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Provident Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Provident Bank’s checking account options

Smart Checking

A free interest-bearing checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.51%
$0.01
0.50%
$15,000
0.15%
$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; outside banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited on domestic ATM transactions when monthly account requirements are met (see below)
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting overdraft balance is $5 or less; otherwise, $35

This account does have the ability to earn interest, though the rate goes down drastically once you exceed a balance of $15,000. To earn the rates listed above and to have all domestic ATM fees refunded, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Make and sign for 10 point-of-sale purchases with your Provident debit Mastercard that post and clear your account
  • Receive one direct deposit or process one automatic Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit
  • Create and maintain a ProvidentConnect online banking relationship
  • Choose to receive your account statements electronically

Even if you don’t meet these requirements in a given month, you can still have the free account and will be eligible for the rate and ATM fee refunds in the next statement period.

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Cash Back Checking

Another free checking account offering cashback rewards on qualifying transactions.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; outside banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited on domestic ATMs when qualifying requirements are met
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting overdraft balance is $5 or less; otherwise, $35

While this account does not earn interest, it offers the chance to earn domestic ATM fee refunds and 0.25% cash back, which is credited to your account when the following qualification requirements are met:

  • Make 10 point-of-sale transactions with your Provident debit Mastercard
  • Have one direct deposit or automatic ACH debit
  • Create and maintain a ProvidentConnect online banking relationship
  • Choose to receive your account statements electronically

If you fall short of these requirements in a given month, you are still eligible to earn the cashback rewards and ATM fee refunds during the following statement period. Besides having no monthly balance requirements or service fees, this account also has no limits on the amount of cash back given each month.

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Platinum Checking

A tiered-interest checking account that has a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 if combined account balance of $10,000 is not maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; outside banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: All out-of-network ATM fees refunded at end of each statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting overdraft balance is $5 or less; otherwise, $35

To avoid its high monthly fee, account holders need to maintain a combined account balance of $10,000, which can include deposit accounts, mortgages and certain consumer loans and credit lines. Additionally, you must keep a minimum of $50 in this account to earn interest.

You’ll have to contact the bank, though, to find out the rates it offers. This account also allows you to earn a 0.25% APY bonus on CDs. Other perks include unlimited ATM refunds, free direct deposit, free basic checks, online banking and bill pay, and unlimited check-writing.

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Basic Checking

Provident Bank’s no-frills checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2 if you choose to receive paper statements
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; outside banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting overdraft balance is $5 or less; otherwise, $35

This free checking account does not earn interest. But it does offer your first six checks free each month (additional checks will incur a 50-cent fee), free direct deposit, a debit Mastercard, online and mobile banking and bill pay, e-statements, unlimited ATM transactions and no minimum balance requirements. It also offers you the chance to link another account to help avoid overdraft fees.

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NJ Consumer Checking

A first checking account option for New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; outside banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting overdraft balance is $5 or less; otherwise, $35

This account is an option for New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents opening their first checking account. While it does not earn interest, it does give you eight free checks each month before charging 50 cents per additional check, as well as free direct deposit, a debit Mastercard and e-statements.

This account does not have any minimum balance requirements, and it does offer you the chance to add funding from a linked account to avoid overdraft fees.

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Green Checking

Provident Bank’s free online checking account with no fees or balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$50
0.15%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $10 per statement period
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting overdraft balance is $5 or less; otherwise, $35

This account allows you to earn a small APY on your first $1,000, then a smaller APY on anything over $1000. Besides having no monthly fees or service charges, it allows you to earn some ATM refunds each month. It comes with free online and mobile banking and bill pay services, a debit Mastercard and e-statements.

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How to get Provident Bank’s checking accounts

If you’re a resident of New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can open Provident Bank’s Green Checking, Cash Back Checking and Smart Checking Accounts online.All other checking accounts must be opened at a branch. To open an account, you’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID such as your driver’s license, a previous home address if you’ve been at your current address for less than two years and a debit or credit card or U.S. checking or savings account to fund your new Provident Bank account.

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How Provident Bank’s checking accounts compare

According to our review of the best available online checking accounts, the best products out there will offer the ability to earn interest, have no monthly or ATM fees, provide the chance to earn ATM fee refunds and have a strong mobile and online user interface.

There’s good news here: The accounts listed here that do earn interest offer competitive rates on certain balance amounts, and the ones that offer less or none at all still win on the no-fees and balance requirements front.

Still, we encourage you to do your research. If you manage to find something with even better rates and all the aforementioned check boxes, it’s likely in your best interest to go with that.

Provident Bank’s savings account options

Power Savings

A free online savings account with no fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$50
0.75%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; other banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting balance is less than $5; otherwise, $35

This account allows members to earn the listed rates when they meet their corresponding balance requirements, as well as create and establish a ProvidentConnect online banking relationship and choose to receive their statements electronically.

This free account comes with no monthly fees. It offers online and mobile banking and bill pay, a free debit card and no funding fees on transfers to other Provident Bank deposit accounts. As with all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers to six per month.

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Statement Savings

A no-frills account with minimal requirements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 if minimum balance of $250 is not maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; other banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting balance is less than $5; otherwise, $35

This no-frills savings account offers the ability to earn interest on a balance of just $50, though you’ll have to contact the bank to find out the rate.

It charges a modest monthly fee if a balance of $250 is not maintained. It comes with a Provident Bank ATM card, free direct deposit and a detailed monthly statement. Since it is a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transactions to six per month.

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Passbooks Savings

A simple and reliable savings account option.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 if minimum balance of $250 isn’t maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; other banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting balance is less than $5; otherwise, $35

Advertised as “probably the most popular savings account in the history of New Jersey” for its simplicity and reliability, this account comes with a passbook for withdrawals and deposits and offers free direct deposit.

Its balance requirements to earn interest and avoid its modest monthly fee are also very minimal. While this account earns interest, you’ll have to contact the bank to find out the rate. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month.

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Young Saver

An account meant to teach kids and teens how to save.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; other banks may charge a fee
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting balance is less than $5; otherwise, $35

This account is a great option for parents wanting to teach their children financial responsibility, as well as for teens younger than 18 looking to stash their funds from a part-time job.

As a bonus, it does earn interest, though you’ll need to contact the bank to learn the rate. It also comes with your choice of a Passbook or Statement savings account, as well as no monthly fees or balance requirements. This account is also subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals to six per month.

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Holiday Club

This account allows holders to focus on saving for the holidays or a vacation.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is for the holidays in name only, as it can also be used for vacation or special occasion savings. It offers the same interest rate as the Statement Savings account, though you’ll need to contact the bank to find out the rate.

With this account, you can enable an automatic deduction from a Provident Bank Statement Savings account or the personal checking accounts, with the flexibility of making your transfers (which can be in any amount) on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. This account is also subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals to six per month.

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Platinum Money Manager

Provident Bank’s high-interest savings account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5,000 on combined balances
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Provident Bank ATMs; outside fees may apply
  • ATM fee refund: All out-of-network ATM fees refunded at end of each statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: None if resulting balance is less than $5; otherwise, $35

This account requires you to open a Platinum Checking account and maintain a combined minimum balance of $5,000 to earn interest on this account. But you’ll need to contact the bank to find out the rate.

This account also provides a free monthly combined statement, free direct deposit and online banking. As with all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals to six per month.

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How to get Provident Bank’s savings accounts

If you’re a resident of New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can open Provident Bank’s Power Savings account online. Otherwise, all other savings accounts must be opened at a branch. To open an account, you’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID such as your driver’s license, a previous home address if you’ve been at your current address for less than two years and a debit or credit card or U.S. checking or savings account to fund your new Provident Bank account.

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How Provident Bank’s savings accounts compare

While most of the fees and deposit and balance requirements are minimal, the rates provided on some of these accounts — the ones in which rates are available online — just don’t stack up to those on our list of the best online savings accounts.

You’re most likely better off choosing one of those accounts instead. If you are still interested in opening one of Provident Bank’s savings accounts, you’ll want to contact the bank to find out the rates so you can comparison shop.

Provident Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Standard CDs with a $500 minimum deposit.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of nine months or less; 180 days’ interest on 12- and 18-month terms; 365 days’ interest on terms of 24 to 60 months

Provident Bank offers CDs in the following terms: 91 days and six, nine, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 or 60 months. The terms, deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties are fairly standard. But you’ll need to contact the bank to find out the rates.

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How to get Provident Bank’s CDs

All of the bank’s CDs must be opened at a branch. To open an account, you’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID such as your driver’s license and a previous home address if you’ve been at your current address for less than two years. You’ll also need a debit or credit card or U.S. checking or savings account to fund your new Provident Bank account.

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How Provident Bank’s CD rates compare

As mentioned above, the basic details of these CDs are comparable to what’s out there. But you’ll want to contact the bank to find out the rates to determine if they stack up against those on our list of the best CD rates — or if you might be better off shopping around.

Provident Bank’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA CDs and savings account offerings may vary by region. For that reason, you will need to contact the bank for details such as term lengths, rates and early withdrawal penalties. Once you have that information, you can compare them to those on our list of the best IRA CD rates.

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How to get Provident Bank’s IRA CDs

All of Provident Bank’s IRA CDs must be opened at a branch. To open an account, you’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID such as your driver’s license, a previous home address if you’ve been at your current address for less than two years and a debit or credit card or U.S. checking or savings account to fund your new Provident Bank account.

Overall review of Provident Bank’s banking products

Of the accounts Provident Bank offers that do have posted rates, it’s several of its checking accounts that can compete with those on our best-of list.

The rest fall short. If you’re interested in one of its other products without posted rates, you’ll want to reach out to the bank to find out what they are. Then you can see if they could be the best accounts for you — or if it’s in your best interest to keep looking.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Emilia Benton
Emilia Benton |

Emilia Benton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emilia here

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Reviews

American Express Green Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The iconic American Express® Green Card has undergone a fresh makeover. Thanks to a revamp that rolled out in October 2019, the American Express® Green Card is now a compelling choice for those who want rewards and perks for travel, but aren’t ready to shell out for a premium travel card with an annual fee in the $500 range. This card does charge a $150 annual fee, but if you take full advantage of the annual credits you get for having it, you can mitigate the cost of the annual fee.

Plus, the new card is made mostly out of plastic reclaimed from beaches, islands, and coastal communities — so it can be considered “green” both in color and environmentally.

Where the American Express® Green Card stands out

American Express® Green Card

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American Express® Green Card

Annual fee
$150
Rewards Rate
Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent/Good

Rewards. Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. This is an inclusive travel category, which gives you the chance to earn rewards in a lot of different ways.

CLEAR annual credit. CLEAR uses your eyes and fingerprints to confirm your identity. It can be used at a variety of airports, stadiums, and other venues. When you use this card to pay for your CLEAR membership, you can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year. However, because a CLEAR membership costs $179 a year (or $15 a month), note that you’ll still have to pay a portion of your membership costs out of pocket each year.

LoungeBuddy annual credit. When you use this card to purchase airport lounge access via LoungeBuddy, you can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year.

Additional benefits

Welcome offer. Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. If you use your points for flights through American Express Travel (a value of 1 cent per point), that’s worth $300.

Away credit. New cardmembers who apply by Jan. 15, 2020, can earn statement credits of up to $100 after making a purchase such as a suitcase or weekender bag from Away — a company that sells its travel gear online directly to consumers and aims to offer better prices than you might be able to find when shopping big-name brands in retail stores.

Baggage insurance plan. When you buy your ticket using this card, you can get coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. Terms apply.

Where the American Express® Green Card falls short

Annual fee. The American Express® Green Card has an annual fee of $150. This is a bit more than many mid-level travel cards, which tend to charge annual fees of around $95. However, it’s worth noting that $150 annual fee for the American Express® Green Card is less expensive than premium travel cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, which charges an annual fee of $550.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards Rate
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

Compare it with the American Express® Gold Card

Another American Express card that serves consumers who like to travel and dine out is the American Express® Gold Card. While the annual fee of $250 is a bit more costly than the American Express® Green Card, some cardholders might find the rewards and annual credits worth the expense. Here’s how the cards compare:

 American Express® Green CardAmerican Express® Gold Card
Welcome offerEarn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
RewardsEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Regular purchase APRSee Rates & FeesSee Rates & Fees
Annual fee$150$250
Foreign transaction feeNoneNone

For annual statement credits, the American Express® Gold Card offers the following:

Airline fee credit of up to $100. You can choose one qualifying airline per calendar year and receive up to $100 in statement credits to go toward incidental fees.

Dining credit of up to $120. You can earn up to $10 in statement credits each month for an annual savings of up to $120 when you pay with this card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

American Express® Gold Card

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American Express® Gold Card

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

Before factoring in the cards’ annual fees, you can save up to $220 each year from the American Express® Gold Card’s statement credits and up to $200 each year from the American Express® Green Card’s statement credits. Which one is better just depends whether you value credits that go toward incidental airline fees and dining purchases or credits that go toward airport security and airport lounge access. The statement credits effectively reduce the American Express® Gold Card’s annual fee to $30, while the American Express® Green Card’s statement credits can more than recoup the cost of the card’s annual fee, but leaves you to pay $79 a year to make up the yearly price of a CLEAR membership.

Read: Best Travel Credit Cards

When it comes to rewards, the American Express® Gold Card has a higher earning rate per $1 spent on dining than the American Express® Green Card. It also offers U.S. supermarkets as a rewards category, which the American Express® Green Card does not. However, the American Express® Green Card rewards a much broader category of travel purchases than the American Express® Gold Card.

The bottom line

So, is it worth having the American Express® Green Card? If you travel and dine out frequently, it’s a good choice. The annual fee is slightly more expensive than cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (with an annual fee of $95) and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (with an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that), but it offers strong value in its ongoing rewards and in its annual credits.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

American Express Gold Card: Good Travel Rewards for a Fee

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

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The American Express® Gold Card is an upgraded American Express charge card without a pre-set spending limit. It’s also a card that rewards cardholders with American Express Membership Rewards® Points for airfare, dining, gas, and grocery spending.

A charge card is one that you need to pay off completely each billing cycle, so there’s no interest. However, since there’s no pre-set spending limit either, you need to keep an eagle eye on spending activity to make sure you can pay off the statement in full at month’s end. Making a late payment can cause you to forfeit Membership Reward points earned during that billing cycle.

In this post, we’ll discuss the American Express® Gold Card terms and how to redeem points. Keep reading for an overview on:

  • American Express® Gold Card basics
  • How to redeem Membership Rewards points earned
  • The fine print details
  • The benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

The basics of the American Express® Gold Card

3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

$100 airline fee credit.

You can get up to $100 airline fee credit on your statement each calendar year to cover incidentals charged by an airline of your choosing. Qualifying incidentals are charges separate from your airline ticket like baggage fees and not ticket upgrades.

American Express® Gold Card

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American Express® Gold Card

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

How to redeem Membership Rewards® Points earned

Through Membership Rewards®, cardholders can transfer points to participating travel and lodging loyalty programs or redeem points for travel bookings, gift cards, statement credits, and other rewards. The value of your points varies depending on how you choose to use them.

Flights, hotels, and vacations

You can pay with points for flights, hotels, and vacations on the American Express Travel site. Using points for flights offers excellent value.

Here’s the point value breakdown on travel and accommodations:

  • Flights: $10 per 1,000 points
  • Hotels, cruises, and vacation packages: $7 per 1,000 points

Transferring your Membership Rewards® Points

If you choose to transfer your points to another program, generally, 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points will transfer as 1,000 miles, points, or credits.

However, transfers that have a different value include (as of the publication date of this article):

  • British Airways and Iberia: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 Avios
  • El AL Israel Airlines: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid points
  • Hilton: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,500 HHonors points
  • JetBlue Airways: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points
  • Starwood Preferred Guest: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 333 Starpoints
  • Virgin America: 200 Membership Rewards points = 100 Elevate points

Occasionally, there are transfer specials for participating loyalty programs.

Statement credit and gift cards

Using points to put a dent in your credit card bill won’t be the best use of your points. 1,000 points equals just $6 in a statement credit.

Several of the gift cards through Membership Rewards® will give you more in cash value. For example, 1,000 points can get you a $10 gift card at restaurants, retail stores, and hotels including:

  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Seasons 52
  • Banana Republic
  • Crate and Barrel

There’s an entire list of the redemption values for gift cards on the Membership Rewards® site.

Other rewards

Using points for shopping, charitable donations, and entertainment are other redemption options. But, again, these options won’t give you as much value for your points as redeeming for flights and gift cards.

The value of 1,000 points ranges from $5 to $7 when shopping at retailers through Membership Rewards® or at Ticketmaster, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or Newegg.com.

The fine print

The American Express® Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. If you spend a lot of money on the card, the fee can be worthwhile. However, if you don’t spend a lot, you might want to consider a no fee option.

In addition – when you transfer points to a U.S. frequent flyer program, there’s a $0.0006 fee charged per point to compensate for the federal excise tax. Although this fee has a lot of zeros in it, the cost may still be impactful if you’re transferring a lot of points. For instance, 100,000 points transferred will cost you $60.

On the plus side, this card has no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits and protections

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If you pay for a qualifying car rental with your American Express® Gold Card, the rental car is covered against damage and theft after declining the collision damage waiver. Rentals that won’t qualify for coverage are trucks, off-road vehicles, full-size sport vehicles, and exotic cars.

Purchase Protection

If an item you purchase is lost, stolen, or damaged within 90 days of purchase, you may be reimbursed for it.

Pros and cons

Pro: 3X points on travel. If you fly often for work or play, this card rewards you well each time you use it.

Con: The fee. The biggest con here is the annual fee. But, since there are several ways you can earn points in the 3X and 2X categories, you may be able to easily cover this fee throughout the year.

Pro: Membership Rewards. This card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards® Points program and gives you many options for point redemption. The Membership Rewards® site is also incredibly easy to navigate, and there’s no ambiguity in point value. The rewards portal shows examples of exactly what your points are worth for each redemption option.

Con: The fee to transfer points. The ability to transfer points to another program is a pro, but being charged for U.S. frequent flyer program transfers is a tiny gotcha in the fine print.

Pro: No foreign transaction fees. One area in the fees where you do catch a break is with foreign transaction fees. This aspect of the card is fitting since it’s one that rewards you for planning travel.

Who will benefit most from the American Express® Gold Card?

Your ability to earn enough points to surpass the fee will determine whether this is a good card for you.

And if you’re shopping around for a rewards program that will give you the most value for travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards® is an option you should compare to American Express Membership Rewards®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*, in particular, is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program and allows you to transfer points to other travel partners as well. Plus, it has an offer that gives 1.25 cents per point for travel. This is slightly more value than what you get for flights with American Express Membership Rewards® since 1,000 points per $10 works out to 1 cent per point.

Before signing up for any rewards card, you should do this type of comparison shopping to figure out which offer will give you the most value for your spending habits.

*The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here