The American Express Gold and Everyday Preferred Cards are two of American Express’ best mid-tier travel credit cards. Both are fantastic options for travelers who also have significant grocery store expenses. In fact, both cards are two of the best earners for grocery store expenses in the points and miles world. This is because they earn Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points at high multipliers for that category.
However, both cards offer different perks and sign-up bonuses to outweigh their annual fees. These areas are where the similarities end and the differences begin. This post focuses on those differences and why one card might be a better option for than the other.
American Express is offering a sign-up bonus worth 15,000 MR points for the Everyday Preferred Card. This bonus can be earned after spending $1,000 within the first three months. Unfortunately, this bonus is one of the least valuable within the mid-tier credit card market. In fact, the Everyday Preferred Card’s bonus is comparable to bonuses offered on most no annual fee credit cards.
Conversely, Amex is offering a bonus worth 35,000 MR points for the Gold Card. This bonus can be earned after spending $4,000 within the first three months. The Gold Card’s minimum spend requirement is the same as bonuses from several mid-tier competitors. But Amex is offering just over half the points their competitors are offering.
Nonetheless, the Gold Card wins this category despite its high minimum spend requirement and being less valuable than competitors’ bonuses. But the Everyday Preferred has the better bonus for lighter spenders.
Furthermore, both options earn MR points and are part of the Amex “ecosystem”. That means points earned from either card can be transferred to any of Amex’s partners.
The Gold Card earns 4x points at dining worldwide and grocery stores stateside. There is an annual spend limit of $25,000 total for both categories. Plus, the Gold Card earns 3x points on travel booked on amextravel.com as well as one point per dollar on non-bonus expenses. Cardholders will also earn one point per dollar on the 4x categories if they spend more than $25,000 on dining and groceries.
Everyday Preferred Card
Conversely, the Everyday Preferred earns 3x points at US grocery stores, 2x points at gas stations, and one point per dollar on non-bonus spend. But the draw of the Everyday Preferred Card is its 50% points bonus that can be earned after using it 30 times per month. Cardholders can earn up to 4.5x MR points at US Grocery Stores and 3x at US Gas Stations with the bonus. All non-bonus expenses earn 1.5x points per dollar.
The Gold Card is the better earner for those who dine out often. It’s also the better card for those who have multiple cards and might not use their card 30 times per month. The Everyday Preferred is better for those who use their card often. It’s also better for those who spend heavily at the gas pump. Furthermore, the best card for grocery expenses depends on how often either card will be used. The Gold Card wins for those who will use it less than 30 times per month. Otherwise, the Everyday Preferred is the better option.
Despite not having the numerous perks of the American Express Platinum Card, the Gold Card wins handily in this category. The Everyday Preferred only offers Return Protection and Extended Warranty since American Express updated their card benefits in late 2019.
However, the Gold Card’s perks include the following:
- $120 in annual dining credits (given as $10 monthly credits)
- $100 in annual Uber credits
- $100 in annual airline credits (discontinued in January 2022)
- Amex Hotel Collection
- Trip Delay Insurance.
The Gold Card offers much more in the way of perks than the Everyday Preferred. But its credits can be difficult to use for some cardholders. For example, the dining credits are limited to a small list of restaurants and take-out services. They are also given as $10 monthly credits, which heavily limits them.
Therefore, the Everyday Preferred is the better option for those who will not use the Gold Card’s credits. But the Gold Card is better for everyone else in the way of perks.
Credit Limit and Income
Furthermore, the Everyday Preferred is a traditional credit card. It has a preset credit limit and getting approved can be hard for those with lower credit scores.
Conversely, the Gold Card is a charge card that does not have a preset credit limit. The acronym “NPSL” that’s commonly associated with Amex charge cards means “no preset limit”. In fact, Amex charge cards have internal limits that can change every month. Cardholders must pay their Gold Card in full each month (which is strongly recommended for any credit card).
The Gold Card is the better option for those with lower income or credit scores because it’s a charge card. Charge cards have more relaxed underwriting standards, which makes it easier to get approved for.
The Everyday Preferred has an annual fee of $95 while the Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. Neither fee is waived the first year.
Some people argue that the “net” annual fee for the Gold Card is just $30. This argument assumes that you will use the $100 airline incidental credit in full each year. It also assumes that you will use all 12 of the $10 monthly travel credits.
The Everyday Preferred is the better card if you can’t use more than $155 of the Gold Card’s total credits. Otherwise, the Gold Card is the less expensive option.
The American Express Gold Card and the Everyday Preferred Card are great options for travelers who want to collect MR points. Both cards are excellent earners at the grocery store and provide the same redemption options. But that’s where the similarities end.
The Gold Card has the higher sign-up bonus, concrete bonus category earning rates, and more perks. However, the Everyday Preferred is a less expensive alternative for those who don’t want to spend $250 per year for the Gold Card. It also offers the points bonus for those who plan to use their card at least 30 times per month.