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American Express Gold Card Review

American Express Gold Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jul 13, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you’re a foodie or frequent traveler in the market for a rewarding high-end card, the American Express® Gold Card is one to consider.

In addition to valuable benefits, such as an annual dining credit and baggage insurance, the American Express® Gold Card offers a generous rewards rate on restaurant, U.S. supermarket and airfare purchases. Just know, these benefits come with an annual fee of $250.

We break down the pros and cons of the American Express® Gold Card, and show how it compares to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – which also offers premium travel and dining benefits, but at a much lower annual fee.

American Express® Gold Card

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on American Express's secure site

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Rates & Fees

  • 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, and 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per 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.

Highlights
  • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
  • 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, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • $120 Uber Cash: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $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.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for American Express® Gold Card

More Info

American Express® Gold Card pros

Rewards rate. The American Express® Gold Card offers a rewards rate at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets that rivals other dining rewards cards. Earn 4X Membership Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

American Express Membership Rewards® points can be redeemed for statement credits, travel, merchandise, gift cards and more. Points can also be transferred to several travel loyalty programs, including Delta SkyMiles®, Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue, Marriott Bonvoy™ and more.

Welcome bonus. The American Express® Gold Card offers an introductory bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards®; Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

The value of Membership Rewards® points vary depending on how you redeem them. For example, points are valued at 1 cent each when redeemed for flights through American Express Travel – making the current welcome bonus worth $350. However, when you use points to pay at checkout at merchants such as Amazon and Best Buy, they are worth 0.7 cents each, bringing the value of the welcome bonus to $245.

Read: American Express® Gold Card Welcome Offer

$120 dining credit. Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you use your American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations – for an annual savings of up to $120 per calendar year. Enrollment is required.

Note, the credit is not valid on gift cards or merchandise purchases.

Uber Cash credit.  Add your American Express® Gold Card to your Uber account, and automatically get $10 in Uber Cash each month (for a total of up to $120 per year) to use on Uber Eats or Uber rides in the U.S.

Additional American Express® Gold Card benefits:

  • Foreign transaction fees: None. You will not be charged additional fees when you use your card to make purchases outside of the U.S.
  • Baggage insurance plan. Coverage against loss, damage or theft of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage when you purchase your entire fare or ticket on your card.
  • Car rental loss or damage insurance. You will be covered for damage to or theft of a rental vehicle in a covered territory when you use your card to reserve and pay for the entire rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter.
  • The Hotel Collection benefit. When you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel, get a $100 hotel credit and room upgrades upon arrival whenever available.
  • ShopRunner membership. Receive free two-day shipping on eligible purchases when you enroll in ShopRunner.

Read: What Is ShopRunner and Which Credit Cards Offer It?

American Express® Gold Card cons 

Annual fee. The American Express® Gold Card charges a substantial annual fee of $250. That said, the dining, airline and hotel credits can more than cover that amount each year.

Also know, there is no annual fee for up to five additional cards. The annual fee for six or more cards is $35 per card.

Limits on higher rewards rates. If you’re looking to earn a generous rewards rate on all of your travel purchases, you won’t be able to do so with the American Express® Gold Card, since it only offers the higher rate on airfare booked directly with an airline or at amextravel.com. Other travel purchases, such as hotels stays, cruises or homeshares, only earn 1 point per $1 spent.

Additionally, the elevated rewards rate at restaurants only applies to those located inside the U.S.

Cannot carry a balance on some purchases. Unlike typical credit cards, this card lets you carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. American Express does offer a Pay Over Time feature, which gives cardholders the option to pay for eligible purchases of $100 or more over time with interest.

Note, enrollment for Pay Over Time is required, and you will accrue interest charges on all eligible purchases if you choose to carry a balance.

To see rates & fees for American Express® Gold Card please click here.

Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If you want a travel and dining rewards card that offers an even more valuable sign-up bonus at a lower annual fee, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

At $95 a year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn a $50 statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.

Along with redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for cash, statement credits, gift cards, travel and products and services, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members can transfer points to a variety of travel transfer partners at a rate of 1:1.

See how the cards stack up side by side below.

American Express® Gold Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 American Express® Gold CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual fee$250$95
Welcome bonus60,000 Membership Rewards®; Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn a $50 statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
RewardsEarn 4X Membership Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Regular purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Foreign transaction feesNone$0

While the American Express® Gold Card offers the opportunity to earn a higher rewards rate on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers an elevated rate in a broader variety of travel categories, including airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, discounted travel sites and campgrounds, as well as operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges, highways, parking lots and garages.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are typically valued at 1 cent each; however, as stated above, they are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Cardholders can also get 25% more value from their points when redeemed for statement credits to cover purchases in the following categories: grocery stores, dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services), home improvement stores (such as Home Depot and Lowe’s,)and charitable organizations through April 30, 2021.

Which card is best for me?

When deciding between the American Express® Gold Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the right one for you comes down to what you want to get from the card.

If earning more points at restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and air travel is most important to you, the American Express® Gold Card could be a great fit – especially if you plan to take advantage of the annual credits, which will help offset the cost of the card’s annual fee.

But if the opportunity to earn a higher rewards rate on a broader range of travel purchases – while getting more value from those points – is more ideal, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be the better choice.


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