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Not all premium travel cards are created equal. American Express has a reputation for having some of the best travel cards around and there is a certain prestige that comes carrying their signature metal cards.
The most recognized of AMEX’s travel cards is their platinum card but there is a better option for people who want travel benefits but spend a majority of their money elsewhere.
The American Express® Gold Card is exactly that.
The AMEX Gold Card is a premium travel card that offers the highest points rewards on restaurant purchases and groceries.
The AMEX Gold Card is the answer for anyone looking for the prestige of an AMEX card with the flexibility to earn max points on their everyday spending.
The AMEX Gold Card makes earning points easier than ever in its highest reward categories. Restaurant and grocery spending (up to $25,000 per calendar year) earn AMEX Gold cardholders 4x the points on purchases made in the U.S.
There are no special apps or steps to earn in this category, cardholders must merely spend the money and the points are awarded in their account without any additional steps.
Cardholders looking to take advantage of the 3x the points on flights must book through AMEX travel or the airline directly.
Redeeming rewards with the American Express® Gold Card is easier than ever. Cardholders looking to redeem rewards need only to log on to their account and choose from one of the many options. The redemption can be done with one click.
American Express® Gold cardholders can earn up to $120 a year in statement credits on Uber Rides and Uber Eats just for paying with their AMEX Gold card at the time of service.
Unfortunately, the $120 a year benefit is broken down into $10 per month increments and cannot be used all at one time, but it is still free money.
Also, cardholders who use their card for their UberEats orders are additionally getting 4x the points on those purchases.
New American Express® Gold Cardholders are offered an impressive 60,000 bonus points when they spend $4,000 in the first six months.
AMEX does have a once per lifetime rule though so cardholders can only take advantage of this welcome bonus once even if they close and reopen the card at a later date.
Uber Eats credits aren’t the only dining credits available to American Express® Gold Cardholders. The AMEX Gold card also offers $120 dining credits for purchases made at one of their partners.
For a full, up-to-date list of those partners, check out the American Express website. These statement credits are also awarded in $10 per month when cardholders pay with their AMEX Gold Card. These statement credits do require cardholders to opt-in on the website to receive the credits.
AMEX Gold Cardholders are also eligible for a $100 hotel credit when they stay a minimum of two consecutive nights at one of AMEX’s partners.
The hotel credit can be used for on-site dining, resort, or spa expenditures. This credit can be used one time annually and the full $100 credit can be applied in one transaction.
The American Express® Gold Card comes with automatic baggage insurance as long as the cardholder used their AMEX Gold Card to pay for the flight.
The baggage insurance covers up to $500 per checked bag and up to $1250 per carry-on bag reimbursement.
Travelers that use their AMEX Gold Card to pay for rental cars also get an added insurance benefit automatically.
This benefit is not as cut and dry though as one might expect from an insurance policy. Cardholders must deny any collision coverage from the rental car company for this insurance to apply.
Also, this is considered secondary coverage and will only apply after personal insurance policy claims are settled.
This coverage is not available in every country either, so cardholders would be wise to read the fine print before relying on this coverage.
Foreign transaction fees are a sneaky money thief for people who do significant spending overseas.
Typical foreign transaction fees are 3% meaning that for every $100 people spend outside the US they have to pay $3 just to have their card company process their transactions. This fee may seem small, but it can really add up on travel expenses.
The American Express® Gold Card does not have any foreign transaction fees so cardholders do not have to worry about the additional 3% fee.
The AMEX Gold card makes it easier than ever to transfer points between the AMEX Gold Card and participating guest program accounts (like Amazon), frequent flier programs, or hotel chain loyalty programs.
All cardholders need to do to transfer points is to link the card to the program they wish to transfer the points to and click a button. Yes, it is really just that easy.
Both the American Express® Gold Card and the American Express Platinum card are considered premium travel cards, but their target markets are not the same.
The AMEX Platinum card comes with an impressive 5x the points on travel expenses like airline travel and hotel reservations made with the AMEX Platinum card.
The AMEX Gold Card’s highest rewards are reserved for grocery expenditures and restaurant purchases while still offering an impressive 3x the points on travel expenses.
The AMEX Gold Card annual fee is only $250, as compared to the pricier AMEX Platinum Card annual fee of $550.
Some consumers might suggest you pay for what you get though because the AMEX Platinum Card offers a ton more luxury travel benefits for those consumers who want a top-tier travel experience.
The American Express® Gold Card and the American Express Green Card are both impressive, iconic American Express cards but they are targeted at different markets.
The American Express® Gold Card has a reputation for being the best of the American Express cards for everyday spending since it rewards grocery and restaurant purchases the most highly and also offers 3x the points on travel expenses.
The American Express Green Card, however, is a better card for those who like to earn points on travel. The American Express Green Card has a $150 annual fee compared to the $250 annual fee associated with the AMEX Gold Card.
AMEX Green cardholders can also expect to earn 3x the points on a wider variety of travel expenses like rideshare, hotels, transit, taxis, and tours.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the American Express® Gold Card both reward spending on dining and carry some rewards on travel too.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a much lower annual fee at $95 per year over the $250 annual fee that comes with the American Express® Gold Card.
There are some reasons to pay the higher fee for the AMEX though if you are doing a bulk of your spending at grocery stores and restaurants and can take advantage of the statement credits that AMEX offers.
The AMEX Gold Card offers 4x the points on restaurant purchases and grocery store purchases up to $25,000 per year and gives a combined $340 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on Uber, dining, and hotels.
All American Express Card offers a plethora of benefits and clout just by virtue of its reputation. The annual fees can be a hard pill to swallow for consumers new to the brand or not understanding the value they are getting for their annual fee.
The American Express® Gold Card does carry a steep $250 annual fee, but it also offers $340 in annual statement credits on purchases cardholders would probably make anyway. Is this card for everyone? Definitely not.
However, people who plan to use their statement credits to recoup their annual expenses and do most of their spending on food- whether at restaurants or grocery stores- will likely find that the juice is worth the squeeze.
American Express comes with a lot of benefits and prestige, so they don’t go handing out their credit cards all willy nilly to anyone that applies. American Express requires a credit score of 700 or better to qualify for one of its cards.
Getting the AMEX Gold Card is easy as long as you have a qualifying credit score. In some instances, it will behoove people interested in the card to get a referral link from a friend or colleague because there are extra bonuses assigned to cards that are opened through a link, but that is not a necessary step in getting the AMEX Gold Card.
The answer to this question really depends on what you value and spend your money on as a consumer. The Platinum Card offers premium travel in luxury, but it also offers its highest rewards on travel spending.
The $550 fee comes with many benefits like lounges, upgrades, and concierge, but if you aren’t traveling a ton or don’t care about luxury travel, the American Express® Gold Card is probably the better choice.
The American Express® Gold Card is commonly referred to as “the household card” because the highest rewards are offered on food expenditures with a little more than average on travel spending too.
The AMEX Gold Card is definitely the better card for those who are looking to get the most bang for bucks they were already spending, and travel is secondary.
For those who aren’t turned off by the potential to pay both annual fees, there is room in your wallet for both of these cards for different purposes.
The application process can be completed by giving AMEX a call or by going online and completing an application.
Card approval can happen immediately after the application is completed or require further review.
Either way, once the approval happens, the shiny new metal gold card is usually to you in the mail within a few days.
The AMEX Gold Card has a lot to offer cardholders, but cashback is not one of those things. Rewards on the AMEX Gold Card are awarded in points that cardholders can use for transfers or purchases made through one of their partners.
Because the American Express® Gold Card is considered a premium travel card, the absence of foreign transaction fees is a major selling point for cardholders who enjoy traveling abroad.
The American Express® Gold Card does not come with airport lounge access. Cardholders that value lounge access should take a look at either the American Express Platinum Card which has free lounge access or the American Express Green Card which offers up to $100 annually in statement credits for lounges through LoungeBuddy.
Even though the American Express® Gold Card carries a hefty $250 annual fee, many cardholders who are looking for an everyday spending card will find that the benefits of this card greatly outweigh the costs.
The AMEX Gold Card is an excellent choice for those who like to travel but spend more domestically on food in general whether at restaurants or grocery stores.
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