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Vectra Bank Colorado Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market 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.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking account options

Anytime Checking

A no-frills, noninterest-bearing checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7, unless you make 10 debit or credit card purchases, receive direct deposits of at least $250 per month or are 25 or younger
  • ATM fee: None at Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
This checking account does not earn interest. But it does have a low opening deposit requirement, as well as a low monthly fee that’s fairly easy to avoid. It also offers online and mobile banking. Account holders have the option to receive electronic statements.

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Anytime Interest Checking

This account takes it a step up, as you can earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500 or have a combined deposit and consumer balance of at least $10,000
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; your first out-of-network ATM withdrawal will be waived each month; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
Although this account does earn interest, you’ll have to contact the bank to find out the rate. It also comes with a low minimum opening deposit and monthly fee. While the fee is waivable, the balance requirement is higher than on the no-interest Anytime Checking account. This account also offers mobile and online banking, as well as the option to go paperless with e-statements.

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Premium Interest Checking

A tiered-interest checking account that has a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20, unless you maintain a combined deposit balance of $10,000 or a combined deposit and consumer loan balance of $25,000
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs, as well as up to three out-of-network ATM withdrawals; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This premium checking account has the same low opening deposit requirement as Vectra Bank Colorado’s other options, but its monthly fee is steeper, as are the requirements to waive it. While it boasts the ability to earn a premium interest rate on its checking, savings, money market and CD accounts, you’ll have to contact the bank to find those rates.

You can get the fees waived on additional Vectra Bank Colorado savings and money market accounts linked to this one, as well as prevent overdrafts from occurring by having these accounts linked and setting up automatic transfers. You’ll also get a complimentary safe deposit box (3 inches by 5 inches or smaller) during your first year and the first box of Vectra Bank Colorado Exclusive Checks. Lastly, this account comes with online and mobile banking services.

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Senior Advantage Checking

A checking account for those 62 or older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; your first out-of-network ATM withdrawal will be waived each month; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
This free, noninterest-bearing account is designed for seniors 62 and older. It comes with a low minimum deposit, mobile and online banking platforms, a Vectra Bank Colorado debit card, a complimentary safe deposit box, free Vectra Exclusive Checks and the ability to go paperless with electronic statements.

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Military Advantage Checking

Military members can sign up for this checking account, which won’t earn interest but doesn’t come with a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; your first out-of-network ATM withdrawal will be waived each month; $2 on out-of-network ATMs beyond that
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account is only for Vectra Bank Colorado customers who are members of the military. While it doesn’t earn interest, it comes with a low opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee. It also comes with a complimentary safe deposit box rental (where available) and the first box of Vectra Exclusive Checks. Lastly, it comes with the same mobile and online banking platforms as the other accounts, as well as the ability to go paperless with electronic statements and documents.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking accounts

All the bank’s checking accounts, except for the Military Advantage Checking account, can be opened online or in person. The Military Advantage Checking account must be opened in person. To open the accounts, you will need your Social Security number and a form of identification, such as a driver’s license, as well as information to fund your new account.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking accounts compare

Most of Vectra Bank Colorado’s checking accounts have minimum requirements and low fees that are easily waivable (or no fees at all). That, along with online and mobile banking platforms and other small perks, wins the bank a few points for those shopping for a simple checking account.

But it’s difficult to say how these accounts stack up to those on our list of the best online checking accounts without knowing the interest rates on those that offer. Be sure to contact the bank to comparison shop before settling on one of these accounts.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s savings account options

Savings

A basic savings account with minimal requirements and fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
0.05%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, unless you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $200 or receive a minimum of a $25 automatic transfer from a linked checking account
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35
This basic savings account earns a small amount of interest on any balance, which is compounded daily and paid monthly. It also comes with a low opening deposit requirement and easily waivable monthly fee. Customers can manage this account through the bank’s mobile and online banking platforms. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month. You face an excessive withdrawal fee of up to $15 from the bank if you exceed that number.

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Young Savers

A savings account for customers 25 and younger.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank Colorado or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account is for Vectra Bank Colorado customers 25 and younger. It comes with a low opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee. While it does have the ability to earn interest on any amount, the rate is low — albeit higher than the regular Savings account.

This account also comes with mobile and online banking platforms. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month. You face an excessive withdrawal fee of up to $15 if you exceed that number from the bank. Once the account holder turns 26, this account will turn into a regular Savings account.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s savings accounts

Both of these accounts can be opened online or in person if you’re at least 18. You’ll need your Social Security number, as well as a form of ID — such as your driver’s license — and an existing account to fund your new one. Those younger than 18 who are wanting to open the Young Savers account will need a parent or legal guardian to be a joint owner on the account. They will also need to open the account at a branch.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s savings accounts compare

While these accounts have low requirements and low fees, they also come with low interest rates. It’s also a bit of a drawback that the regular Savings account’s rate is lower than the Young Savers’ rate, especially for those wanting to upgrade when they reach age 26. We suggest going with one of the products on our list of the best online savings accounts, many of which come with the same perks and advantages, along with much higher rates.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Standard CDs with a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.20%
18 months 0.30%
2 years0.40%
3 years0.50%
4 years0.60%
5 years0.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms less than 31 days, all interest earned; for terms of 32 days to one year, it’s 90 days’ interest; for terms over one year, it’s 180 days’ interest

Vectra Bank Colorado’s standard fixed-rate CDs are your typical run-of-the-mill CDs with average term lengths, minimum deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties. They typically renew for a similar term length once they reach maturity, and the grace period for withdrawing funds is 10 calendar days after they reach maturity, or three days if the term of the CD is 31 days or less. The early withdrawal penalty is calculated based on the amount of interest paid at the time of withdrawal.

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Jumbo CDs

Vectra Bank Colorado’s Jumbo CDs, with a $100,000 deposit.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.30%
18 months 0.40%
2 years0.50%
3 years0.60%
4 years0.70%
5 years0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms less than 31 days, all interest earned; for terms of 32 days to one year, it’s 90 days’ interest; for terms over one year, it’s 180 days’ interest

Vectra Bank Colorado’s Jumbo CDs offer similar term lengths, rates and early withdrawal penalties, but a much higher requirement for the minimum opening deposit compared to the regular CDs. As with the regular CDs, these typically renew for a similar term length once they reach maturity, and the grace period for withdrawing funds is 10 calendar days after they reach maturity, or three days if the term of the CD is 31 days or less. The early withdrawal penalty is calculated based on the amount of interest paid at the time of withdrawal.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s CDs

You can open any of these CDs online or in person. You’ll need to be sure to have your Social Security number, a form of government-issued ID and an account to fund your CD.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s CD rates compare

While the basic details such as term length, minimum deposit requirements (for the regular CDs, anyway) and early withdrawal penalties are pretty standard compared to others on the market, the rates on both Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular and Jumbo CDs don’t come close to those on our list of the best CD rates.

The minimum deposit requirement for the Jumbo CDs is quite steep compared to other products out there with much better rates. We say skip these CDs and consider going with one on our list instead.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s money market account option

Money Market

A flexible savings account option offering tiered interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%
$1,000
0.10%
$100,000
0.15%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $1,000
  • ATM fee: None on Vectra Bank or MoneyPass ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

At first glance, this account might appear to be a more appealing option than Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular savings account. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the rates are mostly the same — but with much higher balance requirements. This account also has a much higher opening deposit requirement than the regular Savings account, as well as a higher balance requirement to avoid the monthly fee. This account also comes with online and mobile banking platforms. As a savings account, this money market account is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain transfers and withdrawals up to six per month. You face an excessive withdrawal fee of up to $15 from the bank if you exceed that number.

How to get Vectra Bank’s Money Market account

You can open the bank’s Money Market account online or in person. You’ll need a form of government-issued identification, your Social Security number and an account number to fund this one.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s money market account compares

To put it bluntly, we’ll give this account a hard pass. It’s essentially the same as the Savings account in that it offers low rates, but with much higher balance requirements to earn them.

These rates also don’t even come close to those on our list of the best money market rates available, so consider one of those or do some comparison shopping before settling on this account from Vectra Bank Colorado.

Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA CDs

Vectra Bank Colorado’s CDs opened within an IRA at the same rates as the regular CDs.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months 0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.20%
18 months0.30%
2 years0.40%
3 years0.50%
4 years0.70%
5 years0.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Dependent on the term and amount on deposit; contact the bank for further details
Vectra Bank Colorado offers IRA CDs at the same term lengths and rates as its regular CD products. They come with a fixed interest rate, which is compounded daily, as well as mobile and online banking platforms to regularly view your balances.

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IRA Jumbo CDs

These CDs come with a steep minimum opening deposit and uncompetitive rates.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.05%
6 months0.15%
9 months0.15%
12 months0.30%
18 months0.40%
2 years0.50%
3 years0.60%
4 years0.70%
5 years0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Dependent on the term and amount on deposit; contact the bank for further details

As with Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular Jumbo CDs, the opening deposit requirement is pretty steep compared to the low rates you’re getting. These CDs can be managed with the bank’s online banking platform.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA CDs

You can open the bank’s IRA CDs at a branch or by calling 844-210-3604. You’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID and an account with which to fund your CD.

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How Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA CD rates compare

Just like with Vectra Bank Colorado’s regular CDs, these IRA CDs appear to be pretty standard at first glance, but the rates don’t stack up to those on our list of the best IRA CD rates. The opening deposit on the Jumbo IRA CDs is also quite steep for the low rates you’re getting. We urge you to shop around and possibly consider one of the products on our list.

IRA Money Market

This account comes with low rates and low fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
0.05%
$2,000
0.15%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Vectra Bank Colorado’s money market IRA comes with minimal requirements and no monthly fee, but very low rates on very high balances. While you can make additional deposits at any point, any withdrawals made before age 59½ may be subject to federal taxes and penalties from the IRS.

How to get Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA Money Market

Customers can open Vectra Bank Colorado’s IRA Money Market accounts at a branch or by calling 844-210-3604. You’ll need your Social Security number, a form of ID and an account with which to fund the account.

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Overall review of Vectra Bank Colorado’s banking products

While most of Vectra Bank Colorado’s deposit accounts offer minimal requirements and easily waivable fees, the rates on all of them don’t stack up to the competition. If you are interested in growing the funds you are socking away, we urge you to take the time to comparison shop to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck in choosing a new account.

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