In 1966, American Express first introduced the American Express® Gold Card, a harbinger of premium charge cards. The product flourished—and evolved—over decades. In 2017, however, American Express stopped accepting applications for its original Gold Card to instead focus on the next-generation Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
Flash-forward another 18 months to last week when the company decided to relaunch the American Express Gold Card and ditch the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. (It seems like a 180, but we think American Express has been working hard to respond to cardmembers’ changing demands and needs.)
Here, we tell you everything you need to know about this “new” product and how it compares to its previous Premier Rewards iteration. (Spoiler: Almost all changes are for the good. Huzzah!)
Improved earning structure
Probably the greatest enhancement of the new American Express Gold Card is a new Membership Rewards® points earning structure. Cardmembers will earn the following on purchases:
• 4X points at US restaurant (compared to 2X points with Premier Rewards)
• 4x points at US supermarkets, up to $25,000 in spend per calendar year (compared to 2X points with Premier Rewards)
• 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com (same as Premier Rewards)
• 1X points on all other purchases (same as Premier Rewards)
While the new card doubles the earning at US restaurants and US supermarkets, cardmembers will no longer earn 2X points at US gas stations, just the standard one point per one dollar spent.
Annual credits new and old
Similar to the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, the new card offers an annual incidental airline fee credit of $100 on one selected US-based airline per calendar year. This credit can be applied toward charges like baggage fees, in-flight meals, lounge access, and some change fees, but NOT airfare, upgrades, mileage points purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, or costs relating to mileage award tickets.
New is a $120 annual dining credit. But before getting too excited, note that this credit maxes out at $10 per month. So don’t expect a dinner out on Amex! Moreover, the credit is restricted to select restaurants: Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations.
A different shade of gold
In line with the trend of today’s premium cards, the new American Express Gold Card sports a sleek, stainless steel design. And until January 9, 2019, cardmembers aren’t restricted to just traditional gold color. They may order the card in limited- edition Rose Gold metal at no extra cost.
The current standard public offer is a bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points for new cardmembers after spending $2,000 in the first three months. In addition, until January 9, 2019, new cardmembers will also receive 20% back as a statement credit (up to $100) on dining purchases at US restaurants made within the first three months of card membership. Unlike the annual dining credit of $120 at specific chain restaurants, this special offer can be used at any US restaurant.
There also seems to be some links circulating online with a 50,000 bonus, without the 20% introductory dining credit.
Note that as per American Express’ Terms and Conditions, the “Welcome offer [is] not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or the Premier Rewards Gold Card. [They] may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”
The new American Express Gold Card comes with an annual fee of $250, up from the $195 annual fee associated with the Premier Rewards Gold Card.
Shopping and travel benefits
The shopping and travel benefits of the Premier Rewards Gold Card will transfer to the new American Express® Gold Card, including the enhanced Extended Warranty protection and Purchase protection implemented on August 1, 2018.
Those who currently hold the Premier Rewards Gold Card will be required to convert to the new product. New cards should be sent out in the coming weeks.
The new American Express Gold Card is a step up from the Premier Rewards Gold Card. The improved points earning structure alone justifies the increased annual fee. Overall, it’s an excellent premium card for someone who does not want to spend $450-plus on the annual fee of an ultra-premium card and is able to pay the balance in full every month. (Like The Platinum Card from American Express, the new American Express® Gold Card is a charge card, not a credit card.)