Amex Leaks Huge Improvements to the Premier Rewards Gold Card
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a card that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention over the past few years. Back in 2016, Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve card into the marketplace which has taken the travel rewards community by storm. The card offers things like a $300 travel credit, 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining, and the list goes on.
In response to Chase launching the card, American Express made improvements to their Platinum Card including earning 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline, $200 in annual Uber credits, and $100 in Sak’s 5th Avenue credits.
While American Express and Chase were battling it out for wallet share in the premium card segment, neither institution was making much of an improvement to their mid-tier travel rewards products. That all changed on Thursday when American Express accidentally leaked a number of new benefits to their Premier Rewards Gold Card.
The new benefits were appearing for existing cardholders but were removed after a short time. My guess is that these will be rolled out to everybody very soon (new and existing cardholders), and the changes immediately make this card a winner.
New Benefits of the Premier Rewards Gold Card
- Now earns 4x points at US Restaurants (Previously 2x)
- 4x points at US Supermarkets on up to $25k per calendar year (Previously 2x)
- A new $120 annual dining credit which is split up monthly (similar to how Amex handles the Uber credits on the Platinum card) for charges at GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse & Participating Shake Shack locations.
Full Benefits of the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months of card membership
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines
- 4x points at US Restaurants (Previously 2x)
- 4x points at US Supermarkets on up to $25k of spending per calendar year (Previously 2x). 1x points after that
2x points at US gas stations(reportedly going away)
- 1x points on other purchases
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- $120 annual dining credit split up monthly for charges at GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse & Participating Shake Shack locations
- $100 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year for baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- $195 annual fee (waived for the first year)
These new benefits are awesome and they immediately make this card relevant. With 2x on restaurants and supermarkets previously and a welcome offer bonus of only 25,000 Membership Rewards points compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, the value proposition just wasn’t there for me. Especially when factoring in the higher annual fee.
Earning 4x Membership Rewards points on restaurants and groceries will be huge as there is no other card that can compete with the earning on this category. This in and of itself will make this an everyday card for many as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred only earn 3x and 2x points per dollar spent on dining respectively. The decision will likely come down to which flexible points currency you value higher.
The card currently offers 2x Membership Rewards points on gas as well and it appears this will be going away when the new benefits launch.
Factoring in the new monthly dining credit and the $100 airline incidental fee credit, cardholders should have no problem getting more than enough value out of the card to justify the annual fee. However, as we have seen Amex do in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them increase the annual fee in conjunction to launching the new benefits.
While this isn’t yet official, it seems to be only a matter of time. Kudos to Amex for drastically improving their mid-tier travel rewards card earning Membership Rewards points. These improvements put the card on a level playing field with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. As we often say, when banks compete for a share of your wallet in the form of improved credit card benefits & rewards it is a win for the consumer.
H/T: US Credit Card Guide
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