Is the Gold Card from American Express® worth it?

Review: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express® – April 2018

If you’re a frequent traveler and want to earn rewards, check out the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

  • Get this card if… you’re a big spender in airfare and dining.
  • Pick something else if… you don’t want to pay a high annual fee, or if you want to pay your credit card balance over time.

The Premier Rewards Gold Card is a good pick if you dine out often and catch regular flights. You’ll quickly accumulate membership rewards points that you can redeem for travel around the world.

Product NamePremier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
Annual fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
Card TypeAmerican Express
Returned Payment Fee$38
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
0% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$0
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
Returned Payment Fee$38
Late Payment Fee$38
Rewards ProgramAmerican Express Rewards
Bonus Points on Sign-up25,000
Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC)3
Points ExpiryNever

Who’s the Premier Rewards Gold Card for?

The Premier Rewards Gold Card offers a super rewards program giving you 3x points on airfare and 2x points for everyday purchases like gas, groceries and restaurants. For everything else you’ll earn 1x points.

There’s no annual fee for the first year, but you’ll pay ($195. But the sign up bonus of 25,000-point signup bonus too.

The Gold Card is a charge card, so you’ll have to pay your balance in full each month. That may be a challenge if you’re used to carrying a balance. You’ll find that it’s quite useful for travel, with the key being the Membership Rewards points, that can be redeemed for flights, hotels and cruises through American Express Travel. You can also transfer points to select frequent traveler programs. Add in exclusive perks when you stay at the American Express Hotel Collection, and you’ll find the Gold Card to be a solid travel companion.

Nuts and bolts

Product namePremier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Issuing bankAmerican Express Centurion Bank
Annual fee$0 for the first year, then $195
Signup bonusEarn @cc_bonus_points_signup@ points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Intro purchase APRN/A
Intro balance transfer APRN/A
Balance transfer feeN/A
Foreign transaction fee
Cash advance rateN/A
Cash advance feeN/A
Penalty APRN/A
Late payment feeN/A
Returned payment feeN/A
Overlimit feeNone
Maximum credit limitNone
Minimum interest charge$0

The perks

  • POINTS: More points on airfare and at US restaurants.
    2x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines. 2x points at US restaurants. 1x points on other eligible purchases.
  • ANNUAL FEE: $0 for the first year ($195).
  • The Hotel Collection perks. Get 2x Membership Rewards points when booking two or more consecutive nights in a Hotel Collection property. You’ll also get a $75 hotel credit.
  • Transfer points. You can transfer your Membership Rewards program points to eligible frequent traveler programs.
  • American Express Travel. Use Membership Rewards points at American Express Travel to book flights, hotels and cruises — and earn double points.

You’ll also like…

  • Access the American Express Centurion Lounges for a fee. The Centurion airport lounges are reserved exclusively for American Express cardholders. The Gold Card doesn’t give you complimentary access, but you can buy a day pass for $50.

The Centurion Lounges are considered best-in-class

centurion lounge platinum amex credit card

There are seven Centurion Lounges in the United States, and they’re among the best airport lounges you’ll find anywhere. If you’re an American Express cardholder, you can buy a day pass for $50. Entry is free for Platinum Card and Centurion members only.

  • No foreign transaction fees. Use your card internationally without incurring fees.
  • Travel services. Access the Personalized Travel Service for bookings and the Global Assist Hotline on vacation. Also, get free car rental insurance, baggage insurance and roadside assistance.
  • Exclusive American Express perks. Access Amex Offers, Preferred Seating and cardholder-only events.
  • Purchase benefits. Get extended warranties, purchase protection and return protection on eligible items. Also, get free two-day shipping at ShopRunner.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee: The Gold Card has no fee for the first year, but a $$195 p.a. annual fee afterwards.
  • Not a normal credit card. The Gold Card is a charge card, which means you have to pay your balance in full each month.
  • Not as widely accepted overseas. Because the Gold Card is an American Express card, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with 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…

  • You want cash back. The Gold Card gives you Membership Rewards points. For cash back, consider a card like the Citi Double Cash.
  • You think the annual fee is high. A $$195 p.a. annual fee may be tough to swing. There are other excellent travel cards with lower annual fees, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. The Gold Card does waive your first year’s fee, so you can try it out first and then decide if it’s worth paying for.

Compare other American Express credit cards

Rates last updated April 20th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
15.24% to 23.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with $5 minimum, 5% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 thereafter)
20,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
14.24% to 26.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
20000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Blue from American Express® Card
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49%% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn rewards with no annual fee.
Blue Sky from American Express® Card
18.49%, 21.49% or 23.49% variable
18.4921.4923.49% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Flexible travel rewards and no annual fee.
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, 5% or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 50000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 or more in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
16.24% to 20.24% variable
16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$75
Earn 100000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
American Express Serve®
FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations nationwide.
The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express
16.49% variable
16.49% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards ® points after using your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Plenti® Credit Card from Amex
15.99% to 25.99% variable
15.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 5000 Plenti® points after you spend $250 in purchases on your Plenti® Credit Card from Amex within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs)
and 35000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
$450
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99% variable% Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
American Express® Green Card
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Shop with more confidence
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
More Points. More Rewards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$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.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
14.49% to 25.49% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
14.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for first 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card
16.49% to 20.49% variable
16.4920.49 % Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 25000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
USAA Secured Card American Express®
11.15% to 21.15% variable
$35
You can get travel benefits (no foreign transaction fees), retail benefits and collision damage waiver coverage on your rental car.
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
13.15% to 27.15% variable
$0
Get high cash back rewards on most purchases, including gasoline, groceries and military base purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

What to know before you apply

To apply for the Gold Card, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A US resident

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Gold Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the card

1. On the American Express website, click the Apply Now button.

step 1 gold amex card

2. Fill out the application form. Provide information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.

step 2 gold amex card

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you can get a decision on your application within 60 seconds.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Making payments. Register an account at the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoiding fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38.
  • Customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 1-800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.

Bottom line

The Gold Card offers solid travel perks, but its point earnings are outclassed by the Premier Rewards Gold Card. Compare other travel credit cards to find the one that’s best for you.

Common questions about the Gold Card

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Go to site