American Express® Gold Card Review

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American Express® Gold Card Review

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"Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets."

This is the go-to card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants worldwide and those who want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Apply Now at Amex's secure site

A Better Offer? You may be eligible for a much higher offer for the Amex Gold Card by using the CardMatch Tool. There’s no pull on your credit to check for personalized/targeted offers.

The release of the American Express® Gold Card is definitely a game-changer. 

With this card, you can earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide— but it doesn’t end there!

In addition, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this!

Of course, there are a number of other benefits as well, including up to  $100 annual airline credit, extra monthly dining rewards, and more! See here for all the details.

Pro's

Con's

  • $250 annual fee
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • No lounge access

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Travel Rewards
Image Credit: Pexels

The Amex Gold card is an ideal option for semi-frequent or frequent travelers who also regularly spend money on dining and grocery purchases.

With 4x points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year) and restaurants worldwide, and 3x points per $1 airfare, you can earn more value for the money you’re already spending —  each purchase getting you closer to your next vacation.

Great Card If

  • You want a card with flexible redemption options
  • You spend a lot on groceries, dining out, and airfare
  • You can make use of the annual dining credit
  • You want a card with no foreign transaction fees

Don't Get If

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $250
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    None
  • Late fees
    • Up to $40
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 25.24% Variable
    • Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Additional Info

How to Earn More Points

Bonus Spending on Groceries
Bonus Spending at U.S. Supermarkets. Image Credit: Pexels

Dining Purchases

With the Amex Gold card, you earn 4x Membership Reward points per $1 on all dining purchases worldwide. These points can certainly add up quite quickly if you’re someone who dines out semi-regularly.

Supermarket Purchases

The Amex Gold card also earns 4x Membership Reward points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases. This could be very lucrative if have a significant level of spending at grocery stores each month. In fact, if you were able to hit the $25,000 cap, you would earn 100,000 Membership Reward points!

Airline Purchases

With the Amex Gold card, you will earn 3x Membership Reward points per $1 spent directly with airlines and amextravel.com, so the Amex Gold card is a fantastic option to use for all of your airfare purchases. If you’re someone who travels often, this will allow you to earn a ton of points.

Amex Offers

By virtue of being an American Express cardholder, each month you’ll receive dozens of Amex offers that you can attach to your Amex Gold card, which helps you earn more Membership Reward points.

These offers can provide you with some excellent value by allowing you to earn additional points or cash-back for shopping with select merchants. Simply add your offers of choice from the bottom of your card’s home screen, and you’re ready to start earning.

Refer-a-Friend

American Express allows you to earn points for referring your friends to their credit cards. Just send your friend your unique link — if they are approved, you’ll receive a point bonus added to your account.

Hot Tip: You can receive a bonus even if your friend doesn’t apply for the card you hold. For example, if you have the Amex Gold card and you refer a friend who decides to apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll still receive the point bonus.
Adding More Membership Rewards Cards

If you’re a fan of the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem, adding more Membership Rewards cards to your wallet is a no-brainer.

Take the Amex Platinum card for example, which earns 5x Membership Reward points per $1 on airfare purchased directly with airlines, and travel purchases at amextravel.com. With this 2-card combo, you’ll be earning tons of points for all your airfare, dining, and U.S. supermarket puchases.

There are plenty of American Express cards with varying bonus categories; here are some of our favorites:

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months, worth up to $600 towards travel. Terms Apply.

However — you may be eligible for a (much) higher offer by using the CardMatch Tool. (There's no pull on your credit to check for personalized offers.)

This is our #1 card for accessing 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass). We leverage ~$2,700+ in value from the card every year. For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x. Terms Apply). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and up to $100 airline fee credit per calendar year, it's a strong choice. For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for even more ways to earn more Membership Rewards points for your next redemption, check out our comprehensive guide on the best ways to earn Membership Rewards points!

How to Use These Points for Max Value

When it comes to using your Membership Rewards points, there are quite a few different redemption options that all vary in value.

Travel Partners

American Express Membership Rewards points are easily one of the most valuable travel point currencies due to their ability to be transferred to one of Amex’s many travel transfer partners.

This is easily the best option to get the maximum value out of your hard-earned points, as you could use them to purchase business and first class flights that would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars!

Hot Tip: If you’re under the impression that using transfer partners are way too complicated, check out our detailed guide to Amex transfer partners and how to use them

Amex Travel

Cardholders also have the option of using points to offset airfare and hotel purchases made through the Amex Travel portal (though the value is not great).

When using your points toward an airline ticket you’ll receive just 1 cent per point — and an abysmal 0.7 cents per point when redeeming toward a hotel stay.

Statement Credit

American Express gives you the option to use your points to cover eligible charges you’ve made with your card. However, when doing so your points will only be valued at 0.6 cents each — which is terrible for points as valuable as Membership Rewards!

Gift Cards

American Express offers plenty of retailers where you can cash in your points and get a gift card in return. But in doing so, you’ll receive anywhere from 0.7 cents to 1 cent per point toward the gift card.

Again, this is not a method we advise, as you’ll be losing huge value in the form of travel rewards.

Shop With Points

Lastly, you can use your Membership Rewards points to offset the cost of your purchases with retailers like Apple, Best Buy, or Nike.

There are dozens of merchants to choose from, but we don’t recommend it as using this method will only earn you 1 cent or less per point in value.

Bottom Line: We highly recommend using your points with American Express transfer partners — that is where the big value is found. Due to this, we do not advise anyone to use their points for gift cards, statement credits, or any option that only earns 1 cent per point or less. 

Amex Airline Transfer Partners

Amex Airline Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
AeroMexico
1,0001:1.62-12 days
Air Canada1,0001:1Almost Instant
Alitalia1,0001:1Almost Instant
Aer Lingus1,0001:1Almost Instant
ANA1,0001:13 days
Avianca LifeMiles1,0001:1Almost instant
British Airways
1,0001:1Almost Instant
Cathay Pacific1,0001:1Up to 1 Week
Delta Air Lines1,0001:1Almost Instant
EL AL1,00050:1Almost Instant
Emirates1,0001:1Almost Instant
Etihad Airways1,0001:1Almost Instant
FlyingBlue AirFrance/KLM1,0001:1Almost Instant
Hawaiian1,0001:1Almost Instant
Iberia1,0001:11-3 days
JetBlue2501:0.8Almost Instant
Qantas5001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines1,0001:11-2 days
Virgin Atlantic1,0001:11-2 days

Amex Hotel Transfer Partners

Amex Hotel Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
Choice Privileges1,0001:1Almost Instant
Hilton Honors1,0001:2Almost Instant
Marriott Bonvoy1,0001:1Almost Instant

Competitor Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the most popular travel rewards cards on the market, and with benefits like 2x points per $1 spend on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees, and flexible redemption options (including transfer partners), it’s easy to see why the card is so popular.

For just a $95 annual fee, you’ll be able to start earning Chase Ultimate Reward points, one of the most valuable loyalty currencies available. Chase Ultimate Reward points can be redeemed for incredible value through their select transfer partners.

Curious to learn more? Have a look at our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to see what the buzz is about.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

There’s a lot to love about the Venture card — newly introduced airline transfer partners, and 2x on all other purchases.

If the majority of your daily spending comes from purchases outside of dining and travel categories, then the Venture card might be a great option for you.

Citi Premier℠ Card

The Citi Premier card offers 3x points per $1 on travel purchases, including gas stations, making it one of the few travel credit cards on the market to offer a high return on gas purchases. This makes the card an excellent choice for those who drive often for work or love taking road trips. Citi Premier cardholders will also earn 2x points per $1 on restaurants and entertainment purchases.


The information presented above regarding the Citi Premier card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card, and Citi Premier℠ Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not reviewed by the issuer.

For the rates and fees of the American Express Gold Card, please click here.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Amex Gold card worth it?

This Amex Gold card offers great earning potential at supermarkets, restaurants, and airfare expenses while offering a variety of high-value redemption options.

Points can be redeemed for a variety of travel partners and can be transferred directly to other loyalty accounts when you need points elsewhere.

Cardholders also benefit from perks like the $120 annual dining credit and $100 airline incidental credit.

While the Amex Gold does come with a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), if you’re able to maximize the bonus categories and card perks then it may be very worth having.

Is the Amex Gold card a credit card?

The Amex Gold card is a charge card, not a credit card.

The 2 main differences between a charge card and a credit card are that charge cards have no preset spending limit and balances must be paid in full each month.

Many people think charge cards have no credit limit, but this is not true. American Express does not give cardholders a set spending limit for their charge cards, but they will start declining purchases if they believe your balance is becoming higher than you can afford to pay each month.

Similarly, with a charge card, your balance must be paid in full each month. This is not the case with most credit cards, as they allow you to make a minimum or partial payment and carry the rest of the balance over while being charged interest. However, if your charge card is not paid in full, you won’t be able to use your card for any other purchases until it is.

Does the Amex Gold card earn Membership Reward points?

Yes, the Amex Gold card earns Membership Reward points that you can use for huge value!

Do Membership Reward points expire?

No, as long as your account stays active and in good standing, you will never lose your Membership Reward points.

What is the annual fee on the Amex Gold card?

The annual fee on the Amex Gold card is $250 (see rates and fees).

Does the Amex Gold card charge foreign transaction fees?

No, there are no foreign transaction fees when using the Amex Gold card.

Is the Amex Gold card metal?

Yes, the Amex Gold card is a metal card with a gold finish.

In the past, the Amex Gold card has also been offered in Rose Gold. The Rose Gold option was a limited time offer when the card first launched, and was later brought back by referral only.

So keep an eye out in the future for details about when the Rose Gold option might be brought back!

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

5 comments

  1. Is this a “new” card or precluded from getting if you have previously
    had the Gold Card ?

    Reply

    • Hey Rob, the Gold card and old PRG card are considered the same product, so you can only get the sign-up bonus once.

      Reply

      • I recently used my boyfriend’s Gold Business card to book a trip which included 4 Delta Air Line tickets. The next day there were several charges ranging from 7.50 for trip delay insurance and 9.95 for baggage premium insurance? Is this an automatic charge? I didn’t request or need either. Is this something I can have removed off the card? It was almost 100.00?
        I appreciate your help. Thank you

        Reply

        • Christine Krzyszton October 6, 2019

          Hi Patricia. First, please be advised that we are not American Express or Delta. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in points, miles, credit card, and travel resources. You could call American Express at the number on the back of the card and inquire about the charges in question. Sorry we can’t help you further.

          Reply

  2. Feroz Siddik October 5, 2018

    You may actually get a better offer for 50,000 points if you use a referral code.

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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