American Express Gold Card Review
The Amex Gold Card offers generous rewards on select dining, grocery, and travel expenses. It also offers annual statement credits that help offset the card’s high annual fee. But be aware of the card's limitations before signing up.
American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card
What we like:
For those who prefer to dine-in
|Intro Offer||35,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership|
|Rewards Rate||4x Membership Rewards Points at US restaurants unlimited and at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 in annual purchases|
3x Membership Rewards Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
- Good sign-up bonus
- Competitive rewards program for both travelers and foodies
- Up to $220 in potential statement credits
- Mobile phone protection, baggage insurance, and car rental loss and damage insurance
- 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
- High APR for Pay Over Time purchases
- Limited bonus categories
Recommended Credit Score:
Good/Excellent credit required
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 up to 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 35,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer, which is available after you’ve spent $2,000 in the first three months after opening your account. With average redemption values between .5 and 1 cent per point, this can easily amount to at least $350, though it could be worth even more if you redeem points with one of Amex’s many travel partners.
Amex Membership Rewards
In addition to the one-time welcome offer, you can also earn 4 bonus points per $1 spent on restaurant purchases, including services like Grubhub and Seamless. The same is true for up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets.
Though dining and grocery rewards make up the primary benefit for this card, you can also earn 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent when you book flights directly through an airline or with Amex Travel (amextravel.com). Plus, you’ll also earn 1 point for all other eligible purchases.
With the Amex Gold card, you can also earn $10 in monthly dining 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.
Plus, if you are using the card to book travel, you can earn an annual $100 travel credit when you use your card to pay for incidental fees, such as baggage fees or in-flight meals — but note that the credit only applies to purchases with one qualifying airline of your choosing each calendar year.
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, 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 $220 in statement credits available each year.
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 20.49% 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 (2 points on travel and restaurants, and 1 point on everything else), but the annual fee is only $95. Also, the card comes with a more generous sign-up bonus — 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
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 1 point on everything else. If you sign up for a new card from Capital One, you can also earn a $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.
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. Keep in mind that you can potentially earn $220 in statement credits, which will just about pay for that 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.4.10 American Express Gold Card
Author: Jennifer Lobb
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