5. You’ll get AMEX Perks
American Express is known to host curated events through American Express Invites, and for its exclusive cardmember offers. Find access to discounts in your area on their website, or take advantage of offers to save on everyday purchases. Plus—the big one for many—Front of Line access gives American Express customers an early chance to purchase tickets for concerts, shows and local events.
6. You’ll get hotel upgrades
Cardholders get a credit of up to $100 USD for qualifying hotel amenities charged to the room during stays at eligible Hotel Collection properties. This gives you a chance to save on upgrades and experiences, like dining, spa services and golf. The credit can’t be applied to the cost of a hotel stay, but you can use it to elevate your experience once you’re at your destination. It’s important to note that taxes and fees are still charged to your card.
7. The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a charge card
Unlike a credit card, American Express Gold Rewards is a charge card. This means there isn’t a preset card limit, which allows for flexibility if you need to make a big purchase; however, the statement balance must be paid in full each month. The approval of transactions is based on your customer record, how long you’ve had the account, and whether you pay your balances on time.
8. Fees and income requirements
The annual fee for the American Express Gold Rewards Card is $150, which is $30 more than similar travel cards. The premium is justified by the hefty welcome bonus, flexible earn and redemption model, and robust travel insurance offerings. The card offers a free first authorized user (whereas other cards charge you upwards of $50 per card, per year), and there is no specified minimum income requirement to qualify, making it more accessible to a wide range of people looking for premium travel rewards.
Are there any drawbacks to the AMEX Gold Rewards Card?
Acceptance is still one of the biggest limitations of any American Express card. While the company is actively improving access to pay with small businesses and offering an easy search feature within their mobile app and website, AMEX cards still aren’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. While American Express maintains a very large network of merchants, it is wise to also carry a second no-fee Visa or Mastercard credit card in case a store or other vendor doesn’t accept AMEX.
Additionally, while the AMEX Gold Rewards Card offers access to more points-transfer partners than competitor cards, you can find higher accelerator rates on categories like grocery, dining and entertaining on the American Express Cobalt Card (up to 5 points per $1 spent, compared to the maximum of 2 points per $1 spent on AMEX Gold Rewards). However, the American Express Cobalt doesn’t offer the same airline transfer options as the AMEX Gold Rewards Card.
Finally, if you typically carry a balance, you may want to consider a different card, like the AMEX Cobalt or Scotiabank Gold American Express, which operates as a credit card and not a charge card.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card stands out for its flexibility in redemption, transfer partners and competitive fixed-redemption charts. American Express is known to give customers access to a wide array of travel perks and entertainment offers. Plus, with the robust insurance package and generous welcome offer, frequent travellers and everyday spenders alike will find ways to maximize the $150 annual fee.