American Express® Gold Card Review | A High-End Foodie Rewards Card

Written By
Sarah Li Cain

The American Express® Gold Card is one of the premier travel rewards cards available. It has a large welcome bonus and 4X points on dining. 

 
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

The American Express® Gold Card is one of the premier travel rewards cards currently available. It features a 75,000-point welcome bonus and offers higher rewards rates for dining out, take out, delivery, and grocery shopping. This is a great card if you eat at restaurants frequently or are looking for a good card for rewards on your grocery shopping. 

The Amex card also features a long list of valuable travel and other perks like a $120 annual dining credit, $120 in Uber Cash, rental car insurance, and baggage insurance.

Highlights
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on your card within the first six months 

  • 4X points on dining and US supermarkets

  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com

  • 1X points on all other purchases

  • $120 annual dining credit 

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Best for Dining Rewards 

Annual Fee: $250
Welcome Offer: 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on your card in the first six months 
Intro APR: NA
Regular APR: 15.99% - 22.99% 
Credit Score Requirements: Good to Excellent (670 - 850)
Terms and Conditions Apply 

Our Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

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Why We Love the American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is one of the premier travel rewards cards currently available. Not only does it feature a massive 75,000-point welcome bonus, but it's also a foodie's dream. With higher rewards rates for dining out, take out, delivery, and grocery shopping, you'll be handsomely rewarded. 

The Amex card also features a long list of valuable travel and other perks like a $120 annual dining credit, $120 in Uber Cash, rental car insurance, and baggage insurance.

American Express Gold Card Benefits

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on your card within the first six months 

  • 4X points on dining 

  • 4X points at US supermarkets 

  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com

  • 1X points on all other purchases

  • $120 annual dining credit 

Where American Express Gold Card is Lacking 

  • No complimentary airport lounge access

  • No preset spending limit 

  • No foreign transaction fees 

Who the Amex Gold Card Is Best for 

The Amex Gold Card is best for individuals who want to earn travel rewards through dining and grocery spending. The rewards rate for dining includes takeout and delivery, so whether you order out or cook at home, you'll earn high rates. 

This Amex card is also geared towards people looking for versatile travel rewards. You can redeem your points for travel through American Express or transfer them over to one of its 21 airline and hotel travel partners. 

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The Full Breakdown of the American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card is among the best travel rewards credit cards on the market. Keep reading to learn more about the Amex Gold Card® to decide if it's the right choice for you. 

Annual Fees

The Gold Card's $250 annual fee isn't the highest we've seen. It's not even the highest annual fee for an American Express card. Still, $250 is a considerable fee to pay each year for a credit card. The card is jam-packed with value, but it's only worth the fee if you plan to take advantage of its rewards earnings and benefits every year.

Intro APR Offer

The Amex Gold Card doesn't come with an intro APR offer for purchases or balance transfers. Other rewards credit cards may be a better fit if you want to make a larger purchase or transfer existing credit card debt (and pay it off over time). 

Ongoing APR

The Amex Gold Card features an ongoing variable APR between 15.99%-22.99%, which is based on your creditworthiness. 

Like some other Amex credit cards, Amex Gold doesn't allow cardholders to automatically carry over a month-to-month balance. Cardholders are expected to pay their balance in full each month. There's also an option to opt-in for one of two payment options: 

  • "Plan It" allows you to split up large purchases and pay them off over time (an additional monthly fee is charged).

  • "Pay It" lets you lower your balance by making smaller payments throughout the month.

Welcome Bonus

Earning a welcome bonus is a great way to boost your travel rewards quickly, and the Amex Gold Card comes with an excellent bonus. If they spend $4,000 within the first six months, new cardmembers can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points.

Credit Score Requirements 

You'll need a good-to-excellent FICO credit score (between 670-850) to qualify for the Amex Gold Card.

If you don't currently meet these requirements, you can opt for another rewards card or work to improve your credit before applying. You can also raise your credit score through responsible card use (including paying off your credit card balance on time and in full each month).

Point Redemption 

Rewards earned with the Amex Gold Card® come in the form of Membership Rewards® points. Membership Rewards® is American Express's loyalty program and one of the most versatile programs around. 

As you spend on your Gold Card, you'll earn redeemable points for a myriad of options like: 

  • Book travel through American Express

  • Travel upgrades

  • Gift cards

  • Online shopping

  • Pay with points at checkout with online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and BestBuy

  • Statement credit for recent purchases

Membership Rewards® also gives you the ability to transfer your points to airline and hotel partner loyalty programs. Most transfers are at a 1:1 point rate (minus a select few programs). See the chart below for Amex's current travel transfer partners and conversion rates. 

Amex Transfer Partner Minimum TransferTransfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub1,0001:1
AeroMexico Club Premier1,0001:1.6
Air Canada Aeroplan1,0001:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue1,0001:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia1,0001:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club1,0001:1
Asia Miles1,0001:1
Avianca LifeMiles1,0001:1
British Airways Avios1,0001:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles1,0001:1
Emirates Skywards Miles1,0001:1
Etihad Guest Miles1,0001:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles1,0001:1
Iberia Plus Avios1,0001:1
JetBlue TrueBlue2505:4
Qantas Loyalty Frequent Flyer5001:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1,0001:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,0001:1
Choice Privileges1,0001:1
Hilton Honors1,0001:2
Marriott Bonvoy1,0001:1

You can also choose to donate your points to charities fighting for social injustice like The Bail Project and The Equal Justice Initiative. 

Member Perks

Rewards earning isn't the only benefit with the Amex Gold Card. Cardholders also have access to several travel and other perks, including: 

Uber Cash: When you add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account, you'll get up to $120 annually ($10 monthly) in Uber Cash. The credit is good for Uber rides and Uber Eats orders. 

Dining credit: You can also get $10 in monthly statement credits (up to $120 annually) when you dine at select restaurants and delivery services. 

Hotel credit: The card comes with a $100 Hotel Collection credit to spend on qualifying resort purchases and activities at over 600 properties. 

Baggage Insurance: Cardholders also get up to $1,250 in coverage for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. The insurance protects bags if they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Note: Exclusions and restrictions apply, so be sure to read the fine print. 

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Receive secondary auto insurance coverage when you decline the rental company's insurance and pay with your Amex Gold Card®. Keep in mind that Amex's coverage only provides protection against theft and collision (not liability).

Foreign Transaction Fees

The American Express Gold Card carries no foreign transaction fees, meaning that you'll never pay extra fees on card purchases when traveling outside the US. 

Reward Expiration 

As long as your account is open and in good standing, American Express Membership Rewards points never expire.

Customer service/Ease of Access

American Express gives customers multiple ways to contact them for support. Options include chat, mail, and 24/7 phone support. There's also an option to tweet questions to @AskAmex on Twitter.

The American Express mobile app has high ratings in both the App Store and on Google Play. The app allows you to manage your Amex account and rewards from anywhere in the world. 

How The Amex Gold Card Compares to Others

The Amex Gold Card isn't the only rewards card to consider. Here's a look at how it compares to some of the best credit cards on the market. 

American Express Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum Card is one of the premier travel rewards credit cards available right now. It also features an incredible welcome bonus of 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 within the first six months. 

While the card is packed with valuable benefits, the Platinum Card also features a hefty $695 annual fee (so it's designed with serious travelers in mind). Platinum Card perks include airport lounge access, elite hotel rewards status, up to $200 Uber credits annually, Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ fee credit, and much more. 

 American Express Gold CardThe Platinum Card from American Express
Sign up Bonus75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months125,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first six months
Earnings4X points on dining and supermarkets, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on AmexTravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases
Perks$120 dining credit and $120 Uber credit annually. $240 statement credit for digital entertainment annually and $200 Uber credit annually.
Annual Fee$250$695

American Express Gold Card vs. American Express® Green Card

If you like American Express but don't like the Platinum and Gold cards' higher annual fees, consider the American Express Green Card. With a $150 annual fee, it's still a solid card that provides tons of benefits and rewards earning potential. 

You'll earn 3X points on select dining, transit, and travel purchases. Plus, you'll earn a 50,000-point welcome bonus when you spend $2,000 on your card in the first six months. Amex Green Card travel perks include a $100 CLEAR credit, $100 lounge access credit, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, and more. 

 American Express Gold CardAmerican Express Green Card
Sign up Bonus75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months45,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first three months
Earnings4X points on dining and supermarkets, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases3X points on select dining transit, and travel purchases, 2X on rental cars booked through AmexTravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases
Perks$120 dining credit and $120 Uber credit annually. $100 CLEAR credit, $100 lounge access credit, rental insurance, baggage insurance, and more
Annual Fee$250$150

Amex Gold Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase is also home to several top rewards credit cards – and few are more popular than Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee ($95) than all three Amex cards mentioned and features a sizable 100,000 point welcome bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. 

With the Sapphire Preferred Card, you'll earn higher rewards rates on dining, travel, and grocery purchases, as well as added benefits through partners like Peloton, Lyft, and DoorDash. This Chase travel rewards card also gives you access to Chase Ultimate Rewards – one of the most versatile loyalty rewards programs. 

 American Express Gold CardChase Sapphire Preferred Card
Sign up Bonus75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
Earnings4X points on dining and supermarkets, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases5X points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5X points on Lyft rides and Peloton equipment, 3X points on dining and online grocery purchases, 2X points on all other travel
Perks$120 dining credit and $120 Uber credit annually. 25% bonus on point value on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Annual Fee$250$95

Is The American Express Gold Card Worth It? 

The American Express Gold Card is one of the top credit cards around – but it may not be right for everyone. Like any card, it has benefits and drawbacks to consider:

Pros

  • Large welcome bonus

  • High reward rates in popular spending categories

  • Annual dining credit 

  • Versatile travel rewards

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Higher annual fee

  • No airport lounge benefits

  • No elite hotel status benefits

  • High penalty APR

Our Final Take on the American Express Gold Card

While its $250 annual fee may cause you to pause for a second, the American Express Gold Card offers enough value to justify the fee – especially if you spend considerable money on dining and groceries. The annual credits and travel insurance options give cardholders a nice mix of elite benefits. To find the right fit for you, we recommend taking the time to compare the Amex Gold Card to other top cards. 

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Highlights
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on your card within the first six months 

  • 4X points on dining and US supermarkets

  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com

  • 1X points on all other purchases

  • $120 annual dining credit 

Visit Website
Learn More
 
The American Express Gold Card is a great card for earning travel rewards on dining out and grocery shopping. Click the green button to learn more at AmericanExpress.com.
Highlights
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on your card within the first six months 

  • 4X points on dining and US supermarkets

  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AmexTravel.com

  • 1X points on all other purchases

  • $120 annual dining credit 

Visit Website

Editorial Disclosure

All of the opinions expressed herein are the author's alone, and not those of any bank, brokerage, credit card issuer, lender, insurance company, outside financial institution, or any other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post or any other third parties.