American Express Gold Card Review Summary
The American Express® Gold Card offers lots of rewards, especially on travel and dining purchases. But it costs a pretty penny, too.
Amex Gold offers an initial bonus of 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months, up to $10 per month for dining with Amex dining partners, and up to $10 in Uber Cash per month for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. That’s not all, either. Amex Gold cardholders also earn great rewards on purchases.
The bad news is that the American Express Gold Card has a $250 annual fee. Amex Gold also is far from ideal if you want to carry a balance from month to month.
So, if you’re a big-spender with good credit or better who likes to eat and travel, Amex Gold could be a good card for you. Otherwise, you can probably do better.
American Express Gold Card Highlights
60,000 Bonus Points
The Amex Gold Card’s 60K-point initial bonus is available to new cardholders who spend at least $4,000 within 6 months of opening an account. This bonus is worth roughly $462, according to WalletHub’s calculations. The average initial bonus is 24,860 points/miles or $205.48 cash back.
4 Points per $1 at Restaurants Worldwide
Amex Gold has one of the highest restaurant rewards rates on the market. The 4 points per $1 that you’ll earn on restaurants works out to about 3.08% cash back. And there’s no limit to the amount you can earn in this category. Pretty much any place you’d think of as a restaurant qualifies, from fast food to fine dining, including takeout and delivery (Uber Eats, too). But it ultimately depends on the establishment’s merchant category code. A restaurant inside a hotel or casino may not count, for example, if the merchant is classified as a hotel or casino.
4 Points per $1 at U.S. Supermarkets
Amex Gold’s dining rewards cover every day eating at home, too. But people tend to spend more at the supermarket than at restaurants over the course of a year. So Amex limits your bonus earning rate of 4 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets to $25,000 spent on groceries per year. After that, you’ll get 1 point per $1. Purchases at superstores and warehouse clubs also earn you just 1 point per $1 spent.
3 Points per $1 on Eligible Flights
Amex Gold rewards cardholders with the equivalent of 2.31% back on airfare purchased directly from airlines or through amextravel.com. The downside to this offer is that you can’t really shop around for the best deals on flights.
Up to $120 in Uber Cash per Year
Amex Gold cardholders automatically receive up to $10 in Uber Cash per month ($120 per year), for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when the card is added in their Uber account.
American Express Gold Card Lowlights
$250 Annual Fee
One year with Amex Gold could pay for 13 years with the average credit card, which has an annual fee of $18.3. That’s not to say the Gold Card isn’t worth it. Many people can still get plenty from it, even with the fee considered. But this should help put things in perspective.
Low Point Value
Credit card points and miles are worth about a penny apiece on average. American Express Membership Rewards® points are on the wrong side of that average, equaling about 80% of 1 cent each. Knowing this will make it easier to estimate how much value you can get from the Gold Card’s rewards.
Limited Financing Capabilities
Amex Gold is not a typical credit card, which means you must pay for most purchases in full by the due date. With a normal credit card, you have the option of paying only part of your balance by the due date and the rest over time. With Amex Gold, you can carry a balance only for certain charges of $100 or more.
You can set your account to Pay Over Time, which means Amex will automatically review all purchases of $100 or more for eligibility, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. American Express may approve or decline Pay Over Time requests based on things like your payment history, current account status, and credit standing. All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date.
Just because you can pay off eligible Amex Gold purchases over time doesn’t mean you should. The APR for such purchases can be higher than the average among credit cards for people with good credit, which Amex Gold requires for approval. And even that average rate is way above what you want to be paying, especially while 0% APR credit cards are still available to people with good credit scores.
Other Things to Consider about the American Express Gold Card
No Foreign Transaction Fee
International purchases, whether you’re traveling abroad or shopping online from foreign merchants, won’t cost you extra with Amex Gold, thanks to its 0% foreign fee. The average credit card adds 1.5% to every international charge. And many American Express credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.
Up to $120 in Restaurant Credits per Year
You can sign up for statement credits of up to $10 per month for dining at Amex’s restaurant partners: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. You can enroll through your online account or by calling the number on the back of your card.
Good or Excellent Credit Required
You need a credit score of 700 or higher for good Amex Gold Card approval odds. You can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub to see where you stand.
American Express Gold Card vs. The Competition
There are lots of great credit cards out there offering extra rewards on travel and dining. So it’s worth seeing how the American Express Gold Card compares to some of its most popular competitors.
American Express® Gold Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
|Rewards Bonus||60,000 points||75,000 points||100,000 miles||$300|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 4 points / $1||1 - 5 points / $1||2 miles / $1||1 - 4% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||See Pay Over Time APR||See Pay Over Time APR||17.24% - 24.49% (V)||15.99% - 24.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||3.8 / 5||3.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
Rates & Fees
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