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American Express Gold Card Review
19 Apr 2018

American Express Gold Card Review

Are you an avid traveler looking for a credit card to help reward you for these travels? The American Express Gold Card has some of the highest rewards for travelers, such as 3 points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines.

If you are in the market for a new credit card and trying to find the card that could be right for you, check out this review of the American Express Gold Card.

The Basics of the American Express Gold Card

The American Express Gold Card offers high reward rates. Here is a breakdown of the points you can accumulate (terms and conditions apply):

  • 3 points on each dollar for flights reserved directly with airlines
  • 2 points on each dollar at US supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations
  • 1 point on each dollar on all additional purchases outside of these categories

When you sign-up for this card, you earn a decent bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards Points after purchasing $2,000 in the first three months.

For the first year, the annual fee is $0 and then increases to $195 annually. If you use this card frequently and redeem points wisely, you can make up that expense in rewards pretty quickly.

For example, if you book around $3,200 worth of flights directly from airlines on this card, you will break even when figuring in the annual airline fee credit. There is an annual $100 airline fee credit with this card.

The Pros

Let’s examine the positive features of this card.

  • There is an annual $100 airline fee credit. This credit can be used to cover baggage fees, airport lounge passes, or in-flight purchases.
  • If you stay at least two nights consecutively at an American Express Hotel Collection hotel, you will receive a credit of $75 to put toward spa, dining, or any other resort expenses.
  • Transfer Membership Rewards to various airlines and hotels. If you have loyalty accounts, you may be able to get more than 2 cents of value per point.
  • There is no preset spending limit. If you have high spending nights, this may be beneficial for you.
  • You get baggage insurance. If your luggage is damaged, stolen, or lost and you used your American Express Gold Card to buy your ticket, you are eligible for coverage up to $1,250 for carry-on bags and $500 for checked luggage.
  • Return Protection is available if you change your mind about a purchase and can’t return it. If you use the American Express Gold Card to purchase this item in the US, you can be refunded by American Express up to $300 per items within 90 days of purchase. There is a $1,000 annual limit per card account.

If you are an avid traveler and can pay your balance every month, this card may be a great solution for you.

The Cons

The American Express Gold Card may not work for everyone. Here are some of the cons of this card:

  • American Express isn’t accepted as outside the US as widely as other cards. There are no foreign transaction fees, but keep in mind that not all countries accept American Express.
  • There is no airport lounge membership. This card does have the $100 airline fee credit which can cover the day pass for airport lounges, but the points may not be enough to cover two airport lounge passes if you have a couple delays.
  • This card is not a financing credit card; it’s a charge card. You have to pay your balance off each month, and the late fees are rather hefty.
  • No preset limit can hurt your credit, and you do not know what your exact limit is. It does not mean that there isn’t a limit, but you may not know if your card will get declined for a large purchase or in an emergency situation.

The Verdict

The American Express Gold Card may be a great card for you if you travel regularly and book your airfare directly with the airlines. This card offers big earning potential and flexibility with point redemption.

The most important thing to remember with this card is that it is a charge card and not a credit card, so you must pay your balances off in full monthly. If you cannot pay your balance in full, there are hefty penalties, so be sure you read the fine print and be certain that you can pay these expenses monthly.

The late fee is also higher than credit cards.

The rewards program of this card offers travelers upgrades and credits alike for the American Express Hotel Collection.

If you stay two nights in a row at one of these participating hotels, you can get room upgrades or $75 in hotel credit. You can get up to $225 per stay if you get the credit for three rooms per stay.

You can also use this credit for multiple stays throughout the year. This credit is not tied to one hotel chain, and you can transfer your points to your participating loyalty programs. This makes this one of the better travel rewards programs.

The no preset spending limit can be a pro or con of this card. American Express will monitor your purchases and give you a new credit limit monthly once they determine your spending patterns. Depending on how you to choose to purchase, this can be positive or negative.

In conclusion, the American Express Gold Card is a good option for travelers that can pay their monthly expenses without financing. The annual fee is lower than other high rewards cards.

You may want to check the Membership Rewards program’s list of airline and hotel partners before requesting this card. If they are companies you use regularly, you can earn some great travel points and upgrades.

This card may be a great solution for personal travel and especially business travel. You can use points to rack up further travel or get additional perks with each trip.

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