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While many credit cards can be categorized very narrowly, the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card wears many different hats. Between offering bonus points on airfare, restaurant, supermarket, and gas purchases in the US and allowing dozens of options for point redemption, you’d be hard pressed to fit this card into a box. This flexibility is one of the many advantages offered by the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card.
- Many ways to redeem points through the American Express Membership Rewards® program, so you’re not tied to a single reward category
- 3x bonus points for airfare purchases, 2x bonus points for restaurants, supermarkets, and gas purchases in the US
- A generous welcome offer of 25,000 points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days of when the account is opened
- No annual fee for the first year, after which the annual fee is $195 per year
At a glance
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
on American Express's website
- Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
- $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
- Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
- Terms Apply.
1 Point Per Dollar
(Waived first year)
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card deep dive
The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card may be the winning option for cardholders who travel frequently and are looking for great rewards rates, as well as flexibility when it comes to redeeming points.
Get it: If you spend a lot of money on airfare, groceries, restaurants, and gas, and you want multiple point redemption options
In addition to bonus points for airfare purchases, the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card offers a plethora of travel-related benefits, such as an annual credit toward airline baggage fees, lowest hotel rate guarantees, personalized travel services, no foreign transaction fees, a baggage insurance plan, premium roadside assistance, and more. Combined, these benefits can far outweigh the $195 annual fee, but only if you take advantage of them.
Some of the benefits of the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card include:
- 25,000 point welcome offer: New cardholders who spend at least $2,000 on their Premier Rewards Gold Card within 90 days of account opening will receive 25,000 bonus points
- Bonus points for airfare, restaurant, gas, and supermarket purchases: Airfare purchases qualify for three points for every dollar spent, while restaurant, gas, and supermarket purchases in the US all receive two points per dollar. All other purchases earn one point per dollar; transactions such as balance transfers and cash advances do not qualify for any rewards points
- Annual fee waived for the first year: While this card does come with an annual fee of $195, it is waived for your first year with the card, giving new account holders the chance to try it on for size before committing to a yearly membership fee
- $100 per year towards baggage fees: American Express® Premier Rewards Gold cardholders are eligible to redeem up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits for baggage fees. In order to be eligible for these credits, the cardholder must select a qualifying airline: only purchases from this airline will be eligible for redemption
- Flexible rewards: Points earned on the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card are redeemable through Amex’s Membership Rewards® program. The beauty of this program is its extreme flexibility—points can be used for anything from shopping to charity donations to statement credits. That said, keep in mind that the dollar value of points depends on what you redeem them for, so some rewards may be worth more than others
- No pre-set spending limit: Like some other American Express cards, this one has no pre-set credit limit, which can be advantageous for those looking to make a big purchase. That said, this doesn’t mean unlimited spending. According to the Terms and Restrictions, “Purchasing power adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record and financial resources known to us, and other factors.”
Remember, Additional Terms and Restrictions apply, so please read them carefully.
Skip it: If an annual fee isn’t your cup of tea, you’re not a big traveler, or you want a card that will be accepted everywhere
The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card comes with a hefty annual fee of $195, so if you’re worried about redeeming enough points and other card perks to offset that cost, a lower-fee (or zero-fee) card may be a better fit.
In addition, the highest level of bonus points with this card is awarded for airfare purchases—so if you don’t find yourself in the air frequently, you won’t be maximizing your bonus points, and may be better off with a card that rewards you for the categories you do spend a lot on.
Further, American Express isn’t as universally accepted by merchants as some other card issuers. While large merchants typically accept Amex, smaller businesses tend to stick to less expensive issuers (Amex charges higher merchant fees). This could be prohibitive if you’re a one-card kind of person, as far fewer merchants will allow you to make a purchase with an Amex than with a card from another major issuer.
Consider the drawbacks of the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card:
- That pesky annual fee: Yes, it’s waived for year one—but the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card card doesn’t come cheap after that. This card’s annual fee of $195 is high compared to other cards on the market, so make sure it’s really right for you before applying
- No option to carry a balance: While carrying a balance and paying interest on a credit card is generally not ideal, sometimes you need a little wiggle room for a month or so. The Premier Rewards Gold Card doesn’t offer that option. It’s a charge card, so you’ll need to pay your balance in full each month
- The best bonuses are for travelers: While this could be a selling point for frequent travelers, those who stay close to home don’t stand to benefit as much from the points bonuses this card offers. The maximum amount of points per dollar you can earn is three, which are awarded for airfare purchases. If you’re not buying flights, you’ll be missing out on this perk, and may be better off looking for a different type of rewards card
- American Express isn’t universally accepted: Merchants have to pay more per swipe to accept American Express, so you might find that some of your favorite small businesses don’t accept your new Amex
- Limitations on gas and grocery bonus points: This benefit does not apply at certain locations. Gas must be purchased from a gas station in the US, not a superstore, supermarket, or warehouse club that sells gasoline. Groceries must be purchased from supermarkets, which do not include superstores and warehouse clubs (such as Costco)
When it comes to rewards cards, the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card offers the opportunity to earn bonus points in a variety of common purchase categories, as well as allowing cardholders multiple redemption options and a slew of ancillary travel benefits. Where it falls short is primarily in the annual fee category, and it’s also worth keeping in mind that an Amex may not be accepted everywhere your other credit cards are. If these factors are deal breakers for you, check out reviews of other rewards cards.