AMEX Gold Card Review: Built for Foodies With 4X Points and up to $120 in Dining Credits

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AMEX Gold Card Review:  Built for Foodies With 4X Points and up to $120 in Dining Credits

Harlan VaughnAMEX Gold Card Review:  Built for Foodies With 4X Points and up to $120 in Dining CreditsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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 US restaurants.  And another 4X points at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 in spending per year (then 1X point per $1).  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 spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  And 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points on flights booked with the airline or through AMEX Travel.  That gets you closer to your next big award trip!

You can apply for the AMEX Gold card here.

If You Enjoy Good Food, You’ll Love the Updated AMEX Gold Card With 4X Points at US Restaurants and a $120 Dining Credit Each Year

I’ll share all the details about this new card offer!

The New AMEX Gold Card Is Built for Foodies and Has a 35,000-Point Welcome Bonus!

Apply Here:   American Express® Gold Card

When you open the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll earn 35,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

The points you’ll earn are enough for a round-trip coach award flight within the US when you transfer them to AMEX travel partners like Air Canada, Delta, or Singapore Airlines.

35,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points are enough for a round-trip coach award trip to Hawaii.  Plus, 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 & 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.

Dessert Is on AMEX With $10 to Spend Each Month at Restaurants Like The Cheesecake Factory

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 of these credits 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:

  • 4X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 at US restaurants
  • 4X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 at US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1X)
  • 3X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Up to $120 dining credit ($10 monthly) each year at participating restaurants (enrollment required)
  • $100 airline incidental fee credit each calendar year on your selected airline
  • No foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees)
  • Terms apply
How Would You Like to Earn 4X AMEX Membership Rewards Points at US Supermarkets, on up to $25,000 in Purchases per Year?

How to Use AMEX Membership Rewards Points Earned With the AMEX Gold Card

Link:   The Big Travel Guide to AMEX Membership Rewards Points

The best way to use your AMEX Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to travel partners, like ANA, Delta, Hilton, or 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 an Excellent Way to Visit Hawaii, Travel Within the US, or See More of the World! Their Value Lies in the Flexibility They Offer

AMEX Membership Rewards points are valuable because they’re so flexible.  And considering you’ll earn 4X or 3X points in popular bonus categories, expect the points to roll in fast!

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:

  • GrubHub
  • Seamless
  • 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 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 Choose Delta as Your Airline, You Can Treat Yourself to a Comfort Plus Upgrade, up to $100 a Year!

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 2-day shipping at 100+ stores.  That’s worth $79 a year!

Access to AMEX Offers

Link:   EVERYTHING You Need to Know About AMEX Offers

This is 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.

Paying for AMEX Rental Car Insurance Could Be Worth It for Longer Car Rentals

If you rent vehicles for business often, 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.

Extended Warranty

When you purchase an item with your card, AMEX will extend the original manufacturer’s warranty up to 2 additional years, on US warranties of 5 years or less.  And they’ll match the warranty if it’s under 2 years.

Purchase Protection

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.

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 only need to spend ~$521 per month in the 4X categories each year.  After that, the earning is all extra!

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Earning 4X Points on Food Purchases Means They Roll in Fast and Keep Your Tummy Full, Too!

That’s because you’d need 25,000 points to cover a $250 charge at 1 cent per point.  And if you spent ~$521 per month, that 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.

Does the AMEX Gold Card Charge Foreign Transaction Fees?


Do You Qualify for the AMEX Gold Card?

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 lifetime.  So if you’ve ever had that card, you can NOT earn this welcome bonus.

But if you’ve never had that card, and are interested in this newest iteration, you should qualify to earn the welcome offer!

Customer Support for the AMEX Gold 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

Apply Here:   Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our Review:   The Capital One Savor: A Card Dedicated to All You Foodies (and It Now Comes With a $500 Bonus!)

Apply Here:   Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card

The dining rewards cards are competing!  We recently saw Capital One release the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which 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.

But if you 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.

Bottom Line

The American Express® Gold Card has a welcome bonus of 35,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll earn 4X AMEX Membership Rewards points when you dine at US restaurants, and on up to $25,000 in spending per year at US supermarkets (then 1X).  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 US, in addition to the statement credits.

Will you consider picking up this newly updated card for its fantastic bonus categories?

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 37,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) …because then you’ll never miss another update!

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

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! :)

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“Of course, who can spend $10 at a restaurant? You’ll likely spend $25+ each time you go out”

Not sure I understand. Seamless and Grub hub have many take out places where the entrees are $10.

Good point Mike! For a lazy person such as myself, I usually opt for delivery and pay the extra fee. I think the least I’ve ever spent on a delivery order has been around $15 or so.

I use my cards alot for dining out. I have been using the Chase Sapphire Reserve mainly because of the 3x points… I also have the Amex Platinum but find it alot harder to get lots of points . Do you think its worth losing my Platinum card when its time to pay the annual fee and get the Amex gold instead and, if so, should I then be stocking up on the Amex points for dining instead of the CSR?

Hi Martine,

Excellent question and thanks for posting. These are the same questions I asked myself too…(1) should I switch my restaurant spending to the AMEX Gold, and (2) should I keep the AMEX Platinum and its hefty $550 annual fee? I ultimately decided YES in both cases. And if you spend a lot eating out and traveling, the same might be true for you too! But ultimately it varies from person to person.

Here was my train of thought.

(1) I’ll be able to earn more – 4x points per dollar instead of 3x points per dollar for spending at restaurants in the US. I also ran through some sample travel scenarios to see if I could value AMEX Membership Rewards points the same as Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They came out to be roughly the same value (for me), and they’re both flexible currencies with a number of good travel partners.

So when I laid everything out like this, I realized that it was an easy decision for me to start using the AMEX Gold for all of my restaurant and eating out purchases in the US.

For (2) I’m planning on keeping the AMEX Platinum card. With the number of perks it offers, it’s immediately a $50 annual fee ($550 annual fee – $200 airline incidental credit – $200 uber/uber eats credit – $100 saks fifth credit)…and with the number of other perks it offers like the ability to earn 5x membership rewards points for travel (, flights booked directly with airlines)…airport lounge access, automatic hotel elite status, and more…I was able to justify keeping the card.

A few other misc. thoughts…I know I’ll be able to use the credit on the AMEX Gold ($100 airline incidental and $120 annual dining credit), so right off the bat it’s only a $30 annual fee for me ($250 – $100 – $120). And I do plan on keeping the Chase Sapphire Reserve because if I travel outside the US, I’ll need it to earn more points on dining (the AMEX Gold only offers 4x points on dining at restaurants WITHIN the US).

Here’s our detailed post on the AMEX Platinum if you’re trying to justify keeping it with perks, benefits, etc.:

Andrew… Just wanted to say thanks for your insights. Martine

Happy to help!

Disappointed that you didn’t mention the 50k referral offer is significantly better. I thought this site used to mention the best offer, even if it didn’t generate the best commission for you.

That changed after Daraius left the blog, unfortunately.

If you already have the gold card, can you also get 4x on groceries up to 25,000?

Hi Sharon,

Good question, and the answer is yes! Existing cardmembers should automatically be “upgraded” to these new benefits, including 4x membership rewards points per dollar spent at US supermarkets.

Is there any reason to get the AMEX Gold if you already have the AMEX Platinum?

Hi David – I had both at one point. It could make sense based on your travel goals and spending habits. For example, having both cards gives you access to multiple bonus spending categories. Plus, you’ll earn 2 welcome bonuses, which can give a nice boost to your points balance.

How do i earn 2 welcome bonuses? I already have the Plat card. Thanks.

The AMEX Gold and AMEX Platinum are considered different card products, so you’re eligible to earn the welcome bonus on both cards.

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