Time for a review of the American Express Gold card. It’s no surprise that I am a fan of American Express charge cards. Charge cards differ from credit cards because they require the statement balance to be paid off each month. American Express charge cards are usually easy to be approved for (but require excellent credit), offer Membership Rewards that are transferable points, and have some amazing benefits. Here’s my review of the American Express Gold card. At least one household member should have this card in their wallet at all times. My husband and I both had it, but after receiving our bonus points and waiting until our annual fee was posted again, we canceled mine. I still use his all the time though mainly for paying for groceries or eating at restaurants. Here are the main reasons it is a card worth keeping.
The top point of my American Express Gold Card review has to do with the fact that you earn 4 points per dollar on groceries and at restaurants. This is up to the first $25,000 spent. I typically spend about $600 a month on groceries and $200 at restaurants. That means I am spending $9,600 a year in those categories. Multiply that by four, and I get 38,400 Membership Rewards a year – more than enough for a round-trip ticket domestically on Delta (a transfer partner of Amex). I can also receive 3 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. Membership Rewards are generally thought to be worth between 1 and 5 cents each on average, but it is very dependent on how you use those points. Those 38,000 points I make more than pay for my annual fee ($250) before we even get on to the other benefits.
Another tip to earning some more points is to purchase gift cards to places you regularly shop at from the grocery store. You can purchase gift cards to retail stores, restaurants, and even Amazon and get 4x the points on those purchases!
The American Express Gold Card gets a $10 monthly dining credit ($120 annually) when you pay with your card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. I prefer to use my credit at Grubhub as it is an easy redemption for me each month.
There is now a $10 Uber Credit that can be used at Uber Eats as well. I don’t use an Uber that often, but I do like to eat out. I use my Uber Credit through the Uber Eats app on my phone and get $10 free a month. Just download the app and add your American Express Gold Card information as payment, and each month you will get a $10 Uber credit. Be sure and pay with that card when you order, and your $10 will be automatically subtracted.
If you book a hotel through the Hotel Collection by American Express and stay 2 nights at least, you will get a $100 hotel credit. I have never taken advantage of this benefit but decided to check it out and randomly picked the Roxy Hotel.
You do get a room upgrade if available and that $100 hotel credit for spa or dining. Do note that the price is excluding taxes and fees. This might be a nice perk if you want to stay in a nice hotel, though!
The best value for redeeming your Amex points is by transferring them to their airline partners. They have hotel partners as well but using your points for flights is where you will get the most value. Airline partners include Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore, Virgin America, and Virgin Atlantic. Hotel partners include Hilton, Choice, and Marriott Hotels. Not every transfer is a 1:1 transfer like Chase Ultimate Rewards, but many are.
I always use my $120 dining credit and my Uber credit so that makes my $250 annual fee just $10. I certainly think this makes the annual fee worth it. Another tip: when you go out with friends, always pay the bill at a restaurant with this card and let them Venmo you! More points!
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