When you’re ready to select a new rewards card, an American Express card should be at the top of your list for consideration. The company issues a variety of business cards and personal consumer cards designed to match up with nearly every spending profile, redemption priority, and desire for useable benefits.
Aside from its flagship premium travel rewards cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, there are 2 additional cards that consumers consistently seek out.
The American Express® Business Gold Card and the American Express® Gold Card are workhorses when it comes to rewarding everyday business and personal spending. The cards also shine at redemption time and offer travel and shopping benefits that deliver additional value.
But if you’re trying to decide between the 2 for your next rewards card, you’ll find the cards can be totally different animals. That’s where we come in.
We’ve chosen these 2 popular cards today to dig deep and cover all the differences, allowing for the winner to surface.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
Amex Business Gold Card
|Credit Card||Key Benefits & Info|
|American Express® Business Gold Card|
(at Amex's secure site)
Amex Gold Card
|Credit Card||Key Benefits & Info|
American Express® Gold Card
(at Amex's secure site)
Must Reads: For more info on the Amex Gold Card, see our guides on its benefits and perks, as well as our full review.
While the Amex Gold card may currently offer a bonus that exceeds the Amex Business Gold card, offers can change. Additionally, the actual value of a welcome bonus is dependent on how you choose to redeem your Membership Rewards points.
It’s always prudent to review the current welcome bonus, annual fee, any other associated fees and rates, and the applicable terms and conditions of a card prior to applying for any card.
The snapshots above can assist you in finding this information and help you estimate the value of a welcome bonus.
Business vs. Personal Card
The Amex Business Gold card is obviously a business card and the Amex Gold card, a personal consumer card.
If you have a business, it’s appropriate to keep business and personal purchases separated by selecting a business card to use for those purchases. Additionally, business cards may provide greater protections and offer business-related benefits such as employee cards that help you manage purchases and organizational tools that can make tax time easier.
If you’re looking specifically for a business card, you’ll want to review our article on some of the best business card choices available.
Personal consumer rewards cards, the Amex Gold card included, tend to focus on rewarding typical everyday expenses and providing additional useful travel and shopping-related benefits.
If you’re looking to apply for just 1 card and are not sure whether your next card will be a business or personal card, our 2 featured cards could both potentially qualify as great choices. Read on to find everything you need here to make your decision.
Comparing Earning Options
Each of our featured cards has a very different earning profile. While the Amex Business Gold card rewards common business purchases, the Amex Gold card focuses more on everyday spending categories.
|Amex Business Gold Card||Amex Gold Card|
Both cards are winners when you select the card that aligns with your business or personal spending profile.
If you’re a busy business owner, you’ll like that you don’t need to decide which bonus categories to select as the Amex Business Gold card applies the bonus rewards automatically to your 2 highest qualifying expenses each statement period.
As a consumer, you’ll find the Amex Gold card will deliver elevated earnings on those supermarket, restuarants, and qualifying flight purchases.
Hot Tip: If your business involves advertising on Amazon or other qualifying media, you’ll want to consider the Amex Business Gold card. The card earns 4x points per dollar spent (up to $150,000 in purchases each calendar year) on select online advertising when that expense is one of your highest expenses in a specific statement period.
Comparing Redemption Options
While earning options on our featured cards are quite different, redemption options for Membership Rewards points, are similar.
Let’s look at the choices you’ll have for redeeming Membership Rewards points earned on either card.
|Redemption Option||Amex Business Gold Card||Amex Gold Card|
|Redeem for travel|
|Transfer to travel partners|
20+ airline and hotel partners, most transfer at a 1:1 ratio, a small fee applies
|Statement credits to offset purchases|
Redeem for statement credits to offset qualifying purchases at the rate of 0.6 cents per point
|Additional redemption options|
Upgrade your flight, gift cards, Amazon, Uber, and other shopping partners
The best value for redeeming Membership Rewards earned on either card is to redeem the points for travel via Amex Travel or transfer the points to airline and hotel partners for the potential to receive even greater value.
Watch for bonus transfer offers that can be found in your online card account. Recent offers have included a 40% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy and an offer to redeem 1,000 Membership Rewards points for 2,800 Hilton Honors points. Additional bonuses are offered periodically when transferring to airline frequent flyer programs.
Statement credits directly offset any qualifying purchases made with your card. Here are the statement credit offers you can expect on our featured cards.
Amex Gold Card
- $120 dining credits ($10 per month)
Amex Business Gold Card
The Amex Business Gold card does not offer any statement credits.
Travel Benefits and Protections
You’ll find several useful travel benefits and protections that come with both the Amex Business Gold card and the Amex Gold card.
|Benefit||Amex Business Gold Card||Amex Gold Card|
|Rental car insurance||Secondary car rental insurance with the option to purchase Premium Protection for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental period; prices range from $12.95 to $24.95|
|Trip delay insurance||Up to $300 when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours|
|Baggage insurance||Receive up to $1,250 for damaged, lost, or stolen carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage|
|Travel accident insurance||Up to $100,000 per person for accidental death or dismemberment||Up to $250,000 per person for accidental death or dismemberment|
|Global Assist Hotline||24/7 assistance when traveling more than 100 miles from home|
|Hotel Collection benefits||On each qualifying 2-night stay, receive $100 hotel credit, an upgraded room when available, and 2x earnings on prepaid bookings|
Shopping Benefits and Protections
Both of our featured cards come with several shopping benefits and protections that can save you money on your purchases or reimburse you in the case of a covered event.
Purchase Protection — Receive up to $1,000 per item, $50,000 per card per calendar year, for damaged or stolen items for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
Extended Warranty — For manufacturers’ warranties of 5 years or less, the card benefit extends the warranty by 1 additional year. The maximum benefit is $10,000 per item, $50,000 per card, per calendar year.
Amex Offers — Log into your online Amex card account, scroll down the page, and find up to 100 Amex offers that can save you money or provide bonus earnings. Add the offer to your card by clicking on the “add to card” button, then make the associated purchase with your card.
American Express Auto Purchasing Program — Receive guaranteed savings on your new car purchase and be able to use your Amex card to charge at least $2,000 of the purchase price.
Amex Business Gold Card vs. Amex Gold Card Summary
We’re dealing with 2 worthy cards here, but 1 may be a better fit for your current situation.
Let’s recap what we’ve covered and summarize how the cards fare in each category.
Best for Earning Rewards — Both cards offer bonus-earning spending categories with the Amex Business Gold card focusing on rewarding common business purchases, and the Amex Gold card’s earning strength centering around supermarket and dining purchases. The better card will be the one that matches your own specific spending profile.
Best for Redeeming Rewards — Both of our featured cards offer the same redemption options but the Amex Business Gold card with its 25% rebate (airline bonus) when using points for flights on Amex Travel has the edge.
Best for Statement Credits — With over $100 in potential annual statement credits, the Amex Gold card is the clear winner.
Best for Travel Benefits and Protections — The core travel insurance coverages that come with our featured cards are identical with the exception of the travel accident insurance, which is a rarely used benefit.
Best for Shopping Benefits and Protections — You wouldn’t select a card based solely on shopping benefits but fortunately, both cards fare equally in this category.
Best for Adding Authorized Users — Both cards are winners when it comes to adding authorized users as both offer appropriate options for the cards’ designed purposes. The Amex Business Gold card, created for the business owner, allows up to 99 additional users for 1 low $50 fee each year and the personal Amex Gold card allows up to 5 additional users for free, which could be sufficient for the average consumer.
We like that the Amex Gold card functions well as an everyday spending card but still offers plenty of travel and shopping benefits. We also like the Amex Business Gold card for its focus on rewarding common purchases a business might make on a regular basis and that it steps up with a 25% flight bonus when redeeming Membership Rewards points for flights.
Both cards are worthy choices but the best card for you will reward your greatest spending and offer redemption options that make sense for you personally. And bottom line, your chosen card should provide enough overall economic value to exceed any annual fee you’ll need to pay.
If you’re still undecided and like both of our featured cards, you might select the one with the greater welcome bonus to jump-start your earnings. It is important to note that you may not qualify for a welcome bonus if you have had the selected card previously.
Before applying for any card, be sure to check for the current welcome bonus, fees, and terms and conditions.