/American Express Gold card review: If you eat out and shop at US supermarkets, this card’s rewards and benefits are hard to beat

American Express Gold card review: If you eat out and shop at US supermarkets, this card’s rewards and benefits are hard to beat


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Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Featured Reward

60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Annual Fee is $250.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
    • Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
    Cons
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus


    Read Our Review

    Read Our Review
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    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    While its big brother, the The Platinum Card® from American Express, often gets all the hype for premium travel rewards, and the American Express® Green Card

    has a lower annual fee, the Amex Gold Card comes with some great rewards and a potentially useful statement credit that make it worth considering — especially if you like to eat out.

    The Amex Gold Card comes in a sleek metallic finish, but it’s more than just good looks. It offers up to 4 points per dollar on popular categories. In fact, depending on your spending habits, it may even be more valuable to you than the ultra-premium The Platinum Card® from American Express.

    That’s because the Amex Gold Card earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points on up to $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each calendar year (then 1x). These bonus categories make the card an excellent option for maximizing both dining and grocery purchases — and the Amex Platinum card doesn’t earn bonus rewards in either of these categories (Note: New Platinum Card® cardmembers can earn 10x points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months of card membership).

    Plus, the Amex Gold Card is currently offering its best-ever welcome bonus: 60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening. The card’s standard welcome offer is 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months, so the current bonus is a huge step up.

    Beyond that, the Amex Gold Card comes with up to $10 in statement credits each month when you use your card at participating restaurants and delivery services. The card does charge a $250 annual fee (See Rates), but depending on your spending and shopping habits, it could be well worth the cost.

    Bottom line: If food and dining take up a major portion of your budget, which is common because everyone has to eat, the Amex Gold Card can get you massive bonus rewards for each burrito lunch, sushi dinner, and dinner cooked at home. Plus, now is an especially good time to apply because the card’s offering a high welcome bonus.

    *the Amex Gold card earns 4x points on up to $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each year, then 1 point per dollar.

    **the Amex Gold offers up to $10 in dining credits each month when you use your card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

    *the Amex Gold card earns 4x points on up to $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each year, then 1 point per dollar.

    **the Amex Gold offers up to $10 in dining credits each month when you use your card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

    ***the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022.

    Using Amex points

    Amex Membership Rewards is one of the top travel rewards programs for credit card holders, only competing with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards for the top slot.

    You can redeem Membership Rewards points for gift cards, cash back, merchandise, and more, but the most valuable way to use them is to book travel. You can either redeem points directly through Amex Travel, or you can move them over to Amex’s airline and hotel transfer partners.

    The latter option (Amex transfer partners) gets you the most value, because depending on what you book, your points could get you anywhere from 2 to upwards of 6 cents apiece. That’s because the value of your points isn’t a flat rate; it fluctuates depending on the cash price of the airline seat or hotel room you’re looking to book — and first-class and business-class seats represent especially good deals.

    Just keep in mind that you’ll need to do a bit of research to narrow down the best transfer partner to book with — Amex has nearly 20 airline partners, plus three hotel partners.

    This card’s value doesn’t stop at the Membership Rewards points you earn. The Amex Gold Card, like other premium Amex cards, is loaded with benefits useful for travel and shopping. Some even put a few dollars back in your pocket depending on where you spend.

    Up to $10 in monthly dining credits

    Get up to $10 per month back in statement credits, worth $120 per year, when dining with Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

    This is an easy way to get some money back on your dining purchases — and it’s especially easy if you order through Grubhub or Seamless, since you can choose from all available restaurants.

    Just keep in mind you need to make the purchase with your Amex Gold Card to get up to $10 back each month.

    Travel and shopping protections and benefits

    The card also includes baggage insurance, rental car insurance, a global assistance hotline, and perks at certain hotels when booked through American Express. The Amex Gold Card now offers trip delay insurance of up to $500 per trip when your trip booked with the card is delayed by six hours or more.

    When you’re shopping, this card offers purchase protection, return protection, and an automatic extended warranty. This is better than what the average card offers and makes big purchases a lot less stressful. You can skip the expensive added protections offered by some retailers when you make the purchase with the Gold card.

    Cardholders also get a complimentary membership to ShopRunner. This service gives you free two-day shipping at a wide range of online retailers. It works like Amazon Prime in a lot of ways, but for purchases made outside of Amazon.

    There are some additional benefits for shopping, travel, and entertainment common to Amex cards. They are not as popular or exciting as some other benefits, but ticket presales and reserved seating for Amex cardholders at some events comes in handy to some sports fans or cardholders on the way to see a favorite band live.

    Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 6 months of account opening


    Chevron icon
    It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
    • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
    • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Annual Fee is $250.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Great rewards for dining and for shopping at US supermarkets
    • Monthly statement credit for eligible dining purchases recoups some of the annual fee
    Cons
    • Underwhelming welcome bonus


    Read Our Review

    Read Our Review
    A looong arrow, pointing right

    American Express Gold card costs and fees

    Now for the less-fun part: fees. This card isn’t free. It charges a $250 annual fee. But as we already established, between benefits and rewards, it is easy to earn that back and more in value if you use the card regularly.

    The card charges up to $40 per occurrence for late and returned payments (See Rates). Just pay on time and make sure you have enough cash in the bank when paying to avoid these costs.

    There is no foreign transaction fee, so you can use the card anywhere in the world that Amex is accepted without paying the typical 3% extra most cards charge. Keep in mind that American Express is not as widely accepted as other types of cards like Visa and Mastercard.

    Other fees to note (and avoid) include:

    Finally, you should always pay your balance in full each month no matter which card you use to practice good financial habits, but the Amex Gold Card is not the card to use if you need to carry a balance. There’s a variable APR of 15.99% to 22.99% (See Rates) when you use the Pay Over Time feature to carry a balance from one month to another.

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