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What we like:
Best overall travel card
|Welcome bonus||60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months of account opening|
|Rewards rate||1x – 4x|
|Editor’s thoughts||This is our top-rated travel credit card thanks to high rewards rates and competitive benefits.|
- Large welcome bonus
- One of the higher rewards rates on dining
- Up to $120 as an annual dining credit when eating at select restaurants
- Up to $120 per year as Uber Cash when the card is added to your Uber account
- Contactless payment
- No foreign transaction fees
- High annual fee
- It’s a charge card, so all purchases must be repaid at the end of the billing cycle unless you qualify for the Pay Over Time feature
Recommended Credit Score:
Amex Gold Card Review: Rewards from Your Favorite Restaurants and Airlines
Are you a foodie or a frequent flier? If so, you may want to consider the American Express Gold Card, which offers generous rewards at restaurants, supermarkets, and on airline purchases. But before you apply, there are a few things you should know.
In this review:
American Express Gold Card Benefits
The Amex Gold is one of the best American Express credit cards available, thanks to these perks:
There are numerous benefits associated with this card, and one of them is the 60,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer, which is available after you’ve spent $4,000 in the first six months after opening your account.
Amex Membership Rewards
In addition to the one-time welcome offer, you can also earn 4x bonus points per dollar spent on restaurant purchases, including services like Grubhub, Seamless, and Uber Eats. The same is true for up to $25,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets.
Though dining and grocery rewards make up the primary benefit for this card, you can also earn 3x points per dollar spent when you book flights directly through an airline or on amextravel.com.
With the Amex Gold card, you can earn $10 in monthly statement credits when you make purchases at select restaurants and food services, including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations.
Additionally, $10 in Uber Cash can be earned automatically per month when your card is added to your Uber account.
The Amex Gold also comes with all the travel perks American Express offers its cardholders, including things like baggage insurance, travel insurance, car rental coverage, and no foreign transaction fees.
Downsides of the Amex Gold Card
Despite some obvious perks, there are a few things you should consider before applying.
High Annual Fee
With a $250 annual fee, the Amex Gold card is one of the more expensive rewards credit cards on the market, and if you don’t use it regularly, it may not be worth it. One way to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth is by taking advantage of the up to $240 statement credit that is available each year when dining at eligible restaurants.
It’s a Charge Card
It’s also important to recognize the Amex Gold card as a charge card, not a credit card. This card is not designed to carry a monthly balance, which means there are no balance transfer options. And although there is a Pay Over Time feature for purchases over $100, the APR will make that a costly decision.
But charge cards can be a blessing in disguise. Carrying a balance on most credit cards is prohibitively expensive, so if using the American Express Gold Card helps you limit your spending, that’s not a bad thing.
If you are looking for a card to finance a big purchase, however, you should consider a 0% APR credit card instead, which will allow you to pay off your purchase without incurring interest for a period of time.
How it Compares to Similar Cards
From a rewards standpoint, the Amex Gold card offers a competitive program, particularly when it comes to restaurant, grocery, and travel purchases. However, it does come with a significantly higher annual fee than some comparable rewards cards.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a slightly less attractive rewards rate (2x points on travel and restaurants, and 1x points on everything else), but the annual fee is only $95.
Or, if you’re more interested in the dining rewards than travel points, the Capital One Savor card offers 4% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries, and one point on everything else.
The Amex Gold card really wins out for cardholders who are loyal to the Amex brand and who expect to take advantage of its annual statement credits.
Bottom Line: Is the Amex Gold Card Right for You?
The American Express Gold Card is frequently touted as one of the best cards for dining and travel rewards, and with up to 4x Membership Rewards points, it’s easy to see why. Plus, with Amex’s extensive list of travel partners, you may be able to further maximize the reward’s power behind everyday purchases.
However, it’s important to consider your spending habits, as you’ll need to use the card enough to outweigh the $250 annual fee.
If you dine out frequently, plan to use the card on groceries, and frequently book travel, then this card can be a great boost to your rewards earning efforts. However, if your spending habits fall outside those categories, or if you’re looking for a card to finance purchases, this card likely isn’t for you.
LendEDU has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. LendEDU and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.5 American Express Gold Card
Author: Jennifer Lobb
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