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Take away housing and transportation, and Americans spend more money on food than anything else. Lo and behold a card that speaks right to the need of most Americans: How do I earn great points on what I spend the most?
Enter the American Express Gold card with 4x points on restaurants, 4x points supermarkets, and a $120 annual dining credit.
They didn’t just stop at food either – they’ve kept the $100 flight credit and you’ll earn 3x points on flights purchased directly with the airline or Amex travel. The benefits continue on so let’s take a look at the American Express Gold Card. Last year I named this card the most compelling card of 2018. Halfway through 2019, and in my opinion, it’s still the best all around card on the market.
The Benefits are truly incredible:
- 4x points at restaurants worldwide
- 4x points at US supermarkets ( up to $25k a year )
- 3x points on flights purchased directly with the airline or Amex Travel
- 1x on all other purchases
- $120 Dining Credit at select restaurants
- Grubhub, Boxed, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations. Excludes Shake Shack locations in ballparks, stadiums, airports and racetracks.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit
- Annual Fee is $250
- 35k point welcome bonus after $2k spend in 3 months
If you have multiple credit cards, it can be overwhelming, annoying, and discouraging trying to discern which card to use and where. This card alleviates that stress.
With all this bonus category spend and the immense amount of Membership Rewards transfer partners…holding one of these cards means you’re essentially taking the stress out of your payment decision. While there isn’t a card out there that offers the best in every single category of spend, this new American Express Gold card does an incredible job at competing across the board.
An average family of 4 spends $547.80 a month on groceries.
That’s almost 2200 points a month or over 25k points a year simply by spending what you’d normally spend a month on groceries.
I know quite a few people that when you combine dining out and groceries are easily spending a $1k a month. That’s nearly 50k points a year.
4x on dining everywhere
When the card was first introduced last year, the 4x on dining was limited to US restaurants. That is no longer the case, and as long as the restaurant codes as dining, you’ll earn 4x on dining anywhere in the world. That is incredible.
$120 Dining credit
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.
Annual fee is $250
The fee has increased from the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card which was $195, but the benefits have increased way more. The old card didn’t earn 4x on restaurants nor 4x on dining – it also didn’t have a $120 annual restaurant credit. If we only analyze the 4x vs 2x on restaurants and assume the same $1k a month you’ll be earning an extra 24k points a year without changing your spend habits whatsoever.
24k Membership Rewards are worth a minimum of $360.
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.
$100 Airline fee credit
Amex discerns what counts as a fee credit and what doesn’t. Recently they’ve changed their analytics a bit, and have gotten more specific. Change fees, bag fees, etc are pretty much what’s crediting now. So while it’s listed at $100, I would personally value this benefit at less than face value due to its narrowed window of qualification.
Welcome offer: 35k
The public 35k welcome offer alone is worth $525 if you value Membership Rewards at just 1.5c. If you end up getting targeted for anything more than this, or a referral is populating 40 or 50k – seriously…what are you waiting for?
The best part – What can you do with Membership Rewards? The Transfer partners are amazing – and we included some aspirational redemptions
Lufthansa First Class for 70k points when transferred to Aeroplan.
How incredible is that redemption? 70k points to fly a ticket that would set you back 5 figures?! The only downside is surcharges will be added, but trust me…they’re worth it. Aeroplan 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!
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.
If you already hold this card, it’s a big upgrade, but comes with $55 more in annual fees. Crunch the numbers and see what works for you, but I think this is the most compelling card of 2018. The benefits alone easily make up the difference, but considering this as a new card is well worth your time. Personally, this card will be at the front of my wallet.
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