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The American Express® Gold Card has recently sparked considerable interest thanks to its reintroduction of the Rose Gold variant and the addition of dining credit options. Today, I’ll be doing an Amex Gold review so you can see if it’s a good fit for you. This card serves as an excellent product for its target demographic: individuals who appreciate dining experiences (encompassing both takeout and delivery), travel, and shopping at U.S. supermarkets.
Plus, there’s a welcome offer to be excited about. New American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months. Also, cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold. Terms apply.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
American Express Gold Card Welcome Offer
Here’s the full American Express Gold Card Review 2023.
As mentioned above, new American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months.
Cardholders can choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
Amex Gold Review: Annual Fee
The American Express Gold Card carries a $250 annual fee (See Rates and Fees). This is expensive compared to a card with similar benefits and no annual fee. However, there are several ways to help offset this fee. If you can use all of the perks and enjoy the rewards that come with this food-friendly card, this card might be perfect for you.
Dining Credit: More Restaurants
Amex offers up to $120 dining credit, but it’s got some limitations. It’s not a $120 lump sum but is instead dribbled out at $10 per month. Miss using the credit in a given month? It’s gone and won’t carry over to subsequent months.
While Amex uses the term “dining credit,” the credit is effectively a discount valid only at the following merchants (enrollment is required):
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Milk Bar
- Shake Shack (only at participating locations)
This perk can save you up to $120 annually.
If you frequently order from food delivery services (i.e. GrubHub), you’ll be more likely to maximize this benefit.
Additional Perks to Offset the Annual Fee
In addition to the perks above, cardholders can enjoy up to $100 onsite credit for qualifying activities when they book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel. Qualifying activities include things like dining or spa treatments but vary by property.
Membership Rewards Points Earnings
The headline points earnings are eye-popping. It earns:
- 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X)
- 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
However, when you read the fine print, you’ll find that Amex’s generosity has limitations.
While this probably won’t affect most people, 4x points earnings are only at U.S. supermarkets. More painfully, supermarket earnings are capped at $25,000 per year; spending beyond this threshold credits just one point per dollar.
Cardholders also earn 4x points at restaurants, including for takeout and delivery in the U.S. (there is no cap on bonused restaurant spend).
The 3x on airfare also has a loophole: travel purchased from online travel agencies (like Expedia, Vayama, or Priceline) is excluded. You must purchase airfare directly from the airlines or from American Express Travel in order to be eligible for the 3x rate. Given that the best fares are often sold by online travel agencies, this is a significant limitation.
Foreign Transaction Fee
Additionally, there is no foreign transaction fee (See Rates and Fees). However, do note that Amex sets its own exchange rates. Depending upon the currency, these can be more or less favorable than Visa or MasterCard. Additionally, you may find that American Express cards aren’t accepted super widely abroad.
Tip: If you want to/plan to travel and would like to utilize credit card perks, check out our list of the best travel credit cards. If you plan on traveling internationally, you’ll want to check out our post on the best credit cards for international travel.
If an item you buy is damaged, stolen, or lost within 120 days, you can be reimbursed. The maximum you can get reimbursed is $10k per occurrence and $50k per year.
Note that for residents of New York, Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, the coverage duration is 90 days.
Learn more: American Express® Gold Card
American Express Gold Card Return Protection
According to Amex, “If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per Card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express® Card. Purchases must be made in the U.S. or its territories.” Terms apply.
Amex Gold Card Car Rental Insurance
Amex offers its standard secondary car rental insurance. This is comparable to MasterCard but is more limited than Visa.
With the American Express® Gold Card, you can get insurance coverage for over $500 in checked bags and $1,250 in carry-on bags.
The key benefit of the American Express Gold Card is 10 free miles of towing as well as jumpstarts and flat tire assistance. Up to 4 claims a year are allowed.
Final Thoughts of Amex Gold Review
In conclusion, the benefits of this card are pretty good, but not as good as they might first seem. However, if you make a lot of purchases each year on dining and at U.S. supermarkets, this card could treat you quite well. But, there are other cards out there (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One Venture) that offer returns on spending that are almost as good without as many gotchas to watch out for.
Learn more: American Express® Gold Card
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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.