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  3. American Express® Gold Card review: Great value at restaurants and grocery stores

American Express® Gold Card review: Great value at restaurants and grocery stores

Updated:

Image of the Gold Card from American ExpressImage: Image of the Gold Card from American Express

548 reviews from Intuit Credit Karma members

3.9

Rating: 3.9 out of 5.

Editors’ take: The excellent restaurant and grocery rewards set the card apart. Just keep in mind that the dining credits come with restrictions.


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Great for restaurants and groceries

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Annual fee: $250

This content is curated by Intuit Credit Karma’s Editorial team using data from members who were approved for this card or similar cards, or who self-matched this card or similar cards. Intuit Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse this content. Information about financial products not offered on Credit Karma is collected independently. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.


Member stats

Updated daily

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27%

Average credit utilization (or what percent of the card’s credit limit is being used) of members who matched with this card or similar cards.


The American Express® Gold Card does not have a traditional credit limit; utilization for this card is not calculated the same as cards with credit limits.

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41 years

Average age of members who matched this card or similar cards.

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$103,374

Average annual income of members who matched this card or similar cards. Note: Income may be estimated for some members by Credit Karma and may differ from members’ actual incomes.


Pros and cons

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Great dining rewards rates and perks

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Solid transfer partners

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No foreign transaction fees


ConImage: Con

Big annual fee

ConImage: Con

Travel perks difficult to qualify for

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Fee for transferring points to frequent flyer programs


American Express® Gold Card review

Updated February 23, 2024


This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.


Written by: Tim Devaney


5 things you need to know about the American Express® Gold Card

1. Benefits outweigh the annual fee


Total Benefit Value: $419


Ease of Use: Difficult


The American Express® Gold Card has an estimated Total Benefit Value of $419 as of May 2022, based on Credit Karma’s calculation.


The Total Benefit Value measures how much a premium rewards card could be worth if you use each benefit once. We found the American Express® Gold Card pays for itself with benefits that outweigh the $250 annual fee.


Here are a few of our favorite benefits this card offers.



We believe these benefits are fairly practical because they cover commons expenses like rideshare, food delivery, restaurant and travel purchases that are part of a regular budget.


But the benefits come with so many strings attached that you might find them difficult to navigate. Still, if you eat out a lot and enjoy treating yourself to a nice hotel when you’re on vacation, you should have no problem offsetting the annual fee.

2. Welcome bonus

The American Express® Gold Card features a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards® points, which you’ll earn after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months after opening the account.


We estimate those points to be worth more than $900 in travel redemptions, according to Credit Karma’s point valuations. Given that value, this bonus ranks as an especially useful feature of the card.

3. You can feast on dining rewards

The American Express® Gold Card offers top-tier value in its dining rewards and perks.


You’ll earn four points for every $1 you spend at restaurants worldwide, as well as on U.S. takeout and delivery. Do you prefer to cook at home? You can also score four points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets (on up to a limit of $25,000 in purchases per year, then one point). Flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com earn three points per $1, and you’ll earn one point per $1 on all other eligible purchases.


If you dine out on a regular basis, you can enroll in a program to earn a $10 statement credit each month (up to $120 per year) when you order from Grubhub, or go out to participating restaurants, like The Cheesecake Factory and select Shake Shack locations.


And if you add the card to your Uber account, you'll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. each month, up to $120 per year.


If you were to use the full available monthly dining and Uber credits, you’d get $240 in value from the card.

4. Travel perks come with strings attached

There’s a string attached to your travel options: You’ll earn a total of three points for every $1 you spend on airfare purchases — but only on those flights booked directly through the airline or American Express Travel. So if you were to book your flight with a website like Expedia or Orbitz, you wouldn’t get that rewards rate.


Eligible American Express® Gold Card cardholders may be able to get a $100 hotel credit on stays of at least two nights at The Hotel Collection properties booked with American Express Travel or other participating providers.

5. The annual fee might make you think twice

The American Express® Gold Card charges a $250 annual fee.


Depending on which features are most important to you, you could argue that the card doesn’t offer much more value than some basic travel rewards cards that charge annual fees of less than half the cost.


Understanding your points and redemption options

American Express Membership Rewards points can be used to book travel, buy gift cards or shop online.


We calculated your points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed through American Express Membership Rewards. But you might get a better value if you redeem through an American Express Membership Rewards® transfer partner. For example, if you redeem through British Airways Executive Club, your points could be worth an estimated 2.12 cents each, based on Credit Karma’s point valuations.


But keep in mind that American Express charges a small fee that equates to about $1 for every 1,667 points you transfer. In other words, it would cost you roughly $30 to transfer 50,000 points.


Who this card is good for

The value of this card all comes down to how often you order delivery or eat at restaurants.


If you use both the $10 monthly dining credit and $10 Uber credit every month, you’ll earn $240 in value, or almost enough to cover the $250 annual fee.


But if you don’t use those credits, it might take more effort and spending to get value from the card. Without the credits, we calculated that you’d need to spend nearly $240 each month at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets to break even on the card’s $250 annual fee.


Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sold on the American Express® Gold Card, you might want to take a look at one of these other cards.



Member reviews

Overall rating:

3.9

Rating: 3.9 out of 5.

548 reviews from Intuit Credit Karma members

Most helpful positive review

July 2, 2022

5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Don't blame Amex, blame CK

Credit Karma Member


Understand your credit then apply. Having a good credit score is not necessarily the only thing to get approved. Need credit age, low credit use and decent income on top of 100% payment history. Stop blaming Amex for your poor understanding of credit. I got mine and it's awesome. The card is made of metal, it's gorgeous. Got it the very next day after approval. You get a lot of card for that 250 yearly payment. This was my dream card for years. CK said I had poor approval odds and here I am looking at my card with very passionate eyes.

Most helpful negative review

January 7, 2023

1

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This Card is ridiculous

Credit Karma Member


Why would any person want to get a credit card that you have to pay a $250 annual feed.

All member reviews


*Approval Odds are not a guarantee of approval. Credit Karma determines Approval Odds by comparing your credit profile to other Credit Karma members who were approved for the card shown, or whether you meet certain criteria determined by the lender. Of course, there's no such thing as a sure thing, but knowing your Approval Odds may help you narrow down your choices. For example, you may not be approved because you don't meet the lender's "ability to pay standard" after they verify your income and employment; or, you already have the maximum number of accounts with that specific lender.