Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Review 2021
Rewards3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
Bonus Signup OfferReceive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No matter where you’re traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card is American Express’ middle tier rewards card offering. It offers more benefits than the American Express® Green Card but a lower annual fee than the Platinum Card® from American Express.
Consumers who are looking for a credit card with stellar customer service and flexible rewards will be well served by this card.
If you’re considering applying, this American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card review will explain all the ins and outs of the card.
What Types of Rewards are Offered?
The Gold Card is part of American Express’ Membership Rewards program. That means you’ll earn Membership Rewards points for every purchase that you make. You can redeem Membership Rewards points in a variety of ways.
The simplest way to redeem your points to remove previous charges from your account. That lets you effectively redeem your points for cash. You can also link your account to Amazon.com and use your points to pay for purchases from the website.
Neither of these options is the best use of points, however since many other redemption options give you more value for your points. Other redemptions options include using your points to purchase gift cards, home goods, or electronics.
The redemption options that really shine are redeeming your points for travel or transferring your points to one of American Express’ many rewards program partners.
You can use points to book travel directly through American Express’ website, with no blackout dates. Depending on the hotel or flight you book, you can redeem your points at a value of more than one cent each.
You can also transfer your Membership Rewards Partners to Amex’s partners, including British Airways, Delta, Aeroplan, Hilton, and more. Your points will be converted into airline miles or hotel points that you can use through the partner’s website. Depending on where you transfer your points, you might be able to get great value for your points.
Occasionally, Amex and a partner will offer a bonus for transferring points. So, if you’re usually able to transfer 10,000 Membership Rewards points for 8,000 miles, you might get the chance to transfer the points to miles on a one for one basis. These deals can give you even more value for your rewards.
There are three earning categories on the Gold Card. You’ll earn one point per dollar spent on every purchase you make with the card.
You’ll earn a bonus point per dollar on purchases at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets. That gives you a total of two points per dollar spent at those locations.
You’ll earn two bonus points for a total of three points per dollar spent on airfare directly purchased from airlines.
Your Amex Gold Card reviews every purchase an automatically determines how many points you’ll earn for it. Your monthly statement includes a breakdown of what you’ve spent in each category and how many points you’ve earned.
American Express often offers sign-up bonuses on its credit cards. Usually, you can get a basic offer by visiting the Amex website, but you might find a more lucrative offer delivered to you in the mail if you fit the credit profile that American Express likes to target.
For example, one common offer available on American Express’ website is an offer for 25,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first three statements. People who have received targeted offers from Amex have reported being offered as many as 50,000 bonus points for making the same minimum spend. If you want the Gold Card and have received mail offers from American Express in the past, it may be worth waiting to receive another one.
How is a Charge Card Different from a Credit Card?
The Amex Gold Card is a charge card, not a credit card. They are largely similar: you use them at stores to buy products instead of paying in cash. The difference comes in how you pay your bill.
With a credit card, you receive a statement with your current statement balance as well as a minimum payment. You must pay the minimum, and can pay as much as the statement balance, or any amount in between. If you don’t pay the balance in full, your next statement will include an interest charge.
With a charge card, you must pay the balance in full each month. You cannot carry a balance. Keep that in mind when putting big purchases on the card.
What sets the Premier Rewards Gold card apart from other rewards cards is the premium benefits that card holders get access to.
Airline Fee Credit
Each year you can select one qualifying airline through your online account. You’ll receive a $100 fee credit for that airline for baggage fees, and other incidental charges that you put on your card. As long as you plan ahead, you don’t have to worry about your airline nickel and diming you because American Express will cover the costs, up to $100.
Hotel Upgrades and Credits
If you stay at a hotel that is part of Amex’s Hotel Collection you’ll get a $75 credit to spend on dining, spa, and resort activities when you book a stay that is two nights long or longer.
Personalized Travel Service
American Express provides customers with the Gold card access to a phone line that will help you book flights, hotels, or rental vehicles. The highly experienced customer service team excels at helping you book your travel plans and making sure everything goes smoothly.
Baggage and Travel Insurance
When you pay for a flight with your Amex Gold Card you automatically get insurance for your checked bags and carry-on. You’re covered for $1,250 on carry-on luggage and $500 for checked baggage so you can get reimbursed if anything is lost or damaged.
You’ll also get free car rental insurance for damage and theft when you rent a card with the card.
Is the Amex Gold Card Worth the $195 Fee?
$195 is a hefty fee to pay just to be a cardholder of a specific credit card, but if you are a frequent traveler the American Express Gold Card’s fee is more than worth it. The $100 airline fee credit gets you more than halfway to covering the fee on its own.
If you stay at an American Express Collection hotel once and take advantage of the $75 credit you earn, the annual fee effectively becomes $20. The other benefits and rewards you can earn are more than worth that amount. Plus, if you make two stays at partner hotels and use the $75 credit each time, the fee has paid for itself.
As a bonus, sometimes introductory offers include waiving the fee for the first year, so you can take advantage of those credits without having to pay anything upfront.
For people who don’t travel or don’t expect to use the premium services offered to cardholders, a more basic rewards card with a lower, or no, annual fee, is probably a better choice.
We hope that our American Express gold card review has proven helpful. Check out our other credit card reviews if you’re still looking for the right rewards card for your needs.