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American Express is running a big increased offer on the American Express® Gold Card. The welcome bonus increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. Not only is the new bonus a huge jump from the previous offer of 35,000 points, but you also have six months to complete the minimum spending requirement!
The American Express® Gold Card features compelling bonus categories focused on food and travel. Plus, cardmembers can take advantage of a host of annual travel and dining credits that can help offset the annual fee year after year.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 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.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
- 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide.
- 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)
- 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- 1X on other purchases
- 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.
Increased Amex Gold 60,000 Point Welcome Offer
New Amex Gold cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
While the Amex Gold is a points-earning machine on dining and supermarket spend, the previous 35K welcome offer was lackluster at best. The increased 60,000-point offer almost doubles the initial value received when you sign up for this card, making it more competitive with cards with a similar annual fee.
60,000 Membership Rewards points can return a ton of value when transferred to one of Amex's airline transfer partners. For example, when transferred to Iberia, you could book round-trip business class flights from Chicago to Madrid for 68,000 points during off-peak dates. Or, transferred to Virgin Atlantic, you could book a one-way Delta One business-class award to Europe for just 50,000 points.
Points Earning Potential and Category Bonuses
The long-term earning potential is where the Amex Gold truly shines. The card features a monster 4X Membership Rewards points on dining worldwide, making it one of the best cards for dining purchases. You'll also get 4X at U.S. supermarket (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). That ensures a top return on your household grocery spending.
The American Express® Gold Card earns:
- 4X points at restaurants worldwide
- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X)
- 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- 1X on all other purchases
The caveat to the high return on supermarket spend is that only purchases within the U.S. qualify. If you're overseas or travel internationally, you'll earn just one point per dollar at supermarkets. So, it's worth finding another card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and has a better return. But, for U.S. supermarket purchases, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better return than on the Amex Gold.
The Amex Gold earns 3X on airfare if purchased directly from the airline or with amextravel.com. However, you'll want to use one of our top cards for travel purchases instead of the Amex Gold when purchasing airfare from an online travel agency.
Amex Gold Feature Benefits
Before we dive into the perks and benefits you receive as a Amex Gold cardmember, let's cover some recent changes that have a big impact on the value proposition this card offers, particularly over the first year you hold the card.
Losing $100 Annual Airline Fee Credit—Adding $120 Uber Cash Credits and Uber Eats Pass
Amex cardmembers may be familiar with Amex's Airline Fee Credit. First, cardmembers select a qualifying airline from Amex's list. Then the $100 Amex Airline Fee Credit covers incidental fees—including airline change fees, lounge day passes & memberships, booking fees, and baggage fees.
Starting early 2021, cardmembers will receive $10 in monthly Uber Cash credit good for Uber rides or Uber Eats. That's up to a value of $120 per year. Moreover, cardmembers will also get a complimentary Uber Eats Pass, worth roughly $120. Just how valuable these new Uber benefits are will vary by cardmember. But we see these additions firmly cementing the Amex Gold as one of the best cards for dining and takeaways (if not the best card).
This change also opens a short-term opportunity to double up on airline, Uber, and dining credits. If you maximize it, you can score up to $560 of credits in the first 12 months you hold the card. And that's before you take into account the increased 60,000 point welcome bonus!
Patrick did a great job of laying out the value of the credits and the strategy to double up on the first year's value, so be sure to check out all the details in his post detailing the new Uber credits and Uber Eats Pass.
$120 Annual Dining Credit
The Amex Gold provides a $10 monthly statement credit for purchases at select U.S. restaurants. The credit is limited to purchases from GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations. If you don't typically purchase food from these outlets, the $10 monthly credit will provide no value. However, if you can make use of them, you can tack on $120 to the annual value the card returns.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Following a major overhaul of Amex card benefits, the Amex Gold now offers trip delay reimbursement if your travel is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered reason. You'll get up to $300 towards eligible expenses like food, toiletries, and accommodation. Cardmembers can make two claims every 12 months.
Purchase Protection Benefits
The Amex Gold also offers some handy purchase protection and extended warranty perks:
- Purchase protection: Coverage up to $10,000 per occurrence, and $50,000 per year. Protects eligible purchases that are accidentally lost, stolen, or damaged in the first 90 days from the purchase date.
- Extended Warranty: Adds an additional year to the original manufacturer's warranty where the warranty is five years or less.
Amex Gold vs. The Competition
Because of its $250 annual fee, the Amex Gold sits awkwardly in between mid-tier cards with annual fees around the $100 mark and ultra-premium travel cards with fees north of $450.
However, we see both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as direct competitors to the Amex Gold. The Sapphire Preferred returns a smaller 2X points on travel and dining spend (and no bonus on supermarket spending), and currently offers a signup bonus of 60,000 points. Plus a much lower annual fee.
If you factor in the $300 travel credit offered on the Sapphire Reserve, it cuts the annual fee down close to the Amex Gold‘s $250 annual fee. But you also gain extra perks like a Priority Pass membership and Global Entry/TSA credit, adding extra value to the card over the long term.
The Citi Premier® Card is another great alternative. The card currently offers an increased bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after meeting the minimum spending requirements and offers a top return on everyday spending.
- 60,000 point signup bonus worth $750 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
- 3X points per $1 on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
- Annual Hotel Benefit: Save $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through ThankYou.com
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
- 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, and at gas stations
- 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
- 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
- 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cardmembers who opened their Citi Premier account before April 10, 2020 will also earn 2X points on entertainment and 3X points on a broader range of travel purchases through April 9, 2021.
In addition to the standard ‘one bonus per product per lifetime’ language we know so well, Amex has added language to its card application T&Cs stating that they will also take into account the number of American Express cards you’ve opened and closed, plus other factors before determining your eligibility to receive the welcome offer.
“Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or the Premier Rewards Gold Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”
Keep in mind that the Amex Gold is not a traditional credit card. That means that it isn't subject to the 4-5 card cap placed on the number of Amex credit cards you can hold.
The Amex Gold is a powerhouse rewards card delivering long-term value for cardmembers, provided you can take advantage of the annual travel and dining credits to help offset the annual fee.
It features useful bonus categories that can help you earn a significant balance of Membership Rewards points with your everyday spending. Plus, the increased bonus can kickstart your rewards earning efforts over the first few months.
If you can maximize the credits to justify paying the $250 annual fee, this card is a winner and one worth keeping for the long term.
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees)
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