The American Express Gold Rewards Card is an excellent travel credit card for frequent travellers and it offers a number of unique perks.
New cardholders enjoy 25,000 bonus points when they spend $1,500 in the first 3 months.
This welcome offer is equivalent to a $250 statement credit for a travel purchase. If you choose to transfer the points to another frequent flyer program, such as Aeroplan, it could be worth even much more.
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is more than just a travel credit card. It offers rewards on everyday purchases and you have the flexibility to redeem your points for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and even Amazon shopping.
This American Express Gold Rewards Card review covers what you need to know.
American Express Gold Rewards Card – At a Glance
- 25,000 Welcome bonus points ($250 value)
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel purchases
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery and at drugstores
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Purchase interest rate: 30%
- Annual fee: $150
- Supplement cards: first one free, other $50/year
- Comprehensive travel benefits
American Express Gold Rewards Card Benefits
Welcome Bonus points: The American Express Gold Rewards offers 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,500 or more within the first 3 months. This welcome bonus is worth $250 when you redeem it as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
Earn Rewards on Purchases: When you use the card to book your travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises), you earn 2 points per $1 spent.
The same earn rate applies to eligible gas and grocery purchases, as well as your spending in drugstores. All other purchases on your card earn at a rate of 1 point per $1.
Earn Double Points: You get an additional 1 point per dollar spent on hotel and car rental bookings made through American Express Travel.
Amex offers: Cardholders get access to exclusive benefits and bonus points through Amex Invites. You also enjoy Front of the Line perks.
American Express Gold Rewards Travel Benefits
Your Membership Rewards points can easily be transferred to other airline loyalty programs including Aeroplan (1:1), Alitalia (1:0.75), British Airways (1:1), Delta SkyMiles (1:0.75), and Etihad (1:0.75).
When you stay two or more consecutive nights at a participating hotel, you may qualify for up to a $100 credit for room upgrades.
You can enroll in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program and enjoy car upgrades and other perks.
American Express Gold Rewards Insurance
The Amex Gold Rewards Card offers a comprehensive suite of travel insurance benefits including:
Emergency Medical Insurance: Up to $5 million for cardholders under 65 years for travel of up to 15 consecutive days.
Trip Interruption Insurance: Coverage of up to $1,500 per insured person and up to $6,000 per trip is available.
Flight Delay Insurance: If your flight is delayed for 4 hours or more, you may be eligible for up to $500 to cover accommodation and food expenses.
Travel Accident Insurance: This coverage is up to a maximum of $500,000 for accidental death or dismemberment.
Car Rental Insurance: Protects rental cars against theft, damage, or loss for up to 48 days and an MSRP of up to $85,000.
Lost or Stolen Baggage: Up to $500 in insurance if you lose your carry-on or checked-in baggage while in travel status.
Hotel Burglary Insurance: Provides up to $500 in insurance coverage.
Note that you need to have paid for your travel using the Amex Gold Rewards Card in order to enjoy most of these travel benefits.
How To Redeem Your Points
A main attraction of the American Express Gold Rewards Card is the flexibility to redeem your points for various rewards. Options include:
1. Statement Credit: At a redemption rate of $10 per 1,000 points (for travel) or $7 per 1,000 points for other purchases.
2. Fixed Points Travel Program: You can maximize your points when you book travel through American Express Travel Services’ Fixed Points Travel Program.
For example, $15,000 points can get you a round-trip short-haul economy flight within Canada with a value of up to $300. This translates to a point value of 2 cents which is double the maximum statement credit value.
3. Transfer To Frequent Flyer Programs: As already discussed, you can transfer your points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs.
4. Shopping: Use your points to shop for merchandise, gift cards, prepaid cards, and more.
Downsides of this Card
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a charge card which means you must pay off your balance in full each month or you pay a 30% annual interest fee.
Also, it is an “American Express” and they are not as widely accepted by merchants as Visa or Mastercard.
Is this Card For You
The American Express Gold Rewards Card has no minimum income requirement and is easy to apply for.
It offers a great welcome bonus and you earn points on everyday purchases with the flexibility to redeem them for valuable rewards or travel.
If you tend to carry a balance though, the 30% interest rate is hefty and this will add up over time.
For a no-fee alternative, the SimplyCash Card from Amex offers 1.25% cash back on all your purchases.
If what you want is a premium card that works for travel as well as everyday cash back rewards, the American Express Cobalt is worth checking out.
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