The American Express Gold Card has lucrative earning rates in popular spending categories, making it one of the best cards to earn Membership Rewards points.
You’ll earn 4x points on restaurant and supermarket purchases and 3x points on qualifying flights. The Amex Gold Card offers monthly credits that help you recoup the $250 annual fee, including up to $120 dining and $120 Uber Cash credits per year.
The American Express Membership Rewards program also features one of the most valuable transferable points currencies. Plus, the card offers travel protections and no foreign transaction fees.
Let’s take a closer look at this card and find out if it’s worth getting for you
Welcome Bonus of 60,000 Points
Cardholders earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months of account opening.
Earning Points with the American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold card offers some very nice points multipliers to help you earn a lot of points:
- 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants (including takeout and food delivery).
- 4 points per dollar on up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar).
- 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly from the airline or through the Amex Travel.
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
$250 Annual Fee
The Gold Card has a $250 annual fee, not waived during the first year. However, the card gives you up to $120 dining and $120 Uber Cash credits each year to offset the annual cost. Plus, you could also earn up to $100 in hotel credits on qualifying purchases.
American Express Gold Benefits
The American Express Gold card has a lot of great benefits to justify its $250 annual fee, including:
$120 Dining Credit
You can earn $10 in statement credits per month when you charge your dining purchases to your Amex Gold Card. Only purchases in the U.S. qualify.
Participating partners include:
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Shake Shack (excludes stadiums, airports, and racetracks).
- Milk Bar
$120 Uber Cash Credit
You’ll also get $10 in Uber Cash monthly when you add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account.
This credit is applicable to your Uber Eats orders and Uber rides in the United States.
Enrollment is required for this benefit, which you can easily do in your American Express online account.
Trip Delay Insurance
You should always buy flights with a credit card that offers trip delay insurance, which reimburses you for things like hotels, food, transportation, and other necessary items.
Flights are increasingly delayed or canceled, and it is too risky to not use card that offers free trip delay insurance. Plus, airlines frequently blame delays on weather or an external factor to get out of paying compensation to passengers.
This benefit can really come in handy during a delay. While other passengers are worried about where to sleep and eat, you can book a nice hotel of your choice and enjoy some nice meals, without worrying about the cost.
With the American Express Gold card, if your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours, you can seek up to $300 reimbursement per trip up to twice a year for meals, hotel stays, and other essential expenses.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Lost luggage reimbursement covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage and the contents inside if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.
You must purchase the trip with this card, and it will also cover immediate family members traveling with you.
Coverage is also secondary to any reimbursement from the airline or common carrier. For example, if your bag and its contents were worth $1,000 and the airline gave you $200, you could file a claim for $800.
With the American Express Gold card, coverage is up to $1,250 for a carry-on bag and $500 for a checked bag.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.
Access to Amex Offers
This card has access to Amex Offers, which are deals that are linked to your card, allowing you to save money or earn extra points on shopping, dining, and travel.
For example, there could be an offer such as spending $200+ at Marriott Hotels and Resorts and receiving $50 cash back as a statement credit.
You can find all of your Amex Offers by signing into your American Express account. You will need to “Add to Card” each offer to be eligible for the special offer.
Secondary Rental Car Insurance
Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.
Other credit cards offer primary rental car insurance, which pays before your insurance and saves you the hassle of filing multiple insurance claims.
But there are situations where this secondary insurance becomes the primary insurance, including when renting a car outside the U.S. and your personal car insurance does not cover you in that country, or if you don’t have collision insurance.
You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.
If a retailer won’t take back an item within 90 days of purchase, American Express may refund the full purchase price up to $300 per item with a maximum of $1,000 per year.
Purchase protection could save you a lot of money if you bought an eligible item that is damaged or stolen within 90-days.
For example, if you accidentally dropped your new phone or laptop and broke the screen, you could file a claim to get it replaced if the item was purchased within the last 90 days.
Coverage for this benefit is limited to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder.
Credit card extended warranty protection adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 5 years.
Coverage matches the protection provided by the original warranty so that damage or defect would have to be covered by the original warranty for extended warranty coverage.
The maximum coverage is $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardholder.
For example, if you bought a TV with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years, this card would extend the warranty for free to the fourth year.
Access to Amex Hotel Collection
American Express Gold cardholders receive a $100 hotel credit for eligible dining, spa, and resort activities at select hotels. You could also get a room upgrade at check-in if available.
This benefit applies when you book two or more consecutive nights with American Express Travel.
Holding the American Express Gold Card gets you a ShopRunner membership, which comes with free two days of shipping at over 100 online retailers. Enrollment in the complimentary membership is necessary to access its benefits.
Access to Global Assist Hotline
When you’re traveling miles from home, Amex’s Premium Global Assist Hotline will help you in emergency situations like:
- Passport replacement
- Translation services
- Medical and legal referrals
You’ll have to pay for any third-party costs incurred.
Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards
|Membership Rewards Transfer Partners [1 to 1]|
|Aer Lingus Avios||AeroMexico [1 to 1.6]|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Air France/KLM Flying Blue|
|Avianca LifeMiles||British Airways Avios|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Delta SkyMiles|
|El Al [1,000 to 20]||Emirates|
|Etihad Guest||Hawaiian Airlines|
|Iberia Avios||JetBlue [250 to 200]|
|Hilton Honors [1 to 2]||Marriott Bonvoy|
Alternatives to with Amex Gold Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best rewards cards for travelers who want solid earning rates for travel and dining expenses.
For only $95 per year, this card earns 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 3x points on dining, online groceries, and streaming services.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a 10% anniversary points bonus, 12-month DoorDash DashPass subscription, and a $50 anniversary hotel statement credit.
Plus, it provides extensive travel protections, including trip delay, primary rental car, baggage, and purchase protection plans.
- Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Bonus Points for Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
- 5x Points on Travel Booked Via Chase
- 3x Points on Dining and Eligible Delivery Services
- 3x Points on Select Streaming and Online Grocery (excluding Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs)
- 2x Points on Travel
- 10% Anniversary Points Boost
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Primary Rental Car Insurance
- $95 Annual Fee
Capital One Venture X
- Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles for Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
- $300 Travel Credit
- 10,000 Points for Each Account Anniversary
- Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status
- Airport Lounge Access (Priority Pass, Capital One, & Plaza Premium)
- 10X Miles on Hotels and Rental Cars, and 5x Points on Flights Booked with Capital One Travel
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- $395 Annual Fee
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that’s perfect for travelers who want outstanding travel perks like annual travel credits, worldwide airport lounge access, and travel and purchase protections.
The Venture X earns 2x miles on all purchases helping you maximize every dollar of your spending. Plus, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One.
The card has a $395 annual fee, it is completely offset by an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) each account anniversary.
Plus you get airport lounge access at Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, rental car insurance, trip and luggage insurance, cell phone insurance, and purchase protection.
American Express Platinum
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points After Spending $6,000 in the First 6 Months
- 5x Points on Flights Booked Directly With Airlines
- $1,000+ in Credits ($200 Airline Fee, $200 Uber Cash, $240 Digital Entertainment, $189 CLEAR, $155 Walmart+, $100 Saks, $200 Hotel via Amex Travel)
- Airport Lounge Access (Centurion, Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass, Escape, and Plaza Premium)
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- $695 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees)
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access to international lounges, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more.
The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you’ll get a slew of yearly statement credits, including a $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, and $155 Walmart+ credit. (Enrollment is required to activate credits.)
You also earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year) and 5x Membership Rewards points when booking prepaid hotels with American Express Travel.
On top of that, you automatically earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold statuses, which offer points bonuses, room upgrades, late check-out, and other premier benefits.
Advantages of the American Express Gold Card
The Amex Gold Card is one of the most rewarding cards for dining and grocery purchases. It offers an exceptional return on spending in popular bonus categories, making it a must-have for everyday purchases.
The Gold Card earns 4 points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, so it’s perfect to use for accruing lots of Membership Rewards points.
Additionally, the Amex Gold Card offers flexibility in transferring your Membership Rewards points to a wide selection of airline and hotel partners. You can easily transfer your points to your preferred airline or hotel and redeem toward a more expensive flight or stay.
You could also recoup the $250 annual fee if you fully take advantage of the annual dining and Uber credits worth up to $240 and the $100 Hotel Collection credit per year.
For your travel protection needs, the Amex Gold Card provides ample coverage like trip delay, baggage, return, purchase, and secondary rental car insurance plans. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees for international purchases, so you can accumulate more points while traveling worldwide.
Overall, the Amex Gold Card is an outstanding points-earning powerhouse for those who want to accrue plenty of Membership Rewards points.
Disadvantages of the American Express Gold Card
As the Amex Gold Card is designed for dining, grocery, and airfare purchases, it may not be the ideal card for you if you don’t spend much on food and drinks.
The $250 annual fee could also be a heavy cost for some cardholders. You’ll have to make sure to maximize the benefits of the card, especially the annual dining, Uber, and hotel credits to offset the annual fee.
The Amex Gold Card may also not be a good fit for frequent travelers who want benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status.
Frequently Asked Questions
What counts as U.S. supermarkets for 4x points?
American Express' definition of supermarkets excludes Costco, Target, Walmart, Sam's Club, and specialty shops (wine or cheese stores).
What is included (for example) is:
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joes
- FreshDirect (online)
- Harris Teeter
What is the annual fee of the Amex Gold card?
$250 per year.