American Express Gold review 2018 — credit card benefits and details


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AmEx

  • The brand-new American
    Express® Gold Card
    is pretty exciting for millennials and
    empty nesters who enjoy dining out at US restaurants or anyone
    who regularly dines out or spends big on groceries at US
    supermarkets.
  • When you combine the welcome bonus, rewards program,
    statement credits, and other benefits, this card is a clear
    winner.
  • The card does charge a newly increased $250 annual fee,
    but depending on your spending and shopping habits, this card
    may be well worth the cost.

While its big brother, the 
Platinum Card®
from American Express
, often gets all the hype for premium
travel rewards, AmEx recently released the refreshed American Express
Gold Card
, and it comes with some great new rewards that make
this one worth considering.

The brand-new American Express
Gold comes in the traditional gold or a limited-edition rose metal
card
. It offers up to 4x points per dollar on popular
categories, a 25,000-point welcome bonus, an annual $100 airline
fee credit, and a special 20% back launch offer worth up to $100
in statement credits for restaurant purchases until January 9,
2019. The card does charge a newly increased $250 annual fee, but
depending on your spending and shopping habits, this card may be
well worth the cost.

American Express Gold rewards

The new American Express Gold
credit card offers a great rewards program. Depending on your
spending habits, it may even be more valuable to you than the
ultra-premium American Express Platinum.

The card offers 4x points per
dollar spent at US restaurants, 4x points at US supermarkets (up
to $25,000 in purchases per year; then 1x), and 3x points on
flights booked directly at airlines or AmEx Travel. If food and
dining is a major portion of your budget, which is common because
everyone has to eat, you can get massive bonus rewards for each
burrito lunch, sushi dinner, or cooked at home dinner.

New cardholders also earn 25,000
bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first
three months after opening a new account. That bonus alone is
worth enough for a domestic round-trip flight.

Membership Rewards is one of the
top two travel rewards programs
for credit card holders,
only competing with Chase’s
Ultimate Rewards
 for the top slot. If you want free
travel but don’t want to pay the big $550 annual fee for AmEx
Platinum, this card is an excellent alternative.


Read more: Amex is issuing a limited-edition
rose gold version of its brand-new Gold Card — here’s how to
request one in 5 minutes

American Express Gold benefits

This card’s value doesn’t stop at
the Membership Rewards points you earn, which are often worth
around 2 cents each. The card, like other premium AmEx cards,
is loaded with benefits useful for travel and shopping. Some even
put a few dollars back in your pocket depending on where you
spend.

AmEx Gold comes with two credit
opportunities for dining and travel. Get up to $10 per month back
in statement credits, worth $120 per year, when dining with
GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak
House, and some Shake Shack locations. This ongoing benefit is
separate from the 20% (max $100) statement credit for new
cardholders.

You also get $100 in statement
credits for airline fees and incidentals like baggage fees and
in-flight purchases. If you take full advantage of both the $10
dining fee and $100 annual travel fee credit, your annual fee
goes down to an effective $50 per year. That’s a bargain for what
you get in return if you take full advantage.

The card also includes baggage
insurance, rental car insurance, roadside assistance (like AAA),
a global assistance hotline, and perks at certain hotels when
booked through American Express. Surprisingly, this card does not
include a full travel insurance or trip interruption
benefit.

When shopping, this card offers
purchase protection, return protection, and an automatic extended
warranty. This is better than what the average card offers and
makes big purchases a lot less stressful. You can skip the
expensive added protections offered by some retailers when you
make the purchase with the Gold card.

Cardholders also get a
complimentary membership to Shoprunner. This service gives you
free two-day shipping at a wide range of online retailers.
It works like Amazon Prime in a
lot of ways
, but outside of Amazon.

There are some additional
benefits for shopping, travel, and entertainment common to AmEx
cards. They are not as popular or exciting as some other
benefits, but ticket presales and reserved seating for AmEx
cardholders at some events comes in handy to some sports fans or
cardholders on the way to see a favorite band live.

American Express Gold costs and fees

Now for the less fun part: fees.
This card isn’t free. It charges a $250 annual fee. But as we
already established, between benefits and rewards, it is easy to
earn that back and more in value if you use the card
regularly.

The card charges up to $38 per
occurrence for late and returned payments. Just pay on time and
make sure you have enough cash in the bank when paying to avoid
these costs.

There is no foreign transaction
fee, so you can use the card anywhere in the world that AmEx is
accepted without paying the typical 3% extra most cards charge.
Keep in mind that American Express is not as widely accepted
outside the United States as Visa or Mastercard, so you might
need an additional card as a backup when traveling.

The card charges 20.24% variable
rate APR when paying over time and 29.99% penalty APR if you miss
a payment. Rates can change at any time with market interest
rates. Pay in full by the due date each month to avoid interest
charges.


Read more: 11 lucrative credit card deals you
can get when opening a new card in October — including a
150,000-point bonus

The bottom line: Should you get the new American Express
Gold card?

The new American Express Gold
card is pretty exciting for millennials and empty nesters who
enjoy dining out at US restaurants or anyone who regularly dines
out or spends big on groceries at US supermarkets. When you
combine the welcome bonus, rewards program, statement credits,
and other benefits, this card is a clear winner.

If you want even more premium
travel benefits, you may prefer the American Express Platinum. If
the $250 annual fee is too much for you to handle, consider the $95-a-year Chase
Sapphire Preferred as a good alternative
.

If you read through this card’s
benefits and like what it has to offer, you won’t go wrong with
the new and improved American Express Gold card.


Click here
to learn more about the American Express Gold Card from Insider
Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.


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