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Worked like a charm: How I discovered a new (favorite) restaurant thanks to the Amex Gold dining credit

Feb. 18, 2021
6 min read
Worked like a charm: How I discovered a new (favorite) restaurant thanks to the Amex Gold dining credit
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Many top travel rewards credit cards come with an array of perks designed to entice new cardholders and retain the business of existing ones. Issuers dangle carrots like bonus categories and travel credits in the hopes that new applicants bring in more than enough revenue — through annual fees, interest charges and interchange fees — to cover the cost of providing those benefits.

In addition, these perks can provide valuable exposure for small businesses or other brands, leading to not just a one-time purchase but creating a long-term customer.

And sometimes, this works to perfection.

Recently, I discovered a new (favorite) restaurant less than 2 miles from my house — and it was all thanks to the monthly dining credit offered on my American Express® Gold Card. Enrollment required.

Related: Back by popular demand: Amex Gold Card in sleek Rose Gold metal

A couple of Saturdays ago, my wife and I were discussing dinner plans. Neither one of us felt like cooking, and since we've been avoiding indoor dining in our home state of Florida due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that left takeout and delivery as the remaining two options.

That's when I realized that we were approaching the end of January, and I hadn't yet utilized the monthly dining credit on the Amex Gold card ($10 each month; up to $120 annually toward purchases at select restaurants — including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.). Living in a small town makes most of these eateries challenging to visit, but thankfully, we do have access to popular food delivery services here.

Including Grubhub, one of the participating dining partners.

When I launched the Grubhub app and selected pickup (to avoid the additional fees of having the food delivered), I found a number of chains nearby that didn't strike our fancy. However, my interest was piqued by a local establishment called Indian-Cafe. My entire family loves Indian food, and I was stunned to see that this particular restaurant was rated 4.9 stars on Google. With a wide-ranging menu of traditional dishes, it seemed like a great option.

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Amazingly enough, I had never heard of it, despite it being just 1.8 miles from my house.

I placed the order on Grubhub, and less than 15 minutes later got the notification that it was ready. I hopped in my car, and just four minutes after pulling out of my driveway I was parking at the restaurant.

Upon arrival, I realized why this restaurant was new to me. It's actually inside a Sunoco gas station — hardly the first place I go when looking for high-quality food.

(Photo by Nick Ewen/The Points Guy)

The unassuming exterior was a sign of what awaited me inside. At the back of the small convenience store was a simple counter, behind which was a prep area and small kitchen. The smell was tantalizing — and a hint of the delicious dinner I was about to take home.

There were just a few employees working, but my order was ready and waiting.

(Photo by Nick Ewen/The Points Guy)

Less than 10 minutes after pulling out of the parking lot, my family was digging into our meal — and it did not disappoint. My chicken madras had the perfect level of spice, my wife loved her lamb saag and my daughter said her beef samosa was delicious — but my favorite dish was the chicken tikka roll, which was chicken tikka wrapped in garlic naan to effectively create an Indian-themed burrito.

I paid for the order using my Amex Gold card, and our total came to $45. Just three days after the purchase, the $10 statement credit posted to my online account.

(Screenshot courtesy of American Express)

Less than a week after that initial meal, we again ordered dinner from Indian-Cafe — this time through Uber Eats. We combined the Uber Cash on the Amex Gold ($10 per month; for up to $120 annually) with the existing Uber benefit from my Platinum Card® from American Express ($15 per month, plus a $20 bonus in December; for a total of up to $200 annually) (for services in the U.S. only); enrollment required. We did cut down on the quantity of food this time, spending just 45 cents out of pocket — even with an extra $2 contribution directly to the restaurant. Note: You must add the Amex Gold card to the Uber app to receive Uber Cash benefit.

Related: Your Amex Gold checklist: Here are 4 things to do when you first get the card

This is the textbook case of a win-win-win situation for all parties involved. American Express cements the Amex Gold's spot in my wallet; the restaurant gets not only initial revenue but future business from a new, loyal customer; and I can now get delicious Indian food within 5 minutes of my house.

If you live outside a major U.S. city and are concerned that the perks on the Amex Gold card aren't for you, I'd strongly encourage you to pull up the Grubhub and Uber Eats apps to see which local dining establishments appear. (Just be sure to register for the dining credit before making your purchase.)

And if there's one you've never tried before, give it a whirl the next time you're looking for takeout. You may be surprised at just how easy it is to utilize these benefits — and you may stumble across a terrific restaurant in the process.

Now, if you'll excuse me — talking about this food has made me hungry, and I'm in the mood for a chicken tikka roll from my new favorite dining spot.

Featured image by (Photo by 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.

TPG featured card

Best luxury travel rewards card
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

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 Points
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

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

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
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

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees