4 reasons why the Amex Gold is the one card we can’t live without

May 20, 2021

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At TPG, most of us have a wallet filled with credit cards. Some go all out (paging editorial director Scott Mayerowitz with his 19 and counting credit cards) while some keep a smaller stockpile (insert a gif of me waving my six cards). But we all undoubtedly have a favorite card.

Brian Kelly has talked about his love of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but many credit card pros have a different opinion when it comes to choosing the one card we can’t live without.

In a recent Clubhouse panel with reporters and editors from The Points Guy and NextAdvisor, there was a clear winner when the group was asked about which was their absolute favorite card: the American Express® Gold Card.

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But why has this card remained a favorite when there are so many excellent options? Here are a few of the reasons it’s the one card we can’t live without.

It’s a great card for foodies

List a better credit card for food lovers — I’ll wait.

The Amex Gold is a powerhouse when it comes to dining and groceries, and Amex has doubled down on this in the past year.

You’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards points on U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in spending per year, then 1x) and dining. And the card comes with $240 in annual statement credits that are dining-focused.

(Photo by Yagi Studio/Getty Images)

Each month, you can get a $10 statement credit when you get food from one of several participating restaurants or meal services, including Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Each month, you’ll also get $10 in Uber Cash (which you can use on Uber Eats). Enrollment required for select benefits.

Related: The small card perk that made our day — and gave us free cheesecake

“The Amex Gold is definitely my go-to card. I spend a lot of my budget at restaurants and on groceries, and I love knowing that I get 4x points on all of those purchases. I always offer to pay the bill to get the points, too,” said Samantha Rosen, an editor for NextAdvisor and one of the panelists from the recent joint Clubhouse. “And while I do try to support restaurants directly when I can, I use the $10 monthly dining credit on platforms as well as the new $10 Uber credit on Eats orders.”

Related: The best credit cards for dining out, taking out and ordering in

It balances premium benefits and affordability

I’ve talked before about how I don’t personally have an ultra-premium card (at least not yet). This is partially because I haven’t needed one, but it’s also because I’m generally pretty budget-conscious.

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

The Amex Gold — with its $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) — offers a handful of premium benefits that I can take advantage of without costing me more than I am willing to pay each year in annual fees.

Related: Why the Amex Gold is the perfect ‘in-between’ card

Once you factor in the two monthly credits you get with the card, the net effective price of the card is already lowered to $10. I can easily recoup that with Amex Offers, which means all of the points I earn are just gravy. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Membership Rewards is one of the best points currencies

Speaking of earning points, Membership Rewards are some of the best points you can earn right now. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each — tied for the No. 1 spot with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Out of all of the top credit card issuers, Amex has by far the most extensive transfer partner list, with 19 airlines and three hotel chains. And those transfer partners can help make your points go a long way toward a number of excellent redemptions.

Credit cards reporter Chris Dong was another Clubhouse panelist that listed the Amex Gold as the card he couldn’t live without.

“Between dining out at restaurants and spending at U.S. supermarkets, the Amex Gold has become my go-to card while living in New York,” said Dong. “The 4x bonus goes a really long way in accruing extra Amex Membership Rewards points, which I redeem for flights. For instance, right before the pandemic, I transferred Membership Rewards points to fly on ANA’s incredible first-class suites.”

Related: Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

And while the Amex Offers program isn’t specific to just Membership Rewards cards, I’d be remiss without mentioning how much value Amex Offers can add to the program. I look through the offers available on my card weekly, and there’s almost always something new that I add to my account — extra points on hotel stays, cash back on my monthly Grove order or something else.

Related: Major savings at Hyatt, Hilton and more with new Amex Offers

All in all, the Amex Membership Rewards program is such an asset to have at your fingertips with the Amex Gold Card.

Bonus: It’s one of the prettiest cards on the market

We can’t talk about why the Amex Gold is one of my (and many others’) favorites without mentioning the card’s sleek design.

As of February 2021, the Amex Gold is now permanently available in both the original Gold design and the wildly popular Rose Gold edition. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked about my Amex Rose Gold when I use it at coffee shops and restaurants.

Hands down, it’s the prettiest card in my wallet (and I’d argue in anyone’s wallet).

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Of course, you can’t judge a card purely on how well it matches your Instagram aesthetic. But when you factor in all of the other reasons the Amex Gold is an excellent card, the fact that it does have such a gorgeous design certainly doesn’t hurt.

Bottom line

Still not 100% convinced? Right now, the card is offering a welcome bonus for eligible new cardholders for 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. TPG values that bonus at $1,200.

You could also be targeted for an even higher bonus through the CardMatch tool (although offers through CardMatch are not guaranteed and are subject to change at any time).

All in all, you can’t go wrong with the Amex Gold. It’s a great card for travelers who would rather earn points on non-travel expenses so they can redeem for their dream trips instead. You’re getting solid benefits without having to pay an astronomical annual fee, and the current welcome bonus is extremely competitive with top travel cards on the market right now.

There’s definitely a reason so many credit card pros are obsessed with having it in our wallets.

“The card helps me earn points that I’ll use on travel all while saving money on dining purchases every month — it’s always the card I recommend to other food-obsessed travelers, too,” said Rosen.

Apply here for the American Express Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome bonus.

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

Featured photo by John Gribben for 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.

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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 of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 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.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.49%-24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.