8 ways to make the most of the Amex Gold card
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information and card details
When you used to think about the top benefits of your favorite credit cards, you may have imagined things such as airport lounge access and built-in travel credits as the most valuable perks. But this past year has changed what tops that list for a lot of people. However, there is one card that has remained a favorite — including for myself.
The American Express® Gold Card is a solid option for travelers, earning valuable Amex Membership Rewards points that could be transferred to a variety of travel partners. And the wildly popular Rose Gold color is back!
But even while I’ve been staying at home more and traveling less, this card has continued to be a valuable addition to my wallet. It carries a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), putting it somewhere between starter-level credit cards and premium cards. However, as you’re going to see, it’s easy to recoup that fee and then some through its many (primarily food-focused) benefits.
Here’s a look at eight ways you can maximize the Amex Gold card in 2021.
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Monthly Uber Benefit
In February, Amex Gold cardholders started getting an up to $10 monthly Uber Cash courtesy of their Amex Gold card — up to $120 annually. This perk isn’t just for Uber rides; it can be used on Uber Eats orders in the U.S., too. So, most should have no trouble maximizing this benefit each month to partially offset the card’s annual fee.
The card must be added to the Uber app to receive this benefit. It works similarly to the existing annual Uber credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express. As someone who is a big fan of ordering takeout for delivery or pick-up on nights when I’m not up to cooking, this Uber credit is going to be a regularly utilized benefit. Or, if you prefer, you can use the credit to order groceries or even alcohol through Uber Eats.
Just add your Amex Gold to your Uber app account, and make sure to select Uber Cash as your payment method before you book a ride or order food in order for your credits to kick in.
$120 dining credit
In addition to the Uber credit, the Amex Gold offers a monthly dining credit. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Each month, you get up to $10 in statement credits when you spend on Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, some Shake Shack locations and Boxed. While $10 might not sound like much, that does cover one to-go order from Shake Shack or a piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory, so the savings can add up.
Of course, while we’re all staying at home, the fact that GrubHub and Seamless are included as options is great too. Keep in mind, you could stretch your savings by placing pickup orders from these apps.
Between the up to $120 in Uber Cash and up to $120 in dining credits annually, your out-of-pocket cost for having this card is already at $10 if you make use of those each month. Enrollment required for select benefits.
4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets
The Amex Gold earns 4x points on dining at restaurants and the first $25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each calendar year (after that, 1x). Based on our experiences, this also includes grocery delivery services such as FreshDirect and FoodKick.
This bonus equates to an impressive 8% return according to TPG valuations, beating out most other cards on the market. For example, if you average about $400 per month on groceries and other dining expenses, you’d be looking at about $380 in rewards value on those two spending categories alone. So, regardless of whether you prefer dining out or cooking at home, you really shouldn’t have maximizing these bonus spend categories.
Amex Offers aren’t specific to the Amex Gold, but it is another way to maximize your card in 2021 and beyond.
American Express targets offers to you (though oftentimes there is a lot of overlap in available offers between cardmembers and accounts) that allow you to earn additional rewards on purchases that otherwise may not have qualified for bonus points.
If you’re shopping online more this year or shopping at merchants that may not normally offer bonuses, using Amex Offers can help you capitalize on purchases that you’d normally have to forgo rewards for. We’ve seen offers like $99 back after spending $99 at The Motley Fool and $100 back after spending $200 with JSX, so you can get some serious value from this benefit.
Referring friends and family members
Another benefit that isn’t exclusive to the Amex Gold card that I’ve been able to use this past year to earn points is referring friends to get their own cards.
American Express allows you to refer friends and family members to any Amex card to earn bonus points once they are approved. This is an easy way to boost your Amex Membership Rewards account and especially helpful if your overall spending has gone down recently — meaning you haven’t been earning at quite the same rate as in a normal year.
The Hotel Collection
When you’re ready to start traveling again, you can make your hotel stays more rewarding by booking through the Amex Hotel Collection — a perk reserved for the Amex Gold and some of Amex’s more premium cards like the Amex Platinum.
When you book a stay of two nights or longer through the Amex Hotel Collection, you’ll earn 2x points on your purchase, get a space-available room upgrade and enjoy an up to $100 credit toward dining, spa and resort activities at the property. In some cases, you may also score lower rates depending on what Amex has negotiated with the property.
So far we’ve only talked about the Amex Gold’s ongoing benefits. However, new cardholders get an additional big perk, and that’s a great welcome bonus.
The Amex Gold is currently offering 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on your new card in your first six months of card membership (although you may be targeted for a higher bonus when you apply using the CardMatch Tool; offer is subject to change). This bonus is worth another $1,200 based on TPG valuations.
There are a plethora of ways to redeem these points, but here are some of the redemptions we’re most excited for once travel resumes:
- First class on American Airlines’ three-cabin A321T for 50,000 points round-trip booked through Etihad Guest
- Round-trip economy tickets to Hawaii on American or Alaska for two for 52,000 points through British Airways Executive Club
- Business class flight to Europe on any Star Alliance carrier for 60,000 – 70,000 points each way through Air Canada’s Aeroplan
The American Express Gold Card is one of the best cards on the market for earning rewards across everyday spending categories. In fact, the new Uber Cash benefit has pretty much solidified it as the best card for foodies on the market.
It has a lot of the elements of a premium credit card — high earning potential and annual statement credits, for example — without a $500+ annual fee. Instead, you’ll pay $250 per year (see rates and fees). And between using both types of monthly food-related credits, your out-of-pocket cost can quickly drop to just $10 per year. Once you factor in all the other benefits discussed, you’re almost sure to come out ahead.
Want to learn more about the Amex Gold? Check out our full card review.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
Madison Blancaflor contributed to this post.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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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.
- Rose Gold is here to stay. Card Members can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold Card.
- 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.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees