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American Express® Gold Card

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APRSee Pay Over Time APR
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Welcome Bonus 60,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 within the first six months of card membership. Terms Apply. Dollar Equivalent: $1,140 (60,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

This card is a foodie’s dream—you'll earn outsized rewards at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide and get dining credits with select merchants. No foreign transaction fees and others credits make this card ideal for travelers, too. Plus, people who can take advantage of the annual statement credits may easily offset the annual fee. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

Go for Gold With More Points and Rewards on this Card

Thanks to its generous rewards and attractive benefits, the American Express® Gold Card is one of the most popular rewards cards we’ve seen. While most cards target frequent travelers, this one offers practical benefits that come in handy in your everyday life as well as your travels (terms apply).

With a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) and premium perks, the Gold Card doesn’t have many competitors. The card achieves a nice balance of providing luxury travel perks while helping you maximize everyday spending. If you’re curious about whether the American Express Gold Card is a good fit for you, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a full review of everything the card has to offer, from its welcome bonus to recurring benefits.

Pros

  • Earns valuable Membership Rewards points
  • A valuable card for food, including at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide
  • An array of credits that help offset the card's annual fee

Cons

  • Use it or lose it credits
  • Perks are not for everyone

Welcome Offer

The American Express Gold Card currently offers a welcome offer of 60,000 points after $6,000 spent on eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership (terms apply). If you want to earn some Membership Rewards points and apply for a card with generous benefits, this offer could be worth your while.

American Express has a once-per-lifetime rule, limiting you to earning each card’s welcome offer just once. So if you’re going to apply for an American Express Card, make sure it’s the highest offer possible. There are some exceptions to this rule and sometimes targeted offers exclude the once-per-lifetime language. However, in case you don’t get targeted for one of these offers, it’s best to play it safe.

Annual fee: The American Express Gold Card's $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) sounds high when you compare it against cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. However, it feels more reasonable when compared to premium cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express which carries a whopping $695 annual fee (see rates and fees). While this card's fee can feel pretty hefty, the card has several benefits that can help offset it (enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply).

Rewards Rates

A card isn’t very useful if you can’t earn points beyond a sizeable welcome offer (terms apply). Luckily, the American Express Gold Card's earn rates are very attractive:

  • 4X points on worldwide dining
  • 4X at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year)
  • 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1X on other eligible purchases

$120 Annual Dining Credit

The annual $120 dining credit is issued in $10 monthly installments. This credit is valid at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

Up to $120 Annual Uber Cash

Up to $120 in Uber Cash is issued in $10 monthly increments. The credit is valid on both Uber rides and Uber Eats purchases in the U.S. The Gold Card needs to be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

Hotel Collection 

These benefits are similar to elite status perks, except you get them for booking your hotel through Amex. Perks include a $100 on-site credit and a space-available room upgrade at check-in. This can be especially valuable during short hotel stays, where the $100 credit can cover daily expenses like breakfast, spa treatments and other on-site activities. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

Amex Offers

Amex Offers is a low-key card benefit that has the potential to save you hundreds on everyday purchases. Offers include cash-back deals and bonus points on tons of popular retailers. Occasionally, you’ll even get a cash-back offer on your monthly cellphone bill, utilities or any spending you put on the card. 

Amex Offers is an underrated benefit that’s worth factoring into your decision to apply for an American Express card. The deals are consistently useful and help me offset the annual fees on my Amex cards. One year, I personally saved over $1,000 through Amex Offers. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Amex Gold Card has no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees), meaning you won’t incur additional charges when using it abroad. Some cards charge foreign transaction fees of up to 3%, which can really add up on vacation expenses like hotels, rental cars, dining and shopping. With the Gold Card, that fee is something you don’t have to worry about.

Trip Delay Insurance

Trip delay insurance comes in handy when your travel is delayed by more than 12 hours due to weather, equipment failure or stolen travel documents. American Express provides up to $300 worth of coverage per trip. You can use these funds to pay for meals, hotel accommodations and personal items needed during the delay. 

Coverage is secondary, meaning if you purchase travel insurance, you’ll need to file a claim through your provider before filing one through American Express. The entire cost of your flight must be charged on the Gold Card to qualify for this benefit. Unfortunately, award taxes and fees do not qualify.1

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

The next time you rent a car, you don’t have to pay the daily collision damage waiver fee. If you’re involved in a fender bender in your rental car, American Express will cover the damage without the need to buy insurance. Coverage is secondary, meaning it kicks in after your personal policy, and is limited to 30 days of rental and excludes certain vehicles and locations (Australia, Italy, New Zealand).2

Baggage Insurance

Every year, airlines lose and mishandle thousands of bags. If your luggage is damaged, stolen or lost, American Express baggage insurance will cover up to $1,250 for a carry-on bag or $500 per checked bag. This is a great benefit that can make an unpleasant situation far less stressful if it does ever happen to you. Best of all, it’s included as a card perk—no need to pay for insurance.3

Purchase Protection

If you ever purchase an expensive item on your Gold Card, you can rest easy knowing that if you damage or lose the item within 90 days, it’s covered under Amex’s purchase protection plan. To qualify for up to $10,000 per claim (up to $50,000 per calendar year), you just need to charge the entire purchase to your Gold Card. 

If the item is lost, stolen or damaged within 90 days, you can file a claim for the purchase price. There are exceptions and Amex requires certain documentation to process your claim. However, it’s a valuable benefit that can protect your valuables and save you thousands of dollars if you need to replace them.

Redemption Options

The Gold Card from American Express earns Membership Rewards points, which are worth about 1.9 cents each, according to our estimations. Thanks to their versatility, Membership Rewards are some of the most valuable points out there. You can redeem Membership Rewards points for statement credits at a rate of 0.6 cents each or transfer them to many airline and hotel partners, including:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Privileges Rewards
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • HawaiianMiles
  • Hilton Honors
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Krisflyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Who Qualifies for the American Express Gold Card?

American Express doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score to get approved for the Amex Platinum Card. However, many report that you can get approved if you have good or excellent credit. American Express might take other factors into account, including your current debt, income, number of accounts you have open and banking relationship with American Express. 

Some reports indicate you can’t apply for more than two American Express cards per day. So if you plan on applying for more than two cards, consider spacing out your applications. You also won’t get approved for more than two cards within a 90-day period. So if you’ve applied for two American Express cards in the last three months, you might want to hold off on applying for the American Express Gold Card until you’re outside this period.

Lastly, American Express limits customers to five credit and charge cards at a time. If you currently have five Amex cards, you may not qualify for the Gold Card from American Express.

Comparison to Other Cards

Credit Card Welcome Offer Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

American Express® Gold Card

60,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 within the first six months of card membership. Terms Apply. Dollar Equivalent: $1,140 (60,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

$250 1X-4XPoints More Info

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year (1X point afterward), and 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide, including eligible takeout and delivery services in the U.S. Also earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com and 1X point on other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

80,000Membership Rewards Points More Info

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership Dollar Equivalent: $1,520 (80,000 Membership Rewards Points * .019 base)

$695 1x - 5XPoints More Info

Earn 5X points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines up to $500,000 a year or through amextravel.com and prepaid hotels also booked via amextravel.com. You'll also earn 1X point on other purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is often compared against the American Express Gold Card, thanks to its premium perks. The American Express Platinum Card has a much higher annual fee at $695 but offers a bigger welcome bonus: 80,000 points after you spend $8,000 within the first six months of card membership (terms apply).

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is similar to the Amex Gold Card in many ways. For starters, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program has many of the same transfer partners as Amex Membership Rewards. The two cards are also similar in their earning rates.

Is the American Express Gold Card Worth it?

The American Express Gold Card is probably worth it if you use the welcome offer, category bonuses and recurring benefits. The dining credits alone could justify the $250 annual fee. Meanwhile, perks like access to The Hotel Collection and Amex Offers can offer an incentive to keep the card in your wallet. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

The card’s 4X Membership Rewards bonus on dining and at U.S. supermarkets is particularly attractive since these are common spending categories for most people. However, if your spending patterns fall outside these categories, there may be better alternatives out there.

Disclosures

1 Up to $300 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

2 Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

3 Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Eligible Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a Common Carrier Vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible Account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

4 Purchase Protection is an embedded benefit of your Card Membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect Covered Purchases made on your Eligible Card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the Covered Purchase date. The coverage is limited to up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per Card Member account per calendar year. Coverage Limits Apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Amex Gold Card is worth the annual fee if you can get at least $250 in value from it, which could be possible with the various dining credits. Access to Amex Offers and other perks can sweeten the deal further. Enrollment is required for select benefits and terms apply.

  • You will likely need at least a 700 credit score to qualify for the Gold Card. This is considered a “Good” credit score. There’s no guarantee you’ll get approved and Amex may take other criteria into account when deciding whether to approve your application.

  • The American Express Gold Card is a metal card and comes in two color choices: gold and rose gold.

  • The Amex Gold and Amex Rose Gold are the same card, in different colors. The card benefits, welcome offers and features are the same (terms apply). When you apply for an Amex Gold Card, you can choose between the Gold and Rose Gold colored card. The Rose Gold card is often offered on a limited-time basis.

  • The American Express Gold Card does not offer airport lounge access. For that, you’ll need to upgrade to The Platinum Card from American Express.

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Ariana Arghandewal

Ariana Arghandewal is a rewards travel expert and founder of Pointchaser, an online publication dedicated to rewards travel topics. She brings over a decade of experience writing about travel, points, miles and credit cards. Her expertise includes her roles as an editor for distinguished travel and finance publications such as NerdWallet, The Points Guy and FlyerTalk. She has also authored many articles featured in major financial news & travel channels like Forbes, U.S. News Weekly, Business Insider & Fodor’s Travel.