Unlike many of my fellow bloggers and writers, I do not apply for credit cards on a serial basis. But the feeling of an approval when I do apply is amazing. I was successful in acquiring my first new card of 2021 this week: the American Express Gold Card. This post explains why I got the American Express Gold Card as well as my perspective on my new acquisition.
The American Express Gold Card is one of the most popular and valuable charge cards on the market. As one of Amex’s mid-tier charge cards, the Gold Card is an excellent earner and comes with some decent perks as well. It has a $250 annual fee that is NOT waived the first year.
Earning Membership Rewards Points
Diversification of points is a topic of contention in the points and miles world. I currently have no Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points because I didn’t have any cards that earned them until this week. American Express has over 20 transfer partners that I can now take advantage of because I have a Gold Card. This is in addition to Chase’s partners, which I have access to from my Chase Trifecta and the Ultimate Rewards (UR) ecosystem. I also began earning Hilton Honors (HH) points in September 2020 when I acquired the Hilton Surpass Card.
Furthermore, MR points are the second type of transferrable points that I am now earning. I do not plan to diversify further into Citi Thank You (TY) points because MR points can transfer to many of the same partners as TY points. There are a few of Citi’s transfer partners that I won’t have access to, but they are mostly international airlines.
Excellent Sign-Up Bonus
Normally, American Express offers a public sign-up bonus worth 35,000 MR points for the Gold Card. But with COVID-19 pandemic, Amex raised the bonus to 60,000 MR points. Both bonuses have a minimum spend requirement of $4,000 within the first three months. In other words, I can earn an extra 25,000 MR points for no extra minimum spend. That’s fantastic!
There are targeted bonuses online worth at least 70,000 MR points for the Gold Card. But I was not targeted for such bonuses. Therefore, the highest bonus that I could have received an offer for was 60,000 points.
Plus, this is my first time receiving any version of the American Express Gold Card. That means I am eligible to receive a sign-up bonus according to Amex’s Once Per Lifetime Rule. This rule states that current and former cardholders of any American Express card may not receive another sign-up bonus in their lifetime.
Lucrative Earning Structure
Moreover, the American Express Gold Card is a fantastic earner. In 2019, I ranked it as the top American Express Membership Rewards points-earning card. The Amex Gold Card earns 4x MR points per dollar on dining and groceries, which supplants my Chase Freedom Unlimited for dining and a revolving door of other cards for groceries. Both categories are food-centric, which makes them universally awesome for any cardholder. All people need to eat. So why not earn some serious points doing so?
Plus, the Gold Card earns 3x MR points on travel booked on amextravel.com and one point per dollar on non-bonus spend. I won’t be using the Gold Card for these categories after the sign-up bonus period. I will continue to use my Chase Freedom Unlimited for non-bonus spend after the Gold Card’s sign-up bonus period ends.
Rose Gold Card Design
Card design is not normally a factor in deciding to acquire a new card. However, American Express has brought back the Rose Gold design by popular demand. Prospective cardholders can choose between the regular gold and the rose gold options. I selected the rose gold because there’s a chance that it might be discontinued again in the future. That’s not to say that it will be discontinued, but it was discontinued once before.
Plus, cardholders can simply call the number on the back of their card if they want to switch designs. Amex will issue a new card in either design.
Finally, the American Express Gold Card comes with a plethora of perks that can be useful in the future. The two biggest perks that are offered on the Gold Card are the $120 in annual dining credits and $120 in annual Uber Cash credits. Both credits are of limited use because they’re divided up into 12 monthly credits worth $10 each. But I can try to find a way to use them.
One lesser-known perk that is offered on the Gold Card is access to the American Express Hotel Collection. I will receive a $100 statement credit and a room upgrade after booking a hotel room through amextravel.com and using my Gold Card to pay for everything. The room upgrade could be worth hundreds of dollars, which could justify the Gold Card’s annual fee.
I am thrilled to have acquired the American Express (Rose) Gold Card this week. Diversifying my points, an excellent sign-up bonus, a fantastic earning structure, the rose gold design option, and the perks are the reasons why I acquired the Gold Card.
However, just because the Gold Card works for me, does not mean it will work for everyone. I wrote a post called “Four Reasons Why You Should Not Get the American Express Gold Card” in 2020. That post serves as an argument against the Gold Card and portrays a contrarian point of view. After revisiting that post, I found that I had more to gain than not by applying for the Gold Card. I am confident that I made the right decision for my wallet and my credit this week.