Travel on Points

Review: American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold card's earning bonus at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets make it an excellent card for most people.
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Review: American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold card's earning bonus at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets make it an excellent card for most people.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

The American Express Gold Card is one of our favorite cards at ToP. The card is one of the best cards for spending at restaurants and supermarkets as it earns 4x Membership Rewards per dollar. This makes the Gold card a permanent fixture on many award travelers' wallets. And here's the kicker: you can choose to have the card in regular gold or rose gold!

Current Offer

Amex usually has many different welcome offers for its cards at any given time. The current public welcome offer for the Amex Gold card is to earn 60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 within the first 6 months. Because of Amex's “once in a lifetime” rule for welcome bonuses, we recommend trying to find a higher offer than 60,000 points.

As a Pay Over Time card, the Amex Gold card does not count towards Amex's limit of five credit cards. This card comes has an annual fee of $250 annually that is not waived the first year.

Earn Rate

The Amex Gold card earns 4x at restaurants worldwide (including take out and delivery) and 4x at U.S. supermarkets for the first $25,000 in a calendar year.  Additionally, the card earns 3x  on travel booked directly with airlines and via the American Express travel portal.  The card earns 1x on all other purchases.

Benefits

The Amex Gold card comes with many benefits that essentially pay for the card's annual fee.

  • $120 annually of Uber credit distributed as $10 monthly. Each month, you receive $10 in Uber credit that also works with Uber Eats.  The credit is automatically loaded onto your Uber account and can be combined with the $25 monthly credit from the American Express Platinum Card.
  • $120 annually of food credit distributed as $10 monthly statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (Enrollment required).
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Trip Coverage:
    • Baggage Insurance: if your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged and the ticket is purchased with your American Express Gold, you receive coverage up to $1,250 for a carry-on bag and up to $500 for a checked bag.
    • Trip Delay Reimbursement: for trips delayed over 12 hours, you can receive reimbursement up to $300 for eligible expenses and can have up to two claims every 12 months.
    • Rental Car Insurance: the card provides secondary car insurance coverage when you decline the rental agency’s collision waiver.

Our Analysis

The Amex Gold card deserves a spot in most wallets. The card's earning structure makes it a true workhorse of a card. Earning 4x MRs at U.S. supermarkets is huge, despite the cap at $25,000 per calendar year. No other card offers these many points per dollars at supermarkets regularly. In addition, 4x at restaurants is also great. By comparison, the Chase Sapphire Reserve only earns 3x at restaurants despite having a much higher annual fee.

In addition to great earning, the Amex Gold card still offers a few decent benefits. Monthly Uber credits are pretty easy to use. Once you add your card to your Uber wallet, the benefit kicks in automatically at the start of every month. Meanwhile, the $10 monthly food credit depends more on your eating habits, so we don't consider it as easy as the Uber credits.

The Gold also does provide some travel coverage. However, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve offer more comprehensive trip protection benefits. But in a pinch, the Gold is not a bad option for travel protection, either.

Final Thoughts

The American Express Gold card is a workhorse for spending on all things food-related: 4x Membership Rewards at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.  Despite having a $250 annual fee, you can easily utilize the benefits to pay for the card.  Combine this with the opportunity to earn over 100,00 MRs annually on top of the welcome offer, and the Gold deserves a permanent place in most wallets.

What do you think of the Amex Gold? Come share your thoughts in our Facebook group!

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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