Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is one of the main causes of death in the world, and the incidence of AMI is increasing in the young population. Drug-coated balloon (DCB) has become an effective concept for the treatment of in-stent restenosis, small vessel disease, bifurcation lesions, high blood risk conditions, and even de novo large vessel disease. To ensure whether DCB can play an alternative role in AMI, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DCB in the treatment of AMI. Electronic databases were searched for RCTs that compared DCB with stent for AMI. The primary outcome was major adverse cardiac events (MACEs), the secondary outcome was late lumen loss (LLL). RevMan 5.3 software and RStudio software were used for data analysis. Five RCTs involving 528 patients with 6-12 months of follow-up were included. There was no significant difference in the incidence of MACEs between DCB group and stent group (RR, 0.85; 95% CI 0.42 to 1.74; P = 0.66). Lower LLL was shown in DCB group (WMD, – 0.29; 95% CI – 0.46 to – 0.12; P < 0.001). This meta-analysis of RCT showed that DCB might provide a promising way on AMI compared with stents. Rigorous patients’ selection and adequate predilation of culprit lesions are necessary to optimize results and prevent bailout stent implantation.PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020214333.