Home » Credit Card Reviews » American Express Gold Card Review

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 credit 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

Apply Now

on American Express's secure site

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

  • 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 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.

  • Up to $100 per year for incidentals*

Highlights
  • 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.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • 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 Rewards® 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.

$100 airline fee credit. Choose one qualifying airline and receive up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year to cover incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments.

You may change your qualifying airline one time each year in January by logging in to your account here or calling the number on the back of your card.

Note, the American Express® Gold Card’s airline fee credit will not be available after Dec. 31, 2021.

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. The American Express® Gold Card is a hybrid between a charge card and a traditional credit card. This means that while the card requires you to pay your balance in full each month, 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 credit 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 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

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 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
RewardsEarn 4X Membership Rewards® 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 travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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.

Additionally, from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members earn 3X points on Instacart pickup orders and deliveries on up to $3,000 in purchases, as well as up to $50 in statement credits toward a yearly or monthly Instacart Express membership. Also earn 5X points on select streaming services on up to $1,500 and 3X points on gas station purchases on up to $1,500 during that time period.

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®. From May 31 through Sept. 30, 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) and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Which credit 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.


Recommended Posts:

Read More

Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Credit Card Review

If you’re a Navy Federal Credit Union member who travels on a regular basis, the Navy Federal Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card should be on your radar. Along with providing travel benefits, such as a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit and travel and emergency assistance, the card lets you earn 3x points on travel and 2x points on everything else . Just know, you must be a member […]

Read More

Read More

The Military Star Card Review

Military members and their families have unique lifestyles, including regular permanent changes of station (PCS) or deployments, so it’s only natural that they may gravitate toward service-oriented credit cards. One to consider is the Military Star® card. To be frank, there are other credit cards out there that offer higher rewards for spending, along with more travel […]

Read More