4 of my favorite under-the-radar Amex Gold card perks
Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest information.
If you're considering applying for the American Express® Gold Card, odds are you may have been drawn in by the incredible rewards for foodies - 4x Membership Rewards points on dining at restaurants. The big picture highlights of the Amex Gold make it a great card — from the up to $220 in annual statement credits that almost entirely offset the $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) to the 4x bonus categories, which TPG values at a 8% return on spending.
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While the Amex Gold Card isn't as weighed down with perks and benefits as some of its premium competition, it does offer a few solid and underrated perks that help seal the deal. Here are four of my favorites.
The Amex Hotel Collection
While Amex opted to go with a more restrictive travel bonus category than Chase (only offering 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel), they did include a hotel-specific benefit that carried over from the old version of the Amex Gold Card.
When you use your Gold Card to book hotels through The Amex Hotel Collection, you'll earn 2x points and enjoy an up to $100 property credit and space-available room upgrades on stays of two nights or longer. This might be a good option to consider if you don't have a card that gives more bonus points for hotel bookings. And on short, cheap, stays, the up to $100 property credit can end up being a pretty serious rebate.
The rest of the perks on this list fall under the category of "you hope you never need them, but if you do, you'll be so thankful you have them."
Baggage insurance is one of those perks, especially since some airlines do a surprisingly poor job of remembering to put bags on the plane.
If you purchase the entire fare of your common carrier ticket with your Amex Gold Card, you'll be eligible for up to $1,250 in reimbursement if your carry on bag is lost, stolen or damaged, and up to $500 if it's your checked bag.
There are two important things to point out here, the first being that there's no insurance for luggage delay. The second is that you must purchase the entire ticket with your card to be eligible, so simply paying taxes on an award ticket would not count.
This fits well with the bonus categories on the card, as anything other than purchasing the full fare (directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) will only earn you a meager one point per dollar.
Car rental insurance
If you charge a rental car to your Amex Gold Card and decline the collision damage waiver at the counter, Amex will cover you if your car is damaged or stolen.
This is secondary coverage that kicks in after and in addition to your own personal policy, and there are exclusions to be aware of.
For instance, rentals in Australia, Italy and New Zealand are not covered, certain types of ATVs, limousines, and exotic cars are excluded, and coverage only applies for the first 30 days of the rental. This also does not insure against injury to you, your passengers or others, or against damage to property.
Related: Best cards for car rental insurance
Purchase protection and extended warranty
The Amex Gold Card also comes with a variety of purchase protections. For example, if you drop your recently bought (in the last 90 days) phone, you may be eligible for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year to replace lost, stolen or damaged items.
You'll also enjoy extended warranty protection when you use your Gold Card for a purchase. You can get up to one extra year added to a manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less. Terms and conditions apply.
Related: Review of the Amex Gold
There are other perks you might not be aware of, such as free 2-day shipping when you enroll with Shoprunner and preferred seating at concerts. Many of the perks listed here are not unique to the Amex Gold Card and I wouldn't say they tip the scale one way or another in terms of deciding whether this card is right for you.
They really act as a secondary reward, if you make a financial commitment to American Express, they'll reciprocate and help you out when your travel plans go off the rail or your expenses unexpectedly surge for a month. Most of these perks will sit quietly in the background, and if you're lucky, you'll never need them. But if and when things go wrong, knowing what you're entitled to can really help save you a nice chunk of change.
Check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 60k-75k-point Gold Card offer. These offers are subject to change at any time.
Additional reporting by Chris Dong.
For rates and fees of the American Express Gold Card, please click here.