What’s the difference between the Amex Gold Card and the authorized-user Gold Card?

Oct 16, 2020

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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 share it with authorized users.

The no-fee authorized user option is to add Gold Card cardholders for free to your Platinum Card. However, note that this 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.

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This led to some confusion among some TPG readers after Amex rebranded the old Premier Rewards Gold Card and its enhanced bonus categories, including 4x Membership Rewards points on dining and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (then x1 point).

That led to the question: If you have an Amex Platinum and you add a Gold Card for free, will that Gold Card honor the new point structure? The answer is no.

Although they share a similar name and a familiar look, these are two entirely different products.

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

What “Gold Card” authorized 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 $550 annual fee (see rates and fees). You’ll then be able to order Gold cards for up to 99 authorized users for no additional fee (see rates and fees). Just like the personal Platinum Card, Gold card AUs earn:

  • 5x points for the primary account on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year starting on Jan. 1, 2021)
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com
  • 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.

However, AU Gold cardholders are not eligible for Priority Pass Select membership or for access to Centurion Lounges, nor are they eligible for other perks like annual Uber credits and elite status at certain hotels and rental car agencies.

Additional Platinum Card Additional Gold Card
Uber credit benefit  No No
Amex Global Lounge Collection (including Centurion Lounges) Yes No
Fine Hotels & Resorts benefit Yes No
Marriott Bonvoy Gold status  Yes No
Hilton Honors Gold status Yes No
The Hotel Collection benefit Yes Yes

If you’re interested in the perks not included on the authorized user cards, you may want to spring for Platinum AU 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 Isabelle Raphael)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael)

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).

As long as you’re not an existing Amex Gold cardholder, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months. 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).

You’ll also earn the previously mentioned 4x points at on dining worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 a 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.

That’s one more difference between these two cards: The Gold authorized user card is plastic.

Additional reporting by Mike Cetera

Featured photo by The Points Guy

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

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 worldwide, 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
  • 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 on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • 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 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
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
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.

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