Credit card showdown: Amex Gold vs. Amex Business Gold

Sep 2, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


If you’re looking for a card that offers generous points-earning bonuses for a wide range of categories, the Gold lineup within the American Express portfolio is worth a closer look.

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Both the American Express® Gold Card and the American Express® Business Gold Card straddle the line between a mid-tier and an ultra-premium card.

With annual fees of $250 (see rates and fees) and $295 (see rates and fees), respectively, these cards don’t come cheap — but also don’t venture into the territory of The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which carry annual fees of $695 (see rates and fees) and $595 (see rates and fees), respectively.

In fact, the Gold cards are in somewhat of a sweet spot. They have rich earning potential that can significantly offset their annual fees — without the sticker shock of more expensive cards.

However, the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold have major differences aside from the obvious point of one being a consumer card and the other a business card.

Let’s dive in and compare these two Gold cards to see which one may be right for you.

In This Post

Comparing the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold

Here are the details of each card at a high level.

  Amex Gold   Amex Business Gold
Welcome bonus Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points
after you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first six months of account opening.
Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Annual fee $250 (see rates & fees) $295 (see rates & fees)
Points bonuses 4x at restaurants

4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x)

3x on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com

4x in two categories with the most spending each billing cycle (up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year; then 1x)
Annual statement credits Up to $120 dining credit ($10 monthly increments)

Up to $120 Uber Cash ($10 monthly increments)

Enrollment required for select benefits.

None
Redemption bonus None 25% back on Pay With Points flight redemptions (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year) on first/business class with any airline and all classes with your selected airline from a list of qualifying airlines

 

The basics

Cards with no set spending limits

Both the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold are cards with no set spending limit. Traditionally, this meant that you had to pay off your balance in full each month.

However, with the introduction of a Pay Over Time feature, it’s now possible to carry a balance from one month to the next, with variable interest rates applied. With that said, TPG always recommends paying off your card on time and in full to avoid accruing interest if possible (it’s one of our 10 commandments to travel rewards). In this respect, the cards are quite similar.

Business card or personal card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Perhaps the biggest question is whether a business card or a personal card is a better fit for you. Business credit cards (naturally) are designed for business use, while personal credit cards can be used by anyone. But it’s not quite so rigid as that.

Even if you don’t have a formal business with a tax ID number, for instance, you still might be able to open a business credit card. Maybe you regularly sell items online, have a side hustle or take on freelance assignments. In any of these cases, you might prefer to separate your business expenses from other purchases.

As we’ll outline below, though, the Amex Business Gold may be a better fit for larger, more established businesses that have a lot of expenses.

Related: Why I couldn’t imagine my life without business credit cards

Welcome offer

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Amex Gold has a generous welcome offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of card opening. Meanwhile, the Amex Business Gold has a higher 70,000 Membership Rewards points offer, but with $10,000 in spending required within the first three months.

You may be able to get an even higher welcome offer for the Amex Gold by using the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time) or by receiving a referral offer from someone that carries either card.

TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, making the 60,000-point bonus worth $1,200 and the 70,000-point bonus a respectable $1,400.

The personal Amex Gold also has its Rose Gold color option available again. Originally available in late 2018 (and briefly by referral only in 2019), the card color is now back by popular demand for new cardholders.

Keep in mind that Amex has strict rules when it comes to earning a welcome bonus. Since 2014, Amex has clamped down on applications and begun limiting customers to one bonus per card per lifetime, regardless of how much time had passed since you last applied for that card. So if you’ve held either of these cards in the past, you might be ineligible to earn its intro offer again.

Winner: Amex Gold. Nearly as many points for meeting much lower spending requirements.

Bonus categories

Both the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold offer up to 4x points on select categories. The 4x Membership Rewards points earnings equate to an 8% return on spending, based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each.

Piper restaurant Seabird Resort
Dining out could earn you 4x on the Amex Gold. (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal/The Points Guy)

Amex Gold

For the consumer Amex Gold, you’ll earn points for the following categories:

  • 4x points on dining at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (U.S. supermarkets capped at $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x)
  • 3x points on flights booked directly from the airline or through amextravel.com
  • 1x points on all other eligible purchases

The 4x at restaurants and on U.S. supermarkets are particularly strong rates compared to other cards, and help the Amex Gold make our list of best cards for groceries and best cards for dining out.

Amex Business Gold

The Amex Business Gold has powerful, business-friendly 4x bonus categories. What is unique is that you’ll automatically earn 4x points in your top two spending categories each month, meaning you don’t have to pick a category and commit to it. The eligible categories are:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
Booking airfare could get you 4x with the Business Gold. (Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)

The structure of these categories, namely the fact that you’ll automatically earn 4x points in your top two spending categories from the list of eligible bonus categories on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year, means this card will likely appeal to someone who wants to rack up travel rewards without putting in too much work.

This card is meant to be a one-stop shop that you can swipe for everything, leaving you more bandwidth to focus on your business.

Winner: Tie 

Related: Best business credit cards

Card benefits

Both the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold have several overlapping card benefits. Namely, this includes purchase protection, extended warranty, baggage insurance, travel accident insurance and premium Global Assist. All of these are virtually identical across both cards. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee (see rates and fees for Amex Gold; see rates and fees for Amex Business Gold) and both cards also offer access to making bookings through Amex’s Hotel Collection, which includes perks such as on-property credits, room upgrades and more.

Amex Gold

The Amex Gold has some exclusive statement credit benefits to help offset its $250 annual fee.

Up to $120 annual dining credit. Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Amex Gold at participating dining partners, including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, some Shake Shack locations and Boxed.

This perk is a monthly statement credit similar to the Uber credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express. You just have to enroll through the Amex website to get this benefit.

Up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in Uber Cash. This can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. Just make sure to enroll your Gold Card with your Uber account first and use it to pay.

Unfortunately, the Amex Business Gold offers no such statement credits but does have a considerable redemption bonus.

Winner: Amex Gold

Redemption options

Both the Amex Gold and Amex Business Gold earn Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to Amex’s airline and hotel partners. With many options to pick from, you’ll be able to find a transfer partner in any of the three major airline alliances and several non-alliance carriers as well.

Use Pay With Points for business- and first-class tickets with the Amex Business Gold, and you could enjoy a 25% points rebate. (Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

However, what is unique to the Amex Business Gold is a Pay With Points redemption bonus when booking airfare through Amex Travel. You’ll earn a 25% rebate when paying with points through your Business Gold Card (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year) for business- or first-class tickets on any airline, or any fare class on your selected U.S. airline. This is similar to The Business Platinum Card from American Express‘s 35% Pay With Points rebate (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year).

That means, by using Pay With Points for flights in conjunction with your Amex Business Gold card, you’re getting a redemption value of 1.33 cents per point on eligible tickets versus just 1 cent per point with the Amex Gold.

Winner: Amex Business Gold

Bottom line

Despite some interesting earning bonuses and redemption values with the Amex Business Gold, the edge in this showdown goes to the consumer Amex Gold. The card is a strong pick for pretty much all food purchases and its statement credits mostly offset the annual fee. It certainly has more widespread appeal and may be better for cardholders who don’t have major business expenses.

The Amex Business Gold is clearly targeted at larger, more established businesses. There are no statement credits to offset the annual fee, and overall this card works better for a company that can write off its expenses. You’ll have to spend a lot to earn enough points to make the annual fee worth it.

Those considerations aside, the Amex Business Gold’s bonus categories and earning structure will appeal to a wide variety of businesses, as the categories encompass everything from spending at U.S. restaurants to U.S. purchases for advertising and at select technology providers.

Apply here for Amex Business Gold card and apply here for the Amex Gold card

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, 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: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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