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December 11, 2019

American Express Gold Card Benefits

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American Express® Gold Card offers many benefits and savings you may not know about that more than justify the annual fee. Read on to learn how get the most value.

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Amex Gold offers an impressive combination of rewards and benefits. It offers high earnings potentials on everyday purchases, plenty of travel and lifestyle credits and savings, and ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners.

All this makes the Amex Gold Card one of the most rewarding and flexible travel rewards cards. Even with the $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

In this guide, we'll explain how to maximize your benefits. Learn the best ways to:

Earn and Redeem ($300+)

  • High Bonus Points on Dining, Groceries, and Airline Flights
  • Transfer to Airline and Hotel Partners
  • Book Flights on Amex
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee (See Rates & Fees)

Travel Perks & Credits ($400+)

  • $100 Annual Airline Credit ($100)
  • Up to $120 Annual Dining Credit ($120)
  • Hotel Collection Credit ($100+)
  • Lowest Hotel Rates Guarantee
  • Free Travel Collection Membership ($100+)
  • Personalized Travel Service

Travel & Purchase Protections ($100+)

  • Car Rental Collision & Damage Waiver
  • Lost or Damaged Baggage Insurance
  • Global Assist Hotline
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty

Lifestyle Benefits ($300+)

  • Free ShopRunner Membership ($79)
  • Amex Offers ($100+)
  • Exclusive Entertainment Access & Preferred Seating
  • No Annual Fee for up to 5 Additional Cards (See Rates & Fees)
  • Auto Purchase Discount
  • Personal Loans

Is American Express Gold Card Worth It?
Amex Gold is worth it for frequent travelers who spend a lot on food purchases. After the $100 annual airline credit, if you spend just $73/week on food, you break even on the annual fee when redeeming for flights through Amex. Combined with tons of other savings worth hundreds, the $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) is easily justified.

Earning and Redeeming

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The American Express Gold Card earns valuable Membership Rewards points that can be redeemed for travel at higher value. Read on.

High Bonus Points on Dining, Groceries, and Airline Flights

The AMEX Gold Card earns:

  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide (no limit)

  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x)

  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com

This makes the Gold Card the most rewarding travel rewards card for food purchases. If you eat out or shop at supermarkets often, you will definitely want to put this on your shortlist.

Transfer to Airline and Hotel Partners

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Your Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners for no fees. This will often earn the best value and reward redemption rate.

For example, 60,000 points = $600 on American Express Travel, or they can be traded in for 2 round-trip flights from the U.S. to the Caribbean (which can be worth more).

Airline transfer partners include (transfers are 1:1 unless otherwise noted):

  • Aeromexico (1:1.6)
  • Air Canada
  • Air France KLM
  • Alitalia
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • British Airways (250:200)
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al Israel Airlines (1,000:20)
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia Plus (250: 200)
  • JetBlue (250: 200)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America (200: 100)
  • Virgin Atlantic

Hotel transfer partners include:

  • Choice Privileges Rewards
  • Hilton Honors (1:1.5)

Read more in our detailed guide about the best (and worst) ways to use each transfer partner.

Book Travel on AMEX

When you use your points to book flights or seat upgrades on American Express Travel, beach point is worth 1 cent ($10,000 points = $100). You can start redeeming with 5,000 points.

You can book travel on American Express with any airline, for any date. You don't have to worry about seat restrictions or blackout dates.

You can even use a combination of card and points if you don't have enough for a trip, or just want to save some points.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

The American Express Gold Card has no foreign transaction fee. You can make charges abroad without worrying about incurring extra fees.

Remember that you get 4x points on dining worldwide. So this is an ideal card to bring when traveling to rack up some points.

Travel Perks and Credits

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$100 Annual Airline Fee Credit

Every calendar year, you get up to $100 statement credit for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline. This can be used for things like:

  • Checked bags
  • Overweight/oversize baggage fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Airport lounge day passes
  • In-flight refreshments

You must select and enroll in one airline. So make sure you choose an airline you fly often with.

Up $120 Year Dining Credit

Every month, you get a $10 statement credit when you pay with your Gold Card at participating restaurants and food delivery services, including:

  • Grubhub
  • Seamless
  • Boxed
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House
  • Participating Shake Shack locations

If you max out these credits, that would be a total of $120 per year in savings. You must enroll in this benefit.

Even if you don't live near any of these restaurants, you can still use this credit for Boxed (which delivers bulk wholesale items) or Grubhub or Seamless food deliveries.

Hotel Collection Credit

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This benefit can be quite valuable if you stay in hotels. When you book at least 2 consecutive nights through amextravel.com, you get a $100 hotel credit on qualifying dining, spa, and resort charges. It will be credited back to you upon checkout, up to $100.

You'll also be eligible for a room upgrade upon arrival, if available.

You're able to book up to 3 rooms per stay. So if you're traveling with a group, you can receive in total up to $300 credit for the stay. You can also use this benefit multiple times. If you stay in hotels often, you can save hundreds in a year.

Lowest Hotel Rates Guarantee

If you book a qualifying prepaid hotel room on amextravel.com and then find a lower price elsewhere online, Amex will refund you the difference. It must be the same room, in the same hotel, for the same dates, and the same number of children and adults.

You must submit your claim before the date of check-in to be valid.

Free Travel Collection Membership

You get complimentary membership in The Travel Collection (enrollment required). When you book travel with a Travel Collection specialist, you'll receive benefits such as:

  • Consultation with a professional travel advisor.

  • Access to special rates and offers for flights, cruises, vacation packages, tours, and car rentals.

  • Help to customize your trip to suit your needs.

  • Amenities for hotel bookings such as free room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, etc.

This membership usually costs $295/year. The actual value depends on what kind of discounts you can score.

One difference between this and Amex's International Airline Program (an Amex Platinum card benefit) is that you could get discounts on economy flights.

Personalized Travel Service

Just one phone call away, personalized Travel Service can help you with:

  • Booking flights (fees apply)
  • Making hotel arrangements
  • Scheduling ground transport

This could save some stress and time from having to do it yourself, especially if you have more complicated plans or are traveling in a larger group.

Travel & Purchase Protections

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Car Rental Insurance

You are covered for up to $50,000 for damage or theft of your rental car. You must pay the entire car rental fee in full and decline the rental company's insurance. Rental must not exceed 30 days.

However, this insurance is secondary. This means you still must file first with your own car insurance company. Amex only kicks in after your personal insurance's coverage. If you don't have car insurance, then this benefit becomes primary.

Coverage is not available for vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.

Lost or Damaged Baggage Insurance

If your baggage gets lost or damaged while riding in a common carrier, you can be reimbursed for up to $1,250 for carry-on and up to $500 for checked baggage per covered person. There is a limit of $250 for high-risk items such as electronics, jewelry, sporting equipment, and fur items.

This benefit covers you, your spouse or partner, and dependent children under 23.

For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 combined maximum limit for all covered persons per trip.

Global Assist Hotline

When you travel more than 100 miles from home, Amex can provide 24/7 assistance and referrals, such as:

  • Lost passport replacement assistance
  • Translation services
  • Missing luggage assistance
  • Emergency legal and medical referrals

The assistance is free of charge, but you'll have to pay for the cost of any services.

Purchase Protection

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If your item is lost, damaged, or stolen within 120 days after date of purchase (90 days for New York residents), you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per occurrence, and up to $50,000 per calendar year.

Extended Warranty

For original manufacturers' warranties less than two years, Amex will match the length of the warranty. For warranties between 2 and 5 years, Amex will provide two additional years.

You are covered up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per calendar year.

Lifestyle Benefits & Savings

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Free ShopRunner Membership

You get a complimentary ShopRunner membership (usually $79/year). This service partners with hundreds of brand-name stores to provide free 2-day shipping, free returns, and exclusive deals to members.

You can shop either on ShopRunner or directly on the stores' websites. As long as an item has a ShopRunner logo next to it, it means it's eligible for free 2-day shipping with membership. You'll receive this perk as long as you don't log out of ShopRunner.

AMEX Offers

This benefit can be quite valuable if you use it. Amex Offers gives you discounts when you use your card at partner brands for shopping, dining, entertainment, travel, and more.

You can find offers through your American Express account or on the Amex app. If you see an offer you like, just add it to your card. Then when you use your Gold Card to pay, you'll automatically receive the deal.

Offers can be cash back (in the form of statement credit) or Membership Rewards points. For example, you may see an offer for $10 cash back when you spend $50 at a certain restaurant.

Exclusive Entertainment Access & Preferred Seating

Get exclusive access to member-only events and ticket presales for concerts, sporting events, and Broadway shows.

You'll also be eligible for preferred seating when you use your Gold Card, based on availability.

No Annual Fee for up to 5 Additional Cards

You can add up to 5 additional cardmembers at no extra cost. After that, the annual fee for 6 or more Additional Cards is $35 per card. This is great if you want to add your family to your account.

Additional cardmembers also get to enjoy Travel Collection membership and car rental insurance. Note that additional users don't get their own airline and dining credits.

Auto Purchase Program

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Amex's Auto Purchase program guarantees savings off the MSRP at participating dealers. You must put at least $2,000 on your American Express Gold Card towards the down payment of a car purchase.

You can see how much others paid for the car you want. You'll also get a guaranteed pricing offered by the actual dealership. On average, Amex cardmembers save $3,272 off MSRP.

After your purchase, if you report it on the Amex website, you can receive up to $2,000 in post-sale benefits, such as auto repair and auto deductible savings.

Personal Loans

This benefit is available to pre-approved cardmembers based on at least 9 months of account history, creditworthiness, and other factors.

You're eligible to receive a personal loan between $3,500 and $40,000 at a low fixed interest rate with no origination fee or pre-payment penalty. There is no credit impact to apply (though once approved, your loan info will be reported to the credit bureaus).

How to Redeem Membership Rewards Points

American Express Gold Card offers a lot of flexible redemption options, though not all at the same value. The best value is to redeem for flights.

Here are the different ways you can redeem your points, from best to worst value:

  • Transfer to travel partners: Best Value (varies)

  • Book flights on American Express Travel: 10,000 points = $100

  • Upgrade your flight with points: 10,000 points = $100

  • Pay for NYC taxis: 10,000 points = $100

  • Redeem for gift cards: Varies from 10,000 points = $50 - $100

  • Book other travel on American Express Travel: 10,000 points = $70 (for hotel rooms, cruises, and vacation packages)

  • Pay with points at online checkout: 10,000 points = $70 (available at Amazon, Best Buy, Boxed, Dell, Expedia, Grubhub, Just Giving, Newegg, PayPal, Rite Aid, Saks, Seamless, Staples, Walmart)

  • Redeem for statement credit: 10,000 points = $60

  • Buy event tickets at Ticketmaster: 10,000 points = $50

Bottom Line

The American Express Gold Card offers a good balance of rewards and mid-tier benefits. The 4x bonus categories are great for everyday spending, which makes the Gold Card a great option as a primary card. The $250 annual fee is easily justified if you spend a lot on food and take advantage of all the credits and savings. Terms and conditions apply.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the American Express Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Gold card, please click here.

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American Express Gold Card
Apply for American Express Gold Card
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  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be 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.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Introductory Bonus OfferAirline RewardsPoint RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitDining RewardsEventsCar Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty Purchase ProtectionBaggage Insurance$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/ASee Pay Over Time APR
$250

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