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Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider’s terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

American Express Gold Card Review 2024

Editor Deepti Nickam

Mammoth grocery bills and eye-popping restaurant checks aren’t the most exciting part of family life. So having a credit card that throws in rewards for splurging on those fancy organic goods is always a nice bonus.

The Amex Gold Card spoils you with 4x points on groceries and dining, with a bunch of foodie perks thrown in. But there’s a catch—a $250 annual fee. So, does this card elevate your everyday spending enough to justify the price tag?

Let’s dive in and uncover its true value.

This article will include:

  • The benefits of the American Express Gold Card.
  • How the Amex Gold points work.
  • A rundown of Amex Platinum vs. Gold.

Read more:

 

Our Verdict

The American Express Gold Card offers premium benefits for food enthusiasts at a $250 annual fee. Earn 4x points on dining worldwide, 4x at US supermarkets, and 3x on flights. You get jetsetter perks like baggage insurance, a $100 hotel credit, a global assist hotline, and car rental insurance. Amex’s travel partners can also boost your points value up to 2 cents with 1:1 transfers.

3.6
Welcome Bonus
N/A (can't find this in QMP)
Annual Fee
annual_fees
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Credit Score
credit_score_needed

 

Amex Gold Card: On FIRE Score

Annual Fee annual_fees 4/5
APR  reg_apr,reg_apr_type 4/5
Intro Offer  bonus_miles_full 3/5
Maximum Rewards 4x points at restaurants and on groceries 3/5
Everyday Rewards 1x points on other eligible purchases 4/5
On FIRE Score 3.6/5

What Is the American Express Gold Credit Card?

The American Express Gold Card is a top-tier credit card and a foodie’s dream—its menu is filled with dining benefits, travel rewards, and shopping bonuses. You can get up to 4x points on spending like grabbing groceries, dining out, or booking flights.

Aside from the rewards, the dining credits seal the deal. You get a $120 dining credit at eligible restaurants and $120 Uber Cash to satisfy late-night cravings. The card also comes with travel perks—airport lounge access, baggage insurance, and some nifty benefits for hotels or car rentals.

But this golden card (or rose gold if you’re feeling fancy) comes with a annual_fees annual fee. Sure, this probably won’t break the bank, but it’s an added expense you need to consider. That said, the benefits and rewards tend to outweigh that cost, especially if you’re frequently dining out or traveling.

 

How Does the American Express Gold Card Work?

Maximizing points on this card should be easy if you’re a restaurant regular or a big grocery shopper.

Here’s a quick breakdown— 

  • 4x points on dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • 4x points on groceries at US supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year.
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Your points are worth around 0.5 to 2 cents each, depending on how you redeem them. You can use them for travel bookings through Amex Travel, airline and hotel transfers, gift cards, or online purchases.

So, what’s your spending limit?

Short answer: There is no spending limit.

Long answer: The Gold Card doesn’t have a fixed credit limit like regular credit cards. But before you start planning that full-scale renovation, keep in mind that Amex can adjust your spending based on your credit history and purchase behavior.

The Amex Gold also offers flexible payment options—

  • Pay Over Time: This feature lets you carry a balance with interest, paying it off gradually if you cover the minimum due monthly.
  • Pay It®: You can make small payments under $100 through the Amex App and continue earning points while chipping away at individual purchases.

Plan It: This feature lets you split large purchases into fixed-fee monthly payments, so you can manage significant expenses without extra interest.

 

American Express Gold Credit Card: Fees

Details Metric
Annual fee annual_fees
Regular APR reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Cash advance APR cash_advance_apr
Cash advance fee cash_advance_fee
Penalty APR 29.99%
Foreign transaction fee foreign_transaction_fee
Returned payment fee Up to $40
Late fee late_payment_fee

American Express Gold Credit Card: Pros and Cons

 

Pros

  • 4x points on restaurants and groceries.
  • Dining perks and credits.
  • Hotel benefits and upgrades.
  • Range of airline transfer partners.
  • Choice of rose gold card design.

 

Cons

  • $250 annual fee.
  • Complex points system.
  • Lack of premium travel perks.
  • High credit score requirements.

 

Why I like it

 

4x points on restaurants and groceries

Whether you’re grabbing your morning coffee or tackling the weekly grocery shop, these everyday points add up fast.

Here’s a rundown—

  • 4x points: You’ll get 4x Membership Rewards Points for every dollar you spend at restaurants worldwide.
  • 4x points: Earn 4x Membership Rewards Points on the first $25,000 of eligible purchases per calendar year at supermarkets located in the US (superstores, convenience stores, warehouse clubs, and meal-kit delivery services are not included).
  • 3x points: Get 3x Membership Rewards Points for airfare on scheduled flights charged directly with passenger airlines (not including charter flights and private jet flights) and airfare charged directly with amextravel.com

Remember: You’ll only get the 4x points for groceries for the first $25,000 spent a year—around $2,083 per month. Maybe we’re stingy, but my partner and I only spend around $300 a month, so this cap wouldn’t even come close. And with the average two-person household spending around $510 to $820 per month, couples and small families should be fine (just watch out for Thanksgiving).

For more rewards, check out the best cash back credit cards. 

 

Dining perks and credits

When I’ve had a long day at work, that restaurant down the road looks way more appealing than a half-empty fridge. If you relate, you’ll agree that these dining credits bring great value.

The Amex Gold comes with a $120 dining credit—$10 in monthly statement credits when using your card at various spots like The Cheesecake Factory, Grubhub, Wine.com, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations.

And for the days you’re glued to the sofa, there’s also $120 in Uber Cash. By linking the Gold Card to your Uber account, you can receive $10 a month for Uber Eats and rides within the US.

These credits total $240 a year, almost offsetting the $250 annual fee, so take advantage of these perks to make the most out of the card.

Don’t forget to enroll for the dining credits and download the Uber app—or you won’t receive any credits.

 

Hotel and travel benefits

Through the Hotel Collection program, you can bag a $100 hotel credit during your stay. To enjoy these perks, you’ll need to book new stays of two consecutive nights or more through American Express Travel at participating properties.

Room upgrades might be up for grabs, depending on availability. Amex also promises the lowest hotel rates guaranteed when you book through Amex Travel—so if you find lower prices online, they’ll refund the difference.

And the travel benefits don’t stop there—

  • No foreign transaction charges: You won’t pay extra on any transaction you charge to your card outside of the US—a must for any good travel rewards card. 
  • Global Assist Hotline: When you venture over 100 miles from home, the Global Assist Hotline is available 24/7. They can help with medical and legal referrals, sending emergency cash, and sorting out missing luggage.
  • Baggage insurance: After buying the entire fare for a ride on a common carrier (plane, train, ship, or bus), you’re covered for lost, damaged, or stolen baggage. Coverage goes up to $1,250 for carry-on bags and $500 for checked bags, on top of what the common carrier might provide.
  • Car rental insurance: If you use your card to book and pay for the whole rental and opt out of the collision damage waiver (CDW) at the rental counter, Amex will cover you for damage to or theft of the rental vehicle. (Not available for rentals in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand).

 

Range of airline transfer partners

Amex Gold lets you transfer your points to a range of airlines, giving you the freedom to find the best deals or the most convenient flights.

When transferring to flights, points are worth up to 2 cents each, and most airline transfer points work at a 1:1 ratio—so you’ll usually get 1,000 miles or airline points for 1,000 Membership Rewards Points.

Here are all the partnered airlines: 

  • Aer Lingus: 1,000 points = 1,000 Avios
  • Aero Mexico: 1,000 points = 1,600 AeroMexico Rewards Points
  • Aeroplan: 1,000 points = 1,000 Aeroplan Points
  • Air France KLM: 1,000 points = 1,000 Flying Blue Miles
  • ANA Mileage Club: 1,000 points = 1,000 ANA Mileage Club Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles: 1,000 points = 1,000 LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club = 1,000 points = 1,000 Avios
  • Cathay Pacific: 1,000 points = 1,000 Asia Miles
  • Delta Air Lines: 1,000 points = 1,000 miles
  • Emirates Skywards: 1,000 points = 1,000 Skyward Miles
  • Etihad Guest: 1,000 points = 1,000 Etihad Guest Miles
  • HawaiianMiles: 1,000 points = 1,000 HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus: 1,000 points = 1,000 Avios
  • JetBlue TrueBlue: 250 points = 200 TrueBlue points
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: 500 points = 500 Qantas points
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club: 1,000 points = 1,000 Avios
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 1,000 points = 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 1,000 points = 1,000 Virgin Points

And the hotels: 

  • Choice Privileges: 1,000 points = 1,0000 Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors: 1,000 points = 2,000 Hilton Honors Points
  • Marriott Bonvoy: 1,000 points = 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points

 

Choice of rose gold card design

This might seem minor, but having a card that reflects your style is the cherry on top. While Gold gives off that premium look, you can add a touch of glam with the Rose Gold option at no extra cost.

Just select the Rose Gold option when applying, or call an Amex representative and ask to replace your existing card.

 

Why you may want a different card

annual_fees annual fee

An annual fee of annual_fees isn’t the highest out there (looking at you Amex Platinum), but it’s still an extra expense that leaves room for pause.

You don’t want to pay for something you can’t make the most of, so check that your spending habits align with the card rewards and credits. For example, if you use the Uber cash, hotel, and dining credits, you can easily offset the fee.

But if this isn’t your cup of tea, the card_name could be a good fit. With a $0 annual fee, you’ll get 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases. Plus, Chase offers 5% on travel purchases, 3% on dining, 3% on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other expenses.

 

Complex points system

The Amex points system can be puzzling. Values of points can change depending on the redemption options—so you have to do some digging to find the best bang for your buck and maximize your rewards game.

For straightforward cash back, the card_name for Excellent Credit offers similar reward categories to the Amex Gold with no annual fee. The card lets you earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars and 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery stores.

 

Lack of premium travel perks

While the card does offer travel benefits, it might not cover all the bases for someone seeking a more premium experience.

Top-tier travel perks missing include travel accident insurance, concierge services, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and rental car status.

If you want more jet-setting perks, here are our top travel cards

 

High credit score requirements

This card isn’t a beginner’s entry into the credit card world. The Amex Gold Card requirements demand a good to excellent credit score. That’s at least a FICO score of 670 but aiming for 700 or higher will increase your chances.

And it’s not just your credit score that matters. Amex can also look at your personal and financial details to see if you’re a good fit and stable enough to pay off your balances.

 

American Express Gold Card: Additional Things to Know

 

Our Verdict

The American Express Gold Card offers premium benefits for food enthusiasts at a $250 annual fee. Earn 4x points on dining worldwide, 4x at US supermarkets, and 3x on flights. You get jetsetter perks like baggage insurance, a $100 hotel credit, a global assist hotline, and car rental insurance. Amex’s travel partners can also boost your points value up to 2 cents with 1:1 transfers.

3.6
Welcome Bonus
N/A (can't find this in QMP)
Annual Fee
annual_fees
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Credit Score
credit_score_needed

 

How to get an Amex Gold Card?

First off, you’ll want to check your credit score. American Express usually looks for good to excellent credit—so at least a 670 FICO score, but aiming for 700 or higher will boost your chances.

You also have to be over 18 and show you have a steady income.

Ready to apply? Head to the American Express website or use their app. The application shouldn’t take long, but to speed up the process, you’ll need to gather the following information—

  • Name and date of birth.
  • Email address and phone number.
  • Home address and state.
  • Social security number.
  • Annual salary and income source.

Once you’re approved, Amex will let you know if you’re eligible for the welcome bonus, which isn’t guaranteed. Factors that could affect your chances of getting the sign-up bonus include your past credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, and the number of credit cards you’ve opened and closed.

 

How do the Amex Gold rewards work?

You earn points on specific categories: 4x points on dining worldwide and at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 purchases per year), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. Plus, you get the standard 1x on all other eligible purchases.

Each Membership Reward Point is worth between 0.5 to 2 cents each, depending on how you redeem them—and this is where it gets a little more complicated.

Here are all the redemption options and their values—

Redemption option  Membership Reward Points (MRP) Value  Description
Book flights 1 MRP = 0.01 cents

10,000 MRP = $100

Find flights or cruises through American Express Travel.
Deposits 1 MRP = 0.008 cents10,000 MRP = $80 If you have a Business Platinum Card linked to your Business Checking Account, the rate is 1000 points for $10, up to 1,000,000 points yearly.
Reserve prepaid hotels and cars 1 MRP = 0.007 cents

10,000 MRP = $70

Book through American Express Travel to use your points on hotels and car rental services.
Pay with Points at Checkout 1 MRP = 0.007 cents

10,000 MRP = $70

Use your points at popular brands, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Dell.com, and Grubhub.
Gift cards 1 MRP = 0.007 cents10,000 MRP = $70 The minimum value for 10,000 MRP is $70, but some can reach $100. Gift cards cover a range of categories, such as lodging, travel, dining, and retail.
Statement credits 1 MRP = 0.006 cents

10,000 MRP = $60

You can redeem your points for statement credits for prepaid hotels, Indeed, Adobe, and more.
Online shopping 1 MRP = 0.005 cents 10,000 MRP = $50 You can shop through the Membership Rewards platform for a range of products. However, this doesn’t offer the best value for money as you can find cheaper prices at other popular retailers.

One of the best ways to use your points is by transferring them to airline or hotel partners, boosting them up to 2 cents per point. Most partners offer transfer rates at a 1:1 ratio, meaning you can transfer 1,000 Membership Rewards points for 1,000 airline points or miles.

Check out the Amex Gold points calculator to see how you can use your points.

 

Amex Gold vs. Platinum: What’s the difference?

The Gold Card is your go-to for dining and groceries. It comes with 4x points on global dining and US supermarket purchases, plus some delicious dining credits. It’s great for someone who loves eating out and is in charge of stocking up the pantry.

The Platinum Card steps it up a little (evident with its annual_fees annual fee). With this card, you get a whole bouquet of travel perks—from global airport lounge access to hotel gold elite statuses and a generous $200 airline and hotel credit. Plus, the Platinum lets you earn 5x points on flights and hotels to seal the deal.

Here’s an overview of American Express Gold vs. Platinum—

 

Details  card_name card_name
On FIRE score 3.6/5 3.8/5
Annual fee  annual_fees annual_fees
APR  reg_apr,reg_apr_type reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Welcome bonus bonus_miles_full bonus_miles_full
Rewards 4x points on restaurants

4x points on groceries

3x points on flights

1x points on other purchases

5x points on flights.

5x points on prepaid hotels.

1x points on other purchases.

See Rates and Fees See Rates and Fees 

 

How to Maximize Points With the Amex Gold Card

 

First, don’t forget to enroll for the dining credits (worth $120) through the Amex website and download the Uber app to get your $120 in Uber credits.

Signing up for everything and taking advantage of the hotel perks can also help offset the annual fee (and maybe get you a nice room upgrade). For example, you can get a $100 experience credit for a two-night minimum stay when you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel.

Where you spend the most is where you’ll earn the most points. With this card, dining out and grocery shopping will earn you big with 4x points. So, try to use your Gold Card in these categories to make those points stack up faster.

You also have to be strategic about your redemptions. Transferring your points to airlines and hotels is one of the most valuable options, with one point worth up to two cents.

For example, Aero Mexico offers 1,000 points for 1,600 Amex Rewards Points, and Hilton Honors works at a 1:2 ratio. You should also keep an eye on transfer bonuses, which offer extra value on certain airlines throughout the year.

I also recommend staying clear from using your points for purchases on the Membership Rewards Shopping platform. You can find the same products for cheaper at other popular retailers like Amazon or Walmart.

 

Best Cards to Pair With the American Express Gold Credit Card

 

While the Amex Gold could be used as a catch-all card, teaming it up with other cards can elevate your rewards game.

For business owners, the card_name offers 2x points on all everyday business purchases up to $50,000 per year—after that, you get 1x points on other eligible purchases. Plus, this Amex credit card offers a range of tools, such as employee cards and online statements, making it a great card to focus on the business side of things.

While the Amex Gold offers travel perks, it focuses on dining and groceries. So, if you want to propel those travel rewards, the card_name could be your ticket. It does come with a hefty $695 fee, but you also get a bunch of benefits, such as a $200 hotel credit, a $200 airline fee credit, and global airport lounge access. And let’s not forget the 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels.

These cards can create a dynamic trio, covering your bases for everyday spending, business expenses, and travel. If you mix and match wisely, you can boost your points across all your purchases.

 

Alternatives to the Amex Gold Credit Card

 

For more alternatives, find out more about Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve.

 

American Express Gold Card: Useful Links

 

 

American Express Gold Credit Card Customer Reviews

 

Here are some firsthand accounts from those who’ve tried and tested the card—

“This was one of my goal cards when I started my credit journey. I thought it would be perfect for every time I bought food due to the points for groceries and takeout, and so far, it has been. Overall, I’d recommend this card because the rewards, bonuses, and statement credits for Uber Eats pretty much negate the $250 annual fee.” 

“If you can take advantage of the yearly credits, the annual fee isn’t so relevant. Regular strategic spending in the groceries, dining, and airline categories will get you a cheap domestic flight for essentially nothing each year. I love that the no preset spending limit allows my credit utilization to remain lower than if I had another credit card.”

“I love taking out my Amex Gold Card and not seeing a max spending limit. The downside is without the max spending, this just reports as a charge instead of a limit and utilization. Customer service was good, and they were very prompt on everything. Rewards are a little confusing, and the point system is mid-range at best.”

 

Is the Amex Gold Worth It?

 

The Amex Gold Card lets you earn generous points on dining out and groceries—two things most of us spend a fair chunk of change on. You get $120 in dining and Uber credits to cover your food cravings. The $100 hotel credit is also a nice addition. Plus, Amex points continue to have decent value when redeemed for travel or transferred to partner loyalty programs.

However, if you do the math and find that these reward categories sound much better in theory than in practice, the $250 annual fee probably isn’t worth it. You also have to consider the travel perks—to make the most of this card and its redemption options, you want to make sure you’re no stranger to frequent flying.

The Amex Gold isn’t for everyone, but if your spending aligns with its rewards and dining and hotel credits, it might be your answer to guilt-free spending.

If you’re eager to start earning points, apply for the American Express® Gold Card here

 

FAQ

 

What is the American Express Gold Card limit?

The Amex Gold doesn’t have a fixed credit limit. Instead, it adjusts spending based on credit history and purchase behavior.

You also have payment options for diverse spending styles. “Pay Over Time” allows balanced repayments with interest, while “Pay It®” supports small payments below $100 through the Amex App, earning points per purchase. “Plan It” splits significant expenses into fixed-fee monthly payments, aiding in managing large purchases sans extra interest.

 

Is the American Express Gold Card hard to get?

Getting the American Express Gold Card shouldn’t be difficult if you have a good to excellent credit score and a solid financial profile.

To give yourself a good shot, aim for a credit score of 700 or higher. Sure, you can sneak in with a 670 score, but a higher score sweetens the deal. Having a steady income and a track record of responsible credit use helps your case big time.

 

Is the American Express Gold a metal card?

Yes, the American Express Gold Card is a metal card. It weighs around 15 grams, which gives it a sturdy and premium feel compared to standard plastic cards.

 

Our Methodology

 

Our credit card reviews aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of both quantitative and qualitative factors. The quantitative analysis focuses on the financial costs and benefits associated with each card, including interest rates, fees, rewards programs, cash back offers, and other monetary perks. However, we also consider qualitative aspects that impact the everyday use and value of the card. These include the simplicity of the application process, the structure of the rewards program, the likelihood of utilizing certain card features, and the suitability of the card for frequent or infrequent use. Our On FIRE rating system allows for quick comparisons between cards within a particular category. When choosing a new credit card, consumers should weigh the quantitative dollar amounts along with qualitative ease-of-use factors to select the best overall option for their needs.

 



 

Terms and Restrictions Apply
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider's terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

User-Generated Content Disclosure: Responses 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.

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