Why we’re excited about the new American Express Gold card

I’ve only got 6 spaces for cards in my wallet, so I have to decide very strategically what goes in there. One space is for my Driver’s License, one space is for my debit card. The other 4 spaces rotate on a fairly regular basis, depending on what kind of spend requirements or bonuses may be going on. Until I got the Platinum Card from American Express, the Premier Rewards Gold card American Express Gold card was occupying a slot. 

It didn’t make sense, at the time, for me to have both the Gold and the Platinum card. I mean, why earn 3x membership rewards points on travel when I can 5? The Gold card was about to be relegated to the reject bin when the annual fee came due.

The Announcement

Then, as if by some divine force, the powers that be over at American Express had a revelation. 

Someone in a board room: “Hey, this card really isn’t that special. What can we do to make it better?”

Someone else in a board room: “How about giving a unique reward category, and make it good!”

Cheers from everyone in the board room: “Here here! Right-on! Jolly Good!”

At least… that’s what I assume was said.

Yesterday it was announced that moving forward, the American Express Gold card would offer some pretty kick ass benefits that compliment our spending habits (and perhaps yours as well) beautifully.

The New Perks

Here’s what got us so excited:

  • 4X Membership Rewards at U.S. restaurants
    • Adios Chase Sapphire Reserve! Your 3x dining won’t cut it anymore
  • 4X at U.S. supermarkets up to $25,000 per calendar year
    • Spending $25,000 a year is a cinch! Especially considering all the lovely things that grocery stores sell. And all those Fuel Points too? Yes!
  • Up to $10 in statement credits for dining each month
    • Sure you have to enroll, but that’s just a click. We use GrubHub and Seamless all the time. Easy $120

This is in addition to the $100 incidental fee credit that the card has always had. Take those $100 and add in the $120 from dining and you’re recouping $220 of the $250 annual fee. Sounds like a win in my book! 

Sure, you’re losing the 2x on gas purchases, but you weren’t using this card to purchase gas in the first place, were you? There’s plenty of other options that are better for large fuel purchases, one from American Express and the other from Citi. The Hilton Ascend (more info here) gives you 6x at gas stations while the Citi Thank You Preferred (more info here) gets 3x points at gas stations. Both would be a heck of a lot better use of your dollar.

Exploring the Dining Perk

I do travel somewhat for work, and when I take clients out for dinner, it’s a no brainer that I want to earn miles and points. The idea of earning 4x Membership Rewards at all U.S. restaurants just makes me more inclined to take this card out of my wallet to pay. Even for my monthly Starbucks reload, 4x the points is a massive win.

ITC Mughal

Exploring the Grocery Store Perk

We all shop at grocery stores, but some of us more than others. $25,000 a year (or just under $2100 a month) is easy to spend at grocery stores. I won’t go into too much detail, but just think of all the things that a grocery store sells (typically in a 10 foot tall rack by the check out counter) that you could take advantage of.

Most chains of grocery stores now offer Fuel Points in one way or another. Both the Kroger and Safeway near us offer fuel points and often run 2-4x promotions for general shopping and even on gift cards! This is another big way for us to rack up an easy 100,000 membership rewards points a year.

Courtesy of the Port of Seattle

Exclusive, Shiny, and New

Not that it matters in the grand scheme of life, but the Gold card will now come in Gold and Rose Gold. The Rose Gold is only available until January, so act fast!

I just realized how incredibly petty that last sentence was, but it should be noted that I am asking for mine to be delivered in Rose Gold 🙂

Small Welcome Bonus, Powerful Residual Benefits

The 25,000 membership rewards that you receive as a welcome bonus aren’t the most spectacular (you earn them after $2,000 in spending) but the 100,000 Membership Rewards points each year from Grocery stores is my main reason for keeping this one close. 

You can read more about the card and apply for it here.

Are you applying for the new American Express Gold card? If not, why the heck not!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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8 Comments

  1. I dont understand how anyone could spend $25,000 at the grocery store, even including gift cards. Especially since restaurants earn 4x so no one will buy those gift cards. Can you explain please?

    Post a Reply
    • Sure. Just think of all the other gift cards that are sold. Uber, Delta, Visa, Mastercard, Kohls, etc. It’s not that difficult to rack up the spend quickly if you’re good with all those options.

      Post a Reply
  2. Not applying. They reduced the bonus from 50K to 25K and raised the annual fee and now they will not waive it the first year. Will wait for a better offer.

    Post a Reply
    • Sure, but you’re in a unique position right now that you can take the $25k in spend for 2018 and then again the $25k for 2019. I’d rather take 100k MR now than wait for a paltry 25k bonus more in the hopefully future.

      Post a Reply
  3. I actually prefer earning on gas 2x, I dont gas often so its okay. I value Amex points more than Hilton points anyday. I don’t have a citi card so I won’t be using that. At least I have until October 2019 to use that. But it is a nice perk for 4x increases in some categories. I will keep this card since it was my first Amex card anyways.

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  4. Do you think they will detect giftcards among your grocery purchases & claw back those points? AmEx is weird about giftcards in general.

    Post a Reply
    • Naw, I doubt it. But only one way to find out. Besides, I’m not going crazy with it, just adding them to a few other purchases. If you bought $5,000 in purchases all in one go? Sure.

      Post a Reply
  5. I’d love to see one of these comparisons include the Uber card from BarclayCard.

    No Annual Fee

    4% cash-back on dining

    3% cash-back on hotel & airfare (including travel agencies)

    2% cash-back for online purchases

    1% for everything else

    You get this cash-back for purchases outside the US, too, not just US restaurants like the Gold card. Plus, you get phone coverage if you pay your phone bill on it… up to $600 for damage/theft. While it is not a transferable currency, I am having a hard time arguing with these numbers from an ease of use perspective.

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