There are dozens (if not hundreds) of travel credit cards to choose from, with a dizzying array of benefits, points bonuses, perks, and more. But we're just going to say it: The *amex gold card* is one of our favorite travel rewards cards, period – and one that almost any traveler should consider adding to their wallet.
It's packed with easy-to-use benefits and a solid welcome bonus offer. But what really makes it shine is that it's so rewarding for everyday spending. The lucrative bonus categories that earn you more points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants are practically second-to-none, helping you rack up more and more points in your daily life.
Add in some relatively easy-to-use monthly credits and you can easily come out way ahead on the card's $250 annual fee (see rates & fees). So let's break down everything you need to know about the Amex Gold Card and help you make the decision on whether or not it's right for you.
- Full Benefits of the Amex Gold Card
- Using American Express Membership Rewards Points
- Final Amex Gold Card Review: Our Take
Learn more about the *amex gold card*
Full Benefits of the Amex Gold Card
It may not unlock a boatload of premium travel perks like *amex platinum card*, but we consider the Amex Gold Card one of the best for earning points for travel – and not just for a big, one-time welcome bonus but for the points you'll earn on an ongoing basis.
Here's a closer look at what you get with the Amex Gold Card.
|Welcome bonus||Earn at least 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months|
|Earn more points on groceries||Earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 each calendar year)
|Earn more points at restaurants||Earn 4x points at restaurants|
|Earn more points on flights||Earn 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines and at amextravel.com|
|Monthly dining credit||Up to a $120 annual dining credit split up monthly in $10 increments for charges at GrubHub, The Cheesecake Factory, Milk Bar, Wine.com, Goldbelly & Participating Shake Shack locations|
|Monthly Uber credit||Up to $120 in Annual Uber Cash split up into $10 monthly amounts. These can be used for Uber rides or for Uber Eats food delivery in the U.S.|
|No foreign transaction fees||You won't pay foreign transaction fees when using the Gold Card abroad|
Welcome Offer Bonus
For years, the standard welcome bonus on the Gold Card was just 35,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months. But these days, it's much better: You can now earn at least 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within your first six months of card membership.
And it can potentially get much, much better. Here is how to find the best offers available on the American Express Gold Card:
- First, you can potentially find a targeted offer to earn 75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months via CardMatch.
- Next, you can also find an offer to earn 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership via Resy. This offer through Resy also provides 20% back as a statement credit on purchases made at restaurants worldwide, getting you up to $250 back in your first year of card membership. That's enough to cover your first-year annual fee.
- Finally, there is also an offer for 90,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership available through targeted personal referral links.
Just remember: Credit cards are serious business. No matter how many points you earn through a welcome bonus, they're not worth digging yourself into debt if you can't afford to pay off every single charge you make.
Earn 4x Points Per Dollar Spent at Restaurants & U.S. Supermarkets
The American Express Gold card earns an unlimited 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants, and 4x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 of spending in a calendar year (then 1x).
It's one of the best returns you'll find for spending in either category. That alone can easily make the Gold Card a mainstay in many traveler's wallets and a go-to card any time you're buying groceries or out to dinner.
Related reading: The Best Credit Cards to Use for Your Grocery Shopping
Earn 3x Points Per Dollar Spent on Flights
American Express Gold rewards card users with 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with the airline, as well as airfare booked through American Express Travel.
There is no limit to the number of bonus miles you'll earn in this category.
All other spending on the American Express Gold card will earn 1x point per dollar spent.
Up to $120 in Annual Uber Cash
Much like *amex platinum card*, the Gold Card offers credits to use at both Uber and Uber Eats each and every month.
You'll get up to $10 per month in Uber Cash for purchases made on either platform. But just as with other credits on top American Express cards, this is a use-it-or-lose-it benefit. If you don't spend $10 with Uber or Uber Eats in one month, it won't carry over to the next month.
Up to a $120 Annual Dining Credit
Another great benefit on the American Express Gold Card is the $120 annual dining credit.
Each month, cardholders will get up to $10 per month in statement credits for purchases at participating partners. But it is yet another use-it-or-lose-it benefit. If you don't use your $10 credit one month, it won't carry over to the next month.
If you can use it up, that's another $120 back each year.
But remember, it won't work at any restaurant. Here is the current list of participating partners that are eligible for your American Express Gold Card dining credit:
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Milk Bar
- Participating Shake Shack locations
With Grubhub on the list, this is a fairly easy benefit to use each month with a single to-go or delivery order.
The Amex Gold Card has a $250 annual fee (see rates & fees). Additionally, the card waives foreign transaction fees.
Learn more about the *amex gold card*
Using American Express Membership Rewards Points
When it comes time to redeem your American Express Membership Rewards points, using the stable of American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners is your best bet.
With nearly two dozen Amex transfer partners at your disposal between airlines and hotel chains, the ability to transfer American Express points open up a world of travel opportunities. But whether you're a newbie to points and miles or an old hand, these transfers are a whole new can of worms, with confusing twists and considerations to keep in mind.
Below are the current options, as well as how long it takes to move points from your American Express account to an airline or hotel brand.
|Program||Type||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1||Instant|
|Iberia||Airline||1:1||Up to 24 hours|
Related reading: 10 Amazing Ways to Redeem Amex Membership Rewards Points
Final Amex Gold Card Review: Our Take
The Amex Gold Card is a solid card for those who spend a lot on groceries & restaurants. In fact, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option in either category – a major expense in almost every household.
Here's a powerful example: Let's say your household spends $500 on groceries at U.S. supermarkets a month and another $200 at restaurants monthly – a fairly conservative estimate for many. Thanks to the 4x points you earn on both categories, you'd earn nearly 34,000 points a year. Even with the most conservative estimates, those points are worth at least 1 cent apiece – so 34,000 points are worth $340. That's easily enough to justify the card's annual fee.
But realistically, those points are worth much, much more than 1 cent apiece – especially if you are utilizing the right American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners.
There are few other cards that can compete with how many points you'll earn in these categories, which makes it an immediate winner. Add in the ability to earn up to a 90,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 within six months, and this card could become a must-open, then a mainstay in your wallet.
The $120 annual dining credit is split up into $10 monthly installments. But if you don't use it in any given month you'll lose it. It can be used for charges at GrubHub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and Participating Shake Shack locations. But if you use it up in each of the 12 months, it will take $120 out of the sting of the card's $250 annual fee.
You'll also get up to $10 of monthly Uber credits ($120 annually) that can be used for both Uber rides and on the Uber Eats food delivery Platform.
The annual fee on the Amex Gold Card is $250 and it is not waived for the first year of card membership. But with the monthly $10 dining credit, $10 Uber credit, and the ability to earn 4x points at restaurants and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets, recouping the annual fee shouldn't be too terribly difficult each year that you hold the card.
Finally, Membership Rewards points are one of our favorite transferable points currencies as they are incredibly flexible. They can be transferred to airlines like Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France/KLM, and hotel partners like Marriott and Hilton.
Read more: Is the Amex Gold Card Worth the Annual Fee?
The Amex Gold Card packs a massive punch in terms of benefits, bonus earning, and a good-to-great welcome bonus – all with a reasonable annual fee. You'll be hard-pressed to find a card that offers a better return on spending at both U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants.
Learn more about the *amex gold card*