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American Express® Gold Card Review

Best credit card for earning points on dining and U.S. supermarkets.

By Mandy H.|Updated on 8/24/2023

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The American Express® Gold Card is one of the best cards for everyday spending. There is a $250 annual fee, but you also get up to $240 in annual credits, which makes the fee less intimidating. 

Terms apply to Amex offers and benefits. Rates & Fees

card art for the American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Check if you're pre-approved for this card or special offers using the CardMatch Tool.
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Point Multipliers

With the American Express® Gold Card, you earn Membership Reward (MR) points for many everyday categories. This includes:

  • 4x at Restaurants 
  • 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 spent per calendar year)
  • 3x for flights (booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com)
  • 1x on other purchases

Terms apply.

American Express Gold Card Calculator

Cardonomics calculates the expected value of the American Express® Gold Card based on the information you provide. The expected value is calculated based on the dollar value you input into the calculator.

The default figures in the calculator are just an example, so you should enter your own information for more accurate results. The methodology for this calculator is explained at the bottom of the post.

American Express Gold Card Intro Offer

Are you eligible for the intro offer? You are not eligible if you have or have had the card (even without getting the bonus).

Are you able to complete $6,000 of spend in the first 6 months?

The current public offer is 60,000 MR. What bonus are you considering?

MRpoints

points earned from intro offer:

0

Credits: How Do You Value Them?

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$120 dining credit, up to $10 per month in statement credits at participating dining partners.
$
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$120 Uber Cash; automatically get $10 per month.
$

The American Express Gold Card annual fee is $250.

Given how you value the credits, your effective annual fee is: $10

Point Multipliers: Category Spend

Restaurants (4X points)
Restaurants (4X points)
$
U.S. supermarkets (4X points) on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X
U.S. supermarkets (4X points) on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X
$
Flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com (3X points)
Flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com (3X points)
$
All other purchases
All other purchases
$

Yearly cash back breakdown:

4X Restaurants24,000 MR
4X U.S. Supermarkets24,000 MR
3X Flights7,200 MR
1X All other purchases600 MR
Total points earned per year:55,800 MR

How do you plan on redeeming points?

American Express gives you many ways to redeem your points. Here are some common examples:

  • Points are denoted as CPP = "cents per point"

Given how you value points...

Value of points from intro offer:$0
Value from category spend:$0
Total value of points:$0

Expected Value of Points

(Intro offer + credits + spend - annual fee)

$0

Calculation Methodology

The calculator's results are determined by several factors, including your ability to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn the welcome offer, spending habits in different categories, point redemption strategy, and how much relative value you place on other benefits.

The "Years" in the calculator refer to the cardmember year, which begins when you are approved for the card. The first year of membership is the first 12 months after approval, and the second year is the 12 months following that.

Optimal Strategy

Many people use the American Express® Gold Card as their daily driver, given the competitive multipliers in categories like restaurants and US supermarkets. If you have spend in other categories (i.e., gas), you can add cards like the Citi Custom Cash to cover any “holes” in your setup.

The American Express® Gold Card also has two credits that help offset the $250 annual fee.

$120 Uber Cash

You get $120 in Uber Cash annually (broken down into $10 each month). All you need to do is add your card to your Uber account, and it should show up at the start of each month. If you use Uber (or UberEats) regularly, it’s pretty fair to value this at the full $120. Enrollment required.

$120 Dining Credit

You get $120 in Dining Credits annually (broken down into $10 statement credits each month). Partners include:

  • Grubhub
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Goldbelly
  • Wine.com
  • Milk Bar
  • Select Shake Shack locations

Just use your card, and you should receive a statement credit a few days after the transaction. Enrollment required.

Redeeming Points

The American Express® Gold Card earns Membership Reward (MR) points which are great for aspirational travel since you can transfer to Amex’s partners such as Etihad or ANA. This is one of the few ways that "normal" people can experience first and business class flights.

If you’re focused on cash back, you can redeem your points as a statement credit for 0.6 cents per point (CPP). This means that 4x * 0.6 CPP = 2.4%.

Alternatives

If you like the idea of the American Express® Gold Card but don’t cook at home, then the American Express® Green Card might be a better fit. It earns 3x at restaurants and transit (trains, buses, subway, etc.).

The Citi Premier is a great alternative if you want a non-Amex option with more flexibility. You still earn 3x at restaurants and supermarkets, but you also earn 3x on other categories like gas stations.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Cardonomics. 

card art for the Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

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Main Takeaway

The American Express® Gold Card is one of the best cards for everyday spending, especially if food is a large expense – whether you eat out or cook at home. The $250 annual fee becomes a lot more reasonable once you include up to $240 in credits ($120 Uber Cash + $120 Dining).

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.