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

American Express® Gold Card Review

Pros & Cons

  • 35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points 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 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.
Bonus Rewards
Earn 35,000 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® 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:

  • 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months
  • Annual fee is $250 (See Rates and Fees)
  • 3X Membership Rewards® 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 35,000 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 15,000 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. Plus, you can transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs. And there's a generous 0% APR until 12 months associated with the offer, too (then, 14.24% - 24.24% (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

(Citi is a CardRatings.com advertiser.)

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.

For rates and fees for the American Express® Gold Card, please see the following link: See Rates and Fees.

This page was last updated on February 12, 2019

This card compared to other travel rewards cards

Rewards
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.
Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Bonus Rewards
Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
Regular APR
N/A
18.24% - 25.24% Variable 
18.24% - 25.24% Variable 
Annual Fee
$250
$95
$95
Rates and Fees
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

  • Earn 35,000 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.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • 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 35,000 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 World Of Hyatt Credit Card

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening - free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good