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American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card review September 2019
A premium rewards card with a variety of enticing perks to suit big spenders and frequent fliers.
If you use your credit card heavily but don’t carry a balance from month to month, Amex’s Preferred Rewards Gold Card can offer meaningful benefits including airport lounge access and reward points by the truckload.
Finder rating: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 5/5
In a nutshell:
Up to 10,000 points
Earn 1 point
per £1 spent
Up to 56 days
Interest-free each billing period
|Rep. APR||57.6% p.a. (variable)|
|Annual/monthly fees||Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum|
|Incentive||Earn 1 point for virtually every £1 spent. 2 points per £1 spent directly with airlines or in a foreign currency or 3 points for every £1 spent through American Express Travel. Earn 10,000 bonus points when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months. Spend £15,000 or more during the year and earn 10,000 bonus points each year the card is renewed. Earn 6,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for the card or 12,000 points if they spend £3,000 in their first 3 months. Two complimentary lounge visits per year, available at over 500 airport lounges worldwide.|
|Additional Rewards Info||Access to dining benefits, such as discounts off of the food bill, or a complimentary bottle of wine or starter in more than 600 restaurants worldwide with Taste from American Express Experiences. Access to tickets for must-see music, theatre and film events, often before they go on sale to the general public with American Express Experiences. Travel accident insurance on public transport when tickets are charged on the card. Global Assist support 24/7 when you travel outside of the UK. Eligible for American Express Offers where cardmembers can choose offers from selected retailers to obtain discounts or cashback.|
|Lounge access||2 complimentary visits every year, plus membership of Lounge Club, allowing further access at £20 per visit.|
|Purchases interest-free period (days)||56|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
While plenty of card issuers throw the terms “gold” or “platinum” around without really meaning it, Amex’s Preferred Rewards Gold Card stays true to the original concept – offering meaningful rewards for people who use their credit card heavily and aren’t deterred by an annual fee.
New applicants will benefit from a waived fee in the first year plus a lump sum of Membership Rewards points (subject to a minimum spend) that could potentially be redeemed for a free flight. From then on, it’s points on all purchases, annual anniversary bonuses and ongoing benefits like American Express Experiences. Frequent travellers can take advantage of perks including upgrades and airport lounge access.
You can track your spending in real time and watch your points piling up (hopefully!) in Amex’s very respectable mobile app. The app also lets you turn on/off a range of handy alerts – you can get updates whenever a purchase is made, when you’re within a specified amount (you choose the amount) from your credit limit, when your statement’s ready and when a payment’s due (again, you get to specify how much notice you want). You can also browse and activate offers for nearby merchants.
Whether or not this card is a smart bet for you will come down to how much you stand to benefit from the card’s introductory and ongoing rewards. If you anticipate carrying a balance from month-to-month, it’s possible that the interest and fees could outweigh the value of the rewards. Big spenders who travel frequently and clear their balance in full each month stand to benefit the most because they’ll hit the minimum spend requirements that lead to lump-sum points bonuses and will also be able to take advantage of the complimentary lounge visits. Realistically, merchant acceptance of Amex remains an issue (but this is getting better), so your Amex shouldn’t be the only means of payment you carry around day-to-day.
While some might choose to ditch the card after the first year, the ongoing anniversary points bonuses and the complimentary lounge visits in each cardmembership year are good reasons not to.
How does this card compare with others that earn Amex reward points?
What can I do in the app?
When it comes to repayments, you can make manual repayments online or over the phone (0800 700 222), or alternatively set up a direct debit. A direct debit is a great idea because it protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee or losing any promotional rates as a result. You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.
Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:
|Minimum amount||Fixed amount||Fixed percentage||Full amount|
How to apply for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
If you’re keen to start earning rewards with this Amex card, simply click on a green “go to site” button to be taken to the Amex site to complete the secure application form (which takes about 15 minutes). Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information you’ll need to hand to make the process as straightforward as possible.
Frequently asked questions
Does this card offer airport lounge access?
Does this card come with travel insurance?
Does the balance have to be paid off each month?
Does this card have a credit limit?