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The American Express® Gold Card can be your best friend if you’re someone who always dines out or goes to the grocery because you’ll earn up to 4x points on restaurants, plus take out and delivery in the US. It also earns 4x on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25k a year then 1x thereafter). Plus, it also comes with a solid welcome offer and multiple annual statement credits that can help you save a lot of money every year.
Sure, the $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) is a little bit pricey but the Amex Gold Card’s numerous perks are more than enough to offset that cost. Let’s learn more about the card and see what it has in store for you.
American Express Gold Card Key Points
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first six months of card membership.
- Earn 4x points on dining at restaurants worldwide (plus takeout in delivery in the U.S.), 4x points in purchases at U.S. supermarkets per calendar year (up to $25,000, then 1 point per dollar afterward), 3x points on direct airline bookings or through the Amex Travel Portal, and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
- Up to $120 annual dining Statement credit (up to $10 a month)
- Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash (up to $10 a month in in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.)
- Up to $100 in hotel credits (must book a minimum 2 night stay through The Hotel Collection portal)
- Consumer and travel protection benefits: Trip Delay reimbursement, rental car insurance, baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection
Additionally, the American Express Gold Card has no foreign transaction fees so it can be your best buddy whenever you want to eat or shop abroad. Foreign transaction fees typically cost 3% for each transaction done. (see rates and fees)
The card comes with a solid welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 within 6 months of account opening.
The bonus alone is worth $600 if you redeem them for award flights on the Amex Membership Rewards portal. However, you can even get more value if you can transfer your points to Amex’s multiple transfer partners which are made up of airline loyalty programs and hotel loyalty programs.
The American Express Gold Card is the perfect card for dining and grocery shopping since it earns up to 4x points on select categories. At 4x points per dollar, cardholders can rack up tons of miles within a year and redeem them for hotel stays or travel.
- 4 Membership Rewards® Points per $1 at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- 4 Membership Rewards® Points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, 1x thereafter.
- 3 Membership Rewards® Points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- 1 point per $1 on other purchases
$120 Annual Dining Credit
Get up to $10 worth of monthly statement credits when you use your American Express Gold Card to pay for food at partner restaurants such as Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, GoldBelly, Wine.com, Milkbar and some Shake Shack locations,. Just make sure to enroll your account on the American Express website. (Note the participating locations change frequently)
$120 Annual Uber Cash
Cardholders can get up to $10 per month ($120 annually) for Uber Eats and Uber rides within the US. Just remember to link your card to the Uber app to get the cash benefit.
$100 Hotel Credits
Cardholders who book hotels through the Amex Hotel collection will get $100 worth of statement credits for qualifying activities. If you total the statement credits, it actually amounts to $340 which is more than enough to cover up the cost of your annual fees.
The card also comes with numerous travel perks that can come in handy during emergencies. Just make sure to use your card to be eligible for the coverage being offered.
- Baggage insurance – Cardholders who purchased tickets using the Amex Gold will be eligible for up to up to $500 in coverage for checked baggage and $1,250 in coverage for carry-on baggage.
- Rental car insurance – Rent a car using your card and you’ll get secondary coverage for damage or theft.
- Purchase protection: Coverage for new purchases that have been damaged, stolen, or lost within 90 days from the date of purchase
- Extended warranty protection – Extended warranty coverage of one additional year on top of the manufacturer’s warranty
- Annual Fee $250 – Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. 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.” (see rates and fees)
How To Redeem Your Points
The American Express Gold Card gives cardholders an opportunity to get more value from the points they’ve earned through its multiple transfer partners.
Cardholders can transfer their points to other loyalty programs (usually at a 1:1 ratio) so they would have more award options to choose from. Here are some Amex transfer partners and their transfer ratios.
- Asia Miles – 1:1
- British Airways Executive Club – 1:1
- Emirates Skywards – 1:1
- Etihad Guest – 1:1
- Finnair Plus – 1:1
- Flying Blue – 1:1
- Iberia Plus – 1:1
- Qantas Frequent Flyer – 1:1
- SAS Eurobonus – 1:1
- Singapore KrisFLyer – 3:2
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – 1:1
- Hilton Honors – 1:2
- Marriot Bonvoy – 2:3
- Radisson Rewards – 1:3
- Club Eurostar – 1500:100
- Club Nectar – 1:1
For more details about Amex transfer partners, you can check out their website here.
Who Is This Card For?
The answer is pretty simple. It’s foodies because the rewards categories are mainly focused on restaurants and supermarkets
Supermarket Shopping Presents Opportunities
Remember not only will you earn 4x on all U.S. supermarkets. But remember many supermarkets have pharmacies, liquor stores and in some cases even an appliance section built in. Some of these grocery stores code the purchases differently but many don’t, meaning you could earn 4x not just on groceries, but on pharmacy and medication purchases as well. Even better if there is a built in liquor store you could get 4x on an expensive purchase of fine whiskey or aged wine.
If you decided to eat out, you’ll earn 4x points for dining, meanwhile, if you decided to just cook at home, you’ll still earn 4x points from supermarkets. You earn big points whether you eat out or not.
Not the best card for American expats who live abroad
While the card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, many of the bonus categories and statement credits, only work in the USA. When this card was first released years ago it was only 4x for restaurants in the USA, however Amex changed their mind changed it so now its 4x on dining worldwide. However, most other bonus categories only work in the US.
Uber credit does not work aboard but MAY work in countries that use the US dollar
Points Panda owner Freddy Lansky who lives in Mexico has confirmed that the Uber Cash credit does NOT work for Uber in Mexico. However, some users have reported the Uber Cash credit working in other countries that use the US dollar like Panama, Ecuador etc.
4x on U.S. Supermarkets only in the USA
The 4x only working on US supermarkets stores is a real bummer for US expats, however, there are many cards that give 3x on international groceries with no forex fees such as the Chase Aeroplan Credit Card or the Citi Premier® Card. This is a huge bummer for those living abroad because oftentimes in foreign countries there is a pharmacy and liquor store built into the grocery store allowing you to get 3x or 4x on your medication and expensive liquor purchases.
Other Cards You May Want
If the American Express Gold Card isn’t convincing enough to make you sign up, maybe these other cards will.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a 60,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. It has a $95 annual fee, but the perks are enough to compensate for the costs. Also, here are the card’s earning categories.
- 5x points on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal
- 3x points per dollar on dining (up from 2x)
- 3x points per dollar on select streaming services
- 3x points per dollar on online groceries (excludes Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
- 2x points per dollar on other travel
- 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases
If you’re spending is spread out on different categories, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good option for you because the spending includes streaming services. Meanwhile, if you think that you’re mainly spending on dining and groceries, then the American Express Gold Card is the better option.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an elite card with elite benefits. New cardholders will get 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of card membership.
Here are its earning rates:
- 10x points hotel and car rental purchases through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal
- 5x points on airline travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal
- 3x points on other travel and dining
- 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases
It has an expensive annual fee of $550 but the rewards are solid enough to make the cost worthwhile. For example, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a free $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Application free credit, and Priority Pass access which are premium perks that aren’t commonly found on other top-tier cards.
The American Express Gold Card is a no-brainer if you’re someone who loves to eat out and go grocery shopping. A rewards rate of 4x points is a solid rate and it will make earning Membership Rewards points faster for you in the long run.
Additionally, the annual statement credits make the card even more attractive because the $120 annual credits for dining and Uber alone can easily cover up at least 90% of the $250 annual fee. Is it a good addition to your wallet? Yes, definitely. Those who don’t do much grocery shopping, don’t eat out much, and those who live abroad or are frequently out of the USA may want to look for another card.
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