Skip to content

Same name, different cards: How to distinguish the Amex Gold card from the authorized-user Gold card

Feb. 23, 2021
6 min read
Same name, different cards: How to distinguish the Amex Gold card from the authorized-user Gold card
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor's Note

This story has been updated with the latest information. 

While The Platinum Card® from American Express is a lucrative, premium card in and of itself, you can also share its perks with authorized users.

There are two ways to go about this. You can either pay an additional $175 per year for up to three authorized users who get their own Platinum authorized user cards (see rates and fees). Or, there's a no additional fee option where you can add Gold Card cardholders to your Platinum Card (see rates and fees).

However, this version of the Gold Card is not the same as the American Express® Gold Card that many know and love. They may look similar on the outside, but they're made up of entirely different ingredients.

New to The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter and check out our beginner’s guide.

This distinction can lead to some confusion for those expecting to get the better-known version of the Amex Gold Card and its 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1x point).

So if you have an Amex Platinum and you add a Gold Card for free, will that Gold Card honor this point structure? The short answer is no. Although they share a similar name and a familiar look, these are two entirely different products. Let's take a closer look.

Related: Why you should add authorized users on your Amex Platinum

What "Gold Card" authorized do users get

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

In order to get an authorized user (AU) Gold card, you must first own the Amex Platinum Card and pay that card's $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). You'll then be able to order Gold cards for authorized users for no additional fee (see rates and fees). Just like the personal Platinum Card, Gold card AUs earn:

Sign up for our daily newsletter
  • 5x points for the primary account on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per calendar year)
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 1x points on all other spending
  • Terms Apply.

Each additional card is eligible for one statement credit every four years toward the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee (up to $100). Incidental air travel fees charged by both Platinum and Gold card members are eligible for statement credits (up to $200 annually). These cards also can receive Amex Offers. Eligibility for these offers are limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

However, authorized user Gold cardholders are not eligible for Priority Pass Select membership or for access to Centurion Lounges, nor are they eligible for other perks such as annual Uber credits (for U.S. services) and elite status at certain hotels and rental car agencies.

Additional Platinum CardAdditional Gold Card
Uber credit benefit NoNo
Amex Global Lounge Collection (including Centurion Lounges)YesNo
Fine Hotels & Resorts benefitYesNo
Marriott Bonvoy Gold status YesNo
Hilton Honors Gold statusYesNo
The Hotel Collection benefitYesYes

Enrollment required for select benefits.

If you're interested in the perks not included on the authorized user cards, you may want to spring for Platinum authorized user cards, which cost $175 a year for up to three additional cards (see rates and fees). The annual fee for the fourth or more cards is $175 per card (see rates and fees).

Benefits of applying for the Amex Gold card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The good news is having a Gold authorized user card won't prevent you from earning the welcome bonus on the Amex Gold Card, with its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Eligible new Amex Gold cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership when they apply for and are approved for a new account. Since TPG currently values Membership Rewards points at 2.0 cents each, the bonus is worth $1,200. You should also check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 75,000-point Gold Card offer (subject to change at any time).

The Amex Gold now also is back in the stunning Rose Gold variant.

You'll also earn the previously mentioned 4x points at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; 1x after), 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 1x point per dollar on all other spending.

As for perks, the Amex Gold Card earns up to $120 in annual credits toward dining at participating partners each calendar year. And up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in Uber Cash, which can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. Just make sure to add your Gold Card to your Uber account first.

But note that this is all for the standalone Amex Gold product. The free authorized user Gold card available via the Platinum card doesn't get those perks or that points earning structure.

On and there's one more difference between these two cards: The Gold authorized user card is plastic.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees