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Changes are coming to the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and it’s mostly good news!
Starting June 1, 2015, you’ll get a $100 airline incidental fee credit each calendar year. And from the same date, you’ll earn 2 American Express Membership Rewards points for every $1 you spend at US restaurants!
They’re also getting rid of foreign transaction fees, which makes this card much better for folks who travel abroad.
But there’s a bit of bad news. The annual fee (currently waived for the 1st year) is increasing by $20, to $195.
These changes are great news for folks who charge a lot of airline fees, travel overseas, or eat out frequently. But is it worth the increased annual fee?
What’s the Deal?
Folks who apply for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express now will get a welcome bonus of 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening their account.
With the card you get:
- 3 points per $1 you spend on airfare purchased directly from airlines
- 2 points per $1 you spend at US gas stations and US supermarkets
- 1 point per $1 you spend on everything else
- Transfer points to participating frequent traveler programs
- Annual fee of
$175$195, currently waived for the 1st year
- Terms and limitations apply
But after June 1, 2015, you’ll also get:
- 2 points per $1 you spend at US restaurants
- $100 per calendar year in airline incidental fee credits (baggage fees, change fees, etc.)
- NO foreign transaction fees
- Annual fee of $195, waived for the 1st year
If you’re able to use the $100 airline fee credit, it more than makes up for the $20 increase in annual fee. But if you don’t want to pay a higher annual fee, you should apply before June 1, 2015.
Earning 2 points per $1 at US restaurants, and the elimination of foreign transaction fees makes this card much more competitive with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which earns 2 points per $1 you spend on restaurants and travel).
But the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee of $95 (waived for the 1st year), and you’ll earn 2 points per $1 at restaurants overseas as well, not just the US. However, there’s no airline fee credit.
And while American Express Membership Rewards has more transfer partners than Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get more points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus (40,000 points after meeting minimum spending requirements) than with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
That said, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is still a good choice for folks who spend a lot of money on airfare or at US gas stations and supermarkets. And the $100 airline fee credit and 2X points at US restaurants makes the deal even sweeter!
Plus, American Express Membership Rewards often has transfer bonuses, like the 40% bonus for transferring points to British Airways Avios earlier this year.
American Express has been making changes (good and bad) to a few of its cards lately. Last year, they removed the 15,000 point bonus for spending $30,000 per year from the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
And they recently updated the The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN. It now lets you pick 1 category (like gas stations or airfare) to earn 3X points per $1 you spend.
Hopefully this is a sign of more positive changes to come (like increased welcome bonuses!) from American Express!
Beginning June 1, 2015, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will offer extra perks, like a $100 annual airline fee credit, 2 points per $1 you spend at US restaurants, and no foreign transaction fees.
But you’ll pay (a little) extra for these new benefits. The annual fee is increasing to $195 from $175 (a difference of $20). It’s currently waived for the 1st year.
That said, the higher fee is more than offset by the $100 airline fee credit. And folks who dine out or spend lots of money on airfare, gas, and groceries could earn a lot of extra points from this card’s bonus categories.
Do you think it’s worth paying an increased annual fee in the 2nd year for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express?