American Express Gold Card review — A great pick for purchases at U.S. supermarkets
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If the way to your heart is through your stomach, you’ll love the American Express® Gold Card. You’ll earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. And in addition, you’ll earn bonus points in categories like groceries at U.S. supermarkets and dining.
While dining out isn’t much of an option right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Amex Gold card’s up to $120 in dining credit ($10 monthly) per year (enrollment required) at food delivery services including Grubhub and Seamless could be incredibly valuable right now. And you’ll certainly be spending on groceries — so why not make the most of your purchases and rack up rewards you can use once things are back to normal?
American Express® Gold CardAPPLY NOW
American Express® Gold Card
- 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
- Terms Apply | Rates & Fees
- $250 annual fee (Not waived the first year)
WHY WE LIKE IT
- 4X points at restaurants worldwide
- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1X)
- 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- Up to $100 airline fee credit per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected airline
- Read our review of the Amex Gold Card
Who is the Amex Gold Card for?
The Amex Gold Card is for anyone looking to maximize their spending supermarkets and restaurants, whether they’re in the U.S. or overseas.
When you open the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
The points you’ll earn are enough for a round-trip coach award flight within the U.S. when you transfer them to Amex travel partners like Air Canada, Delta, or Singapore Airlines, or for a round-trip coach award trip to Hawaii. If you love to dine out or buy lots of groceries at U.S. supermarkets, those 4X categories add up fast.
There’s a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), but the credits you’ll earn cover most of it. You’ll get up to $120 in dining credits, broken into $10 monthly over the course of a year, to spend at certain restaurants.
You’ll also get an up to $100 airline incidental credit on your selected airline to use for things like seat selection, upgrades, checked bags and much more.
Both credits combined are worth up to $220. If you make the most of them, that makes the annual fee a lot more palatable (pardon the pun).
You’ll also earn (terms apply):
- 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants
- 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1X)
- 3 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com
- Up to $120 dining credit ($10 monthly) each year at participating restaurants (enrollment required)
- Up to $100 airline incidental fee credit each calendar year on your selected airline
Plus there are no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
Amex Gold card benefits and perks
- Up to $120 dining credit each year
- Up to $100 toward airline incidentals
- Free ShopRunner shipping
- Access to Amex Offers
You’ll find an in-depth look into the Amex Gold card’s benefits here.
How to use Amex Membership Rewards points earned with the Amex Gold card
The best way to use your Amex Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to travel partners like ANA, Delta, Hilton and Singapore Airlines. I’ve personally transferred my points to British Airways and Air France for flights around the U.S. and to Hawaii.
Amex Membership Rewards points are valuable because they’re so flexible. And considering you’ll earn three or four times the points in popular bonus categories, your points stash will build up in a hurry.
Is the Amex Gold Card worth the annual fee?
If you’ll make the most of the $120 dining credit and $100 airline incidental credit, that’s $220 toward the $250 annual fee right there. Even if you don’t, the sheer number of points you’ll earn might be worth it.
At the very least, Amex Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent each toward travel or a statement credit (but please use them for award travel instead).
To cover the $250 with points at the 1 cent rate, you’d need to spend ~$521 per month in the 4X categories each year. That’s because you’d need 25,000 points to cover a $250 charge at 1 cent per point. Spending~$521 per month in a 4X bonus category would be more than enough ($521 X 4 points X 12 = ~25,000 points).
This is an easy spending threshold for many families, especially if you like to dine out or buy lots of groceries. Between the credits and 4X earning, the annual fee is totally worth it. Just note that there are some no-annual-fee cards that offer a flat 2% cash back, so you could have pocketed $125 before you even begin to make a profit with the Amex Gold Card.
Does the Amex Gold Card charge foreign transaction fees?
No. (See rates and fees)
Credit cards similar to the Amex Gold Card
The dining rewards cards are competing. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, and the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 3% cash back on dining and entertainment.
But while the Capital One cards earn cash back, the Amex Gold card earns flexible rewards, which are more valuable if you like to travel.
If you do want cash back, check out our full review of the Capital One Savor card to help you decide if it’s the better card for your wallet.
The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The American Express® Gold Card has a welcome bonus of 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
You’ll earn 4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar when you dine at restaurants worldwide, and on up to $25,000 in spending per year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1 point per dollar). This card also comes with up to $120 in dining credits ($10 monthly) at participating restaurants and up to $100 toward airline incidentals on your selected airline each year.
Put simply, this is the best card out there for foodies.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, click here.
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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)