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American Express® Gold Card review

An excellent dining and everyday rewards card with an extra rosey flair.

finder.com’s rating: 4.6 / 5.0

★★★★★

The Amex Gold Card is an excellent card for earning rewards on everyday purchases and a great way to start building your Amex Membership Rewards. Plus, the card’s perks handily make up for its annual fee.

  • Get this card if you spend around $1,000 or more on dining and groceries each month in the US, or if you already own The Platinum Card® from American Express.
  • Pick something else if you want gas rewards or if you often travel abroad or in the US.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

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.

60,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 4x

Points

$250

Annual fee

670

Recommended credit score

Details

Annual fee$250
Welcome offer60,000 points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months
Rewards4x Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.; 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x), 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
Purchase APR18.99% to 25.99% variable APR for Pay Over Time Feature
Balance transfer APRN/A
Minimum Credit Score670
IssuerAmerican Express
Avatar

Review by


Kliment Dukovski is a cryptocurrency and investments writer who has written over 700 articles to help readers find and compare the best financial options. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange and stock market trading.

Expert review

With the American Express® Gold Card, you earn a generous 4x points at restaurants, including U.S. takeout and delivery, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually and 1x points after that. This is an excellent rewards rate matched only by a few other credit cards and makes this an excellent rewards card for families who want to earn value on their everyday necessities. And in case you were wondering: the Rose Gold tint is back and seems here to stay.

Of course, the earning rate isn’t the only thing that makes this a great family card. The card has a swath of perks and features that also help add value to families. For example, you can get up to $120 in dining credits and up to $120 in Uber cash credits ($10 per month), both of which are close enough to cover the card’s $250 annual fee. Enrollment is required to earn credits.

The Amex Gold Card also comes with decent travel benefits, including 3x points on flights booked directly or through Amex Travel, up to $100 in Hotel Collection credit and a whole set of travel insurance and services.

Because of the card’s strong earnings on everyday purchases, the Amex Gold Card is an excellent complement to the Amex Platinum Card, which specializes in big earnings and perks on travel. This one-two combo allows you to rack up big Membership Rewards points on a variety of purchases and pool them in one account toward your next big vacation.

On the downside, the card’s earning rate on U.S. supermarkets is capped at $25,000, though only larger families will have to worry about going over that limit. Despite this, the Amex Gold Card is an excellent family rewards card well worth the annual fee.

Best of 2021
Finder experts pick American Express® Gold Card as a 2021 best product for cards.

How to apply for the American Express® Gold Card

To apply for the American Express® Gold Card, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident.

  1. Go to the provider's site and select 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.

Eligibility requirements

To apply for the card, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A US resident

What credit score do I need to apply?

American Express doesn’t publish a minimum credit score, but your chances of approval increase if you apply with a good to an excellent score of 670 or higher. Several cardholders on Reddit note they were approved for the card with a Good credit score as low as 640, though at the time they had a strong salary or clean credit history.

The American Express® Gold Card benefits

  • Welcome offer. A 60,000-points welcome offer after you spend $4,000 in your first 6 months of card membership is actually a solid reward. With a redemption value of up to $600 based on Finder’s valuations — or higher if you transfer to partner airlines — it’s almost on par with premium travel credit cards that come with a $450 annual fee or higher.
  • Reward points. Earn 4x reward points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., such as Uber Eats. At U.S. supermarkets, earn 4x points on up to $25,000 per calendar year on purchases, then 1x points. Earn 1x points on other eligible purchases. These are excellent rewards rates, but you could earn the same or higher rates on groceries with cheaper credit cards. But to compensate for the annual fee, Amex also lets you earn 3x points on flights you book directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, a perk that the cheaper cards lack.
  • Up to $240 combined in dining and Uber credits. Earn up to $120 in statement credits annually in increments of $10 each month when using your card to pay at participating dining partners, such as Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. You’ll need to enroll in the program to activate this perk. There’s also a $10 Uber Cash credit each month, up to $120 annually. Use it to pay for Uber rides or Uber Eats. This is almost enough to offset the annual fee and turn any other benefit into a pure reward on your account. Also, statement credits of over $200 annually is often a reserved perk for premium travel credit cards that cost north of $400 annually. This makes the Amex Gold Card a great deal.
  • Up to $100 hotel credit. Receive up to $100 hotel credit to use toward dining, spa, and resort activities, plus a room upgrade when available. If eligible, all you have to do is book two or more consecutive nights through Amex Travel for the Hotel Collection to get the hotel credit. Another card that offers this perk and more credits with other programs is the Amex Platinum Card.
  • 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. This can sometimes double your points redemption value.
  • 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 the American Express® Gold Card‘s complimentary travel coverage including car rental insurance and baggage insurance.
  • Excellent for pairing with other Amex cards. The Amex Gold Card is a great card for rewarding your everyday purchases. But to maximize your rewards, consider pairing it with the Amex Platinum Card and take a step forward to creating the Amex trifecta combo.

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. Unlike standard credit cards where you can carry your balance on all purchases, the Amex Gold Card allows you to carry some purchases with interest, but not all.
  • 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 $40.

Is the Amex Gold Card worth it?

The American Express® Gold Card‘s $250 annual fee isn’t quite a premium price, but it’s still substantial and you’ll need to overcome this fee in perks or rewards to make the card worth your time. Here are a few factors that’ll help you decide if the Amex Gold Card is worth the price of the annual fee for your needs.

  • Review your overall spending. To break even on the annual fee with rewards alone, you’ll need 25,000 points. Get there by spending $6,250 at restaurants or U.S. supermarkets, which is around $520 per month. Of course, you’ll likely be spending on other categories as well, which will only add more points to cover the annual fee and earn something extra.
  • Take advantage of the card’s valuable credits. Earning the dining and Uber cash credits could help you offset most of the card’s annual fee when used effectively.
  • Create a Membership Rewards plan. One of the biggest assets of the Amex Gold is the fact that it earns Membership Rewards points. These can prove much more valuable than standard cashback (Finder’s current valuations places them at around 2 cents a piece), but you’ll need to put a little more effort into redeeming them to find this value.
  • Clear the welcome offer. The welcome offer can be worth around $600, which is enough to pay for the annual fee twice over.

Compare Amex Gold Card to similar credit cards

If you’re not satisfied with this card, take a look at the Amex Gold Card vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express. See which of these similar cards is the better fit for you.

American Express® Gold Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.6 / 5

Read Review
Terms apply, see rates & fees
See offer
on Bankrate's secure site

Minimum Credit Score

670

Minimum Credit Score

670

Annual Fee

$250

Annual Fee

$95

Purchase APR

18.99% to 25.99% variable APR for Pay Over Time Feature

Purchase APR

Up to 25.24% variable

Balance transfer APR

N/A

Balance transfer APR

18.24% to 25.24% variable

Rewards

Up to 4x points

Rewards

Up to 5x points

Welcome offer

60,000 points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months

Welcome offer

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

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American Express® Gold Card reviews and complaints

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.

The American Express Company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1948 and earns an overall A+ rating as of August 2021. However, 90% of its reviews are negative and it has nearly 3,400 customer complaints. Amex cardholders in general complain of rude customer service reps, missing statement credit and issues disputing charges.

The company earns a Trustpilot score of 1.9 out of 5 as of August 2021. Many negative reviews cite unhelpful customer service and inflexible company policies. Positive reviews say the company employs pleasant customer service representatives. Overall, your mileage may vary with American Express customer support.

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I got the card. Now what?

  • Redeem points. Navigate to the Membership Rewards website, and log in with your American Express account. View your points balance, check special offers or redeem Amex points for options like airfare, hotels, cruises and vacations, or pay off card charges, donate to charity, use points at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Staples.com, and more. You could get a higher value with point transfers to Amex’s hotel and airline partners.
  • Make timely payments. Register an account on the American Express website to pay your balance online and enroll in autopay.
  • Download the Amex mobile app. Download the Amex mobile app for iOS or Android and use it to monitor your account, make payments, find Amex Offers or to use any of the other Amex card features.
  • Use the additional payment services. Use two useful features: Pay it Plan it® and Amex Send & Split. The first feature lets you pay smaller purchases right away with your Amex app (Pay it), or pay larger purchases over time without interest but for a fee (Plan it). Both are available on your card without enrollment. The second feature lets you split the bill or send money to Venmo or PayPal users via the Amex app.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $40, 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 American Express® Gold Card 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.

What’s changed with the American Express® Gold Card

06/2/2022Small changes to restaurants eligible for dining credits.
06/10/2021Old:New: Added: Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
12/15/2021Old: Removed: Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.New:

How we determined the value of Amex Membership Rewards points

To determine the average value of an Amex Membership Rewards point, we looked at the equivalent dollar value a redemption option would cost in the Amex Membership Rewards program. We calculated this average across all redemption options available through Amex to reach the approximate value you can expect when redeeming these points on average. In this case, the average value of a single Membership Rewards point came out to 2 cents per point.

Remember that your points could be worth more or less depending on what you redeem them on, so this value should be used as a general guide.

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.

Insurance benefit note: Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Images: AmericanExpress.com

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