Best cards to pair with the Amex Gold
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I earn 4x on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; 1x after) and dining at restaurants and 3x on flights booked directly or through Amex Travel, a game changer a year where most of my spending each month is on groceries at U.S. supermarkets and dining at restaurants. The card also comes with $10 in monthly dining credits on eligible purchases at participating restaurants and up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 in monthly Uber credits; that I can use on UberEats) for U.S. customers. Card must be added to Uber account to receive the Uber Cash benefit and enrollment required for select benefits.
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But even though it’s a great card on its own, it also pairs well with other rewards cards to build a more well-rounded card strategy.
Today, I’m walking through a few different card pairings that work well with the Amex Gold.
Other Membership Rewards cards
The first type of card that you should consider pairing with the Amex Gold are other Membership Rewards cards. Amex allows you to pool your points into one Membership Rewards account, meaning you can earn across multiple cards and cash in for one fantastic redemption.
Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)
Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 in purchases in the first six months of account opening, plus earn 10x points at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations (on up to $15,000 in combined eligible purchases) during the first six months from account opening.
Rewards rate: Earn 5x on airfare purchased directly from the airline or through Amex Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel.
If you are a frequent traveler looking to upgrade your experiences in 2021 and beyond as travel rebounds, the Amex Platinum could be a great choice to add to your wallet alongside the Amex Gold. You’re earning more on eligible airfare and hotels, plus you’ll get a stellar lineup of travel perks, including unmatched lounge access, elite status with both Marriott and Hilton, hundreds of dollars in assorted statement credits and more. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Check out our full Amex Platinum review.
Apply here: Amex Platinum Card
Annual fee: $95
Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards rate: Earn 3x on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in eligible purchases each year), 2x on U.S. gas stations and 1x on all other purchases.
The Amex Everyday Preferred flies under the radar most of the time, but it’s a solid entry point into the Membership Rewards program if you are a beginner. It also makes a solid pairing with the Amex Gold. You’ll get 2x on U.S. gas stations — a bonus category the Amex Gold lacks — but you can also get a 50% points earning bonus at the end of each month if you use your card more than 30 times. This makes it a great choice for everyday spending alongside the Amex Gold if you want to boost your Membership Rewards balance.
Check out our full Amex Everyday Preferred review.
The information about the Amex Everyday Preferred has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.
If you are loyal to one of the hotels or airlines that are a transfer partner of the Amex Gold, a cobranded card could be a great way to supplement earning.
Annual fee: $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees)
Welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
Rewards rate: Earn 2x on eligible Delta purchases, restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets.
Those who live near a Delta hub or regularly fly with the airline might be interested in a Delta cobranded credit card that helps you earn bonus miles on flights and gives you some nice airline benefits. Delta is one of Amex’s transfer partners, which makes using your Amex Gold to supplement your Delta earning for redemptions easy.
The Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex is a great choice for casual flyers and those who don’t want to add a high annual fee to their wallet (I have the Amex Gold and Delta Gold pair in my own wallet). Still, Delta’s other credit cards are excellent choices for those who want help hitting elite status with the airline.
Check out our full Delta SkyMiles Gold review.
Apply here: Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex Card
Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)
Welcome bonus: Earn 130,000 Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Points after spending a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months.
Rewards rate: Earn 12 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations; and 3 points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases. Plus, points earned through eligible purchases that post to the cardmember’s Hilton Honors account through Dec. 31, 2021, will be considered base points and count toward elite tier qualification and lifetime Diamond status.
If you are loyal to Hilton hotels when you travel, having a Hilton credit card in your wallet may be a good idea. The card comes with complimentary Gold status (though you can earn Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year), a free weekend night award after spending $15,000 each calendar year, 10 free Priority Pass visits annually and more. Enrollment required for select benefits.
It’s a solid card to pair with your Amex Gold because it earns in a category the Amex Gold misses — Hilton hotels stays — and you can transfer Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors to help you top of your Hilton account for redemptions.
Check out our full Hilton Honors Surpass review.
Apply here: Hilton Honors Surpass Credit Card
Diversify your points
Of course, there is also value in having cards that earn entirely different currencies in your wallet to maximize your redemption options across the board. Here are a couple of options if you want to diversify the points and miles you’re earning away from just Membership Rewards and partners.
Annual fee: $95
Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Rewards rate: Earn 2x on a generous definition of dining and travel purchases. Earn 5x on Lyft through March 2022.
At face value, you may wonder why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good card to pair with the Amex Gold, considering it earns 2x on travel and dining — two categories that overlap with the Amex Gold. But Chase defines travel broadly, which makes it a great choice for travel spending that isn’t flights booked direct or through Amex Travel.
And when it comes to earning diversified points, Amex and Chase both offer the most valuable rewards currencies on the market — both are worth 2 cents each according to TPG valuations — and come with a unique set of redemption options, so it makes sense to have both in your wallet. In fact, I have both in mine.
Check out our full Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
Apply here: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Annual fee: $95
Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on the card within the first 12 months of account opening. Or, still, earn 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Rewards rate: Earn 2x on every purchase.
If you want a catch-all card for your non-bonus spending, you can’t get much better than the Capital One Venture. You’ll earn 2x on every purchase, and Capital One has recently taken steps to seriously upgrade its travel redemption options.
Between the new lineup of transfer partners, the fixed-value redemption option for broader travel purchases and new features coming to the Capital One Travel portal down the line, now is a great time to add this card to your wallet.
Check out the full Capital One Venture Card review.
Apply here: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Of course, these aren’t your only options.
If there is a different hotel or airline you’re loyal to (such as American Airlines or Hyatt), it can make sense to have a cobranded card with that brand as a way to earn points and miles since you won’t with your Amex. Alternatively, those with a side hustle may find more value in pairing the Amex Gold with a small business credit card.
The point is, there are a lot of ways you can include your Amex Gold in a broader card strategy. These are a few of my favorite pairings to help you start thinking about which cards might work best for you and your personal goals.
And if you haven’t added the Amex Gold to your wallet yet, now is a great time to apply and earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of card membership.
Official application link: American Express Gold Card
Featured image by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, please click here.
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