if you don’t travel. But if you do the points add up and that program I think also lets you get air miles at the same time.
There may be other programs as well.
The disadvantage is that for the reasons cited it is not accepted everywhere. In many cases that engine overhaul that would be worth mucho travel points even though you intend to pay it off at the end of the month can’t be put on the card because you mechanic only accepts visa or mastercard. But for online purchases it is more widely accepted and has great protection for large purchases and the extra warranty is a good thing.
Many amex card offers have no annual fee. May depend on your credit score though. I have heard generally about credit card companies, not Amex in particular, that if you pay off month to month every month, some will start charging an annual fee so that they at least can pay for mailing your statement each month and processing your transactions. But I do not know if that is true.
Hope this is helpful. More imporatant than the card brand is the interest rate offered. If you get a good low fixed rate that is worth gold. Try to avoid accepting rates that float with the apr if you can find them. Also, make sure you do your best to pay off balances as quicky as possible, paying minimums on all cards and putting the rest of max available on highest rate card.
Again, hope this is helpful. Oh, there may be better acceptance rate of Amex in more obscure foreign locations but I am not the one to ask.