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Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Here’s How to Choose

Updated Nov 20, 2020 | Published Jun 28, 20198 min read

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At a glance

The Amex Platinum and Gold cards are both great picks for different types of people. The Gold card is better suited for the everyday spender who’s big on food, while the Platinum card is ideal for frequent travelers.

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The information related to Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Citi Prestige® Card, and American Express® Green Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

Chocolate or vanilla? Beach or mountains? Gold… or Platinum?

If you’re wondering what the difference is between these two popular Amex cards, keep reading.

We’ll reveal everything you need to know, and — spoiler alert! — explain why you should choose the American Express Gold card if you’re seeking rewards for dining and groceries, and the American Express Platinum card if you’re after a bevy of luxurious travel perks.

Amex Gold Amex Platinum
Introductory bonus 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months 75,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, in the first 6 months
Earning power
  • 4X at restaurants worldwide
  • 4X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on American Express Travel
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar (starting 1/1/21, on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year) on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through American Express Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
Perks
  • $100 annual airline credit (through 2021)
  • $120 annual dining credit
  • The Hotel Collection
  • Global Lounge Collection
  • $200 annual airline credit (through 2021)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • The Hotel Collection
  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
Annual fee $250 (Rates & Fees) $550 (Rates & Fees)

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

A Quick Look at the Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum

Although the annual fees differ quite a bit, the Amex Gold and Platinum are both free of foreign transaction fees, which means you can use them abroad without penalty. That said, Amex isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard, so it’s not the best credit card issuer for international travel. (If you’re planning an overseas trip, consider these travel rewards cards instead.)

As far as rewards, both cards earn Membership Rewards points, which you can redeem for statement credits, charitable donations, or gift cards.

To get the most value, however, we recommend transferring your points directly to one of Amex’s partners, which include Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Avianca, British Airways, Delta, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Iberia, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic, as well as Choice Hotels, Hilton, and Marriott.

Note you’ll have to pay a fee of $0.0006 per point, up to a maximum of $99, when transferring points to U.S.-based airlines like Delta, Hawaiian, and JetBlue.

Insider tip

Before applying for any new card, you should check your credit reports and credit scores, and make sure you understand how a credit card works.

Introductory Bonus & Rewards

For both cards, you can only receive the welcome bonus if you’ve never held the card before.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • With the Gold, 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months (Note: We’ve seen private offers for an increased point bonus. Though we can’t link to that offer here, you can check if you’re targeted by Googling “Amex Gold credit card” and seeing what pops up.)
  • With the Platinum, 75,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, in the first 6 months

You’ll also earn Membership Rewards points for everyday spending. As outlined above, the Amex Gold has excellent bonus categories, including 4X points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. (The only caveat is it’s not always easy to find international restaurants that accept Amex.)

Insider tip

Amex’s U.S. supermarket category does not include big-box stores like Target and Walmart, or wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club. If you frequently shop at those types of stores, check the fine print on these alternative grocery cards, or apply for a co-branded card from your preferred merchant instead.

The Platinum card’s bonus categories are more limited: Your 5X categories include airlines, but hotel bookings must be prepaid through Amex Travel. Another thing to note is that, when booking hotels through Amex’s travel service, you usually won’t be able to use your elite hotel status. So you have to choose between 5X points and your elite status.

When it comes to rewards, we’d declare the Gold the winner, especially if you can land that intro bonus. It offers an excellent rate at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets — both of which are frequent expenditures for the everyday American.

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Fees & Credits

Now let’s talk about what you’ll pay for the privilege of keeping these cards in your wallet. For the Gold card, you’ll pay an annual fee of $250, and will be able to add up to five authorized users for free. (Each one beyond that will cost $35.)

To make its annual fee a little easier to swallow, the Gold card offers the following:

  • Airline fee creditsUp to $100 in annual statement credits toward incidental fees, for things like checked bags or in-flight snacks, at one pre-designated qualifying airline (through 2021)
  • Food credits: Up to $10 in monthly statement credits for purchases made at Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations

If you max out both of those benefits, they add up to $220 per year — thereby reducing the Gold’s effective annual fee to $30. Keep in mind, however, that if you find yourself spending an unplanned $20 at Seamless to “get your credit before the month runs out,” these credits could cost more than they save.

As for the Platinum card, its annual fee is $550. It charges a flat fee of $175 for the first three authorized users, then $175 for each additional card. (Alternatively, you can add up to 99 “Gold authorized user cards” for free, but don’t get confused: These don’t have the earning power of the Gold card that you can apply for. Instead, they have the same rewards program as the Platinum, and each comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.)

The Platinum attempts to make up for its ginormous annual fee with the following slew of statement credits:

  • Airline fee credits: Up to $200 per year toward incidental fees at one pre-designated qualifying airline (through 2021)
  • Application fee credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck$100 every four years, or $85 every four and a half years, respectively
  • Uber creditsUp to $15 per month, plus a $20 bonus in December, for a total of $200 per year
  • Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com credits: Up to $50 from January through June; up to $50 from July through December

Adding up all these potential credits over four years (to account for the Global Entry credit), amounts to $525 per year — essentially reducing the Platinum’s annual fee to $25. 

Remember, however: That’s only if you would’ve made the relevant purchases anyway. While I would use Uber credits or baggage fee reimbursements, I don’t normally shop at Saks — and wouldn’t discount that amount from the annual fee. Instead, I’d view it more like a little bonus.

Since the effective annual fees are basically the same after all the credits are counted, I’d call this category a tie. You should apply for the card whose credits most align with your spending.

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Travel Perks

Airline Perks

With both the Gold and Platinum, your checked luggage will be covered by insurance: up to $1,250 for carry-ons and up to $500 for checked baggage (when you purchase the entire airfare with your card).

As far as other airline perks, the Platinum has a huge leg up because of its widespread airport lounge access. It comes with membership in the Global Lounge Collection, which has more than “1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries,” including American Express, Airspace, Delta Sky Club, Priority Pass Select, and Centurion lounges. Just note that its Priority Pass Select membership doesn’t include non-lounge experiences, like restaurants.

The Amex Platinum card is also known for its luxury concierge service, which can help you make travel arrangements and nab hard-to-get restaurant reservations, among a host of other services.

Though you may have heard about the Platinum card offering complimentary Boingo WiFi, that benefit was recently discontinued. While you’ll have to pay to surf the web on planes, rest assured the WiFi in airport lounges is generally free and reliable.

Hotel Perks

With either the Gold or Platinum, booking a stay of at least two consecutive nights through Amex Travel at a property in “The Hotel Collection” will snag you a $100 credit toward qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities, plus a room upgrade when available.

That’s not where it ends for the Platinum card, however. You’ll also get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status. At both chains, you’ll be eligible for complimentary WiFi, late checkout, and upgrades when available; at Hilton, you’ll also get complimentary breakfast and a fifth reward night for free.

Platinum cardholders get perks at the more than 1,000 properties in the Fine Hotels & Resorts collection, too. These include daily breakfast for two, early check-ins and room upgrades (when available), a “unique amenity” — like a spa or restaurant credit — worth $100, a guaranteed 4 p.m. check-out, and complimentary WiFi. Sometimes you’ll also be able to get additional credits, or even a free night when booking.

Amex Platinum benefits at Fine Hotels & Resorts collection

A sampling of the benefits available to Amex Platinum cardholders from the Fine Hotels & Resorts collection. Image credit: Amex Travel

Car Rental Perks

Both cards provide car rental insurance. The coverage, however, is secondary, which means it’ll only kick in after your regular car insurance pays out. (Here’s where you can find cards with primary car rental insurance instead.)

The Platinum card takes its rental car perks a step further by offering elite status at Hertz and National. (It claims to offer elite status at Avis, but in reality, it includes the lowest level of membership, which anyone can sign up for.)

At Hertz, you’ll get a 15–25% discount, upgrades when available, and a 4-hour grace period when returning the car. At National, you’ll get priority service, waived additional driver fees, guaranteed upgrades, and one free rental day for every six qualifying rentals.

In this broad travel benefits category, the Platinum definitely takes the cake.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Shopping Perks

Both the Amex Gold and Platinum cards offer a series of shopping protections, including:

  • Purchase Protection: If an eligible purchase is lost, damaged, or stolen within 120 days (in a handful of states, 90 days), you can claim up to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Extended Warranty: When you purchase an eligible item with your card, and its warranty is shorter than five years, Amex will extend it by up to two years. Coverage is limited to the amount charged on your card; up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • ShopRunnerThis complimentary membership will grant you free 2-day shipping at more than 100 online stores.

Clearly, this category’s a tie.

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: Which Is Right for You?

As you can see, there’s no clear right or wrong answer when it comes to these cards. To help you decide between the two, here are sample scenarios involving two different types of spenders.

  • Jose loves to wine and dine. He spends about $500 per month at restaurants and $500 per month on groceries (for a total of $12,000 per year), plus $1,000 per year on flights home for the holidays.
  • Yvonne, on the other hand, lives to travel. She takes several international trips each year, spending $6,000 on flights and hotel stays. On groceries and dining out, her budget is more modest: about $500 each month (split between the two categories), for a total of $6,000 per year.

With these spending patterns, here’s what they could earn in the first year (including the publicly available intro bonuses), depending on which card they held:

  •  Jose: 86,000 points with the Gold; 77,000 with the Platinum
  •  Yvonne: 77,000 points with the Gold; 96,000 with the Platinum

The Gold is better for everyday spenders, who like to cook, eat out, and take occasional flights.

The Platinum is better for true road warriors — especially when considering all the additional travel perks, such as lounge access, Global Entry application fee credits, and hotel benefits. Its major downside, of course, is its limited acceptance in other countries.

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If you’re looking for a similar card with solid travel perks and a more ubiquitous credit card network (Visa), consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) or Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review). With the Preferred, Jose and Yvonne could earn 80,000 and 81,000 Ultimate Rewards points, respectively, in the first year; with the Reserve, they could earn 77,000 and 80,000 points.

Alternatively, if none of these cards feel right, you have plenty of other options:

Other Travel Cards to Consider

The Amex Gold and Platinum cards are undoubtedly solid, but there are plenty of other travel cards that may better suit your needs, whether you’d like a lower annual fee or different reward categories. We’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.49%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – that’s a $200 cash redemption value
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99%–22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don’t expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

The information related to Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$550
Regular APR16.99%-23.99% Variable

Citi Prestige® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$495
Regular APR17.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 5X ThankYou points on Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Rewards never expire
  • $250 travel credit
  • Complimentary 4th night free on eligible hotel stays, capped at twice per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $495 annual fee

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$400
Regular APR17.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 3X points per dollar for travel and mobile wallet purchases.
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership, equivalent to $750 in travel redemptions.
  • $325 annual travel credit.
  • Application fee credit for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85), once every four years.
  • Enhanced status at Relais & Châteaux hotels and resorts.
  • 12-month membership to Priority Pass Select for airport lounge access.
  • 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi passes per year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $400 annual fee, $75 for additional authorized users.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you upgrade your Amex Gold Card to the American Express Platinum Card?

It’s possible to upgrade American Express cards in some cases, but only from certain cards to certain other cards. Former charge cards, like the American Express® Gold Card (Review) and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review), can only be upgraded or downgraded to other former charge cards. And typical credit cards, like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review), can only be upgraded and downgraded among themselves. You can’t, for example, upgrade from a former charge card to a regular credit card, or vice versa.

If you want to upgrade from Amex Gold to Platinum, you should be eligible to do so after one year. And if you decide you don’t get enough value out of the Platinum to offset its rather large annual fee, then you can downgrade, too.

Before diving right into a card upgrade, call the number on the back of your card to ask if Amex is offering an upgrade bonus. Compare that bonus to what you’d earn if you applied for the card outright, and then decide which is the right move.

Can you have the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum at the same time?

Yes, you can you carry both the American Express® Gold Card (Review) and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) at the same time. You can even add the American Express® Green Card (Review) into the mix if it strikes your fancy; Amex allows cardholders to carry up to 10 different former charge cards at once, and it issues fewer than ten of these, which means you can have one of each in your name.

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Susan Shain

Susan is a freelance writer who specializes in turning complex financial topics into engaging and accessible articles. She's been writing about personal finance for six years, and was previously the senior writer at The Penny Hoarder and a staff writer at Student Loan Hero. Her personal finance writing has also appeared in publications like MarketWatch and Lifehacker.

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