Get Bonus Points - Benefits of the American Express Gold Card - Dining Rewards Royalty
It offers bonus points on food-related purchases, plus dining and travel credits. Rewards are transferrable to travel partners.
For serious foodies, the benefits of the American Express® Gold Card are tailor-made for your wallet.
American Express Gold Card Review: Dining Rewards Royalty
This card features rich benefits for foodies, including high ongoing rewards at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets and an annual dining credit, among other perks.
The bottom line:
For dining enthusiasts who can maximize the annual credits on this card, it’s well worth the annual fee.
- Bonus categories
- Transfer partners
- Flexible rewards redemption
- Has annual fee
- Complicated rewards
- Requires good/excellent credit
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Rates & feesShow details
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 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 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
- $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
- Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
- Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms Apply.
Detailed review: American Express® Gold Card
For high-spending foodies, the American Express® Gold Card is dining rewards royalty.
The $250-annual-fee card earns 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants, 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases a year) and a $120-a-year dining credit, among other perks. Terms apply.
Points are worth 1 cent apiece on average, according to NerdWallet valuations. Assuming you didn’t redeem the annual credits on the card (more on that later), that means you’d have to spend at least $6,250 per year to earn enough rewards on this card after the first year to make up for the annual fee, making it a poor choice for frugal folks.
But for those who spend plenty on food and can take advantage of all the card’s annual credits, it’s a winner.
American Express® Gold Card: Basics
Card type: Rewards.
Annual fee: $250.
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
- 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants.
- 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases per year.
- 3 points per dollar spent for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 1 point per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
- Terms apply.
Membership Rewards points are worth about 0.5 cents to 1 cent each depending on how you redeem them. Travel and gift card redemptions are generally the most valuable. Points are also transferable and can be worth even more if redeemed strategically after being transferred to other loyalty programs.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
- $120 annual dining credit (available in monthly credits on select purchases.)
- Up to $120 a year in Uber Cash ($10 per month).
- Metal card.
- Terms apply.
Benefits and perks
The annual credits are potentially valuable
The American Express® Gold Card comes with up to $240 worth of benefits that can effectively cancel out most of the card’s $250 annual fee, provided that you use them. That could potentially make this card much more valuable than other dining cards that offer similarly rich ongoing rewards. Keep in mind that this might require some extra effort on your part, given the restrictions on these goodies. Here’s how these benefits work:
- $120 annual dining credit. You’ll get this $120 in monthly $10 credits on your account that can be applied toward purchases made with select partners: Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. (Shake Shack locations in ballparks, stadiums, airports and racetracks are excluded, according to the issuer.) Credits will be applied within two to four weeks of your purchase posting to your account. These monthly credits don’t roll over from month to month; if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them. Terms apply.
- Up to $120 a year in Uber Cash. Add your card to your Uber account, and each month you’ll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for U.S. Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. These monthly allotments of Uber Cash don’t roll over from month to month; if you don’t use them, you’ll lose them. Terms apply.
For someone who uses Uber and visits The Cheesecake Factory at least once a month, maximizing these credits is easier than rolling off a log. But if you wouldn’t normally spend money this way, the credits might not be as valuable as they seem.
Points are transferable
For foodies and travelers, the American Express® Gold Card offers a rich spread of ongoing rewards, including 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants, 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, and 3 points per dollar spent for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Terms apply. What really makes these points worthwhile, though, is the potential to transfer them to travel partners.
You can transfer Membership Rewards points to several other loyalty programs, including frequent flyer programs from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. A caveat, though: When transferring to U.S. airlines, you’ll also have to pay a fee of $0.0006 per point, with a maximum fee of $99. You’re better off avoiding those fees when possible.
To be sure, the Membership Rewards program offers plenty of other redemption options. But compared with transferring points, they generally aren’t as lucrative. If you’re craving flexibility or don’t travel frequently, you might be better off with another card.
There’s a solid welcome offer
The American Express® Gold Card’s welcome offer isn’t exactly a showstopper; the real value of this card lies in its ongoing rewards and benefits. But for those looking to rack up Membership Rewards points, it gives the card’s overall value a solid boost. The current offer is as follows: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Assuming you can get 1 cent out of each point, it’s not the largest bonus around, but it’s potentially enough to cover your airfare on your next trip.
If you can take full advantage of everything this card offers, you’ll easily be able to offset the $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
The main course: elevated rewards for dining in, dining out and grocery shopping. But the card also serves up healthy side portions of airline benefits and other perks.
Here are the benefits of the American Express® Gold Card:
Points: Spending rewards
1. Bonus rewards on dining, supermarkets and certain travel
The American Express® Gold Card earns:
- 4 Membership Rewards points when you dine at restaurants. This includes takeout.
- 4 points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year in purchases. After that, 1X back.
- 3 points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- 1 point on all other spending.
- Terms apply.
2. A sizable welcome offer
American Express describes it this way: “Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.”
3. Flexible reward redemptions
The Membership Rewards points you earn with the American Express® Gold Card can be redeemed several ways, including for statement credits, gift cards or on Amazon.com. But transferring points to AmEx’s multiple airline and hotel partners will almost always net you the most value per point. AmEx features more such travel partners than any other major U.S. credit card loyalty program. Here’s the list of Membership Rewards partners and transfer rates.
Travel and entertainment perks
4. $120 Dining credit
Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you enroll and pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Milk Bar, Wine.com and participating Shake Shack locations.
5. Up to $120 a year in Uber cash
Add your American Express® Gold Card to your Uber account and automatically receive $10 per month in Uber Cash, good toward U.S. Uber Eats orders or Uber rides. Unused Uber Cash from this benefit does not roll over from one month to the next.
6. $100 “experience” credit
Book a room through American Express Travel that’s part of the Hotel Collection, stay two consecutive nights and get a $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying resort experiences. Terms apply, and experiences may differ by property.
7. Presale and preferred event tickets
For select events, cardholders will have access to presale and/or preferred seating tickets purchased with their American Express® Gold Card.
8. No foreign transaction fees
Some credit cards add an additional 3% to 5% for using your card outside the U.S., but the American Express® Gold Card does not.
Protection and insurance benefits
9. Rental car insurance
When you use your American Express® Gold Card to reserve and pay for your car rental, and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter, you can be covered if the car is damaged or stolen. This coverage is secondary, meaning it kicks in after your personal auto insurance.
10. Baggage insurance plan
You can be covered for lost, damaged or stolen baggage when you purchase your entire ticket on your card. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. Terms apply.
11. Return protection
If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per account per calendar year based on the date of purchase. Terms apply.
12. Complimentary two-day shipping
If you enroll in AmEx’s ShopRunner service and use your card to pay with a participating merchant, you’ll get complimentary two-day shipping and free returns. Terms apply.