American Express Gold Card Review

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Updated on Friday, December 13, 2019

If you travel or dine out frequently, and if you like the prestige and special perks that come with carrying a “gold” status credit card, you should take a look at the American Express® Gold Card.

In addition to premium benefits, such as an annual airline fee credit and dining credit, the card offers Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Cardholders also earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.

Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, shopping, entertainment, merchandise and more.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the American Express® Gold Card, as well as show how it compares to the American Express® Green Card.

American Express® Gold Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply |  Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee
$250
Rewards Rate
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Where the American Express® Gold Card stands out

Rewards rate. With the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll earn Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Welcome bonus. Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.

If you max out the yearly $25,000 spend maximum at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, you’ll earn 100,000 points at the end of the year. Once you factor in the welcome bonus, you could get a total of 135,000 points in the first year of card membership.

$120 dining credit. Cardholders can earn up to a total of $10 in monthly statement credits when they pay using their American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations. Note, enrollment is required.

$100 airline fee credit. Receive up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year when airline incidentals, such as checked bag fees and in-flight meals, are charged to your American Express® Gold Card by the airline.

$100 hotel credit. Receive a $100 hotel credit to use toward qualifying dining, spa and resort activities when you book at least two consecutive nights at The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel.

Additional benefits:

  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Baggage Insurance Plan
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership, upon enrollment
  • Access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events
  • American Express preferred seating for select cultural and sporting events

Where the American Express® Gold Card falls short

Annual fee. The American Express® Gold Card comes with a substantial annual fee of $250. That said, the dining, airline and hotel credits more than make up for the fee each year.

Cannot carry a balance. Because the American Express® Gold Card is a charge card, it requires you to pay your balance in full each month. However, American Express does offer a Pay Over Time feature, which gives eligible cardholders the option to pay for certain purchases over time with interest.

Note, enrollment for Pay Over Time is required, and you will accrue interest charges (See Rates & Fees) on all eligible purchases if you choose to carry a balance.

4X rate at supermarkets in U.S. only. Although the American Express® Gold Card does not charge foreign transaction fees, keep in mind that you can only earn the 4X rewards rate on supermarket purchases inside of the U.S.

To see rates & fees for American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

Compare it to the American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

American Express® Green Card

Annual fee
$150
Rewards Rate
Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
Credit required
good-credit
excellent-credit

If want to enjoy many of the same travel and shopping perks offered by the American Express® Gold Card without paying the $250 annual fee, you may want to consider the American Express® Green Card instead.

Like the American Express® Gold Card, the American Express® Green Card comes with car rental loss and damage insurance, complimentary ShopRunner membership and no foreign transaction fees. Additionally, the card offers the following rewards rate: Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours..

See how the cards compare side-by-side in the table below.

American Express® Gold Card vs. American Express® Green Card

 

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Green Card

Annual fee

$250 (See Rates & Fees)

$150 (See Rates & Fees)

Welcome bonus

35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.

30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Rewards

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.

Intro APR on purchases

N/A

N/A

Regular purchase APR

See Rates & Fees

See Rates & Fees

Foreign transaction fees

None (See Rates & Fees)

None (See Rates & Fees)

The American Express® Green Card charges a considerably lower annual fee than the American Express® Gold Card. But keep in mind that the American Express® Green Card doesn’t offer an elevated rewards rate on supermarket purchases.

That said, the American Express® Green Card offers a comparable welcome bonus to the American Express® Gold Card, with a much lower spend threshold: 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

To see rates & fees for American Express® Green Card, please click here.

The bottom line

The American Express® Gold Card is a great option if you travel regularly or if you spend a significant amount on dining out or buying groceries each month. Along with offering a generous rewards rate on those purchases, the card comes with a variety of perks and travel credits that can help offset the annual fee.

However, if you don’t want to pay the $250 annual fee, but you still want to earn Membership Rewards points on travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, ride-share services and much more, the American Express® Green Card is a good alternative.

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