How To Pick The Right Card For You
If a card with no preset spending limit sounds appealing to you, one of these three cards from American Express could be a good option. But the best card for you will depend on where you typically spend.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is a clear standout for people who frequently travel, dont mind paying a hefty annual fee and can take advantage of the cards premium benefits. But the annual fee and travel-focused perks mean it wont make sense for everyone, especially if your purchases align with other bonus categories. You might be better off with a more moderately priced travel card instead.
The American Express® Gold Card is especially geared toward foodies, with good rewards at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. But the value of this card and whether it outpaces the annual fee comes down to how often you dine out and purchase flights directly through airlines or through the American Express Travel Center. Again, you might want to consider a cheaper credit card with no annual fee instead perhaps something like the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
If the annual fees on the other two cards give you pause, the American Express® Green Card offers a cheaper alternative with a $150 annual fee. Its a good fit for the occasional traveler looking to rack up travel rewards for the first time. But the rewards rate is pretty mediocre, especially compared to some other rewards credit cards with a similar annual fee.
You Can Transfer Your Points To Other Loyalty Programs
One of the biggest selling points of the American Express Gold Rewards card is the flexibility to transfer to partner programs that you might already be a member of, including airline and hotel groups like Aeroplan , Marriott Bonvoy, British Airways Avios and others.
Through American Express website, you can browse a growing list of programs that allow you to exchange your points at a competitive ratio, enabling you to combine your points pools to access even larger and premium rewards. For example, you can transfer Membership Rewards points 1:1 to Aeroplan, and get up to 20% more value out of your points.
How To Apply For The American Express Gold Card
To apply for the American Express® Gold Card, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident.
To apply for the card, you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- A US resident
What credit score do I need to apply?
American Express doesnt publish a minimum credit score, but your chances of approval increase if you apply with a good to an excellent score of 670 or higher. Several cardholders on Reddit note they were approved for the card with a Good credit score as low as 640, though at the time they had a strong salary or clean credit history.
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Canceling Before The Annual Fee
I highly suggest that you avoid canceling your American Express cards before you have been hit with the annual fee. For example, some people like to cancel American Express cards right after they receive a welcome bonus.
Doing this could really hurt your relationship with American Express.
It could potentially lead to your account being under review which means that your earnings in other cards could be at risk for getting shutdown. Also, you may not be eligible for other bonuses in the future if you partake in this.
Spend A Lot Of Money At Us Supermarkets And Restaurants
The 4 points per dollar you earn for spending on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, dining and takeout purchases is much higher than many rewards cards. Keep in mind the 4x on U.S. supermarket spending applies to up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then it reverts to 1x. Others only offer 1 point per dollar on the same spend, so this card can provide a hefty boost for your points accrual. Terms apply.
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American Express Business Gold Card Vs The Business Platinum Card From American Express
Verdict: An ultra-premium card with many benefits, but a very high annual fee
For business owners who are less concerned about earning travel points and more interested in luxury travel perks, the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the go-to business luxury card. This is an ultra-premium card that has a $595 annual fee but with that fee comes a wide array of statement credits and other benefits, including access to the best airport lounge network.
How does it compare?
- Annual fee: $595
- Welcome bonus: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.033
- Other benefits: $1,000-plus worth of statement credits, access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, airport lounge access, 35% bonus when booking flights with a preferred airline
- Terms apply
What Credit Scores Do I Need To Qualify For The Mastercard Gold Card
You should have excellent credit before applying for the Mastercard Gold Card.
In order to have excellent credit, your credit scores would need to be within the ranges of 800850 for FICO and 750850 for VantageScore.
But there are other factors credit card issuers take into account when deciding your creditworthiness. Barclays will look at things like your source of income, total annual income, and occupation making its decision. So if your scores are lower than those ranges, this additional information could lead to your approval.
However, that also means even if your scores are high enough, you might be denied.
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Does Amex Offer A Referral Bonus For The American Express Business Gold Card
American Express does occasionally offer referral bonuses for the American Express® Business Gold Card and other Amex cards. If youre already a American Express® Business Gold Card cardholder and want to refer a friend or family member, log in to your account to see if theres a referral offer and get your personalized referral link.
For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here
The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card,The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.
These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
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American Express Gold Card Review Summary
The American Express® Gold Card offers lots of rewards, especially on travel and dining purchases. But it costs a pretty penny, too.
Amex Gold offers an initial bonus of 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months, up to $10 per month for dining with Amex dining partners, and up to $10 in Uber Cash per month for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. Thats not all, either. Amex Gold cardholders also earn great rewards on purchases.
The bad news is that the American Express Gold Card has a $250 annual fee. Amex Gold also is far from ideal if you want to carry a balance from month to month.
So, if youre a big-spender with good credit or better who likes to eat and travel, Amex Gold could be a good card for you. Otherwise, you can probably do better.
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Should You Apply For The American Express Business Gold Card
The American Express® Business Gold Card is a very solid business card that offers an outstanding initial welcome offer and bonus spending categories that change based on where you spend the most. If your business spends extensively on one of the available bonus categories, you could accrue a ton of points in a short amount of time.
If you want to earn Membership Rewards points, but don’t want to apply for the American Express® Business Gold Card, you might be interested in some of these other American Express credit cards.
Up To $120 In Dining Credits
The biggest credit from this card is worth up to $10 per month, or $120 per year, when you use the card at some popular restaurants and delivery services. Get up to $10 back per month when you use it at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.
The $10 per month comes as an automatic statement credit, but you do have to enroll when you get your Amex Gold Card to turn it on for the first time. This isn’t a good deal if you would never go to those places anyway. I use Grubhub a couple of times per month, so this works really well for me.
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Points Per $1 At Us Supermarkets
Amex Golds dining rewards cover every day eating at home, too. But people tend to spend more at the supermarket than at restaurants over the course of a year. So Amex limits your bonus earning rate of 4 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets to $25,000 spent on groceries per year. After that, youll get 1 point per $1. Purchases at superstores and warehouse clubs also earn you just 1 point per $1 spent.
The Ultimate Luxury Travel Card
When it comes to travel benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a tough competitor to the Mastercard® Gold Card which is to say, it beats the Mastercard® Gold Card by a long shot.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is targeted specifically toward people seeking luxury travel amenities, such as access to Amex Centurion and Priority Pass lounges, concierge service for high-end reservations and travel upgrades.
You’ll also earn up to 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. You’ll also earn further benefits, like up to a $200 airline fee credit each year and up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue . New cardholders earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
And although its $695 annual fee is rather high, it’s still much cheaper than the Mastercard® Gold Card.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
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% Intro Apr On Balance Transfers
One other useful benefit of the Mastercard® Gold Card is that it offers a 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that, your APR will be 14.99%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Personalized Travel Services & Global Assist Hotline
Cardholders are eligible for assistance in the trip planning stages as well as during the trip. Here is what you need to know.
Personalized Travel Services: Call 1-877-227-5819 for personalized travel advice. Allow American Express travel experts to help you plan the perfect trip exactly how you want it.
Global Assist Hotline: Available exclusively to U.S. cardholders, this service provides medical, legal, and financial advice before traveling and when traveling more than 100 miles from home. The representative will either solve the problems themselves or find someone who can. If a third party is consulted, you will be responsible for any fees. Before the trip, you can receive advice on weather, passports, foreign exchange rates, and more. During the trip, you can receive advice on card cancellations, lost item help, ATM referrals, lawyer referrals, medical referrals, and more. Call 1-800-333-AMEX for assistance.
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Best Redemption Option: Transferring Points
One of the best ways to use Amex points is to transfer them to an Amex hotel or airline loyalty partner. Thats because not only can Amex points be transferred to 17 different loyalty programs, mostly at a 1:1 rate. Not only that but doing so can also get you a higher value per point than youd get if you redeemed directly with Amex.
Before transferring points to another provider, be sure you have an award redemption in mind once you transfer points, you cant return them to Membership Rewards. Keep in mind, too, that youll be charged an excise fee of 0.06 cents for each point that you transfer . Since many airline and hotel loyalty programs offer a point value higher than one cent, however, transferring is often still a lucrative option.
Access To An Annual Travel And Nexus Credits
Similar to the Gold Rewards Cards cousin, the Platinum Card, included is a $100 Annual Travel Credit, for use once annually towards any single travel booking of $100 or more. The booking must be charged to the American Express Gold Rewards Card through American Express Travel Online. Additionally, a $50 NEXUS Card statement credit is offered upon charging the renewal fee to the card.
For stays, a US$100 hotel credit can be used for qualifying hotel amenities charged to the room during stays at eligible Hotel Collection properties. This gives you a chance to save on upgrades and experiences, like dining, spa services and golf. The credit cant be applied to the cost of a hotel stay, but you can use it to elevate your experience once youre at your destination. Its important to note that taxes and fees are still charged to your card.
Finally, American Express extends four lounge passes for Plaza Premium Lounges, which can be used across Canada in airports like Vancouver and Toronto-Pearson. It is important to note that these four free visits are separate from the Priority Pass membership, which is also included but requires a fee to enter. Plaza Premium Lounges are no longer a part of Priority Pass.
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People Who Can Max Out The $240 In Annual Statement Credits
One of the toughest things for many new points enthusiasts to wrap their heads around is the value of a premium credit card. No matter how much personal value you get out of some of the perks, you still end up paying hundreds in fees each year for the right to use them.
The Amex Gold makes that math much simpler if you can max out both of its monthly benefits.
The up to $120 per year dining credit is broken down into $10 a month, similar to the Uber credit that comes with the Amex Platinum, but it also is pretty easy to maximize. I cant think of a single purchase at any of the partner dining merchants that would cost less than $10 a month, so if you eat out or order in once every 30 days this should be easy to take advantage of. Enrollment required for select benefits.
The new Uber Cash benefit of up to $120 annually can also be used on U.S. rides and U.S. Uber Eats orders.
If fully using the Uber Cash benefit and the dining credit sounds like something you can do, youll effectively end up paying $10 a year to keep the Amex Gold, making it one of the cheapest cards relative to the benefits it offers. And it should be easy to earn back that last $10 by taking advantage of one or more Amex Offers, where you can earn discounts on purchases you likely would have made already. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Are There Any Drawbacks To The Amex Gold Rewards Card
Acceptance is still one of the biggest limitations of any American Express card. While the company is actively improving access to pay with small businesses and offering an easy search feature within their mobile app and website, Amex cards still arent as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. While American Express maintains a very large network of merchants, it is wise to also carry a second no-fee Visa or Mastercard credit card in case a store or other vendor doesnt accept Amex.
Finally, while Amex Gold Rewards offers access to more points-transfer partners than competitor cards, you can find higher accelerator rates on categories like grocery, dining and entertaining on the American Express Cobalt Card .
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American Express Gold Card Vs The Platinum Card From American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the most prestigious cards on the market, with a $695 annual fee to match . The card earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly through airlines or American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 per calendar year, then 1 point thereafter. It also earns 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel. All other purchases on the card earn 1 point per dollar.
Although the Amex Gold offers elevated rewards across a wider swath of spending categories than the Amex Platinum, it cant match the swank perks that Platinum cardholders receive. Premium lounge access, Gold status with Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy hotels with enrollment, Uber Cash for eligible spending when your card is linked to your account, Saks Fifth Avenue credits and credits on airline incidental expenses on an eligible airline you select each year and other perks all come with card ownership.