The American Express® Gold Card: Benefits for dining in and out

Young couple drinking wine in a fancy bar and maximizing the benefits of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressImage: Young couple drinking wine in a fancy bar and maximizing the benefits of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

In a Nutshell

The American Express® Gold Card is great for foodies — it offers rewards for both dining in and eating out. And it offers other benefits that may be able to help you offset the annual fee.
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The American Express® Gold Card offers points and perks for foodies.

If you enjoy dining in or out, the American Express® Gold Card can really shine. It offers solid points when you use your card to eat out or grab groceries to dine in. It throws in a couple of usable credits to further sweeten the deal — and that may help offset the $250 annual fee.

Plus, you can opt for either gold or rose gold when you pick the color of your card.

Strong rewards, especially on dining and groceries

What you get: This card offers four Membership Rewards® Points for every $1 you spend on restaurants worldwide — and takeout and delivery in the U.S. Plus, you’ll get four points for every $1 you spend at grocery stores in the U.S., too (on up to $25,000 spent each year).

You’ll also get three points for every $1 spent on flights booked directly with an airline or on Plus, you’ll earn one point for every $1 spent on everything else.

Our take: If you love to dine out or cook the latest recipes at home, these rewards can add up fast. But don’t forget about the $25,000 yearly spending cap on bonus points for U.S. grocery purchases. And grocery purchases you make at superstores, convenience stores, warehouse clubs or meal-kit delivery services won’t qualify to earn you any bonus points.

Cash credits for eating in or out

What you get: The American Express® Gold Card offers a $120 annual dining credit, which comes as a $10 monthly statement credit against purchases at select restaurants. But you’ll have to make sure you enroll before you can use it.

Our take: The American Express® Gold Card Card has decent foodie benefits, and this credit can come in handy if you’re already spending at places like Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory or Shake Shack. But if you don’t use these takeout services or go to these restaurants, it won’t be useful for you — and you’ll want to keep tabs on the restaurants that are part of the credit, as they can change.

Cash credits to your Uber account

What you get: If you use Uber for rides or to order food, you can get $10 in Uber Cash every month, for a total of up to $120 each year. Cardholders also get four bonus points per $1 spent on the card to order from Uber Eats.

Our take: If this is a service you’re using, this credit provides great savings on money you were going to spend anyway.

Flexible rewards program, plus a welcome offer

What you get: The American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend at least $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months after account opening.

Our take: Since the rewards points you can earn with this card are part of American Express’ Membership Rewards platform, you’ll have a range of redemption options to choose from — including the ability to book or upgrade travel. You’ll be able to transfer points to travel partners like hotels and airlines or redeem as statement credits. Whether you want to travel or get the cash, you’ll have a lot of flexibility in how you opt to use your rewards.

Travel perks and protections

What you get: The American Express® Gold Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. It also offers personalized travel services and a global assist hotline, which can assist you anytime you travel more than 100 miles from home. Plus, you can get baggage insurance and coverage for car rental damage and loss.

Our take: These extra travel perks and protections can give you peace of mind — especially when you’re traveling outside of the U.S. Plus, since there’s no foreign transaction fees, you don’t have to stress about your overseas spending racking up additional costs.

Up to five authorized user cards for free

What you get: Unlike some premium rewards credit cards, the American Express® Gold Card doesn’t charge a fee to add up to five additional cardholders.

Our take: Five users may be enough to cover your entire family, so you may not have to worry about racking up charges for extra users. If you add more than five authorized users, it’ll cost you $35 a year for each card.

Are the benefits and perks of the American Express® Gold Card worth it?

The American Express® Gold Card can be a well-rounded rewards card for many people — especially foodies who enjoy both eating out and cooking at home.

The Uber and dining credits nearly offset the $250 annual fee, positioning the welcome bonus, ongoing rewards and other perks as valuable bonuses that you can save for your next adventure. If you don’t see yourself using the Uber and dining credits, we’d recommend looking at other rewards cards.

Not sure if this is the card for you? Read more to find out.

About the author: Sean McQuay is a long-time personal finance nerd. He’s passionate about budgets, credit cards, and earning useful rewards with minimal effort. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a father to three rambunctious kids. Read more.