Same name, different cards: How to distinguish the Amex Gold card from the authorized-user Gold card

Feb 23, 2021

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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 also share its perks with authorized users.

There are two ways to go about this. You can either pay an additional $175 per year for up to three authorized users who get their own Platinum authorized user cards (see rates and fees). Or, there’s a no additional fee option where you can add Gold Card cardholders to your Platinum Card (see rates and fees).

However, this version of the 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 distinction can lead to some confusion for those expecting to get the better-known version of the Amex Gold Card and its 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1x point).

So if you have an Amex Platinum and you add a Gold Card for free, will that Gold Card honor this point structure? The short answer is no. Although they share a similar name and a familiar look, these are two entirely different products. Let’s take a closer look.

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

What “Gold Card” authorized do 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 $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). You’ll then be able to order Gold cards for 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 calendar year)
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 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. Eligibility for these offers are limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

However, authorized user Gold cardholders are not eligible for Priority Pass Select membership or for access to Centurion Lounges, nor are they eligible for other perks such as annual Uber credits (for U.S. services) 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

Enrollment required for select benefits. 

If you’re interested in the perks not included on the authorized user cards, you may want to spring for Platinum authorized user 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 John Gribben for The Points Guy)

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).

Eligible new Amex Gold cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months when they apply for and are approved for a new account. 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).

The Amex Gold now also is back in the stunning Rose Gold variant.

You’ll also earn the previously mentioned 4x points at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar 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. And up to $120 annually ($10 per month) in Uber Cash, which can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. Just make sure to add your Gold Card to your Uber account first.

But note that this is all for the standalone Amex Gold product. The free authorized user Gold card available via the Platinum card doesn’t get those perks or that points earning structure.

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

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, 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.

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