American Express Gold Card review | finder.com

American Express® Gold Card review – November 2018

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Spend in categories like airfare, dining and groceries to collect points that take you around the world.

finder.com’s rating: 4.6 / 5.0

★★★★★

30-second take

  • Get this card if you spend big on airfare, dining, gas and groceries and want travel rewards.
  • Pick something else if you don’t want an annual fee or are looking to pay off your balance over time.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameAmerican Express® Gold Card
Card TypeAmerican Express
Annual Fee$250
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for PurchasesSee Rates & Fees
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The American Express® Gold Card comes with strong rewards, offering accelerated points on airfare booked through airlines and spending at restaurants and supermarkets in the US.

Still, if you like to see the world, the American Express® Gold Card could be a powerful travel companion. It offers accelerated rewards in select spending categories, helping you to quickly rack up points redeemable toward flights, hotels, cruises and more. You can also transfer points to select travel-related loyalty programs, resulting in more flexible rewards.

The perks

  • 50,000-point welcome offer.

    To earn this welcome offer, spend $2,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of card membership. And until January 9, 2019, receive 20% back as statement credit at US restaurants within your first three months of having the card. You can earn up to $100 back.

  • Rewards: Accelerated points in multiple categories.

    Earn 4x points at US restaurants. At US supermarkets, earn 4x points on up to $25,000 per calendar year on purchases, then 1x.

    You’ll earn 3x points on flights you book directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. And you’ll earn 1x points on all other eligible purchases.

    The card sets itself apart from the competition with its generous reward tiers. Because it offers accelerated points on travel and everyday spending, you can spend broadly to rack up rewards toward worldwide travel.

  • Dining credit.

    You can earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly by using your card to pay at participating dining partners. You’ll need to enroll in the program to activate this perk.

You’ll also like …

  • $100 airline fee credit.

    Charge up to $100 a year on eligible incidental airline fees — for instance, in-flight refreshments or checked baggage — and get it back in statement credits.

  • The Hotel Collection perks.

    When you book two or more consecutive nights through a qualifying travel service for the Hotel Collection you’ll receive up to a $75 hotel credit and a room upgrade when available.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    Use your card internationally and on foreign websites without incurring fees.

  • Transfer points.

    Transfer your Membership Rewards points to eligible travel-related loyalty programs, such as British Airways Avios, Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue, Choice Privileges Rewards, Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest.

  • Travel services.

    Access the Personalized Travel Service for bookings and the Global Assist Hotline on vacation for planning help and emergency services you might need. Also enjoy complimentary car rental insurance, baggage insurance and roadside assistance.

  • ShopRunner benefits.

    Get free two-day shipping at more than 100 stores through ShopRunner after an included one-time registration.

  • Purchase benefits.

    Extend the warranties on eligible items you buy with your card and potentially qualify for a refund from American Express if a merchant won’t accept a return within 90 days of purchase. Your eligible items are also covered against theft and accidental damage by Purchase Protection.

  • Access American Express perks.

    Use Amex Offers, which offers discounts and opportunities to earn more points at select stores, restaurants and services. Also get access to cardholder-only experiences and preferred seating at select events.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    The card’s annual fee is a high $250, though you may find its rewards outweigh the cost.

  • Pay over time feature.

    This card is a hybrid between a charge card and a regular credit card. With a charge card, you are required to pay your bill completely each month and you cannot carry a balance. However with this card’s Pay Over Time feature, you can set certain transactions to pay over time with interest (see Rates & Fees). You can also automatically set all transactions to Pay Over Time, but you’ll pay interest from the transaction date on these purchases if you don’t pay them off at the end of the billing cycle.

  • Not as widely accepted overseas.

    Because the card is provided by American Express, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would a Visa or Mastercard.

  • It hurts to pay late.

    Making late or returned payments could saddle you with fees as high as $38.

Consider other cards if …

Compare American Express® Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
1 miles
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors Card after you use your new Card to make $$1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
3 points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
1 points
See Rates & Fees
$250
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
2 miles
17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
1 points
None (Charge Card)
$550
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
3 points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
1 miles
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
2 points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
1 points
16.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1 points
16.99% variable
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
2 points
16.99% variable
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the American Express® Gold Card, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US citizen or permanent resident.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher. If you have a good credit score and a relatively high annual income, you may be the type of customer American Express is looking for.

Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:

  • Many hard inquiries on your credit. If you have several hard pulls on your credit history, it could indicate to a provider that you’re desperate for credit or have trouble managing your debt. As a result, American Express may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score. Credit utilization is a major factor that American Express considers. Customers who have low balances relative to their credit limits are favored by providers. Many new card accounts on your file may be a red flag, indicating to a provider that you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s hunting for welcome bonuses.

What do customers say about the American Express® Gold Card?

Customers generally say positive things about the American Express® Gold Card, many citing the card’s diverse rewards as their favorite feature. Many cardholders also like the ability to transfer points to other loyalty programs.

American Express earns a Trustpilot score of 3.1 out of 10 at the time of this writing. Many negative reviews cite unhelpful customer service and inflexible company policies. Positive reviews mention the company’s pleasant customer service representatives.

How to apply for the American Express® Gold Card

  1. Click apply now.
  2. Complete the application with information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.
  3. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my American Express® Gold Card?

Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you may get a decision on your application within 30 seconds. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few business days up to a few weeks to hear back.

After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card in the mail within 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments.
    Register an account on the American Express website to pay your balance online and enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid fees.
    Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $38, so be sure to pay on time.
  • Get help.
    If you’re not able to find what you need on the American Express website, call 800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks for customer interaction.

Bottom line

The American Express® Gold Card lets you spend in a wide array of categories to earn flexible travel points. Its accelerated rewards on both travel and everyday spending set it apart.

Consider other rewards cards to find the one that best fits your spending habits and financial needs.

Frequently asked questions about the American Express® Gold Card

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Images: AmericanExpress.com

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Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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