amex gold card review american express
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American Express® Gold Card (a.k.a Amex Gold or Amex Rose Gold Card)

Both the American Express Rose Gold card and the American Express Gold Card are identical in features and they are both metal credit cards weighing about 15 grams.  It is definitely one of the heaviest credit cards around!

What is the Rose Gold American Express card?

The Rose Gold Amex is a special color of card (Rose Gold, obviously!) that was issued when American Express refreshed the Gold Card in October of 2018. It was discontinued for over a year before recently being made available again.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

amex rose gold card
The Limited Edition American Express Rose Gold card

How do you get a limited edition American Express Rose Gold card?

It’s back!!

Originally, you could get it for just under 2 months, from October 2018 to January 2019, before they discontinued the Rose Gold version. And then, for a brief time, in June of 2019, they opened the card back up to new applicants.

Right now, the Rose Gold is available again! Just click here to learn how to apply for one.

American Express Rose Gold Card
Get 60,000 Bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 6 months on an American Express® Gold Card or Rose Gold Card. Earn 4X points on dining and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1X) plus get $10 monthly dining statement credits and $10 in monthly Uber Cash. Terms apply. Get This Offer

Can Existing Cardholders get a Rose Gold Card?

Yes! For so long, this was not an option. But now, once again, you can call Amex and they can switch out your traditional Gold card for a new Rose Gold Amex.

Amex Gold vs. Amex Rose Gold

Quite literally, the only difference between the two cards is the color. The Rose Gold is a limited edition version of the Gold Card. All benefits are the same and you cannot receive a new Welcome Bonus on one if you already have or have had the other.

American Express Gold Card Earn Rate

The Amex Gold card is a powerhouse in the grocery and dining space, offering 4X Membership Rewards points on all dining spend and all US Supermarket spend.

Here’s a breakdown of the American Express Gold’s earn rate:

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on Restaurants / Dining (including takeout and delivery)
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on U.S. Supermarkets* (up to $25,000 a year)
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else

* How does American Express define a “supermarket” for the Amex Gold? Amex defines a supermarket as offering a wide variety of food and household products such as meat, fresh produce, dairy, canned and packaged goods, household cleaners, pharmacy products and pet supplies. (Superstores, convenience stores and warehouse clubs are NOT considered supermarkets.)

amex gold card
The Amex Gold Card

American Express Gold Card Benefits

You need some strong benefits to pay back a $250 annual fee. (Rates and Fees)

This card has them…

  • $10 in monthly dining credits (as statement credits) which can be used at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and most (participating) Shake Shack locations (This is $120 a year in total dining credit). These charges will be refunded as statement credits for up to the $10 maximum each month a few days to a week after the charge posts in most cases. Keep in mind that you must spend these each month as they won’t roll over from month to month. (Enrollment required.)
  • $10 in monthly Uber Eats credits – automatically added to your account as Uber Cash at the start of each month. Just make sure your Card is in your Uber or Uber Eats app as a payment method.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Up to $100 in on-property credit and room upgrade when you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel (select hotels only) and stay two consecutive nights.
  • Secondary car rental (CDW/LDW) coverage when you pay in full with the Card and decline the rental agency’s coverage – excluding rentals in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: The Gold card covers additional expenses like meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items when a covered trip (round trip) is delayed by at least 12 hours. Max $300 per claim and 2 claims per year. See guide to benefits for complete terms.
  • Extended Warranty: up to one year of coverage on top of the original manufacturer’s warranty on warranties of 5 years or less in the United States
  • Purchase Protection: coverage when items are accidentally lost, damaged, or stolen for up to 90 days from the purchase date (terms apply).
  • Terms apply.

Amex Gold Card Annual Fee

The annual fee on the Gold Card is $250.

But when you look at the categories you earn 4 points per dollar on (Dining and US Supermarkets), the benefits above, and how all but $10 of the annual fee is covered by the monthly dining credits, it’s easy to see that the benefits are worth more than the annual fee.

Welcome Bonus Offer

When you apply for a Gold Card from American Express, you’ll also get this welcome offer:

60,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in 6 months

MilesTalk values American Express Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, making this welcome bonus worth just over a thousand dollars ($1,020).

It’s also great that this current offer gives you 6 full months to meet the minimum spend requirements for the bonus offer as opposed to the more standard 3 month timeframe.

MilesTalk’s Review of the American Express Gold Card (and Rose Gold Card!)

The American Express Gold card is one of the best and it unseated my Chase Sapphire Reserve for the #1 spot when I got it. I have it in my own wallet and use it for all of my supermarket spend. Most of us spend a ton at grocery stores and 4X on up to $25,000 a year means that I can even pick up some store brand gift cards from time to time and add that to my grocery order, gaining 4X points on those as well.

For dining, at 4X Membership Rewards, this credit card is second only to the $495 annual fee Citi Prestige card, though of course that card won’t help you if your goal is earning Membership Rewards.

The annual fee is basically covered by the statement credits. With the Uber Cash credits and the GrubHub/Seamless credits you are getting $240 in dining credits total, making the net annual fee just $10.

For that, you earn 4X on all restaurants and US supermarkets + 3X on airfare. Not bad at all!

With this card, you’ll have all of your airline tickets covered (3X points) and you’ll have your food covered with 4X Membership Rewards points for charges on groceries and eating out / dining in – but you won’t have other every day spending covered. Consider a card like the Citi Double Cash which earns 2% cash back convertible to Citi ThankYou points to use on non dining/supermarket/airfare spend, or use the credit card rewards calculator at Your Best Credit Cards to find other cards that match your spending habits.

And while no longer uncommon for travel themed or premium level cards, it’s nice to know that there are no foreign transaction fees to worry about when traveling abroad.

Is it worthwhile to collect American Express Membership Rewards points?

Absolutely! We have an entire guide to Amex Transfer Partners and Best Uses for Membership Rewards that I highly recommend reading through. Earning lots of points is great, but knowing how to optimize your redemptions is even better!

You can transfer to the frequent flyer programs of 19 airline partners and 3 hotel chains. As you’ll read in the guide, my favorite redemption partners include ANA, Aeroplan, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles, British Airways Avios, Delta, Etihad Guest, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Avianca LifeMiles.

Etihad First Class Apartment
Etihad First Class Apartment

Here’s a complete list of Amex Transfer Partners:

American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Partners Last Updated January 2021
Transfer RatioApproximate Transfer Time *
Aeromexico1:1.6 (1,000 Amex = 1,600 Aeromexico)~4-7 days
Aer Lingus1:1Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan1:1Instant
Air France Flying Blue1:1Instant
Alitalia1:1Instant
ANA1 : 1 (transfers only from Amex and Marriott)~2-3 days
Avianca1:1Instant
British Airways Avios1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1:1~1-2 days
Delta1:1 (subject to excise tax)Instant
Emirates1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:1Instant
Hawaiian Airlines1:1 (transfers only from Amex and Marriott; subject to excise tax)Instant
Iberia Avios1:1~1-2 days
JetBlue TrueBlue250 : 200 (subject to excise tax)Instant
Qantas1:1Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1~ 1-2 days
Virgin Atlantic1:1Instant
Choice Hotels1:1Instant
Hilton1:2 (frequent transfer bonuses - look for a better ratio if considering)Instant
Marriott1:1Instant

What do I *not* recommend doing? I do not recommend spending your Membership Rewards points for gift cards, statement credits, or to “Pay With Points” – unless it’s during one of Amazon’s promotions where you can use one Amex Membership Rewards point to get a discount. (Recently, one of these promotions offered up to $60 off!)

In fact, in an interview with IVY, I stated my opinion pretty clearly that doing so is the number one mistake people make with their miles and points.

Is the Amex Gold Card a Credit Card or a Charge Card?

Technically, it was long considered a charge card. The various American Express cards that have just a color as the name (American Express Platinum card, American Express Gold Card, American Express Green card – and even the famous American Express Centurion a.k.a. Black Card) were all technically charge products.

Unlike a typical credit card, the Gold Card has No Preset Spending Limit, which allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all of them, using a feature called Pay Over Time. Your spending limit is flexible and may vary over time based on things like your purchase, payment, and credit history.

The distinction is also important because Amex has a interesting product limit per person.

You can have 5 Amex “credit cards’ but up to 10 Amex cards that were formerly classified as “charge cards.” Since it’s very easy to run out of credit card “slots” in your American Express profile, it’s good to know that even if you are at your 5 credit card max, you could still get an Amex Gold card.

It’s also important to know that American Express has moved away from the concept of charge cards for cardholders. All cards formerly referred to as charge cards now feature a “Pay Over Time APR” feature to make them function similar to traditional credit cards.

Traditionally, the Amex portfolio of charge cards were cards in which you could not carry a balance and had to pay all charges in full each month. But with Pay Over Time now built into the charge cards by default, this no longer really applies. Unlike typical credit cards, these Cards allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all of them.

The Pay Over Time APR will vary.

American Express Rose Gold CardGet 60,000 Bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 6 months on an American Express® Gold Card or Rose Gold Card. Earn 4X points on dining and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1X) plus get $10 monthly dining statement credits and $10 in monthly Uber Cash. Terms apply. | How to apply for this offer. | Read our Review of the American Express Rose Gold Card

Does the American Express Gold Card cover car rental insurance?

Yes, the Gold Card provides car rental damage coverage (but not liability) of up to $50,000 when you pay in full for the rental with your Gold Card, decline the car rental company’s insurance and meet all other qualifying criteria as mentioned in the Guide to Benefits. Important exclusions are rentals in Australia, Italy, or New Zealand which are not covered. Also, while rentals paid for with Membership Rewards points are covered, rentals paid for in whole or in part with airline miles or other non-Amex points currency are not covered. Free rental days from the rental car company would also disqualify you for coverage. Read more about CDW/LDW coverage in general when paying with points.

Importantly, this coverage is Secondary to your own insurance. If you want primary coverage, see Credit Cards with Primary Car Rental Insurance.

How do you qualify for an American Express Gold Card?

The American Express Gold card is designed for applicants with Good to Excellent credit. Consider applying if you have at least a 690-700 credit score or better.

If you don’t, you should probably work at building your credit a bit longer.

Does the Gold Card have a preset spending limit?

With the Pay Over Time feature, as we mentioned above, the Amex Gold card now functions more like a credit card. But, as it is still technically a charge card, you won’t be granted a specific preset spending limit. Instead, your monthly spend patterns will dictate your actual limit each month. If you consistently spend a certain amount month, you’ll be able to gradually spend more than that with on-time payments. Your credit profile may dictate a certain cutoff point, but you can generally charge more on a Amex Gold card (or other Amex card with No Preset Spending Limit) than on a traditional credit card.

Is the American Express Gold Card worth it?

Yes. Despite the $250 annual fee, the benefit of earning 4X American Express Membership Rewards points on dining globally and at US supermarkets (which is roughly equivalent to a 7% rebate based on our 1.75 cent per point value of Membership Rewards points) combined with the annual and monthly statement credits make this card entirely “worth it.”

Have an Amex Corporate Card for work? Save $100 each year

See how your Corporate American Express card is worth a $100 annual rebate on the $250 annual Gold Card fee.

How to Apply for an Amex Gold Card?

It’s a great idea to apply while the welcome bonus is offering 60,000 Membership Rewards points.

See how to apply here.

American Express Rose Gold Card
Get 60,000 Bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 6 months on an American Express® Gold Card or Rose Gold Card. Earn 4X points on dining and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1X) plus get $10 monthly dining statement credits and $10 in monthly Uber Cash. Terms apply. Get This Offer

Questions?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

You can also read another, shorter review of the Amex Gold card on our companion site – Your Best Credit Cards.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards mentioned, visit the following links:

Rates and Fees for the American Express Gold Card

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

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