Those who eat out and travel often can benefit from the American Express Gold Card. It lets you earn reward points for dining, shopping and flight booking, which you can redeem for your subsequent travel expenses.
American Express Gold Card Review
The American Express Gold Card is highly rewarding for those who frequently dine out or travel. Its Membership Rewards and redemption programs are lucrative, allowing you to earn bonus points at restaurants, supermarkets and for flight bookings on every dollar spent. Despite a high annual fee and APR, the generous Membership Rewards earnings on the Gold Card’s bonus categories can more than offset the fees. Additionally, there are no fees for international transactions. MoneyGeek’s American Express Gold Card review discusses the pros, cons and other features of the card to help you decide if it’s the right card for your wallet.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
American Express Gold Card at a Glance
Fee-free international transactions, high rewards points and dining and Uber cash credits are the highlights of the American Express Gold Card. Card users can also earn points when shopping at supermarkets.
- American Express Gold Card
Best rewards card for frequent fliers and diners
- Good–ExcellentCredit Needed
- $250Annual Fee
- 1–4 Points per $1Rewards Rate
- 4xRewards Rate on Groceries
- 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel
Pros & Cons Explained
The American Express Gold Card comes with numerous benefits worth considering. However, you need to assess its shortfalls as well in order to decide if the card is right for you.
- High Reward Points at Restaurants, Supermarkets and for Airline BookingsFor a flight booking using the card, either on amextravel.com or directly with the airlines, you get three reward points per dollar. Additionally, it rewards you with four points per dollar at a U.S. supermarket, restaurant or Uber Eats.
- Dining and Uber Cash CreditsThe dining and Uber Cash credits help justify its annual fee of $250. Purchasing through Uber Eats can earn you up to $10 Uber cash credit monthly for an Uber eat order or Uber ride you take in the U.S. Plus, paying at participating restaurant chains can earn you up to $10 credits monthly on the statement.
- No Foreign Transaction FeeWith no surcharge on international transactions, you can make the best use of the card and earn points while on the go.
- Repayment FlexibilityYou have the flexibility to pay in full, pay the minimum amount required and carry forward the balance with interest or split large purchases into monthly installments with a fixed fee.
- High Annual FeeIts $250 annual fee is pricey. If you don’t eat out or travel often, you may find the charges outweigh the card’s rewards.
- High APRWith its high regular APR of 15.99% to 22.99% and penalty APR of 29.99%, the card only works for those who can pay their balances in full each month.
- Less Global AcceptanceThe global acceptance of American Express cards is limited to 44.2 million merchants, much less than Visa and Mastercards. You may find the need to use a Visa or Mastercard credit card while on an international trip.
- Supermarket Purchase Rewards are LimitedThe rewards don’t apply to purchases made at warehouse clubs like Costco or supercenters like Walmart. They are limited to those made at actual supermarkets like Albertsons and Kroger.
MoneyGeek has selected American Express Gold Card as one of the best rewards credit cards of 2021. You can compare this card to other cards that made it to our list of Best 9 Rewards Credit Cards of 2021.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
The American Express Gold Card is designed to help you earn at least one point for every dollar you spent on eligible purchases. Additionally, it offers lucrative rewards and bonuses.
Welcome Bonus for New Cardholders
Your American Express Gold Card will be credited with 75,000 points if you make eligible purchases of at least $4,000 in the first six months of holding the membership.
All purchases made using the card can get you at least one reward point per dollar. Flight bookings can fetch you three points per dollar, while restaurant and supermarket bills (up to $25,000 in a calendar year) can reward you with four points per dollar.
Easy Rewards Redemption and Transfer
You can redeem the points through American Express Travel or at retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. It’s also possible to use them to buy gift cards or certificates. You will also be rewarded for each dollar spent while redeeming. Additionally, you can transfer the points to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs at a fee. Each Amex partner offers at least the same value for the points transferred.
Other Features Explained
Besides the American Express Gold Card’s benefits, many impressive features make the card easy and safe to use and worth considering.
- Card FeatureDescription
- American Express AppThe American Express app is available for both iOS and Android devices. This app updates you on nearby offers and reward programs. It has safety features like card freezing, purchase alerts and fraud alerts.
- Amex Send & SplitYou can use this option to send money and divide purchases with any Venmo or PayPal users straight from the app.
- Additional CardsYou can add an ‘additional card' for anybody 13 years of age and older and earn points for transactions made with the card. This lets you earn rewards faster.
"Promotional offers for American Express Gold Card holders are often very lucrative. They can help you earn a lot of points by offering significant bonus spend at select retailers. Keep an eye out for them in your inbox!" - Alene Laney, Credit Card Journalist
Understanding the Fine Print
Besides knowing your rights as a credit card holder, understanding the American Express Gold Card's perks, fees and interest rates can assist you in making an informed decision about if the card is right for you.
The table below can help you understand the fees, interest rates, rewards rates and more for the American Express Gold Card.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- Annual Fee$250
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate1–4 Points per $1
- Airline Benefits
The American Express Gold Card comes with a high variable APR of between 15.99% and 22.99% and 25.24% for cash advances. These rates are subject to change based on the prime rate published in The Wall Street Journal.
The card has an annual fee of $250, which is on the higher side. However, this can be justified if you make the best use of the card and earn dining and Uber cash credits.
Foreign Transaction Fee
With no foreign transaction fee, you can easily use the card while on an international trip and earn points at the same time.
Every dollar spent with the card earns you at least one reward point.
It's important to consider the annual fee, APR and rewards when comparing credit cards. If you're comparing this card to the one you already have, it's best to look at the recent bill statements or check your credit card company's website or app. Alternatively, you can look up information in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database (CFPB).
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider American Express Gold Card?
Other Considerations for American Express Gold Card
It’s important to know exactly what to expect when signing up for a credit card. Here are some things to keep in mind before applying for the American Express Gold Card.
Things to Consider if This is Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
If this card is your first or only credit card, it's best to pay off your outstanding amount before the end of the billing cycle. The high APR on the card can cost you a lot if you keep revolving credits.
Always make sure you spend in the areas where the card can be highly rewarding. If this is going to be your first or only credit card and you don't dine out or shop at supermarkets frequently, it's best to find a card with a lower interest rate and annual fee.
Things to Consider if This is Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
As an additional card in your wallet, the American Express Gold Card can probably be rewarding. However, it depends on where you use the card and how you pay off your monthly credit card bills.
If your other cards come with an annual fee, consider this one only if its rewards outweigh the pricier annual fees. The four points per dollar rewards at restaurants and supermarkets and three points per dollar rewards for flight bookings will only pay off if you use it frequently for eligible purchases. Additionally, if you don’t intend to pay off your monthly bills on time, the high APR will come into play. But by making payments on time and frequently spending on eligible bonus categories, the card can be rewarding for those who eat out or travel frequently.
MoneyGeek uses a comprehensive rating methodology to conduct in-depth analysis on various credit cards and companies. The process begins with gathering data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's database, standardizing data points for card comparison, estimating average spend profiles, considering annual and introductory bonuses of each card and calculating the three-year value of holding the card. The process also involves monthly re-reranking of the cards and updating the cards list semi-annually.
How American Express Gold Card Compares to Other Cards
With its high rewards rate and no foreign transaction fees this card competed well with most other rewards cards. However, assessing how it compares to other rewards cards comes down to what you're looking for in a card.
Quick Comparison of American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card
- Annual Fee: $250
- Regular APR: 15.99% - 22.99%
- Rewards Rate: $1-$4 per dollar
- International Transaction Fee: None
- Mine Verdict: Best for those who spend a lot on grocery purchases and dining out.
Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Card
- Annual fee: None
- Regular APR: 15.49% - 25.49%
- Rewards Rate: 1.5%
- International Transaction Fee: None
- Mini Verdict: Good for minimalist shoppers who want cashback for daily spending.
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
You may still have some questions regarding the American Express Gold Credit Card. We have answered some of the commonly asked questions that may assist you in making a choice.
Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.
If you're still doubtful about getting this card, consider looking at some of the other cards with generous rewards. If you don't prefer a rewards card, you can also find a suitable cashback card or balance transfer card with no annual fee.
Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature
Citi Rewards+ Card
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students
Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Capital One Spark Cash Select
Chase British Airways Visa Signature
Citi American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Card
Mastercard Black Card
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
Learn more about credit cards in general
- American Express. "American Express Gold Card." Accessed August 17, 2021.
- American Express. "Everyday Features." Accessed August 18, 2021.
- American Express. "How to Increase Your Credit Limit." Accessed August 18, 2021.
- Membership Rewards program. "Welcome to Membership Rewards!." Accessed August 18, 2021.
- Nilson Report. "Global Brand Card Acceptance Worldwide." Accessed August 18, 2021.