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Card Comparisons

American Express Gold card vs. American Express Platinum card

Which card is best for you?

Summary

The Amex Gold and Platinum cards both earn valuable Membership Rewards and come packed with perks for frequent travelers – but which is best for you?

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American Express has several different credit cards that can give valuable rewards to travelers. Some Amex cards are co-branded with another hotel or airline partner, but the issuer also has top-notch travel credit cards in its own currency.

Known as Membership Rewards, American Express’s proprietary rewards currency can be very valuable in the hands of the right spender.

Two of the most popular credit cards offering Membership Rewards are the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express. In this article, we will compare the two cards – looking at their perks, points earning and redemption options and comparing which card might be right for you.

See related: Which cards earn American Express rewards points?

American Express Gold vs. American Express Platinum

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rewards rate
  • 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases annually)
  • 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or at amextravel.com
  • 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
Annual fee$250$550
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900)$707$797
Annual credits
  • $100 airline incidental credit on one airline of your choice
  • Up to $120 in annual dining credits
  • $200 airline incidental credit on one airline of your choice
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber credits ($15 each month with a $20 bonus in December)
  • Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 for purchases made between January and June and another $50 for purchases made between July and December)
Airport lounge accessNone
Other travel benefits
  • $100 property credit and upgrade (when available) when booking hotel stays of two nights or longer through the Amex Hotel Collection
  • Transfer points to American Express travel partners
  • Terms apply
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • $100 property credit and upgrade (when available) when booking hotel stays of two nights or longer through the Amex Hotel Collection
  • Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold status
  • Transfer points to American Express travel partners
  • Terms apply

Earning points

One area where the American Express Gold card shines in this comparison is in earning points. The Platinum card offers 5 points per dollar spent on flights and hotels, as long as you book with the airline or American Express Travel. If your spending habits include a lot of booked travel, the Platinum card is a great option.

But the Gold card’s 4 points per dollar spent at worldwide restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point) is one of the best spending category bonuses around. Dining and groceries are two of the top spending categories for many people, and the American Express Gold card delivers with high bonuses in both of them.

Redeeming points

Cardholders of both the American Express Gold card and the American Express Platinum card can redeem Membership Rewards points in exactly the same ways. They can both transfer to American Express’s wide variety of hotel and airline transfer partners. Both cards also can redeem points to book travel through amextravel.com or as gift card purchases or statement credits.

For more inspiration on how to redeem your Membership Rewards, check out our guide on the best ways to spend American Express points.

Bonus perks

There is no question that the perks on the American Express Platinum card are better and more extensive than those on the Gold card. The annual airline incidental reimbursement is twice as high, and the Platinum card also comes with monthly Uber credits. For frequent travelers, the airport lounge access, hotel elite status with Hilton and Marriott and Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit will come in handy.

See related: Guide to American Express lounges

In addition, the initial welcome bonus on the Platinum card is significantly higher than the bonus on the Gold card. It does require slightly more initial spending, however.

The only bonus perk that the Gold card has that the Platinum card does not is the up to $10 in monthly dining credits. Nevertheless, whether the enhanced perks of the American Express Platinum card make up for its higher annual fee is something that will depend on your specific spending and travel habits.

Annual fee and authorized users

The annual fee on the American Express Gold card is a fairly substantial $250, and the fee is not waived for the first year. The annual fee on the Platinum card comes in at $550 – one of the highest annual fees of any credit card. But there’s no denying that the Platinum card also comes with many perks to help offset the high annual cost.

Also worth noting is that there is no additional fee to add authorized user cards on the American Express Gold card (up to five additional cards). On the Amex Platinum, you can add up to three authorized users for a total of $175 per year and then an additional $175 annual fee for any following authorized user.

This is an important callout, as authorized users on the Platinum card get their own airport lounge access, Gold status with Hilton and Marriott as well as access to American Express’s Fine Hotels and Resorts and Hotel Collection. Authorized users do not get the $200 airline credit or any of the other perks that the primary cardholder gets.

See related: Amex Platinum authorized user perks

Bottom line

The American Express Gold card is definitely more accessible for more people, with its much lower annual fee. But if a $550 annual fee doesn’t faze your budget, take a look at the perks that come with the American Express Platinum card to see if you’ll get enough value to offset the higher cost.

If you travel frequently and don’t already have hotel elite status or a Priority Pass lounge membership, you may see value in the Platinum card. If you’re a foodie who spends a lot on restaurants and groceries, the Gold card might be for you.

Or consider that both cards earn valuable Membership Rewards points, and American Express easily lets you combine points earned on different cards. So, you might even find value in having both cards in your wallet.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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