The anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) is an attractive alternative to acidic proton exchange membrane fuel cells, which to date have required platinum-based catalysts, as well as acid-tolerant stack hardware. The AEMFC could use non-platinum-group metal catalysts and less expensive metal hardware thanks to the high pH of the electrolyte. Over the last decade, substantial progress has been made in improving the performance and durability of the AEMFC through the development of new materials and the optimization of system design and operation conditions. In this perspective article, we describe the current status of AEMFCs as having reached beginning of life performance very close to that of PEMFCs when using ultra-low loadings of Pt, while advancing towards operation on non-platinum-group metal catalysts alone. In the latter sections, we identify the remaining technical challenges, which require further research and development, focusing on the materials and operational factors that critically impact AEMFC performance and/or durability. These perspectives may provide useful insights for the development of next-generation of AEMFCs.