If you’ve been thinking about applying for an American Express Gold Card, now might be a great time.
The American Express® Gold Card comes with some of the best rewards available on food purchases, offering 4X points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases annually, then 1X point), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com and 1X point on all other purchases. New cardholders also have an opportunity to snag a generous welcome bonus: American Express offers you 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first six months.
Small business owners have a great option, too: The American Express® Business Gold Card is as rewarding as its consumer counterpart, but with an earning rate more targeted to business spending. Cardholders earn 4X points on the two categories their business spends the most each billing cycle (on up to $150,000 in purchases per year, then 1X point) and 1X point on all other purchases.
And Membership Rewards lovers can snag an even more generous limited time bonus – 70,000 points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
What are the American Express Gold Cards worth in the first year?
The Amex Gold can provide a lot of value, offering generous rewards rates and annual credits both travelers and foodies will appreciate, including a $100 activity credit on vacations that cost more than $3,000, a $120 dining credit and up to $120 in Uber Cash ($10 per month). The Business Gold, on the other hand, is packed with benefits that make it easier to manage your business spending.
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Business Gold Card
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 6 months
70,000 points if you spend $10,000 in first 3 months
|Other benefits||Other benefits|
Recent changes to the American Express Gold Card
These days, the Amex Gold card offers a pretty generous welcome bonus. In the past, it offered only up to 35,000 points, unless you received an elevated targeted offer – for instance, via CardMatch™.
Now you can earn 25,000 more for spending the same amount as in the previous offer, and you have twice as much time to meet the spending requirement.
|American Express Gold Card recent changes|
|Oct. 15, 2020||60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 6 months|
|Previous||35,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months|
Recent changes to the American Express Business Gold Card
The Amex Business Gold is also offering a higher than it previously did, though the spend threshold is more difficult to reach. Unfortunately, the statement credits that came with the previous limited time offer has been removed.
|American Express Business Gold Card recent changes|
|March 18, 2022||70,000 if you spend $10,000 in first 3 months|
|Feb. 11, 2021||Limited time offer: 70,000 points if you spend $10,000 in first 3 months|
Up to $300 statement credits on eligible U.S. advertising and shipping purchases
|Previous||35,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months|
Who is eligible for the introductory offer?
American Express is pretty strict on who can qualify for a welcome bonus. If you currently own or have ever owned an American Express Gold Card or American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card, you don’t qualify for the offer on the American Express Gold Card. The same goes for the business version of the card – if you’ve ever earned a welcome bonus on the same product, you won’t be eligible for the new offer.
Note: These offers are currently being promoted on sites like CreditCards.com, but you might see a different bonus if you apply via the Amex site.
Best ways to use your American Express Gold Card introductory bonus
One of the great things about American Express points is the wide variety of redemptions options available, from statement credits to gift cards to airline tickets. Your points value can shift depending on what you redeem them for, so we put together a chart to show you just how the bonuses stack up with each option. As you’ll see, you can get the most out of your rewards by booking airfare through the Membership Rewards portal.
|Redemption option||Point value (cents)|
|Airfare on amextravel.com||1|
|Upgrade flight with points||1|
|Gift cards||Up to 1|
|Charitable donations through JustGiving||0.7|
|Other amextravel.com purchases||0.7|
|Shopping partner purchases (Best Buy, Grubhub, Walmart and more)||0.7|
|Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to domestic travel partners)||0.5|
Transfer options with the American Express Gold Cards
Along with the redemption options listed above, the American Express Gold Card allows cardholders to transfer their points to one of 22 travel partners.
When you transfer your points to a domestic airline partner, you’ll be charged an excise tax offset fee of 0.06 cent per point. You have the option to pay it either as a charge on your monthly bill or with points. But as you can see from the redemption chart above, you’ll lose half your point value if you choose to use Membership Rewards points to cover the fee, so it is in your best interest to pay it outright.
When done strategically, transferring your American Express rewards points allows you to extract even more value out of your introductory bonus. Every American Express point is worth 1 cent, but several of the partner airlines’ points are valued a bit higher. Also, while most of the partner airlines have a 1:1 point transfer ratio, there are a few variations.
If you’re a food lover and looking for a credit card to reward you for eating out and buying groceries, the Amex Gold is an excellent choice. Available to new cardholders who’ve never had an Amex Gold before, the 60,000-point offer is the largest bonus the card has offered so far, and six months is plenty of time to meet the $4,000 spending requirement.
As for the Amex Business Gold, the $10,000 spend requirement in three months might be more difficult to meet, but you’ll be rewarded with an equally generous 70,000 points – a fairly hefty introductory bonus in this market. For small business owners who are torn between the personal and business Amex Gold cards, check out how the two cards compare here.