Who Is The American Express® Gold Card For?
The Gold Card, from our partner American Express®, is for someone that truly wants to go above and beyond. With a holistic rewards program and competitive perks, this card was designed for a customer that uses their card more frequently than the average spender. This card is ideal for a cardholder seeking to reap the benefits of their spending on dining, shopping, and travel.
The $250 annual fee might seem high at first glance, but upon exploring the benefits of this card, it is clear that the fee pays for itself over the course of the year. If you are a new American Express® Gold Card user and spend $4,000 in eligible purchases in your first 6 months, you will also qualify for an attractive 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points welcome bonus.
Although the benefits of this card might seem too good to be true, they come with a potential risk. No set spending limit with this card can create a risk of late and returned payments, which sets you up for a hefty APR. Knowing this, the Gold card should be used to make frequent purchases while ensuring timely payments in order to maximize the benefits that come along with it.
The Gold Card is often seen as a precursor to The Platinum Card®, which comes with a heftier $695 annual fee. If you are looking for an American Express card and The Platinum Card seems like too much, the Gold card is likely a great option for you.
When you are a new American Express Gold Card customer and spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months of owning the card, you will receive 60,000 points membership rewards points. Considering you are likely to use this card on everyday purchases that you would spend anyway, this is a steal. You might as well get rewarded well for your spend.
The main rewards mechanisms of this card operate through three industries: restaurants, supermarkets and airfare.
When you dine at restaurants worldwide, you gain 4x Membership Rewards® points. As for US supermarkets, you earn 4x Membership Rewards points for up to $25,000 of purchases (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x). Finally, you can use your card to book flights via the American Express website or directly via the airlines and earn 3x points. These Membership Reward points can be redeemed through online purchases or the American Express travel website, which allows you to book flights and hotels with accumulated points. You can also use the points in conjunction with a participating frequent flyer program in order to get discounts and offers on flight bookings.
In addition, as a cardholder, you can earn $10 in dining credit a month, up to $120 annually by making purchases at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, and other participating partners; all you have to do is enroll. Additionally, adding your Gold Card to your Uber account will earn you $10 in Uber Cash each month, up to $120 a year, what's great is that you spend this on Uber Eats orders and Uber rides however you wish. On top of this, you can also enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21 for a free Uber Eats Pass for up to 12 months which gets you unlimited $0 delivery charges and 5% off orders worth $15 or more. Given these credits, it makes sense to hold this card if you spend significantly on dining and traveling, the $250 annual fee should pay for itself.
We should mention, there is no foreign transaction fee levied on international purchases. This perk, coupled with the other benefits, is extremely handy for frequent travelers that want a travel-friendly card. And it doesn't end there. With the Gold Card, you are also eligible for personalized travel services, discounts, and amenities. American Express also provides baggage insurance and rental car loss and damage insurance.
As for shopping perks, this card gives you access to Amex Offers, which can be accessed through the handy American Express mobile app. Amex Offers helps you earn rewards at places you shop at the most. With no preset spending limit, we recommend making this card your main credit card and maximizing purchases while keeping in mind your ability to make timely payments.
As with other Amex cards, the Gold card also gives you access to exclusive ticket presales for sporting and entertainment events. It also gives you premium seating options for select events.
This card comes with a $250 annual fee. However, using the extensive list of benefits and perks, optimal utilization of this card will make short work of this fee.
Services and Protections
A common problem with a lot of other rewards-based credit cards is the complicated interface between your card usage and redeeming available offers. American Express simplifies that by making everything available on your phone through the American Express App. The app allows you to manage your account, view offers at nearby establishments, and receive fraudulent transaction alerts.
In terms of customer service, American Express has a dedicated Card Member Services team that can assist you with queries 24/7. Furthermore, the Global Assist® hotline gives you 24/7 access to emergency assistance regardless of your location around the world. This service can be extremely useful in the case of lost card inquiries and emergency cash wire needs.
If you are considering opening an American Express Gold Card, you are probably already quite responsible with your credit card payments and have built good credit over the years. That said, the penalty APR can make serious dents to your bank account if you don't pay on time. Therefore, your first and foremost priority should be to maintain your credit score by only spending what you can pay once the payment date arrives.
Your second focus should be making this card your primary method of payment. Like most credit cards, you get out of it what you put into it. Making regular purchases and using the benefits will allow you to maximize your membership rewards points earnings. A lack of use will make sure that the annual fee gets wasted inefficiently.
The American Express Gold Card is a great choice for more sophisticated credit card users who want a card that is versatile. While the annual fee might be off-putting for some, if used properly, this card can make up for it and give you access to a multitude of benefits. Once customers are satisfied with this card, they can consider upgrading to the Platinum card, which increases potential benefits and rewards along with its annual fee.