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If I had to choose just one card to use for all of my points earnings, I am fairly confident that I would choose the American Express® Gold Card. There’s a lot of compelling reasons why I’d choose the Amex Gold over others.

This workhorse has some of the best earning rates on common spending categories, along with good usable credits. What I love about the American Express Gold Card is that just about every feature is easily usable. There’s not a lot that your average consumer won’t find useful. 

Let’s take a deeper look at what the American Express Gold Card has to offer so you can decide if it deserves a place in your wallet.

The Basics

Before getting into the details, let’s start with the basics that everyone needs to know about the American Express Gold Card.

Welcome Bonus

The current welcome bonus is 60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first six months. Terms Apply. This is a pretty high offer, one of the highest of all times. 

Amex recently increased the spend timeline on most of their cards from three months to six. This gives you a longer time to meet the spend, and is easier for those who have less monthly expenses.

There’s a lot of great ways to use Membership Rewards. Whether you’re looking for some of the lowest points required to book domestic flights on United, or some great ways to book Emirates First Class, you’ll be able to put your Membership Rewards to great use.

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

LEARN MORE

Annual Fee

For all the features you get with the American Express Gold Card, you do pay a fairly modest annual fee. The Amex Gold’s annual fee falls somewhere between your typical $95 for mid-range cards and $450+ for premium cards.

The American Express Gold Card has a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees). It’s about $150 more than other mid-range cards, but about $200 more than other mid-range cards. 

This isn’t too unreasonable. As you’ll see, the benefits that you get with the Amex Gold definitely fall in between those that you typically get from mid-range cards and premium cards. It makes sense for the annual fee to be somewhere in between as well.

Unique Card Features

The American Express Gold Card has some unique features. While these shouldn’t be your primary selling point, there’s a bit of fun to having a unique card.

Not only can you get a metal Amex Gold Card, you can also get it in rose gold. I’m not going to lie, while this shouldn’t be the only reason you get the card, it really stands out amongst all other cards. 

It may be gimmicky, but it is a really neat gimmick. 

Bonus Categories

The basics of the Amex Gold Card may be what draws you in initially, but many people find that the bonus earning categories are more than enough to justify keeping the Amex Gold Card in their wallet year after year.

The Amex Gold has 3 bonus spend categories, each with a little bit different earning structure. The bonus spend categories are fairly generous, and some of the most competitive categories for everyday spend are included. 

When it comes to it, the bonus categories are what often helps people justify keeping the card long term.

U.S. Supermarkets

The first major bonus category on the Amex Gold is for supermarkets in the U.S. You can earn 4X Membership Rewards points on eligible spend at U.S. supermarkets. The only catch is that this bonus is only good for the first $25,000 spent and you’ll earn 1x per $1 spent after this threshold is met. 

This should be plenty for most households, but of course there will be exceptions. You’d need to spend over $2,000 a month at U.S. supermarkets before maxing out this offer. 

Keep in mind, most card processors do not consider wholesale retailers to be supermarkets. This includes stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. Other notable exceptions typically include Target and Walmart. 

To be safe, you’ll want to stick to traditional grocery store chains like Kroger, Whole Foods, or H-E-B. 

Restaurants

The next bonus category on the Amex Gold Card is for dining out. You’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards on all eligible purchases at restaurants. Considering the Amex Gold also has no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), that makes the Amex Gold a great card to use for eating out while traveling. 

Unlike the supermarket bonus, there’s no cap on the amount of bonus points you can earn at restaurants. No matter how much you spend in a year, you’ll earn 4X points for every dollar spent. 

To make it more beneficial, earning bonus points at restaurants isn’t limited to just dining in. You’ll earn bonus points on take out and delivery. There are plenty of reports to show that you’ll earn 4X points on popular third-party delivery services such as Uber Eats as well. Just be sure to pay directly with your card rather than through a third party payment system like Apple Pay or Paypal.

Flights

We wouldn’t be a travel site if we didn’t talk about travel. Although the Amex Gold doesn’t earn bonus points on hotels, it does earn points on flights. You’ll earn 3X Membership Rewards on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel

Most people are pretty content with earning 3x on flights.  The card does earn more points on everyday categories but flights can be a fairly large expense. You’ll still earn some Membership Rewards points on your flights, although not as many as you could with The Platinum Card® from American Express, but enough. If you’re not regularly paying for flights anyway because you’re redeeming points for them, then this lessens the impact of the difference in earning potential.

Credits

In addition to the bonus spend categories, the American Express Gold Card comes with plenty of credits to help you get even more value out of your card every month. 

The value of these will vary from user to user. The value of the Amex Gold credits won’t be as high for customers who don’t live somewhere with access to these services. In total, you can get up to $240 in credits with the Amex Gold Card. That’s nothing to sneeze at when compared to the $250 annual fee.

If you are able to take advantage of all of these credits, along with the increased bonus categories, you can easily come out ahead year after year if you keep the card.

Uber Credits

With the refresh of the Amex Gold in February 2021, Amex added Uber credits as a monthly benefit to the Gold Card. You’ll receive up to $10 a month in Uber Cash (Enrollment required) added to your Uber account every month after you add your Gold Card to your Uber account.

The Uber Cash can be used for both rideshares or for food through Uber Eats. This can be stacked with the same Uber Cash available on The Platinum Card from American Express

The Uber Credits are only good for one month. You’ll have to use them or lose them by the end of each month. 

To get more value out of your Uber credits, Amex has started offering a complimentary year of Uber Eats pass to cardmembers of select cards. The Amex Gold qualifies for the Eats Pass benefit. You can learn more about the partnership and how to get your complimentary Eats Pass here.

Dining Credits

In addition to the monthly Uber credits, you’ll also receive a monthly dining credit (Enrollment required). You can receive up to $10 a month as a statement credit for dining at participating restaurants. First, you’ll need to enroll in the benefit under your card benefits. Then, simply use your card to checkout at one of these restaurants:

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  • Shake Shack (participating locations only)

Additionally, the credit can be used on a Boxed order, or for food delivered through GrubHub or Seamless.

Resy Special Offer

To get you the best deal possible, there’s currently a limited time promotion if you open your Amex Gold Card through Resy. You’ll get the same benefits outlined here, but you’ll also get an additional 20% back as a statement credit on all restaurants in your first year of card membership. This does max out at up to $250, so it really is 20% back on the first $1,250 spent at restaurants in your first year.

Unfortunately, this offer isn’t available through our links. But to get you the best deal, you can find the Resy offer here.

This should stack with the 4X Membership Rewards points you would also earn dining out, meaning you’d get a discount as a statement credit and earn bonus points for your restaurant spend as well.

Travel Benefits

In addition to earnings or credits, there are other benefits available on many cards that help add more value than what you think you’re getting.

Travel benefits typically come in the form of insurances. These insurances provide complimentary coverage when you book your trip and pay with a relevant credit card.

The American Express Gold Card comes with two travel benefits included with the annual fee: baggage insurance and rental car insurance.

Baggage Insurance

Baggage insurance (Enrollment required) is one of the more frequently used travel benefits that I’ve seen people use. When you purchase your ticket on a common carrier (plane, train or bus) and pay with your Amex Gold Card, your baggage will be covered in case it is lost, damaged or stolen.

You’re covered for up to $1,250 for carry on bags, and $500 for checked bags. New Yorkers have an aggregate limit of $10,000 per trip. 

I’ve seen plenty of people make baggage claims when their baggage is damaged and the airline refuses to cover it. Booking with a card that offers baggage insurance is good protection for your trip.

Rental Car Insurance

Another way to easily save lots of money is by paying for your rental car with a card that offers rental car insurance (Enrollment required). 

The insurance provided with the Amex Gold card is secondary, and doesn’t offer liability insurance. This means it won’t kick in until you’ve exceeded the limits of your primary insurance. 

That doesn’t mean this isn’t valuable coverage. You can waive the collision damage waiver offered by the rental car company. This can run $10-20 a day or more, so you can easily save over $100 in a single trip.

There are some exclusions. For example, you can’t get this coverage in Italy or New Zealand. Very few cards offer primary rental car insurance (notably, the Chase Sapphire Reserve does), so this is on par with what you’d find on most competitor’s cards.

Shopping Benefits

The perks and benefits don’t just stop at travel benefits. There are plenty of regular shopping benefits to help make the Amex Gold one of the most well-rounded cards on the market.

Extended Warranty

Extended warranty benefits are often not discussed, but can save you hundreds of dollars. When you purchase something with a warranty of less than five years you can get an additional year of the manufacturer’s warranty at no cost when you pay with your Amex Gold card.

This, of course, has some reasonable exclusions. You can’t get an extra year of warranty when you purchase a car. But appliances are typically covered, along with small electronics.

When you purchase an item with your Amex Gold card that is eligible for the extended warranty benefit, you can decline the expensive extra warranty coverage offered at checkout and know that you’ll be covered for an additional year.

Purchase Protections

Purchase protection isn’t always clear about what it is. Just saying “oh you’re offered purchase protection” is a bit vague and not really helpful.

Purchase protection basically lets you be reimbursed for recent purchases if an item is accidentally lost, damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase. If you’ve ever had something break right after you bought it, purchase protection can come in handy to reimburse you for the item.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to love about the American Express Gold Card, and the recent changes make it an even more consumer friendly card. For only $250, you can get up to $240 in annual credits between Uber and dining credits.

With a 60,000 point bonus that requires spending $4,000 over six months, you’ll have plenty of time to put in the spend needed to earn the sign up bonus. With plenty of ways to use Membership Rewards, you’ll easily find the Amex Gold helping you reach your next travel goals.

Beyond just the first year, the Amex Gold makes a compelling argument as a long term card to keep in your wallet. The ability to earn 4X on restaurants, and 4X at U.S. supermarkets (up to the first $25,000) means most major line-items in your budget will earn extra points.

With extra travel and purchase protections to help keep you protected as a traveler and a consumer, you can rest assured that even when earning extra points, you’ll be protected on your next trip. Even if it is just a shopping trip.