Save money and be informed. CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison and reviews website. This website is made possible through financial relationships with card issuers and some of the products and services mentioned on this site. Advertiser Disclosure†
Updated April 29, 2019

AMEX Gold vs Platinum: Rewards vs Benefits

Read more about Travel Rewards
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
Ad Disclosure: This article contains references to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)

The differences between the Gold Card and the Platinum Card are more stark than just metallic colors. Read this in-depth comparison to decide which card from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner, is right for you.

© CreditDonkey

The Platinum Card takes amenities to another level with travel benefits and concierge service. You'll pay for that higher level though — Platinum charges a $695 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) while the Gold charges a $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Platinum or Gold: Which is Better

Which card is right for you? Read on to see our comparison of the many benefits of the Gold and Platinum cards.

Why Either Card Is a Good Choice

Both the Platinum and Gold cards come with a variety of benefits and membership with a company that is consistently ranked high in customer satisfaction. With either the Platinum or Gold, you get:

  • Reward points. Platinum and Gold cards earn Membership Rewards points, which can be used to book flights on American Express Travel or be transferred to 20 airline and hotel partners for potentially more value. However, the amount of rewards points you earn differs for each card.

  • No foreign transaction fee. Platinum (See Rates & Fees) and Gold (See Rates & Fees) cardholders won't get charged American Express' typical 2.7% fee for international transactions, which can add up to substantial savings for frequent international travelers.

  • Entertainment benefits. With both cards, you get access to American Express' Entertainment Access and Preferred Seatings programs, giving you discounted tickets and exclusive seats to select concerts and shows. Unlike Gold members, Platinum members also have access to Platinum Concierge, which, among other services, can help book tickets to shows and events.

  • Purchase protection. Platinum and Gold Card members both get extended warranties for one year past the manufacturer's warranty on eligible purchases made with their card.

  • Travel protection. Platinum and Gold cardholders receive travel protection, including rental car loss and damage insurance and a baggage insurance plan for lost or stolen luggage.

Why American Express Platinum Is Better

American Express Platinum
Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
Here's how rewards work:
Platinum cardholders earn 1 reward point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X points on eligible hotels booked with American Express Travel. As a welcome bonus offer, Platinum cardholders earn 100,000 points after making $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of owning the card.

Rewards points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, or travel.

Here is why you may prefer Platinum to the Gold Card:

  • Airline fee credit. Every year, Platinum cardholders get up to a $200 airline fee credit towards incidental airline fees on an airline of their choice, which covers things like checked baggage fees and inflight meals. To receive the statement credit, you need to select a qualifying airline. As long as you travel frequently (and if you don't, this card may not be for you anyway), this credit helps justify a big chunk of the annual fee.

  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. You enjoy a $15 Uber credit each month ($35 in December). That's up to $200 in annual savings. Keep in mind, unused credits do not roll over and the credit may only be applied to rides within the United States. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

  • 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. If you spend a lot on airfare, the Platinum Card should be worth considering. In comparison, the Gold earns 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. In comparison, the Gold does not offer bonus points for hotels.

  • Concierge access. Platinum Card Concierge staff is available 24/7 to assist with various needs at home or while travelling, including restaurant reservations, tour recommendations, or special event planning. Concierge staff is essentially at your disposal to field requests, small or large, which is a huge benefit for Platinum members. Platinum cardholders also have 24/7 access to American Express travel consultants for travel booking.

  • Airport lounges. Platinum cardholders get access to the American Express Centurion Lounge, as well as access to Airspace Lounges, and Delta Sky Clubs. In addition, with membership in Priority Pass Select, cardholders gain access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.

  • Hotel perks. Platinum cardholders have access to deals and benefits at hotels and resorts around the world. This includes Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (requires enrollment), Hilton Honors Gold Status (requires enrollment), complimentary benefits (when booked through American Express' Fine Hotels & Resorts Program) at more than 750 Fine Hotels and Resorts locations, as well as benefits worth up to $500 per booking through American Express' Platinum Villas travel agency.

  • Dining Perks. The Platinum Dining Program holds reservations at more than 1,000 top restaurants around the world. These reservations and VIP treatment are available to Platinum cardholders on a first come, first serve basis.

  • Expedited airport screening. Platinum Card Members are eligible to receive a statement credit every 4.5 years for the application fee for TSA PreCheck® and every 4 years for Global Entry. Platinum Card Members can receive no more than one credit for up to $85 for TSA PreCheck or $100 credit for Global Entry (but not both programs).

    The [Global Entry] interview process started online with a questionnaire, then in person at the airport. Overall, it was a simple process. I waited longer to get in the interview room than the actual interview process. They took some fingerprints, verified some info, and then I was on my way! The benefits of no lines, no paperwork, expedited entry in other countries, reduced wait lines, and the fact that it doubles as TSA Pre-Check made it completely worth the investment.

    Courtnie Nichols, CEO and Founder, TravelBash

  • Car rental perks. Platinum cardholders get complimentary membership in Avis Preferred Club, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, and National Car Rental Emerald Club Executive. Subject to limitation including age restrictions.

  • Invitation-only events. American Express holds exclusive events around the country, such as private tours and access to special events and top-tier hotels and restaurants. Holding a Platinum Card can help you get an invitation to one of American Express' top events.

Why Gold Is Better

American Express Gold
Apply for American Express Gold Card
Here's how rewards work:
Gold cardholders earn:

  • 4X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants
  • 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.

Rewards points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, or travel.

Here is why you may prefer Gold to the Platinum Card:

  • Lower annual fee. Gold Card has a $250 annual fee. Conversely, the Platinum Card is more expensive with a $695 annual fee.

  • Rewards structure. Gold cardholders earns more points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. The same purchases on a Platinum card earn only 1x point.

  • You don't travel internationally too much. A lot of the Platinum's benefits are better for international travelers, such as lounge access and Global Entry application fee credit. If you don't need these benefits when you travel, then it might be better to save yourself the annual fee and just go with the Gold.

Both Cards Do Have Downsides

Why the American Express Platinum may not be for you:

  • Expensive annual fee. The annual fee of $695 can be justifiable if you take advantage of the available perks and bonuses. However, this card is too expensive to be used infrequently.

  • Points program. Although the Platinum Card offers rewards points for purchases, including 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. In our opinion, the value of the card lies in its travel and concierge perks.

Why the Gold Card may not be for you:

  • Annual fee. The $250 annual fee may be worth considering if you regularly make purchases at restaurants, U.S. supermarkets or book flights directly with airlines. Otherwise, you may want to consider a no annual fee credit card instead.

Bottom Line

So, Should You Get the Gold Card or the Platinum Card?

Both cards come with perks, rewards, and the prestige of carrying a premium card. The Platinum Card most notably comes with complimentary access to select airport lounges and 24/7 Platinum Card Concierge support; it is targeted to people who frequently travel internationally and who can take advantage of the airline fee credit, lounge access, expedited airport security, and more.

The Gold Card is best for travelers who aren't inclined to use Platinum's concierge service or who don't visit airport lounges multiple times a year to justify the $695 annual fee of the Platinum card. The card is also good for those who can take advantage of the reward structure.

As with all card offers, terms and limitations apply.

Michelle Kaiser is a retail analyst at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Michelle Kaiser at michelle@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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.

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.

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.

Read Next:

American Express Gold Card Review

American Express Gold Card Review

American Express Platinum Review: Is It Worth It?

American Express Platinum Review: Is It Worth It?

American Express Platinum Credit Score: What You Need to Know

American Express Platinum Credit Score


The Platinum Card from American Express
Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/ASee Pay Over Time APR
$695
Vacation Budget Calculator

Vacation Budget Calculator

Best Ways to Redeem Hilton Points

Redeem Hilton Points

Time Spent Outdoors Statistics

Time Spent Outdoors Statistics

Facts about Hurricanes

Facts about Hurricanes

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Passport

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Passport

Southwest Airlines Early Bird Check-In Worth It?

Southwest Airlines Early Bird Check-In

Leave a comment about AMEX Gold vs Platinum: Rewards vs Benefits?



Discount Travel Websites

Discount Travel Sites

Save money on your next vacation. These top travel websites offer deep discounts and worthwhile deals on airfare, hotel rooms, and car rentals.

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2022 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.