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Review: The American Express® Gold Card – Best Dining/Travel Card?

Updated Oct 12, 2021 | Published Jul 28, 202011 min read

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American Express® Gold Card

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $250
Regular APR See Pay Over Time APR
At a glance

The American Express Gold Card features strong perks and rewards for the traveling foodie. It does carry a high annual fee, but it’s somewhat mitigated by the introductory bonus, the dining credits, and the plethora of benefits it offers.

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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We give the American Express® Gold Card 5 out of 5 Stars for offering exceptional rewards and value. It’s one of the best travel rewards cards available right now.

Why We Like It

  • 4X points at restaurants
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X points on flights booked through airlines or Amex Travel
  • $120 dining credit
  • Points can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • No expiration date on rewards points
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why It Could Be Better

  • Somewhat high annual fee of $250
  • Relatively low introductory bonus
  • Not everyone accepts American Express, especially internationally
American Express® Gold Card
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

If you’re looking for a new card that has impressive rewards and makes an impact, the American Express Gold Card might be for you.

It offers 4X Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at restaurants and 4X Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), you can also earn 3X points per $1 spent on flights booked directly through airlines or through American Express Travel.

You’ll earn 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months, which can help fuel your next vacation or trip.

Cardholders get access to a nice suite of added benefits, particularly the $120 dining credit and point transfer ability.

You also get the prestige of a metal card in gold, or rose gold if you so choose.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Pay for select purchases: Use the card for dining out and at grocery stores to earn 4X points per $1 spent, and for flights to earn 3X points. Use a different card for other purchases to earn more rewards in other categories.
  • Use the $120 dining credit: Use the card at participating partners, like Grubhub, Boxed, and The Cheesecake Factory, to get up to $10 in statement credits per month. Each year you can get up to $120 back this way, but take note that you’ll need to enroll before you get the credits.
  • Claim the introductory bonus: 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months.
  • Check your benefits: The American Express Gold Card offers some valuable benefits that can help make your vacations go more smoothly, such as a Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee, Personalized Travel Service, and the Global Assist Hotline (enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply).
  • Redeem with point transfers: Transfer your points to travel loyalty programs, at airlines and hotels, to get the best value.
  • Tap and go: The Gold Card offers contactless technology, allowing you to pay for purchases simply by tapping it on compatible checkout terminals.

The Rewards

With this card, you can earn the equivalent of 0.5%–8% cash back on your purchases, depending on what you buy.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 4X Membership Rewards points per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • U.S. Supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X)
  • 3X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly with airlines
    • Flights booked through amextravel.com
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar for every other eligible purchase
Introductory Bonus
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 6 months

If you frequently eat out, cook at home, or travel, you can rack up points quickly.

The loss of the ability to earn 2X points per $1 spent at gas stations is a drawback, as that was a decent perk of the old Premier Rewards Gold Card (although it wasn’t an amazing feature by any means). If you’re looking to earn rewards at the pump, it will probably be worth looking for another rewards card in addition to this one.

When spending at the 4X rates, you could earn a cash back equivalent up to 8%, or potentially more, depending on how you redeem. Purchases of flights at the 3X rate could yield as much as 6% cash back or more.

Your points never expire as long as your account is open, so you can build up points without worrying about losing them.

Redeeming

Depending on how you redeem your points, they can be worth anywhere from 0.5 to 2 cents each, and in some cases even more.

Point transfers will offer the best value, allowing you to earn up to 2 cents per point or more, depending on the deal you get.

We recommend holding onto your points until you can find a point transfer for about 2 cents or more. But you can redeem your points in other ways, too.

  • Flights, hotels, or car rentals
  • Statement credits
  • Gift cards
  • Shop through partner retailers
  • Charitable donations

For travel redemptions, flights will offer the best value at 1 cent per point. Statement credits offer a very poor value at just 0.6 cents per point. Gift cards and certain travel redemptions are slightly better at a maximum of 1 cent per point, but point transfers can offer double that value.

Redemption Method Point Value (In Cents)
Point Transfers 0.8–2
Air travel or hotels 0.5–1
Gift Cards 0.7–1
Donations 0.7
Statement credits 0.6
Shop Through Retailers 0.5–1

Here we break down a few different redemption methods and their values, showing how much your points are worth for each. For all of these examples, we assume that you’re trading in 10,000 Membership Rewards points.

Transferring to Loyalty Programs

You can transfer your Membership Rewards points to a number of frequent traveler programs, which cover several popular airlines and hotel chains.

There’s a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferring to U.S. airlines, but there’s no charge for any other transfers. The typical conversion rate is 1:1, although there are some offers that provide higher rates.

There are also some loyalty programs that offer less favorable transfer rates. One example is JetBlue, where 1 Membership Rewards point is only equal to 0.8 JetBlue points.

Take note that the transfer rates are subject to change, with occasional promotional offers of better-than-usual rates.

Below are just a few of the most popular frequent traveler programs, including their current transfer rates and some point conversion examples.

Loyalty Program Type Transfer Rate You Give You Get
Aer Lingus Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
AeroMexico Airline 1:1.6 1,000 1,600
Air Canada Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
British Airlines Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
Hawaiian Airways Airline 1:1 1,000 1,000
JetBlue Airline 1:.8 250 200
Hilton Honors Hotel 1:2 1,000 2,000
Choice Privileges Hotel 1:1 1,000 1,000
Marriott Bonvoy Hotel 1:1 1,000 1,000

The Benefits

Although the American Express Gold Card allows you to earn rewards quickly, the card offers a lot of value through its benefits, too. Depending on which benefits you use, you could easily get at least $250 in value from the card per year (enough to offset the annual fee).

  • $120 dining credit: Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express Gold Card at participating restaurants and merchants, including Grubhub, Seamless, and Boxed.
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash: Add the Gold Card to the Uber App to get up to $10 in Uber Cash per month; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • The Hotel Collection: Get a $100 credit for qualifying charges, and room upgrades when available. To qualify, you must book a hotel stay of at least two nights through American Express Travel or other eligible American Express travel services. This perk is available for every eligible stay you book.
  • Lowest Hotel Rates Guarantee: If you find your room being advertised for a lesser price you can be reimbursed for the difference, as long as you file a claim before check-in. All stays must be booked through American Express Travel to qualify.
  • Amex Offers: Receive discounts and extra point offers from dozens of participating merchants (offers are limited; enrollment required).
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Enroll in ShopRunner to get free two-day shipping and returns with select retailers.
  • Personalized Travel Service: Call to get personalized assistance with booking hotels, flights, or ground transportation.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible manufacturer’s warranties can be extended by up to two years.
  • Purchase Protection: Eligible purchases made with the card are protected against accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days. Residents of New York, Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands only have up to 90 days.
  • Global Assist Hotline: If you lose your passport or need help with customs, you can call the Global Assist Hotline for assistance.
  • Baggage Insurance Plan: Get up to $1,250 in coverage for carry-on luggage and up to $500 for checked baggage in case your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: Decline the rental company’s own insurance on eligible vehicles, and you’ll get coverage against theft and damage.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
See Pay Over Time APR None 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$250 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Rates & Fees Up to $40 Up to $40

The terms and fees are very simple. The Gold Card has an annual fee of $250.

You’ll typically have to pay off your balance in full by the statement due date each month, or you’ll get hit with late fees and penalties.

However, purchases over $100 may be eligible for American Express’ Pay Over Time program. This perk allows you to spread your payments over several months, but that balance will be subject to interest charges so we recommend avoiding it.

Eligible charges can be included in a Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. Eligible charges include purchases, foreign transaction fees, and annual membership fees. The following are ineligible for Pay Over Time: cash advances, including cash and other cash equivalents, certain insurance premiums, and any other fees owed to American Express. Pay Over Time Limit applies to the total of the Pay Over Time, cash advance, and Plan balances.

All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance, a monthly payment plan, or a cash advance balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date.

There are no foreign transaction fees, making it a good option for those who travel regularly. However, American Express isn’t widely accepted internationally, so it makes sense to have a Visa or Mastercard that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, too.

The Bottom Line

If you love food and travel, the American Express® Gold Card offers exceptional rewards and benefits.

To decide whether or not it’s right for you, consider how often you travel and eat out. If you make several trips a year, or eat out once a week or more, you’ll quickly rack up rewards. Most people spend several hundred dollars at grocery stores per month as well, which will provide quite a few points.

Between its rewards and welcome bonus, along with the airline and dining credits, there are plenty of cost-saving features to help offset the $250 annual fee.

How Do I Apply for the American Express Gold Card?

Follow the link below to apply now. Many people will receive a response within seconds, but in some cases it could take longer.

If approved, you’ll get a notification. If you’re not approved, you’ll receive a letter in the mail explaining why you were denied.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the American Express Gold Card?

You’ll need good credit scores to apply for the American Express Gold Card.

That means you’ll want credit scores of 670–739 for FICO or 700–749 for VantageScore.

If you’re not in those ranges, you still might have a shot. Credit card issuers consider many factors when considering if you’re a good candidate or not. However, even if you have those scores or above, that means you might not make it.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal information: Name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship status
  • Address and contact information: Home address, phone number, email address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, source of income
American Express® Gold Card
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are my rewards points worth?

Your Membership Rewards points are typically worth 0.5–2 cents, depending on your redemption method. You could usually see a cash back equivalent of .5%–8% based on where you shop and how you redeem.

What kind of travel credits do I get with the American Express Gold Card?

You’ll get a $100 repeatable hotel credit and an annual $120 dining credit. Check out a full list of the benefits you can expect with your card.

What is the annual fee of the American Express Gold Card?

The annual fee is $250. Take a look at all the terms and fees for your card.

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Alternatives to the American Express Gold Card

There are lots of different rewards credit cards available, and some of them may fit better with your spending and travel habits. If you have good to excellent credit, it’s a good idea to compare offers from multiple card issuers to find the best one for you.

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: 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 only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

A high-end metal card with a large annual fee, The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) is for regular travelers who want more luxurious benefits. It’s a bit like an upgraded version of the Gold Card.

Unlike the American Express Gold Card, the Platinum Card does not allow you to earn high rewards for purchases at supermarkets or dining out. It mostly benefits those who travel often, and has many perks that will enhance your travel experience.

The Platinum Card by American Express’ real value comes from its substantial benefits. You’ll get the best airport lounge access available on any card, annual travel credits, and much more.

Not sure whether you’d benefit more from the Amex Platinum or Amex Gold? Explore our detailed card comparison to learn more about why each card might be worth your time.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year, then 1X)
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months

Depending on how you earn and redeem your points, you can earn a cash back equivalent up to 10%. That assumes you’re spending in the 5X category and redeeming for 2 cents per point, using point transfers to travel partners.

Other spending and redemption rates, such as gift cards, will provide a lesser value.

Key Features
  • Global Lounge Collection: Enroll for complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get up to $15 in Uber Cash per month, plus a bonus $20 in December; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • $200 hotel credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid hotels booked through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts; must pay with the Platinum card.
  • $300 Equinox credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $300 in statement credits annually with Equinox (up to $25 per month), for Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox, or Equinox+ membership fees.
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $240 in statement credits annually for digital entertainment (up to $20 per month), only for eligible purchases from Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • CLEAR credit: Up to $179 in statement credits annually for CLEAR biometric security, enough for a membership.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • Uber VIP status: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get Uber VIP status where available.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four and a half years)
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: Daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, amenities valued at $100, and more at eligible properties
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Resy provides access to exclusive reservations and dining experiences.
  • Point transfer: To a selection of airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty; Return Protection; Baggage Insurance Plan; Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance; Trip Delay Insurance; Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $695

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Purchase APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Why We Picked It

If you’re looking for a rewards card with a lower annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) might be a better choice for you than the Gold Card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with some nice benefits, including the ability to earn referral bonuses, along with excellent point earning and transfer opportunities.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Dining
    • Select streaming services
    • Online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for other Travel purchases
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Generally, the Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that you’ll earn with this card are worth 1 cent each. But redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and you’ll get 1.25 cents per point.

That option allows you to earn a 2.5% cash back equivalent for travel and dining, with 1.25% everywhere else.

If you opt for a point transfer, you can potentially get even more value: up to 2 cents per point. At that rate, you could earn up to a 4% cash back equivalent for travel and dining, with 2% back for every other purchase.

Key Features
  • 25% point bonus when redeeming for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point Transfer: 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
  • 20,000-point referral bonus: Receive a 20,000-point bonus for every friend you refer who applies and is approved, up to 100,000 bonus points per year. That’s $250 per person if you redeem those points for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: Book through this program to get perks like daily breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, room upgrades, early check-in or late check-out, and a unique gift.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn more points by shopping at participating retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace, and find discounts via Chase Offers.
  • Chase Preferred Experiences: As a Sapphire Preferred cardholder you’ll have access to exclusive events and experiences provided by Chase.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7
  • Shopping protections: Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty Protection
  • Travel protections: Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Trip Delay Reimbursement, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, and more
  • Dedicated customer service specialists: Get 24/7 access to a dedicated customer service line. Just call the number on the back of your card and get connected to a real person right away, rather than an automated system.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Purchase APR16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Why We Picked It

If you’re looking for a more significant bonus than the Gold Card and better travel perks, check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review). Boasting valuable travel credits along with that nice bonus, this card’s features can quickly offset its high annual fee.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Chase Dining through Ultimate Rewards
    • Hotel stays and Car rentals through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Lyft rides (through 3/31/22)
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Travel (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

The Sapphire Reserve provides a 50% point bonus when redeeming through the Ultimate Rewards program for eligible travel expenses, which would give your points a value of 1.5 cents each.

At that rate, you’d be earning a cash back equivalent of 4.5% for travel and dining, with 1.5% everywhere else. That’s not too bad.

But, like the Sapphire Preferred above, you can do even better by transferring your points to an airline or hotel loyalty program. If you manage to get 2 cents per point, that would give you a cash back equivalent of 6% for travel and dining, and 2% everywhere else.

Key Features
  • $300 annual travel credit: You’ll get a $300 travel credit every year that will be automatically applied to any travel-related expenses you charge to your card.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Cardholders get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges and restaurants worldwide. You must manually activate this benefit, and you’ll receive a Priority Pass Select member card in the mail.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Every four years you’ll get up to a $100 credit towards the application fee for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection provides some complimentary services and benefits at participating hotels and resorts.
  • Elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Cardholders get accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status with Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and resort properties; just stay two nights at qualifying properties in a 12-month period. Club 5C status provides benefits like a VIP welcome, room upgrades, access to a unique experience at each property, and invitations to exclusive events. You must book using the Visa Infinite Concierge.
  • $120 Peloton credit: Enroll to get up to $120 back for an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership (through 2021). No fitness equipment is required.
  • Visa Infinite Concierge: Call 1-877-660-0905 for non-emergency help of all kinds, like making dinner reservations or finding good tickets to a show. You can also ask for travel recommendations, for flights, tourist attractions, the best shopping spots, restaurants, night clubs, etc. This benefit is probably most useful when visiting a new city.
  • Special car rental privileges: You can access your special car rental privileges by logging in to Chase Ultimate Rewards and following the instructions to enroll. You’ll get perks at Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental like rental upgrades, discounts, and occasional promotional offers.
  • Lyft Pink membership: One-year exclusive saving opportunities with Lyft Pink membership, providing 15% off rides, relaxed cancellation fees, priority dispatch at airports, and more
  • DoorDash membership, $60 annual DoorDash credit: Chase will pay for a DoorDash subscription for two years (a DashPass). You’ll also get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020, and $60 in 2021 (learn more about Chase DoorDash benefits).
  • Shopping protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty Protection; Return Protection
  • Travel protections: Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver; Roadside Assistance; Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance; Baggage Delay Insurance; Travel Accident Insurance; Trip Delay Reimbursement; Lost Luggage Reimbursement; Travel and Emergency Assistance; Emergency Evacuation & Transportation
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550
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securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Rates & Fees

  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

If you want to earn higher rewards at the grocery store rather than on travel, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review) might be for you. It allows you to earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 a year (then 1%).

This card provides plenty of rewards on your everyday spending. If you’re not big on travel or restaurants, the Blue Cash Preferred is probably a better option than the Gold Card. It offers some of the same benefits, but you’ll miss out on valuable perks like the $120 dining credit, and access to The Hotel Collection. Eligibility for The Hotel Collection offer is limited.

The Blue Cash Preferred has a no annual fee counterpart, too — the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review) —if that’s what you’d prefer. Check out our comparison of the Blue Cash cards to see how they stack up.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 6% cash back:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%)
    • Select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Transit
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $300 statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Key Features
  • Amex Offers: Find offers for extra cash back at a changing selection of merchants.
  • $120 Equinox+ Credit: Get up to $10 per month for a stand-alone monthly membership to the Equinox+ app. Will not apply if you purchase the membership through the Equinox app or a third party.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Shopping protections: Return Protection, Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection
  • Travel protections: Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Global Assist Hotline
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

American Express® Gold Card
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$250
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Do you use the American Express Gold Card? Let us know how you like it by leaving your own review below!

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

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a contributor to Credit Card Insider who writes about credit cards and other personal finance topics. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Business Insider, and more.

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts are accurate and/or questions are answered.

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