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“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.”
The American Express Gold Card is the latest travel rewards card to get an update from American Express. The rewards have been changed to have a stronger focus on food, doubling the earning rate at US restaurants and supermarkets to 4x points. The annual fee has increased from $195 and waived the first year, to $250 and not waived the first year. It also offers up to $120 in dining credits each year and you can earn $100 airline credits per celandar year, which can almost cover the annual fee of $250 right off the bat. However, the new rewards and sleek metal design may be well worth it for individuals who love eating out. If you’re wary of paying a yearly fee around $500, then the American Express Gold Card may be the glass slipper.
The American Express Gold Card is an ideal choice for an everyday card since it allows cardholders to earn points in a variety of categories, like supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, and travel.
You can earn points by registering for the American Express Gold Card, 35,000 membership rewards points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of owning the card. Sign up points are valued at $475. Other cards with a similar annual fee typically offer a more tempting, higher value welcome bonus valued from $500 to $750. The Amex Gold card’s bonus may be lower than the competition, but it does have a lower spending requirement of $2,000 to receive it.
If you frequently eat out, cook at home, or travel, then you can quickly rack up points on the Amex Gold card. It offers the most rewards for food so foodies can rejoice, allowing you to eat at home or traveling and earn points. Once you have the card, you can earn 4x rewards at U.S. supermarkets, up on to $25,000 per year in purchases and then 1x after that. Without a cap, you can earn 4x rewards at U.S. restaurants which is equal to a 7.6% return. Even with the cap, Amex Gold card is one of the best for rewards on food and one of the best cards for grocery spend.
The only drawback to earning points is that you can early earn points on dining within the U.S. The Amex Gold card lacks the broader worldwide dining bonuses like the ones on the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you’re someone who would like to you the card for international dining, then another card might be a better fit for your food needs.
Maximize your rewards by purchasing food and travel with the Amex Gold card. You can receive 3x points, a 6% return, when you purchase flights from the airline or amextravel.com. After the update, there was only one points area that was lowered. The Amex Gold bonus on U.S. gas stations went from 2x to 1x.When booking flights, you are also eligible for a $100 airline fee credit. You can earn up to $100 per year in statement credits for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline. Incidental airline fees include items like baggage fees. You can change your airline of choice using the Amex website once every year during January. Credits are applied within four weeks of purchase.
Another perk is a $120 annual dining credit, available in monthly credits on specific purchases. In addition to earning on purchases, you also can receive up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This adds up to an annual savings of up to $120.Points are worth about 1 cent apiece. Assuming you don’t redeem the credits on the card means that you would need to spend at least $6,250 per year to earn enough rewards to make up for the annual fee. The other option being to earn enough credits with the $100 airline fee credit and the $120 dining credit to almost make up the cost of the annual fee.
American Express is flexible with membership rewards points and how you redeem them. Points never expire, allowing you to redeem them when it makes sense for you. There are also no limits to the number of points you can earn, outside of the supermarket cap of $25,000 per year.Unfortunately, American Express doesn’t offer a statement credit option for travel purchases like some of its competitors. That means you will only be able to use points for travel through American Express or one of its travel partners. In addition, there are no foreign transaction fees on purchases.Transferring points to partners
You can redeem your Amex Gold points by transferring them to one of their 21 travel partners, including 18 airlines and thee hotels. For hotels, Amex Gold has three transfer partners including Choice Hotels, Hilton and the Marriott/SPG program. You can usually get greater value from your Amex points by transferring them to a partner. For example, you can transfer your points to book business-class flights to Europe on American Airlines for 50,000 miles each way using Etihad Guest. ANA is another great option if you can use of the transfer bonuses that Amex frequently offers to receive a first-class flight for well under 100,000 points.
You can transfer your points directly to those partners’ loyalty programs, although the transfer rate varies by partner. In some cases, you can get a 1-to-1 rate for your transfer, like when you transfer points to British Airways Avios and Delta SkyMiles. Also, most transfer options require you to transfer blocks of 1,000 points. Many of these transfers take place almost instantly, but others can take several days.
An additional item to note on transferring points is that for every point you transfer to a domestic carrier, you will pay a $0.0006 fee, up to a maximum fee of $99 (which is equal to 165,000 points). Unfortunately, this is a slight hit to the value of the points.
Free Uber rides
You can redeem points for Uber rides at 1 cent per point. In your Uber app, you can redeem your points during checkout by adding your preferred American Express card as your payment method.
Worst ways to redeem points
There are more ways to redeem the AmEx points that receive a less favorable ratio than 1-to-1. Options include:
There are no status levels within the rewards program, although there are different awards associated with each card. The base card would be the Amex EveryDay credit card, followed by the Amex Green, Gold, and Platinum. The Gold card is American Express’s middle tier option.The program includes several perks above the base option, including access to the personalized travel service and Premium Roadside Assistance. Using the travel assistance, you can call to get a person to help you with booking a flight, hotel, or ground transportation.
Other benefits of the Gold card status include:
American Express offers 18 airline partners, both international and domestic, to get you further than any other rewards program. The point transfer options differ per airline, with some at a 1-to-1 transfer ratio, to help you get more value for your points. That means if you have 1,000 American Membership points then you could have 1,000 British Airways points. There are plenty of ways to get the maximum value for your points.Airline partners include:
Point transfers may not be immediate depending on the airline you switch points to. Most point switches are immediate, allowing you to take full advantage of the most extensive partner network with a loyalty program.You also get access to three major airline alliances like Delta, Air Canada or Singapore Airlines, and British Airways. Transferring points for awards on Star Alliance airlines can get you tickets on airlines such as Lufthansa or American Airlines.
The full list of American Express cards that earn membership rewards include:
You can also earn AmEx membership rewards points with co-branded credit cards. The co-branded credit cards include:
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Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the listings that appear on this website are from companies which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.