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The Amex Gold standard
The American Express Gold card gets more swipes than any other card in our wallet. Why? I’m pretty much like any other American. Take away housing and transportation, Americans just like me spend more money on food than anything else ( OK maybe travel in my case, but the pandemic has definitely thrown that for a loop). If only there was a card that aligned to those spend categories?
The American Express Gold card that earns 4x points on restaurants, 4x points US supermarkets ( up to $25k a year ), and a $120 annual dining credit (enrollment required), and $120 annual Uber Cash credit (enrollment required).
In terms of premium cards on the market – I’m not sure you could convince me there is anything better. Add in an amazing 60k Membership Rewards after $4k spend in 3 months offer and this card is a must have. (Rates and fees)
Amex didn’t stop at food either – Amex Gold will earn you 3x points on flights purchased directly with the airline or Amex travel. Like swanky hotels? Use your Amex Gold to gain access to The Hotel Collection for upgrade opportunities and resort credits just booking via the portal
When this card debuted in 2018, I named it the most compelling card of the year. It still continues to get more swipes than any other card in my wallet, and my wallet has a lot of them.
Let’s take a deep dive into the American Express Gold Card.
Is 90k the highest public offer we’ve ever seen
If you have an Amex its worth checking to see if you’ve been targeted. Others have seen 20% off dining offers – check here. When this card debuted back in 2018 the public offer was 35k. It had popped to 40k for most of 2019, and now referrals are offering up to 90k. The annual fee Is $250 (Rates and fees)
Historically, that minimum spend requirement needed to be completed in 3 months. Currently, you get 6 months to fulfill that requirement.
Amex Gold Benefits are truly incredible:
- up to 90k point welcome bonus after $4k spend in 6 months via Referral
- 4x points at restaurants
- 4x points at US supermarkets ( up to $25k a year )
- 3x points on flights purchased directly with the airline or Amex Travel
- $10 per month Uber credit valid in US only (enrollment required)
- $120 Dining Credit at select restaurants (enrollment required)
- Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations.
- Annual Fee is $250 (Rates and fees)
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- 1x everywhere else
- Access to The Hotel Collection
That Sexy Rose Gold is back!
As you can see in our picture up above, we chose a Rose Gold Amex back in 2018. It doesn’t carry any additional benefits aside from the fact that it’s dope, a conversation starter, and even manages to make you feel sexy behind a mask wreaking of hand sanitizer.
If it’s something you’d prefer…you simply choose it
4x on US Supermarkets up to $25k a year
An average family of 4 spends $547.80 a month at supermarkets.
That’s almost 2200 points a month or over 25k points a year simply by spending what you’d normally spend a month at the supermarket.
I know quite a few people that when you combine dining out and supermarkets are easily spending a $1k a month. You’re talking about 50k a year just in those categories.
4x on dining
If you’re like me, dining out is one of the purchases that hits the top of your monthly spend and Amex Gold rewards you with 4x points on those purchases. That is incredible. You’ll also earn 4x on qualifying takeout and delivery.
$120 Dining credit – don’t forget to enroll!
Once you’ve enrolled your Amex Gold it’s time to save some buckaroos! I’ve found that on months where I’m not going to hit one of the listed restaurants I can simply buy a gift card for that restaurant, in store, and use it down the road. These have been crediting, and after a few months I can go in and enjoy $20 or $30 all at one time. Or…I just have GrubHub deliver and enjoy $10 off my food. Win-win.
$120 Uber Credit
This is a $10 a month credit and can be applied to Uber. Note that you need to add your card to enroll and receive a credit.
Annual fee is $250
This is a premium card and the fee should definitely be considered, but if you’re making use of the dining and uber credits, you’re wiping $240 of that annual fee off without even factoring in the welcome offer or the bonus spend categories. Personally, I think it’s the most bang for buck
3x points on airfare
Sure there are Platinum variants that offer 5x, but this card offers you a great 3x earn rate on airfare purchased directly from airlines or Amex Travel and is $300 less than an Amex Platinum.
Access to The Hotel Collection properties
The Hotel Collection is a VIP hotel booking program, and is listed in our “Secret List of Hotel VIP programs.”
Amex Gold along with Platinum and Centurion cardmembers get access to The Hotel Collection program. This is a group of hotels that Amex has deals with to get guaranteed benefits just by booking via the portal.
It’s always worth checking rates and included benefits to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Here’s a peek at the benefits you can expect to receive when booking via The Hotel Collection program.
The best part….Access to Membership Rewards!
The Transfer partners are amazing – and we included some aspirational redemptions
Lufthansa First Class for 87k points when transferred to Avianca.
87k points to fly in a cabin that would set you back 5 figures?! Avianca is also an instant transfer partner, meaning once you see the space, wham, bam, transfer your points and book your ticket.
Emirates First Class for 85k points when transferred to Emirates
One little “suite” spot of the Emirates chart is flying from Milan to New York on their A380, or Athens to Newark on their 777-300ER for 85k points. You’ll enjoy a suite with doors that close, top shelf champers, pjs, a vanity, and if your heart desires…a shower at 7 miles in the sky ( on the A380 ).
ANA First Class ROUNDTRIP for 110k when transferred to Virgin Atlantic.
One of the best bargains out there, and when you’re earning points in multiple programs that are partners with Virgin Atlantic, it makes access that much easier.
Singapore Suites for 76k when transferred to Singapore Airlines
Again, a mutual transfer partner of both Chase and Amex, and a great opportunity to fly in one of the world’s best first class products: Singapore Suites. For just 76k points you can fly between New York and Frankfurt sipping Krug and feasting on lobster Thermidor. Better yet…Singapore eliminated taxes and fees on their own metal. BYAH!
Fly up to 14k Miles in Business Class for 115k points when transferring to Asia Miles
Asia Miles is a transfer partner of Amex and has many hidden sweet spots. One of which is their multi-partner award chart. Check out the link above if you want to read all the ins and outs, but you can fly A LOT for just 115k miles when you use Asia miles and fly on 2 or more One World partners of Cathay Pacific.
Since it debuted in 2018, Amex Gold has been a staple in my wallet, and continues to be one of my most recommended cards for people looking to earn a bunch of points where they spend the most, and enjoy fringe benefits they will actually use.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: American Express Gold Card: See Rates and Fees
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.