American Express Gold Card review: Best for the well-traveled foodie
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
American Express® Gold Card overview
The American Express® Gold Card wants a seat at your table, whether you’re dining out at restaurants or buying groceries at U.S. supermarkets to cook at home. You might also benefit from its various statement credits to save money throughout the year. With the card’s solid welcome offer, the Amex Gold may be a great option for your wallet. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Although its annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees) might seem pricey to some, the American Express Gold Card regularly ranks as one of our top rewards cards thanks to a few key features.
With stellar earning rates on dining and grocery purchases and monthly credits that can bring the effective annual fee cost down to just $10, the Amex Gold is a card that many TPGers can't live without. Plus, the gold and rose gold color options make it a sleek addition to any wallet.
Here’s everything you need to know about the American Express Gold Card.
Amex Gold Card welcome offer
The Amex Gold is currently offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, that bonus is worth $1,200.
However, getting an even higher welcome offer of up to 90,000 points may be possible via the CardMatch Tool, so it’s always a good idea to check there to see if you’re targeted (offer subject to change at any time).
Plus, if a friend gives you their referral link, you may be eligible for a $200 statement credit after reaching minimum spending requirements, on top of the card's usual welcome offer, through June 7.
Related: Why the Amex Gold is the perfect “in-between” card
Earning points on the Amex Gold Card
The Amex Gold impresses when it comes to its bonus categories and long-term earning potential. It accrues points at the following rates (terms apply):
- 4 points per dollar on dining at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.).
- 4 points per dollar on up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar).
- 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly from the airline or through the Amex Travel Portal.
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
These are some of the most generous earning rates of any rewards card. Earning four points per dollar on dining and groceries (up to that $25,000 annual cap) is equivalent to getting an 8% return on spending based on TPG valuations.
If you book flights frequently, this card should be on your radar since that 3-point-per-dollar earning rate is substantial, too.
Related: The best credit cards for dining out, taking out and ordering in
Redeeming points on the Amex Gold Card
The American Express Membership Rewards points you can earn with the Amex Gold are among the most valuable rewards points around.
First, cardmembers can transfer their points to the program’s many airline and hotel partners for excellent travel options.
Virgin Atlantic also provides plenty of value — such as the ability to score round-trip, first-class flights on ANA between the U.S. and Japan for as few as 110,000 points. Another excellent redemption option is transferring points to Avianca LifeMiles for cheap Star Alliance premium cabin awards.
On the hotel side, you can transfer points to Choice Hotels and Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio and Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio.
American Express offers transfer bonuses, which can be a great way of squeezing even more value from the points.
You’ll generally get the most value from your Amex points by transferring them to a travel partner, although that isn’t your only redemption option. You can use points to buy gift cards, cover charges on your billing statement, shop at Amazon or ride with Uber. You can also use points to book travel directly through Amex. However, choosing a redemption option other than transferring your points to a travel partner means you'll fall short of TPG’s 2 cents-per-point valuation.
Related: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value
Amex Gold Card benefits
The Amex Gold offers several excellent perks for cardmembers, but here are the main ones to be aware of and to maximize:
- Up to $120 annual dining statement credit: Earn up to $10 in monthly statement credits when you pay with the Amex Gold Card at participating dining partners, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment through the Amex website is required.
- Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: Earn up to $10 in Uber Cash monthly for Uber Eats and Uber rides in the U.S. You must add the card to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. This perk is a monthly statement credit similar to the Uber Cash on The Platinum Card® from American Express. Enrollment is required.
- Up to $100 in hotel credits: Cardmembers who use their card to book a stay of two nights or more through Amex’s The Hotel Collection receive a $100 on-site credit for qualifying activities. Depending on the property, this could include dining, spa treatments or other activities.
- No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees): Avoiding foreign transaction fees makes this card a great choice to use for purchases when traveling internationally.
- Baggage insurance: If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged when you’re traveling with a common carrier and you've purchased your ticket with the Amex Gold, you’ll be eligible for up to $1,250 in coverage for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered trip.*
- Trip delay reimbursement: If you purchase your trip with the card and your travel is delayed more than 12 hours because of a covered reason, you’ll be eligible for reimbursement of up to $300 for eligible expenses such as meals, lodging and toiletries per covered trip. You are allowed up to two claims per eligible card account every 12 months.**
- Rental car insurance: Use your card to pay for an entire car rental and decline the agency’s collision damage waiver and you will receive secondary coverage for damage or theft. There are exclusions to what types of rentals are covered, which regions or territories coverage is available in and other conditions to be aware of, so be sure to read your benefits guide.***
Together, these perks amount to a good deal of value year in and year out and make the Amex Gold Card an excellent choice for travelers.
Related: Maximizing the American Express Gold Card
**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
**Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
***Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
Which cards compete with the Amex Gold?
The Amex Gold’s $250 annual fee places it between mid-tier and premium-level cards. Although there’s no direct comparison on the annual fee front, several cards offer similar bonus categories and perks.
- If you want to earn on dining and travel with a lower annual fee: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 3 points per dollar on dining and 2 points per dollar on travel purchases. And with a $95 annual fee, it's a great option for anyone looking to keep their annual fees low. For more details, check out our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- If you want to earn a flat rate on all your purchases: The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, making it a great option for anyone who spends a lot of their budget outside of specific bonus categories. For more details, check out our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards card.
- If you want more premium travel rewards: The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a slew of perks like airport lounge access and complimentary hotel elite status. For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Platinum.
For additional options, check out our full list of best cards for travel and dining out.
Related: Does it make sense to have an Amex Platinum and Amex Gold card?
The Amex Gold isn’t just a pretty card. The earning rates at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets make it a strong pick for pretty much all food purchases. The up to $120 in annual statement credits on dining and up to $120 in Uber cash add even more value and make the $250 annual fee easier to accept. That’s why the American Express Gold Card is one of our top rewards cards.
Apply here for the American Express® Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome bonus, though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’ve been selected for an even higher welcome offer.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, click here.
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson, Ryan Wilcox and Eric Rosen.