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Apply online for American Express® Gold CardSponsored card
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Credit Needed
Good, Excellent

American Express® Gold Card Review

Pros & Cons

  • 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points (up to $250 value) after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
  • Very strong rewards rate towards travel and dining expenses. 4x the points on U.S. restaurant purchases and 4x the points on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $25,000 spent each year) 3x the points per $1 on flights booked with airlines or via AmexTravel.com; and 1x point per $1 on everything else.
  • Standout travel features such as $100 airline fee credit (to cover incidentals like baggage fees or airport lounge access) on a pre-selected airline; transfer partners with whom you can transfer your miles to airlines and hotels (some at 1:1 ratio).
  • $250 annual fee (a little on the hefty side, so cardholders should be heavier travelers to make the most of the rewards and offset the annual fee).
Terms and Limitations Apply

Top Features

Rewards
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at US restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Bonus Rewards
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$250

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor

American Express® Gold Card

When considering a credit card, it is essential to determine which card will provide maximum benefits. Some credit cards have rotating categories which force a cardholder to think strategically about the use of their plastic, and some credit cards have fixed categories which are easily determined as a lifestyle fit or not.

American Express® Gold Card (American Express is a Cardratings.com advertiser) is an example of a card that has outlined rewards which benefit nearly anyone’s lifestyle. 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. restaurants and for shopping at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) is an attractive rate, and 3X Membership Rewards(R) Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com can go a long way for those who travel frequently and want to benefit from travel rewards and yet not be tied down to a single airline.

Here is a peek into what the American Express® Gold Card offers:

  • 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months
  • Annual fee is $250
  • 3X Membership Rewards(R) Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. restaurants. 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.

The American Express® Gold Card also makes “incidental” airline fees a little easier to swallow, too. American Express will pay up to $100 a year in statement credits per calendar year when you are charged incidental fees at one selected, qualifying airline.

What Our Editors Like Most About the American Express® Gold Card

The 25,000 Points bonus for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months is an obvious draw, but the 3X points for airfare purchases and the 4X points for life essentials like supermarket purchases and dining make this card stand out.  Not many credit cards on the market offer a high, ongoing, rewards rate for both supermarket and restaurant purchases.

Does this sound like a familiar story: Flying to a destination, driving a rental car during the trip, and eating out each day? If the answer is yes, how are you using your credit card to reward yourself? Are you someone that likes to add a little sugar on top of your travel?

This travel rewards card doesn’t limit your rewards redemption to travel purchases. Your points can be applied to:
  • Travel
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Charity
  • Statement Credit
  • Point of sale: Think taxis, Uber, McDonald’s and Chilis.

Potential Downsides of the American Express® Gold Card

Keep in mind, the American Express® Gold Card is a charge card. The benefit is, you won’t incur interest; but if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, the late fees will become daunting. The terms: late fees are up to $38. Consider the fairly steep $250 annual fee, too. There are competitor cards on the market with lower annual fees.

How the American Express® Gold Card Compares to Other Rewards Cards

American Express® Gold Card vs. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. So, you get 5,000 fewer miles than the American Express® Gold Card but you can spend $1,000 less in the same time period. We like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card annual fee: $0. And there's a generous 0% APR until 12 months associated with the offer, too (then, 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)).

But you get what you pay for. The rewards for Capital One® VentureOne® — 1.25X points on all purchases — fall short of the rewards offered by the American Express® Gold Card. Our take: American Express pulls ahead if you plan to spend a lot and have the means to pay your balance off each month.

American Express® Gold Card vs. Citi Premier Card

With the Citi Premier Card , there is a $95 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months), which is $155 less than the American Express® Gold Card's fee. Furthermore, the Citi card offers you the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Those points are worth up to $625 in airfare (with no blackout dates) when redeemed through the ThankYou® Travel Center or for $500 in gift cards via thankyou.com. Here's Citi's ongoing reward program:

  • 3X points on travel, which includes gas purchases
  • 2X points on dining and entertainment purchases
  • 1X point on other purchases

American Express® Gold Card vs. U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature®

If you like charitable giving, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® credit card may perk you up. It offers 3X points on purchases made at qualifying charitable and social service organizations if you are a Select cardholder and 1.5X points if you are a regular cardholder. Some other interesting features:

  • 2X points on the category you spend the most on (gas, groceries or airline) and most cell phone expenses during each billing cycle.
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers the first year
  • 20,000 points if you spend $3,500 in the first 4 months (most reward credit card offers have a 3-month deadline)

Who Should Get the American Express® Gold Card?

We like the American Express® Gold Card in the hands of someone with a steady paycheck and predictable monthly expenses. Simply because, we don't want to see consumers get dinged with the late fees when they had felt some comfort in the "no interest charges" feature of this American Express card.

We see this card as friendly to people who like to travel. Because redeeming points can be done across a wide range of fun purchases like tickets to Ticketmaster® and Telecharge.com events, you can easily set up an epic trip of eating out, entertainment and hotel perks by using this card strategically.

This page was last updated on November 15, 2018

This card compared to other travel rewards cards

Rewards
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at US restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Bonus Rewards
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Regular APR
N/A
N/A 
17.99% - 24.99% Variable 
Annual Fee
$250
$550
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

American Express® Gold Card details

Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Period
N/A
Purchase Intro
APR:
N/A
Regular APR
N/A 
Annual Fee
$250

What American Express says about this card

  • Get the American Express® Gold Card in Limited Edition Rose Gold, only available until 1/9/2019.
  • Receive 20% back as a statement credit at U.S. Restaurants within the first 3 months, up to $100 back. Offer available to new Card Members who apply by 1/9/2019.
  • Plus, earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

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Featured offers
Currently available on the American Express® Gold Card
Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points
After you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.

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Apply online for The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Credit Needed:
Good, Excellent
Apply online for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good