American Express® Gold Card review
American Express® Gold Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of card membership.
- Very strong rewards rate for travel and dining expenses— 4x the points on restaurant purchases, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 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 other eligible purchases.
- Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required).
- The AnnualFees annual fee is a little on the hefty side, so cardholders should be heavier travelers to make the most of the rewards and offset the annual fee. See Rates and Fees.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- American Express® Gold Card Benefits
- American Express® Gold Card Annual Fee
- American Express® Gold Card Credit Score
- Potential Downsides of the American Express® Gold Card
- American Express® Gold Card Cardholder Scores
- How the American Express® Gold Card Compares to Other Cards
- Is the American Express® Gold Card Worth it?
It’s no secret that choosing a new credit card can be challenging. Some credit cards have rotating categories which force a cardholder to think strategically about the use of their card quarterly while some cards have fixed categories that earn rewards points at the same rates year round.
The CardName is an example of a card that has the same rewards rates earned year round that can fit nearly anyone’s lifestyle. The Gold Card earns bonus rewards points on purchases that are common for many people including at restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and flights booked directly with airlines. It does carry a AnnualFees annual fee, but a number of valuable benefits help to offset this, such as a new cardmember welcome offer, excellent travel perks, and monthly dining credits at select restaurants. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. See Rates and Fees.
AMERICAN EXPRESS® GOLD CARD REWARDS
The CardName earns 4X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent when you dine at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X); 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com; and 1X point per $1 on other eligible purchases.
AMERICAN EXPRESS® GOLD CARD WELCOME OFFER
New cardholders who spend $6,000 in eligible purchases with the card in the first six months of membership can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points. The Membership Reward® (MR) points earned by the American Express® Gold Card are extremely flexible as they can be redeemed directly for travel, transferred to airline and hotel partners, and redeemed for purchases on Amazon.com using the Shop with Points feature. With over 20 airline and hotel partners including Delta Airlines and All Nippon Airways, MR points can be useful for a wide variety of rewards travel redemption options.
AMERICAN EXPRESS® GOLD CARD TRAVEL BENEFITS
Hotel Credit - Get a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available, when you book a stay of at least two consecutive nights with American Express Travel at over 600 properties. Qualifying activities vary by property.
American Express Gold Card Foreign Transaction Fee - The Amex Gold Card has no foreign transaction fees, giving you peace of mind to use the card while you travel internationally. While there are several travel rewards credit cards that come with this similar feature, the value in using a no foreign transaction fee card can be realized quickly while traveling abroad. As a hypothetical, if you spend $6,000 while traveling on your bucket list vacation to experience an idyllic overwater villa in Bali, with the Amex Gold Card you will incur no fees for using your card internationally. However, if you used a card that does charge foreign transaction fees (usually around 3%), you would have to pay an additional $180 just in fees just to use that card. See Rates and Fees.
Rental Car Insurance - When you use your American Express® Gold Card to reserve and pay for the entire rental car and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental company counter, you can be covered for damage or theft of a rental vehicle in a covered territory.
Dining Benefits - In addition to earning 4X points on purchases made at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets, the American Express Gold card also includes up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. (Enrollment required.)
Uber Cash Credit - Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month you'll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 a year.
- Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
- Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
- Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
- Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
- No foreign transaction fee
- No annual fee
The CardName's AnnualFees annual fee can be daunting for some but can certainly be justified with the benefits of the card. If you take advantage of the $120 Uber cash credit and the $120 in dining credit for select restaurants, you would have already offset $240 of the AnnualFees annual fee. However, if you won’t be able to use these benefits or prefer to have a no/low annual fee card it may be harder to justify the cost of the Amex Gold. See Rates and Fees.
American Express doesn't explicitly state a number, however, the CardName usually requires good to excellent credit to get approval. For reference, the credit bureau Experian says those with good credit usually have FICO scores of at least 670, with excellent scores starting at 800. Please note, though, that these numbers can vary between different bureaus. Other factors are certainly considered in the application process as well, including payment history of revolving credit, your total open cards, and the average age of accounts open.
Keep in mind, the CardName unlike typical credit cards, allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. The benefit of this is that you lower the likelihood of incurring interest. Just make sure you're in a position to pay off balances in full every month though if you're considering this card.
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague
*Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.
American Express® Gold Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
With excellent everyday points earning, luxury travel benefits, and flexible redemption options, the CardName card can be a great alternative to the American Express® Gold Card.
While the CardName has a higher annual fee of AnnualFees, you get some serious travel benefits including a $300 annual travel reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, one complimentary year of Lyft Pink ($199 value) that offers members discounts on each ride as well as additional comfort perks, and airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card earns 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually, 3X points on other travel and dining and 1X point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases. The Gold Card from Amex has a higher earning rate for restaurants and U.S. supermarkets at 4X points earned, but only earns 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines versus all travel purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Chase also offers a nice welcome offer of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
American Express® Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express
With more premium travel perks and a AnnualFees annual fee to match, CardName could be a good option for you if you're looking for some of the best travel perks on the market and can justify paying a higher cost.
The Platinum Card® has a generous new cardmember bonus offer of 80,000 Membership Rewards® points earned after you use your new card to make $8,000 in purchases in your first six months of card ownership. This is an extra 20,000 points compared to the Gold Card, albeit with a higher spend threshold.
The American Express Platinum Card® offers first-class travel benefits including access to airport lounges with the Global Lounge Collection, up to $200 in Uber credit annually, and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and $200 in annual airline fee credits with a pre-selected airline. Enrollment required for select benefits.
As far as ongoing rewards go, the Platinum Card® earns 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 spent on these purchases per calendar year) and 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
American Express® Gold Card vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
If travel rewards aren't a priority, but rewards on grocery purchases are, you might want to consider the CardName. This card doesn't earn bonus rewards on flights like the Gold card does, but it does earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent annually at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), as well as 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Additionally, earn 3% back on transit purchases and at U.S. gas stations. It also comes with a much more manageable AnnualFees
If you fly or dine out a lot, the Gold card could be worth the annual fee; however, if it's the perk of bonus rewards earned at U.S. supermarkets that attracts you to the Gold card, and you're looking for something with a lower annual fee, the Blue Cash Preferred® card may be the better fit. The Blue Cash Preferred® also rewards new cardholders with a decent welcome offer as well. New cardholders can earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months.
The CardName is worth it for those who frequently travel, eat out at restaurants, and can utilize the card's added perks. While the annual fee is a little on the hefty side at AnnualFees, this can be easily offset by taking full advantage of the numerous benefits offered by the card.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September 2023 to conduct surveys among 1,869 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2023 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. “Current Scores” reflect scores from the most recent survey (2023); "Past Scores" reflect scores from the 2022 survey.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned in this post, please see the following links: CardName (See Rates and Fees); CardName (See Rates and Fees); CardName (See Rates and Fees)
American Express® Gold Card Compared to Other Reward points Cards
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