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INSIDER SECRET: The American Express® Gold Card comes with up to $120 in dining credits each year. We’ll show you how to use this perk.
If the way to your heart is through your stomach, you’ll love the newly refreshed American Express® Gold Card because it’s a foodie’s dream come true.
You’ll earn 4x Amex Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide and another 4x points per dollar at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 in spending per year (then 1 point per dollar). Other perks, like up to $120 dining credit at certain restaurants each year and a $100 airline credit, only seal the deal.
You’ll also earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. And that gets you closer to your next free trip.
You can apply for the Amex Gold card here. But first, take a look at our American Express Gold Card review.
Amex Gold Card review
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, 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 credit, broken into $10 monthly over the course of a year to spend at certain restaurants.
You’ll also get a $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).
How to earn points with the Amex Gold Card
With this card, you’ll get:
- 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants
- 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at US 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
- No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
- Terms Apply
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 US 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.
Amex Gold Card benefits
The Amex Gold card has some delicious perks – and not just for foodies.
Up to $120 dining credit each year
You’ll get $10 per month in dining credit when you spend at:
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
- Participating Shake Shack locations
It’s not valid for merchandise or gift card purchases. But if you use the credits each month, that’s $120 in free food.
Of course, who can spend $10 at a restaurant? You’ll likely spend $25+ each time you go out, so I consider this more of a rebate than anything else. And it’s only useful for dining out if you like the restaurants on the list. That said, GrubHub and Seamless are delivery services, so you can choose healthier restaurants if you have dietary restrictions or want to order in with fewer calories.
$100 toward airline incidentals
Each calendar year, you’ll get $100 to use toward incidentals on an airline you choose. That includes like seat upgrades and selection, checked bags and much more.
If you travel a lot, chances are you’ll encounter fees at some point. The Amex Gold card helps you offset them.
Free ShopRunner shipping
You’ll get a free ShopRunner membership with the card, which gets you free two-day shipping at 100+ stores, worth $79 a year.
Access to Amex Offers
Amex Offers are an easy way to save on purchases you might make anyway. I’m always adding and redeeming these offers for bonus points and statement credits. All you have to do is add them to your card and spend like normal.
Rental car insurance
You can get primary rental car insurance with the card when you enroll in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program for up to 42 days. You must decline the rental agency’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental to your Amex Gold card to use the benefit.
If you often rent vehicles for business, this can be a tremendous money saver and give you peace of mind. But you must opt-in to get coverage. If you don’t, coverage is secondary and covers up to a maximum of $50,000 per rental agreement.
When you purchase an item with your card, Amex will extend the original manufacturer’s warranty up to two additional years, on U.S. warranties of five years or less. And they’ll match the warranty if it’s under two years.
Your purchases are protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days, up to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year. And the coverage is secondary. This is fantastic for folks who need to make big purchases. Coverage starts on the day you purchase an item and lasts for 90 days.
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. But 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)
Do you qualify for the Amex Gold Card bonus?
The Amex Gold Card used to be called the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card. That’s important to know because Amex only awards intro bonuses once per person per card. So if you’ve ever had that card, you can NOT earn this welcome bonus.
Customer support for the Amex Cold Card
Amex makes it easy to reach out via 24/7 phone support, secure messaging or chat through their website.
They’re known for fast and responsive service to most issues, so you should feel cared for when you call with an issue.
Credit Cards similar to the Amex Gold Card
The dining rewards cards are competing. There’s the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, that earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. And there’s also the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns 3% cash back on dining.
More often these days, card issuers are going after customers who spend at restaurants. 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 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 $100 toward airline incidentals on your selected airline each year.
Put simply, this is now the best card out there for foodies. And the $250 annual fee is quickly covered when you eat out and shop for groceries in the U.S., in addition to the statement credits.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
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