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The American Express® Gold Card is a rather compelling choice for foodies looking to maximize the return on spending. The card earns a rewards multiplier on purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and the perks include dining credits at select restaurants and Uber cash credits for Uber Eats orders.

When making purchases with the Amex Gold Card, you’ll earn rewards at the following rates:

  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants (including take-out and delivery)
  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1X thereafter)
  • 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with airlines and from amextravel.com
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Now, let’s take a look at the full list of benefits you get as an American Express Gold Card member.

  • Up to $120 annual dining credit (issued as up to $10 in monthly statement credits)
  • Up to $120 annual Uber credit (issued as up to $10 in monthly statement credits)
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • The Hotel Collection
  • American Express® Preferred Seating
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • No foreign transaction fees

The benefits seem nice to have, but the card’s annual fee of $250 (Rates and Fees) can deter casual travelers from applying. However, there are many ways you can offset the membership fee and get the most value out of the Amex Gold Card.

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

Use Up Your Monthly Dining Credit

With the American Express Gold Card, you can get up to $120 worth of annual credits issued in monthly statement credits of up to $10 (remember to enroll in the benefit first).

Simply use your card to pay for an order at the following merchants: Boxed, Grubhub, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Seamless, at participating Shake Shack locations and at The Cheesecake Factory and then wait for a $10 monthly credit to appear on your bill (assuming you spent more than $10). By placing orders from the above merchants every month, you can receive up to $120 worth of credits back per year.

Take an Uber Ride or Order from Uber Eats at Least Once Per Month

Similar to the dining credit, Uber users who hold the Amex Gold Card and link it with the app receive up to $10 in monthly credit. It can be used toward Uber rides or Uber Eats orders, so you have options. If you haven’t taken an Uber ride this month yet, place a take-out order with one of the restaurants on Uber Eats to ensure the credit isn’t wasted.

Just use your card to pay for a ride or food delivery and receive a statement credit back to your account. You can get up to $120 worth of annual statement credits back by using Uber at least once per month.

Apply for the American Express Gold Card Before Making a Large Purchase

Although it’s not 100% guaranteed, many American Express cards come with an instant card number following application approval. So, if you have a large purchase coming up in the near future, we recommend applying for an Amex card to start using the card immediately for online purchases.

Not only will this strategy help you earn a new welcome bonus faster, it’ll give you more time to meet the minimum-spending requirements if the first purchase isn’t large enough to knock out the entire spending requirement. Remember that the clock starts ticking when you’re approved for the card, not when you receive it, so you might as well take advantage of the extra time.

Redeem the Welcome Bonus Strategically

Speaking of the welcome bonus, make sure to redeem the points for maximum value. Unfortunately, that eliminates the Amex Travel Portal, gift card redemptions and statement credits—all of which yield a redemption value of 0.6 cent to 1 cent per point.

You can increase that value dramatically by transferring your points to one of the travel partners and redeeming them for a flight or a hotel room through a respective loyalty program.

AirlinesTransfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub1,000 : 1,000
Aeroméxico Club Premier1,000 : 1,600
Air Canada Aeroplan1,000 : 1,000
Air France/KLM Flying Blue1,000 : 1,000
Alitalia MilleMiglia1,000 : 1,000
ANA Mileage Club1,000 : 1,000
Avianca LifeMiles1,000 : 1,000
British Airways Executive Club1,000 : 1,000
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1,000 : 1,000
Delta SkyMiles1,000 : 1,000
El Al Frequent Flyer Club1,000 : 20
Emirates Skywards1,000 : 1,000
Etihad Guest1,000 : 1,000
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles1,000 : 1,000
Iberia Plus1,000 : 1,000
JetBlue TrueBlue250 : 200
Qantas Frequent Flyer500 : 500
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1,000 : 1,000
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,000 : 1,000
HotelsTransfer Ratio
Choice Privileges1,000 : 1,000
Hilton Honors1,000 : 2,000
Marriott Bonvoy1,000 : 1,000

Depending on a current card offer, you can earn anywhere from 40,000 to 75,000 Membership Rewards points for a welcome bonus on the American Express Gold Card. By transferring your points to one of the loyalty programs above, you can extract about 2 cents per point (or more), which turns your bonus into at least $800 to $1,500 worth of travel.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to redeem the points for maximum value, check out 5 Business-Class Award Flights You Can Book Using American Express Gold Card’s Elevated Welcome Bonus.

Use Amex Offers to Receive Discounts or Earn Bonus Points

Amex Offers is a feature available on all American Express cards, including the American Express Gold Card. It’s essentially a way to receive a discount or earn bonus points on a purchase you’re going to make anyway.

Amex Offers

Dozens of Amex Offers are listed on each card, so take a pick, register your card for the ones you like and make sure to use the enrolled card to make a purchase with the featured merchant.

The offers aren’t the same on all cards, and sometimes they can target select card members, but they’re still a great way to offset the annual fee on your American Express card.

We recommend adding the offers you think you might use eventually because some of them are available to a limited number of customers. However, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t feel compelled to buy things or services you don’t need just to get a discount or earn extra points. You won’t be offsetting anything if you spend money just to earn points.

Final Thoughts

With a little strategizing, you can easily offset the annual fee of $250 it costs to obtain and renew the American Express Gold Card. The welcome bonus alone is worth enough for the card to pay for itself for at least a few years, but make sure to use the ongoing perks to get the most value out of the card long-term.