Review: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express September 2018 | finder.com

Review: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – September 2018

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Spend in categories like airfare, gas 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 to pay an annual fee starting the second year, or if you want to pay your credit card balance over time.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NamePremier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Card TypeAmerican Express
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for PurchasesNone (Charge Card)
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Minimum Interest$0
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome BonusEarn 25,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express comes with strong rewards, offering accelerated points on airfare booked through airlines, US restaurants, US gas stations and US supermarkets.

This is a charge card, so you’ll need to pay your balance in full after every billing cycle. That may be a challenge if you’re used to carrying a balance. Furthermore, the card has a midrange annual fee. The annual fee is waived for the first year, however, so you can take the card for a spin and decide later if it’s worth paying for.

If you’re a certain type of spender, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will be a powerful travel companion. Since it offers accelerated rewards in various spending categories, you can quickly rack up points redeemable for flights, hotels, cruises and more. You can also transfer points to select frequent-traveler programs, which means your rewards are even more flexible than they may seem.

The perks

  • Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year.

    With this intro annual fee, you can take the card for a test drive and decide later if you want to keep it. You’ll pay a $195 annual fee starting the second year.

  • Welcome offer: 25,000 points.

    To earn this signup bonus, make $2,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of card membership.

  • Rewards: More points on four categories.

    Earn 3x points on flights you book directly with airlines. Additionally, you’ll earn 2x points at US restaurants, US gas stations and US supermarkets. Earn 1x points on all other eligible purchases.

    The card sets itself apart from the competition with its rewards. Because it offers accelerated points on travel and everyday spending, you can spend broadly and still accumulate great rewards for worldwide travel.

You’ll also like …

  • $100 airline fee credit.

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

  • The Hotel Collection perks.

    Earn 2x Membership Rewards points when you book two or more consecutive nights in a Hotel Collection property. You’ll also receive a $75 hotel credit.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

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

  • Transfer points.

    You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to eligible frequent-traveler 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 trip planning and any emergency services you may need. Also enjoy free car rental insurance, baggage insurance and roadside assistance.

  • ShopRunner benefits.

    Get free two-day shipping from various stores through ShopRunner after a free, one-time registration process.

  • Purchase benefits.

    Receive extended warranties on eligible items you buy with your card, and you may 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.

  • Exclusive American Express perks.

    Access Amex Offers, which gives you discounts and opportunities to earn more points at select stores, restaurants and services. You also get access to cardholder-only experiences and preferred seating at select events.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    The annual fee is waived for the first year, but you’ll pay a $195 annual fee starting the second year.

  • Not a normal credit card.

    The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a charge card, which means you have to pay your balance in full each month.

  • 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 …

  • You want cash back.

    Consider a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card to get 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% as you pay them off. If you spend frequently on gas and groceries, consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or Blue Cash Preferred® Card.

    Lastly, look into the Uber Visa Card, which offers 4% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on travel, 2% cash back on online purchases and 1% on everything else.

  • The annual fee is too high for your budget.

    A $195 annual fee may be a little more than you want to pay. Other excellent travel cards with lower annual fees like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card and Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® may be a better fit. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express does waive the first year’s annual fee, so you can try it out first and then decide if it’s worth paying for.

  • You want access to the Centurion Lounges.

    Currently, American Express only offers Centurion Lounge access to Platinum Card® from American Express and Centurion® members. For complimentary access, consider the Platinum Card® from American Express. It offers premium perks like a $200 airline fee credit, $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and Gold status in the Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs.

Compare other American Express credit cards

Updated September 26th, 2018
Name Product Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
$0
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
$0
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
Snag a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
$95
14.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
$95
14.74% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
$550
None (Charge Card)
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.
$0
25.74% variable
Earn rewards with no annual fee.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
None (Charge Card)
25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points (up to $250 value) when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
$0
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 or more in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.49% to 26.49% variable
35,000 bonus miles after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
$450
17.49%, 21.49% or 26.49% variable
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
$195
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles(MQMs) after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
None (Charge Card)
Shop with more confidence
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, 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 being approved if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher. If you have at least 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:

  • How many hard pulls you have on your credit report. If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your account, it might make you look desperate for credit. This implies you’re having trouble managing your debt, and 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, too, as it can indicate you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s just hunting for welcome bonuses.

What do customers say about the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express?

Customers generally have great things to say about the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, with many citing the card’s diverse rewards as their favorite feature. Many cardholders also like having the ability to transfer points to different frequent-traveler 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 say the company employs pleasant customer service representatives.

How to apply for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

  1. On the American Express website, click Apply now.
  2. Fill out the application form. Provide 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 Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express?

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 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments.
    Register an account at the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay. You need to pay off your balance after every billing cycle since it’s a charge card.
  • Avoid fees.
    Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $38, so be sure your payments get in on time.
  • Contact customer service.
    If you’re not able to find information through the American Express website, you can call 1-800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks for customer interaction.

Bottom line

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express lets you spend in a wide array of categories and earn flexible travel points. Its accelerated rewards in both travel and everyday-spending categories sets it apart.

A charge card is a distinct shift from a credit card if you’re used to carrying a balance. You can always check out other rewards cards to get the one best suited for your financial habits.

Frequently asked questions about the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Travel card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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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